When it comes to fighting acne, salicylic acid is one of the most loved ones out there.
So what makes this exfoliating product such a favorite for those who have acne?
As someone who has acne and has been sworn by various salicylic acid products for years, today, in this article, we’ll explain about salicylic acid and read till the end because we’ll share a DIY salicylic acid peel in the last.
What’s salicylic acid?
First of all, let’s figure out what salicylic acid is. It’s a little confusing, but salicylic acid’s exact structure is necessary to understand why (and how) it works so well.
When it comes to skincare ingredients, you can always see two groups of acids: beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).
Salicylic acid is known as a beta hydroxy acid, which means that the hydroxy portion of the molecule is divided from the acid portion by two carbon atoms instead of the alpha hydroxy acid, separated by a single carbon atom.
- Also, salicylic acid is naturally derived from the willow’s bark and belongs to a class of ingredients called salicylates. This structure is essential because it makes salicylic acid more oil-soluble to enter the pores of the skin.
- Alpha and beta hydroxy acids gently exfoliate the skin, but AHAs are water-soluble, while BHAs are oil-soluble.
Examples of AHAs include, for example, glycolic and lactic acids.
- Oil-soluble ingredients typically penetrate more quickly into the lipid layers between the skin cells.
In other words, oil-soluble ingredients can penetrate deep at a deeper level than their water-soluble alternatives.
- AHAs work great on the skin’s surface to remove aged, dead skin and expose fresh newer skin.
Salicylic acid operates harder [and is] able to reach the pores to unclog them.
What does salicylic acid do for your skincare?
Salicylic acid is an effective pore-clearing agent since it exfoliates the skin’s surface and penetrates the pores to extract the grease.
This helps avoid clogging of pores and can help to eliminate cloggings that have already been created.
As an oil-soluble BHA, salicylic acid can penetrate deep into the skin and break down excess oil and dead skin cells.
It functions by breaking down the “glue” between the cells to exfoliate and reduce oil secretion. The main benefits are as follows:
- Battle with acne
- Removes dead cells from the skin
- Decreases secretion of oil
- Reduces redness and inflammation
- In addition to treating acne, you might have used salicylic acid in products that rejuvenate or brighten your skin.
Homemade Salicylic Acid Peel
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 7 uncoated aspirin tablets
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 cup of water
- Cotton balls
- Small bowl and spoon
- Place your uncoated aspirin tablets in a small bowl and add 2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Let the tablets of aspirin dissolve.
- In the meantime, mix 2 tsp of baking soda in 1⁄2 cup of water.
- Crush the softened aspirin tablets in a paste.
- Now add the aspirin-lemon paste to your clean, dry face using clean fingertips. Prevent the eyes.
- Let it dry for 5-7 minutes.
- When the time comes, soak a clean cotton ball in the soda water and use it to rub off the acid peel gently.
- Baking soda is alkaline and therefore neutralizes the acidic influence of the peel.
- Wash your face and pat it dry and moisturize.
- Acid peels are usually a high concentration, which can be irritating to certain skin types, so please do a patch test before use.
- If you’re allergic to any of the ingredients mentioned above, don’t use this salicylic acid peel.