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Skin Care Ingredients

How to Use Salicylic Acid for Clear Smooth Skin

How to use salicylic acid for clear, smooth, glowing skin… One of the most effective skin care ingredients you can use for oily or acne skin.

This page will show you exactly how to use salicylic acid for the best results…

You might be surprised how well it works—it doesn’t just dry out skin like a number of other acne treatments (like benzoyl peroxide). Salicylic acid gets to the causes to help improve your skin long term.

The Benefits Of Salicylic Acid

Pac man eating two molecules
Little “Pacmen” consistently dissolve dead skin cells and oil

This Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) works by dissolving oil and dead skin cells, both on the surface of your skin and deep within your pores.

It provides gentle, even, but deep exfoliation—working like tiny “Pac Men” on the surface of your skin. (Salicylic acid is one of many excellent chemicals for your skin; embrace chemicals—don’t hate them!)

This is exactly what makes it so useful for acne.

Pimples, oiliness and blackheads are all caused by excess oil and dead skin cells—so dissolve the cause and you eliminate the symptoms!

It also has an anti bacterial and slight drying action.

How To Use Salicylic Acid For Acne – The Right Way

You can do heavy peels once every few weeks (such as 15% salicylic acid), and while this is effective – consistent daily use is much easier, safer, and more beneficial.

Like the better results you get form going to the gym everyday for 30mins, instead of once a month for 5hours…

To choose the best salicylic acid product for this purpose, it’s important to understand the following…

Not All Salicylic Acid Products Are The Same

Just because a product contains salicylic acid doesn’t mean it’s in the right dose or has the right pH to be effective:

  • It needs to be in a high enough percentage/concentration: not buried at the bottom of an endless list of other ingredients—2% is the highest concentration you can get over the counter
  • The pH is vitally important—it needs to be pH 3 – 4 or it’s useless (source). Any higher and it won’t do a thing, any lower and it’s far too strong for human skin (getting close to battery acid)

Use it as a Daily Exfoliant after cleansing

Apply a salicylic exfoliator daily for clear skin, here’s how:

Similar to a toner.  This works so well because:

  • It’s easy and fast. Apply like a toner after cleansing, leave on for up to 30seconds, then rinse off
  • Follow with your normal moisturizer, in the beginning if your skin becomes drier you might need a more hydrating product (or “double” your moisturizer application – this works!)
  • Much safer than using it in a higher concentration, but gives similar (and perhaps better) results
  • However if you wish to perform heavier peels this is the best way to build tolerance in your skin before you do so (see this page for the ultimate guide to doing an at-home peel)
  • It eliminates the need for other exfoliant treatments—saving time and money
  • You can see a difference instantly as skin is brighter and more refined. Skin will continue to clear and improve with use
  • This is one of the absolute best ways to remove blackheads

Using salicylic acid for acne not only helps keep your skin clear, it also improves its appearance by making it softer, more smooth and brighter

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