Salicylic acid has been around for a long time. It’s a cult status product well-known for its ability to exfoliate dead skin and keep pores clear, reducing acne.
Despite everything that is said, you can use acids every day! Just be careful and ask your dermatologist first!
So, let us talk a bit about BHA aka salicylic acid.
What is it?
In short terms, it is a BHA derived naturally from willow bark.
In medical terms, salicylic acid is the most common BHA with high keratolytic and comedolytic effects. HUH? Yeah, sounds spooky, but this means that BHA, unlike AHA’s, can penetrate deep down into the pore and dissolve excess sebum and bacteria that lead to acne. Of course, BHA will smooth the surface of the skin (the epidermis) by exfoliating dead skin cells.
Who should use it?
BHA is my first choice when I see a young patient with acne! I start slow and actively work together to build a durable, long-lasting skincare routine! I am not the one for quick fixes that don’t have long-term benefits. Well, only if you are Angelina Jolie and you need a quick fix before a red carpet. So, yeah, it is possible to hide out a skin problem, but for sure it won’t resolve it!
Have in mind that salicylic acid does not kill Propionibacterium Acnes, and that is why I like to use it (when necessary) in combination with benzoyl peroxide! Doubts? I am here to help! DM me on my Instagram page @dermacons_skin_boutique and let’s make some light in your skincare routine!
Holy Grail for Acne
Salicylic acid is ideal for acne-prone skin types. If you are consistent and use it regularly, salicylic acid will help you treat and clear acne, prevent new breakouts and reveal a smoother, brighter complexion.
I don’t know if you know that BHA has anti-inflammatory properties.
Actually, there is a common myth on the internet, according to which BHA causes dark spots. Nope! This is not true! AHA’s and other acids are more likely to trigger PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) than salicylic acid. This means it works great on darker skin tones too! Hurray!
I want it! I got it! Now what?
Start slow! If a product is not made for daily use or has a low concentration, use it 3-4 times a week max. If you never used acids before start once or twice a week and see how it goes! A little tingling is normal but if you experience burning or stinging rinse it right away with lukewarm water!
You will find BHA in many forms: cleansers, toners, serums, spot treatments and sometimes lotions at concentrations between 0.5 and 2%.
I have tried them all! On my patients or me. My favourite? Definitely 0.5% salicylic acid in the form of a toner along with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid or Centella Asiatica. Studies have shown that low concentration BHA used daily has the same efficacy as higher percentages used every other day.
Moreover, 0.5 % BHA is safe for extremely sensitive skin, rosacea or eczema. My absolute favourite is AXIS-Y 0.5% BHA with Centella Asiatica Treatment Toner that soothes, replenishes and hydrates the skin while treating bumps, clogged pores, flakiness and overall dullness. You will actually notice that your skin becomes calmer, healthier, and happier – on top of being resurfaced.
Derm Tip: Works best in combination with the Artichoke Intensive Skin Barrier Serum and Cera-Heart Duo Cream for extra hydration, protection and anti-ageing effect!
Now you can call yourself a BHA aka salicylic acid PRO!