A powerful active anti-acne ingredient proven to be effective in healing blemishes and preventing new breakouts. Salicylic acid is a naturally occurring compound found in some plants, like the leaves of wintergreen and the bark of sweet birch. Its keratolytic activity increases the skin’s natural rate of renewal and sloughs off dead surface cells. Salicylic acid is also credited with anti-microbial, antiseptic, and anti-aging properties.
Salicylic acid is one of the beta-hydroxy acids, also called BHAs. It's a strong keratolytic (can dissolve keratin), so it is used in many formulations for exfoliation, peeling, acne treatment, and so on.
Salicylic acid has been used to treat acne for many years, thanks to keratolytic, bactericidal (antibacterial), and fungicidal (antifungal) properties. However, when used long-term, this BHA also shows comedolytic properties. β-hydroxy acids are most effective on oily skin with blackheads and whiteheads.
As well as being an excellent peeling agent and pore-cleanser, Salicylic acid is also a good anti-irritant and presents anti-inflammatory properties. Another positive effect of Salicylic acid is that it helps treat breakouts because of its anti-microbial properties. It is also known to improve skin thickness, skin barrier functions, collagen production, and cell renewal, improving overall skin texture.