Is Salicylic Acid Cleanser Effective?

You may often hear dermatologists recommending either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid face wash for acne treatment. But why is it so? Are these kinds of cleansers useful? Do they make any difference, or it’s just another marketing game? All these questions come up in your mind when an acidic content is said to be highly effective for your skin.

Is Salicylic Acid Cleanser Effective?

What Is Salicylic Acid?

In short, you must note that salicylic acid is a kind of chemical exfoliant. The willow tree bark is used to derive BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid. The oil-soluble property and better penetration capacity let it makes an effective solution for both your whiteheads and blackheads. Once it gets deeply penetrated the skin, all the oils and dirt particles get removed that may have clogged the pores. You can also call it an intercellular glue to hold different skin cells together while also reducing the inflammation issues.

While an alpha hydroxy acid is known only to exfoliate the skin’s surface, the beta-hydroxy acid can go at deeper levels, into the pores, and change the formation if how skin cells are bounded. The medication form of salicylic acid is keratolytic, which means the high suitability for deep exfoliation. It also causes your skin’s top layer cells to get slough and soft by breaking and loosening the different cell attachments. However, these attachments are called desmosomes.

What Are the Benefits of Salicylic Acid for Skin?

Given below is a list of several benefits you can get by skin products containing salicylic acid.

Combat Acne

As you know that salicylic acid is considered beneficial for severe acne-prone skin, it is also effective blackheads and whiteheads. It also helps decline acne breakouts to a great extent by breaking the cell attachment in outer layers of skin. Blocked pores are unclogged resultantly, which can further lead to blemishes. The primary reason that it is effective on acne is control over sebum secretion.

Exfoliate Skin

One of the top benefits of salicylic acid is exfoliation. Due to lots of skin issues, you may face dead skin cells build-up over the top surface. It helps to remove bacteria, dirt, and grime that let the skin feel free and clear from irritants. The removal of bacteria means better exfoliation and purification, which further improves appearance and skin health.

Effective Astringent

At the same time, salicylic acid is also an ideal astringent that helps reduce the appearance of pores by reducing the oiliness and tightening of overall skin cells. As a result, your skin will look more youthful, glowing, and smooth.

Tips to Use Salicylic Acid

The acne scrubs, such as salicylic acid or similar other products, can also prove to be damaging if not used carefully. So, you have to consider some essential tips to use such products in your skincare regimen. First of all, you can skip using products with salicylic acid if your acne problem is not so severe or you can say, strong. The acid will feel too strong and cause extreme dryness if you have minor pores. So, what you can do is change your skincare products with another less harmful acid, such as lactic acid and glycolic acid. Both of the ingredients help better pore congestion.

At the same time, glycolic acid is highly suitable for mature skin. And, if you want to feel gentler, use lactic acid as another powerful ingredient.


At last, we must conclude by saying that salicylic acid is not that harmful if you use it correctly within limits of 0.5-2%. It’s a recommended amount you should consider using at daily routine if you want proper acne treatment.