How to use salicylic acid for acne


Topical salicylic acid is one of the main natural agents that exist to combat acne. Thanks to its composition, this solid and colorless acid penetrates the skin to remove dead cells and clean pores in depth, which is why it is considered a powerful exfoliant.

How to use salicylic acid for acne

However, as it is a beta-hydroxy acid, that is, an exfoliating compound that peels off the outer layers of the skin, it must be used with care.

Salicylic acid for acne – benefits

If you want to get rid of acne, products with salicylic acid are a foolproof treatment for almost all skin types, something that is due to the powerful exfoliating action of the acid, which penetrates the pores clogged by dead cells, impurities and accumulated debris. the skin.

Products with salicylic acid generate the softening and detachment of the upper layer of the skin, as this is how it is possible to facilitate the extraction of pimples and skin cleansing. In the same way, these types of products help to eliminate superficial skin blemishes, since many times these are caused by the same obstruction of the pores.

On the other hand, salicylic acid favors the elimination of fat accumulated in the pores and reduces sebum secretion. This makes this substance an ideal solution to promote cell regeneration and leave skin healthier, smoother and more radiant.

In addition, salicylic acid works as a powerful anti-inflammatory in cases of profuse acne. Other medical uses of salicylic acid are as follows:

  • In the treatment of psoriasis: this substance is also prescribed to those who suffer from psoriasis, a disease that produces red and scaly spots all over the body. For more information about this problem and its possible solutions, we explain how to treat psoriasis.
  • As a medicine against ichthyosis: it is a highly recommended substance also for this skin disorder characterized by leaving very dry and scaly skin.
  • In some cases, salicylic acid can also be used to treat calluses and warts on the hands and feet.

You may also be interested in learning How to make homemade face scrubs.

How to use salicylic acid for acne – the answer

Many acne treatments contain salicylic acid, since being a compound that is part of the keratolytics – that is, agents for the treatment of various skin lesions – it is a very effective solution for conditions that cause acne.

If you are wondering how to use salicylic acid for acne, the first thing you should know is that a visit to the dermatologist is mandatory. Salicylic acid is not appropriate for everyone , as some skin types may be too sensitive for its use. For this reason, and because it is essential to know the characteristics of your skin (pH, allergies, sebum production, etc.), we recommend that you visit a professional who will ensure the best product for your case.

Salicylic acid is always used through products that contain it (gels, ointments, patches, pads, creams, etc). Generally, topical salicylic acid products have 0.5% – 2% acid in their composition. At higher rates it can be dangerous for the health of the skin and should only be administered under strict medical supervision.

Similarly, dermatologists always recommend its use in minimal doses, at least during the beginning of treatment. This dose can be increased gradually depending on the adaptation of the skin to the product.

Where to buy salicylic acid for acne

Salicylic acid products can be purchased at any pharmacy. Its sale to the public is free, that is, it does not require a prescription. However, and as we have explained previously, the ideal is that you only buy the product recommended by your dermatologist.

Salicylic acid -contraindications

While salicylic acid is highly recommended for treating acne, it should always be used with caution. In high doses or extremely sensitive skin, it can have adverse effects that harm the health of your skin. Some of them are:

  • Irritation: If you use too much salicylic acid, red welts and irritation may appear in the treated areas.
  • Dryness: excess salicylic acid dries out the skin, since the deep exfoliation it performs can hinder cell regeneration.
  • Desquamation: In sensitive skin, frequently using this acid can cause flaking of the epidermis.

To avoid these contraindications, here are some tips:

  1. Visit the dermatologist before starting to use salicylic acid.
  2. Acquire the products in pharmacies and trusted stores.
  3. Inform the professional treating you in advance of any allergies you suffer from.
  4. Do not exceed the prescribed dose.
  5. Do not ingest the acid and avoid contact of the product with the eyes and nostrils.
  6. Wash your skin well with soap and water before applying the acid.
  7. Immediately discontinue use of any salicylic acid product if an adverse effect occurs.


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