As the largest organ in the body, the skin is often under threat from all directions. The skin’s role is to form a protective barrier to the outside world to protect from environmental toxins and prevent infection. The skin barrier also holds in moisture, preventing dehydration. Let’s touch on the beneficial effects of salicylic acid for the skin.
What is Salicylic acid?
With the name originating from a Latin word referring to willow trees, many know a derivative of salicylic acid as being the main ingredient/content in aspirin. It helps in relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and facilitating blood circulation. Because of these qualities, it adds value to the skin by breaking down oily sebum notorious for clogging pores. Besides that, there are several benefits that one can get from this product. This is what we want to focus on.
Benefits of using Salicylic acid
Let us journey through the benefits of salicylic acid in relation to:
Treatment of acne
Exfoliation of dead skin cells
Reduction of inflammation
Treatment of acne
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy-acid that is attracted to oil in the skin. Since oil is derived from the pores in the skin, salicylic acid is excellent for opening pores without abrasive irritation that would occur with harsh physical exfoliants. When salicylic acid is applied to the skin, it facilitates loosening and exfoliation of dead skin cells to open the pores and increases skin cell turnover thereby enabling healthy growth of the skin.
An added benefit is that it also helps lift off dead skin cells causing abnormal discoloration of the skin that often occurs as a result of inflammatory acne. Salicylic acid is best used in conjunction with other products for hyperpigmentation issues.
Salicylic acid is very anti-inflammatory, making it a great option for exfoliation in people with rosacea or red, sensitive skin.
When it comes to the exfoliation of the skin, salicylic acid is the king. Your skin needs to be moisturized all the time, and moisturization works better when the adherent dead skin cells are removed so that hydration can penetrate. Besides, its ability to effectively exfoliate the skin, salicylic acid is also beneficial in neutralizing any bacteria that is likely to cause breakouts, and also reduce the general inflammation. Essentially it can be applied in very many areas including when washing the face and even in the treatment of spots.
Administration of salicylic acid
Finally, when using salicylic acid, it is important that you stick to the experts’ advice. Only use it as directed. Initially, some people may experience dry skin and some mild irritation when using salicylic acid in acne treatment. This is a result of the dead skin cells starting to exfoliate. If intolerable, decrease the frequency of treatment until your skin cycles through (about 4 weeks) and then increase to daily use as tolerated. We are looking for long-term improvements, never quick fixes.