Salicylic acid is a sexy little number,
It has wonderful results on the skin.
It actually comes from the aspirin family and the word Salix, is Latin for willow tree.
Yes, you guessed it back in the day compounds were taken from the bark of the willow tree, fortunately we chemists no longer have to go foraging through woods.
Neither do we have to strip bark from willow trees, in order to harness the powers of this extraordinary ingredient.
Phew, I sure am glad about that, because today most compounds, are laboratory produced.
How Salicylic Acid Works
Salicylic comes from a family of medicines for the skin, known as keratolytics.
These medicines are really effective at treating skin conditions, especially where the skin has started to become thick or flaky, which is why it’s great for treating warts, psoriasis, dermatitis and ichthyoid.
Because Salicylic acid is oil soluble, it is great for treating an oily, combination skin.
In plain English! What this means is that it….
- It unclogs pores
- It breaks down fatty compounds
- It gets rid of stubborn protein known as keratin
- It breaks down blackheads and whiteheads
- It dissolves sebum (oil), that cause pesky breakouts
- It can sheds cells inside the skins follicles, making it a great acne treatment
For more juicy gossip on the benefits of salicylic acid follow this link.
Salicylic Acid Preparations
When it comes to skin care products, salicylic comes in many different forms;
Gels, lotions, ointments, peels and even shampoos, these formulas come in many different strengths, from 0.5 percent to strong concentrations of 30 percent.
To get the best results from your formula, it should be used in low concentrations, over longer periods.
Whilst this may sound counter-intuitive, a concentration of around 1-2 percent, will give the skin a pH of around 4.5 to 5.5, this pH, will help to keep the acid mantle micro flora intact.
The Naked truth
I feel that Salicylic Acid often gets a raw deal, the reason for this is two fold.
Salicylic Acid has be known to cause sensitivity and inflammation.
Some people are actually intolerant to this ingredient, which is a recognized condition known as salicylate sensitivity, secondly, many cheaper formulas contain too much Salicylic acid,
Too much of a good thing can be bad, and that is especially true of salicylic acid.
One last tip, purchase skin care products that will stick around on the skin for longer.
Such as lotions, moisturisers and day creams, anything that you don’t have to wash off, giving the ingredients opportunity, to really work their magic.