Salicylic Acid Acne Cure
Treating acne can be a complicated endeavor. Since no two people's skin is the same, you may need to experiment to find the right cure for your skin. However, salicylic acid has shown to be an effective treatment, at least to some degree, for most people.
Salicylic acid is a chemical found in numerous acne products. It is a relatively mild acid that works to remove the topmost layer of skin by exfoliating away dead skin cells. This reveals healthier, newer skin beneath, reduces oil and reduces acne inflammation.
How to Obtain It
Salicylic acid, while available in prescription-based products, is widely available over the counter. It's present in cleansers, creams, lotions, astringents, toners and pads. The concentration percentage varies among products and brands, however, so take note of the labels. Start with a product that contains the smallest percentage of salicylic acid, then work up to level that works for you.
How it Works
Salicylic acid works by getting rid of the top layer of skin. It sloughs off dead skin cells faster than they would normally shed, revealing healthier skin beneath. This also works to unclog pores, allow blemishes to run their course and prevent new ones from forming. Unlike other popular acne products, salicylic acid does not control oil or kill Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria that causes acne.
Salicylic acid can cause some unpleasant side effects. The most typical is dryness, which can make the skin tight or cause it to peel. Redness and irritation are also common, but can usually be be avoided by following your acne treatment with a light, oil-free moisturizer.
In some cases, salicylic acid can cause more dramatic irritation, redness and skin peeling. This is usually caused by using salicylic acid in combination with other skin care products that may dry the skin, such as exfoliating scrubs, alcohol-based toners, benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin and some cosmetics.
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