Using salicylic acid for home-based skin care can help you have the best results, regardless of your skin type or texture. Skincare experts often advise using it to treat issues like seasonal dryness, scaly skin, acne marks, and inflammation. It also helps remove the dead skin cells from the outermost layer of the skin. It is thus important to integrate this beneficial ingredient into the skincare schedule- here’s how you may get the job done with ease! Oily skin is one of the most difficult skin types to cater to. Using salicylic acid for skin exfoliation and for the above-mentioned benefits surely makes for a curious case case for any skincare expert.

If you are planning to get going with this amazing skincare ingredient someday, we suggest you start with this beginner’s guide for a more seamless integration.


What is Salicylic acid?

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid extracted from the willow bark. It is synthesized by isolating the hydroxyl part of the carboxylic acid molecule, and this makes the resulting element more soluble in oil. This new structure is the reason for salicylic acid’s ability to penetrate the skin pores more efficiently than any other ingredient. 

Once its topical application penetrates the skin’s pores, the acid portion of the molecule breaks down some of the intercellular connection that merges the skin cells and clears the congestion. Because it can penetrate better, salicylic acid benefits are often advised for people with oily and sensitive skin. This gentle acid has anti-inflammatory properties, thus making salicylic acid for skin a good option for an anti-acne skincare regimen.

4 Benefits of Salicylic Acid in Skincare

Salicylic acid is lipophilic, making it a perfect fit for people with oily skin. One of the most prevalent causes of acne is the overproduction of excess sebum on the skin, which blocks the pores and leads to a buildup of dust and grime. To get rid of your facial blemishes, you should use salicylic acid gel for face cleansing. It thus acts like a multipurpose skincare ingredient that works for skin types. 

Give a try to Mamaearth Rose Water Toner, made of natural ingredients and tightens open pores.

Here is how it is beneficial for the skin:-

Prevents acne

Salicylic acid is comedolytic and it thus reduces whiteheads and blackheads. It also gently unclogs the skin pores and prevents excess sebum and dead skin cells from accumulating underneath. Using salicylic acid on the face is an effective remedy to eliminate skin blemishes because it breaks apart the bonds between the cells in the skin’s outer layers.

Works as a gentle astringent

Among many other uses of salicylic acid, astringency is also prominent. This helps this beta-hydroxy acid tighten the skin pores, reduce oiliness, and unclog the pores. By shrinking the appearance of pores and tightening the skin, salicylic acid makes the skin smoother and younger.

Reduces excess sebum

Oily skin clogs the pores and slows down the natural skin shedding cycle. This traps the bacteria inside the cells and the situation may soon turn into a painful inflammation over time if not cared for. 

When you use salicylic acid face wash for oily skin, it breaks down fatty compounds on the skin surface and helps release bacteria. So, a regular use of salicylic acid face cleansers can help exfoliate skin, clear debris, and reduce sebum. 

Lightens blemishes

If you are a skincare expert, you would know salicylic acid’s skin lightening and brightening properties. It helps reduce the appearance of dark spots, blemishes, and hyperpigmentation on the skin. This acid can also be incorporated into a daily skincare routine to even the skin and reduce discoloration due to its astringent properties. 

Tip: We recommend using a toxin-free and natural face gel such as Mamaearth Aqua Glow Face Gel Moisturizer. You can also apply Mamaearth Aloe Vera gel to keep it hydrated and moisturized.

What should you not mix with salicylic acid?

Salicylic acid is an effective skincare ingredient but has its limits. Here are some of the ingredients you should not be blend while using salicylic acid for skincare processes:-

  1. Retinol

Retinol are highly potential in skincare. However, blending them will supercharge them, thus causing severe dryness, itching, and an increased risk of photosensitivity. 

  1. Glycolic Acid

Both of these ingredients help exfoliate the dead skin cells. However, mixing glycolic acid with salicylic acid may result in a lot of irritation. 

What can you mix with salicylic acid?

As a rule of thumb, we don’t mix oil and water-based products. Oil repels water, so if you layer a water-based product over an oily product, it will leave your skin with a thick layer that protects the water-based content from penetrating it. However, if you must use this combination, layer the water-based product first and then use the oily product. 

  1. Niacinamide

While niacinamide is a water-soluble ingredient and salicylic acid is an oil-soluble ingredient, both get better together. The humectant properties of niacinamide allow it to draw out water from the face and lock it into the skin’s surface. With the skin receiving its share of hydration, niacinamide can counteract the signs of dryness often associated with mixing the two ingredients. 

  1. Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid benefits deep moisturization to the skin cells. This perfectly complements the application of salicylic acid, which may sometimes dry out the skin cells. By using the two together in serum, one may have a better skincare experience.

The takeaway

At Mamaearth, we have a diverse range of products enriched with salicylic acid that your skin will love to get pampered with. We are home to an exclusive range of face wash, serums, gels, creams, and face masks that are crafted with the Goodness of Nature. They are safe and toxin-free and can be used regularly without any second thoughts.  Check out our natural hydration treatment for skin range also. You will love it.

Here are some of our best Made Safe-approved skincare products:

  1. Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash with Salicylic Acid for Skin Hydration

Mamaearth Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash is enriched with Salicylic Acid, Neem, and Tea-Tree. This salicylic acid face wash offers multiple benefits for oily skin as it unclogs the skin pores, controls excess sebum, fights bacterial growth, and gives the skin a refreshing look. This face wash from tea tree range also reduces blemishes and prevents blackheads and breakouts.

Recommended Product

Salicylic Acid face wash

Reccomendation: We advise you to opt for Mamaearth Vitamin C Face Wash for natural skin illumination and even skin tone.

  1. Tea Tree Face Mask with Salicylic Acid 

This Tea tree face mask is enriched with Tea Tree, Salicylic Acid, Chamomile Reticulata, and Aloe Vera. These natural and gentle ingredients help provide your skin with a relaxed vibe. It drives out excess sebum, fights acne-causing bacteria, reduces inflammation, and clears pore congestion. It also helps reduce acne marks and makes the skin softer.

Recommended Product

Tea Tree Face Mask
  1. Tea Tree Spot Gel Face Cream with Salicylic Acid for Acne 

This salicylic acid gel uses ingredients like Licorice Extract, Tea Tree, and Salicylic Acid to moisturize and nourish your skin. Tea Tree Spot Gel Face Cream dissolves excess sebum, improves marks, spots, and blemishes, and soothes swelling and redness. It is a gentle product that can be directly applied to acne-prone skin.

Recommended Product

Tea Tree Spot Gel Face Cream
  1. Tea Tree & Salicylic Acid Serum for Acne

This lightweight serum is formulated with the goodness of Tea Tree Oil and Salicylic Acid, making it a perfect fit for oily skin. Tea tree serum helps restore the skin’s moisture barrier, thus making your skin more elastic and younger. To derive the best of salicylic acid serum benefits, we recommend using the product once every day.

Recommended Product

Tea Tree Face Serum

Precaution: Like any skincare ingredient, the only side effect of salicylic acid is that it causes dry skin or irritation in those with sensitive skin if used in excess. Its overuse may also cause some itchiness. So, it is generally advised to use salicylic acid in a limited amount, preferably only once or twice a week. It might also make your skin prone to sun damage, so you should wear an SPF the next morning for maximum skin protection.

  1. Does salicylic acid help remove acne scars?

    Yes. Salicylic acid is considered one of the best treatments for acne scars and marks. It is an excellent exfoliant that helps to remove acne-causing bacteria, slough dead skin cells and fade dark spots or marks. In addition, it evens the skin tone and treats skin discoloration. 

  2. How to use salicylic acid?

    You can use salicylic acid as an over-the-counter medication available on the market or use skincare products enriched with salicylic acid for maximum results on your skin. You can also check out Mamaearth's exclusive skincare range enriched with salicylic acid and other ingredients to maximize results on the skin without any potential side effects on the skin.

  3. How to use a salicylic acid serum on your face?

    After rinsing off your face with a sulfate-free face cleanser, take 3 to 4 drops of a face serum (that’s preferably enriched with salicylic acid) and apply it to your face and neck. Gently massage in an upward circular motion until it is fully absorbed. Follow it up with an oil-free face moisturizer.

  4. Is salicylic acid good for skin?

    Salicylic acid on skin benefits shed off dead skin cells from the top layer, decreases redness, reduces excess oil, and unclogs pores. It also helps treat other skin care issues caused due to adverse environmental conditions like dryness and scaliness. It is equally effective on oily and acne-prone skin. 

  5. How long should you leave salicylic acid on your face?

    The formulation you intend to use will determine how long you should leave salicylic acid on your face. For instance, a face cleanser enriched with salicylic acid will require you to gently lather for up to 1 minute, while serums require an overnight application for best results. 

  6. Can we use salicylic acid and alpha arbutin together?

    Yes, you can use salicylic acid and alpha arbutin together. However, we recommend doing a patch test to know how it works for your skin type and concern. 

  7. Is salicylic acid good for oily skin?

    Ans: Yes. Salicylic acid is a do-gooder for oily skin. It is best known for its ability to deeply cleanse the skin, remove excess oil, and slough away dead skin cells. It prevents whiteheads and blackheads on the T-zone. 

  8. How to use salicylic acid for acne?

    If you want to use salicylic acid for acne-prone skin, the best way is to use salicylic acid face wash. This removes the debris, dust, and grime with active formulations from the cleanser without disrupting the skin’s natural pH.

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