Why You Should be Using Salicylic Acid
Dr. Leslie Baumann
There’s a fine line between looking dewy and downright shiny, but you probably already knew that since you’re an oily type. With the power to reduce oil production and keep breakouts at bay, you’d think salicylic acid was created just for you, and here’s an in-depth look and this incredible ingredient.
Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid. While different than its alphy-hydroxy acid siblings, salicylic acid has similar exfoliating properties, which is essential for keeping skin looking its best. It also helps decrease skin sensitivity and dry up blemishes while eliminating the build-up of dead skin cells that can prevent other active ingredients from penetrating the skin. Furthermore, salicylic acid can help make pores appear smaller temporarily and it’s a wonderful anti-ager that helps keep wrinkles at bay. In a nutshell, salicylic acid is a multitasker that works wonders on a variety of skin types, and especially oily types.
Your cleanser is a great way to get your daily dose of salicylic acid, and I’m a fan of Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser and Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser. If you find yourself with a blemish, spot treatments with salicylic acid are extremely effective at cutting down healing time. (Try Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment or La Roche-Posay Effaclar Al Intensive Acne Spot Treatment.) You can even get a hit of salicylic acid in your makeup with Almay Clear Complexion Liquid Makeup. (There are a variety of concealers that contain salicylic acid as well.) And for extra help suppressing shine, try Paula’s Choice Shine Stopper Instant Matte Finish with Microsponge® Technology under your makeup.
One side note: If you’re allergic to aspirin, you should avoid salicylic acid. If this is the case, talk to your dermatologist about willowbark and other salicylic acid alternatives.
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