Though you might not have heard of salicylic acid itself, you might have heard of BHA exfoliants. Salicylic acid is also known as beta hydroxy acid (hence BHA) and it naturally occurs in everyone’s skin.
It’s a great exfoliant, but also has anti-inflammatory properties. This combination makes it ideal for keeping acne prone skin clear from blemishes. The BHA works to clear breakouts by removing dead skin cells and increasing cell turnover in the skin.
• Exfoliating skin without harsh physical exfoliants (like scrubs)
• Balancing oily and acne prone skin types, and preventing breakouts
• Smoothing the appearance of pores
You can incorporate a BHA product into your regimen in a few different ways. The most common one is probably an exfoliating toner that contains salicylic acid. It is usually best to use these products in your evening routine, as exfoliation increases sun sensitivity.
You can also use cleansers that contain this ingredient. Most people should be able to introduce salicylic acid into their routine without any issues, but if your skin is very sensitive you should begin with using it perhaps once a week, and gradually increase to multiple uses per week.
You might find salicylic acid listed on product labels, but the formulas might also say beta hydroxy acid or BHA.
Choose a product that is more gentle if your skin type is normal or dry; those with oily skin types can try out stronger formulations. It’s important to remember that salicylic acid can cause inflammation in very high concentrations, so it’s important you pick the right formula for your skin’s needs.