Are you sick and tired of trying out multiple acne treatments but getting lackluster results, if any at all? Well, look no further because we know just the thing that will help you; salicylic acid.
This may or may not be the first time you’re hearing about this ingredient in many acne combating skin care products, but don’t fret because we’re here to break it all down for you. Once you’re done reading all the information that is to follow, we're sure you're going to be more than just a little impressed.
So let’s get on, shall we?
What is salicylic acid?
It is a type of chemical exfoliant called beta hydroxy acid. It is naturally derived from willow bark, sweet birch bark and wintergreen leaves, but is also often synthesized in labs. It is different from the other type of chemical exfoliants called alpha hydroxy acid. While the latter are water soluble and work great for superficial exfoliation, the former are oil soluble and capable of deeper exfoliation, unclogging the pores of accumulated oil and dirt.
It’s oil soluble property is what makes it an effective acne treatment. It penetrates deep into the skin, breaks down and dissolves the connections between the skin cells and unclogs the pores. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, helping to alleviate the redness and swelling of the pimples and thereby promoting quicker healing.
What are the benefits of using it?
Salicylic acid is a desmolytic, which means it can help to loosen the bond between the outermost layer of skin cells. It helps to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and promotes skin cell regeneration. This means it also helps to reduce and fade the appearance of acne scars and blemishes, giving you clearer and radiant looking skin.
Salicylic acid is a comedolytic meaning it can effectively unclog pores and in turn combat whiteheads, blackheads and acne. It also prevents further acne from developing.
Given its ability to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin, it can suck out and clean excess oil and sebum from the pores. It also suppresses the sebocytes (cells that produce oil) from producing excess oil. This in turn can effectively prevent further acne breakouts.
One of the reasons why salicylic acid makes such a great acne treatment option is its ability to alleviate swelling, redness and any irritation that is part and parcel of acne breakouts.
Other than the aforementioned properties, salicylic acid also has astringent properties, meaning it can effectively pull the skin together and tighten any open pores. This helps to reduce their appearance, giving your skin a smoother and softer texture.
How to use it?
Although products containing salicylic acid are safe to use daily, each skin type is different and has different needs, so the key is to listen to your skin.
To start off, use it in moderation until you determine how much of it your skin can tolerate. You can use it up to two times a day. Instead of lathering it up everywhere, it should only be applied only on the problem areas to prevent any undue irritation. To counter the irritation that can be caused by salicylic acid, use it in conjunction with ingredients that have soothing and healing properties such as willow herb, green tea or lavender.
The Leovard Multicleanser makes for a great acne treatment, owing to its fantastic list of ingredients including salicylic acid and green tea, that work in conjunction to combat pimples, blackheads and white heads. Not only does it provide gentle exfoliation, it does not excessively dry the skin, giving you a radiant and fresh glow as early as the first wash.
Word of caution
Salicylic acid works best for those with oily and acne prone skin. A little bit of dryness, burning and irritation at the start of the treatment is quite normal and should subside with time. However, those with already sensitive skin might suffer from excessive dryness leading to irritation. So if one feels excessive amounts of burning and tingling, use should be immediately discontinued and a certified dermatologist should be consulted.
It is also important to note that salicylic acid can make the skin more prone to sunburn. When using salicylic acid as part of your skin care routine it is important to limit sun exposure and to use sunscreen. If direct exposure to sunlight is expected, it should be used as part of the pm routine only.
To sum it up, salicylic acid is an extremely effective treatment to combat acne, pimples and blackheads, giving you a head start in your quest of clearer and smoother skin. However, just like any other ingredient that you may wish to add to your everyday regime, it is important to gather as much information about it as possible. Making informed decisions is better than being caught unaware by something that doesn’t suit your skin.
And that’s what we hope to do here at Leovard; to empower you to make informed choices that elevate and lift you, enabling you to live your life the way you want.