A salicylic acid peel is unbeatable as a treatment for acne, blackheads, large pores and pimples. A course of frequent light peels is even better, and if done properly and safely, can clear up those issues for good! Find out exactly how to do one on this page.
If you want to do your own salicylic acid peels at home, this page is intended as a guide in learning how to get the best results.*
What makes a salicylic peel so good for acne? How to prepare and apply step by step? The best frequency for your home regime, expectations, and maintenance? All on this page!
Do not use if allergic to Aspirin or pregnant!
Derived from Willow bark, it is the sole star of the Beta Hydroxy Acid group (BHA). Also a main constitute of Aspirin.
It's fat soluble so is attracted to and dissolves fats. Effectively, it breaks down lipids and oils/sebum. It can get right into pores - which is why it's so good for acne:
Start with a percentage of 15%*
Anything higher is too strong in the beginning and can be very irritating. Plus, there really is no need to go straight into a stronger dose, as the effectiveness of peels depends on where you skin is at.
In other words - the effective of using 15% in the beginning is the same as using 30% after a few months of usage. Skin gets used to it, and gets stronger, so can handle (some would say needs) higher concentrations.
It's worth repeating - don't be tempted to go straight into using a concentration any higher than 15%. Frequent light peels are fair more effective, not to mention safer.
(Or, start with a daily application of a high quality lower dose - same benefits without the risk. Plus, the consistency of daily application is better at preventing acne and blackheads. Find out more here.)
Aim to perform a 15% salicylic acid peel every 2 weeks, for 2 or 3 months.
The first peel will be for 1 minute.
Notice how your skin reacts and increase in 1 minute intervals each time for a maximum of 5 minutes.
This time frame of 2-3months will show great results - often after the very first treatment. It will allow the benefits to be cumulative, and for a lot of people this is all they need to see vast improvements in acne and other skin conditions.
Maintain results with a monthly application of 15 - 20%.
If you still have blockages, scars or concerns, repeat the treatment plan with a concentration of 20%. Build slowly.
What to expect:
You can see great improvements after the first treatment. It will take a few weeks to see vast differences.
Some people no longer have a problem with blackheads - they completely disappear, and breakouts are greatly reduced.
Fine lines, pigmentation and acne scars are also helped by using this peel frequently. Results are cumulative, so keep up your treatment plan.
Once you've achieved your wanted results, a peel every month or two is enough to maintain these benefits.
Not sure about using a heavier peel? Get the same - if not better - results with consistent use of a 2% application. It's easier, safer and will keep your skin clear.
A 15% concentration, with no other active ingredients that will get in the way of the best results.
A small bottle is enough as you don't need to use a lot, and may want to increase the concentration to 20% after you've finished it - this is an easy way to build up.
This is a 30ml bottle, great size for starting and a good price.
This range also has 20% and 30%, if you are looking at increasing.
The blue bottle is important - keep it out of sunlight!
I've given this guide based on my knowledge and experience of performing these peels. Be sure to read the instructions of the specific product, whichever one you choose :)
Using salicylic acid peels as an acne solution can be remarkable.
Often it is the one thing that can help clear up skin, once and for all.
It's similar to glycolic acid in that the exfoliation action also stimulates cell renewal - which means healthier, stronger skin in the long term.
This is much more beneficial than using benzol peroxide, which works by drying up blemishes and oil, and can be effective. However it can be severely drying and completely unbalance skin, making the problem worse in the long run.
Used with knowledge and caution, home chemical peels are a great, easy way to take care of your skin. Try them, and you won't look back!
*Disclaimer - This information is intended as a resource for your own research and knowledge about performing a salicylic facial peel at home. It is not intended to be complete or exhaustive, but is based solely on my experience and opinions. You know your skin best, please see a professional if you have any doubts, concerns or simply aren't sure. The owner and author expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information expressed here and the related pages.
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