Salicylic Acid in Cosmetics

Salicylic Acid in Cosmetics

With the cooler months quickly approaching it is time to bring back some helpful acids into our skincare regime. 
Salicylic acid is one of the most widely used acid types in skincare. It's a staple for acne, breakouts and problematic skin

It's a natural substance obtained from willow or birch bark. Ground bark is treated with oxidants and later filtered to produce salicylic acid as a white crystalline powder. This acid can be also produced synthetically from a derivative of acetylsalicylic acid. Both versions are used in the cosmetic and medical industries. 

But our face is not the only part of the body that benefits from using it. Let's see where it's also used. 

Salicylic Acid in Cosmetics

The effects of salicylic acid on skin and hair vary depending on its concentration. Small concentration promotes skin growth, whereas higher concentrations facilitate its exfoliation (which can be used for psoriasis or acne) or even dissolution (used for warts). Salicylic acid is an important ingredient in products aimed at the problem and acne-prone skin because of its ability to reduce sebum production and clean the skin.

Because salicylic acid is such a versatile ingredient I picked three products that contain it. All three products have different formulations. One is a shampoo, the other is a cleansing face gel and the last one is acne patches

Salicylic Acid in Cosmetics

Alpecin Medicinal Concentrated Shampoo Against Dandruff

The Alpecin Medicinal shampoo cleans the scalp effectively, washes hair thoroughly, and restores its natural beauty.

I like it because even if it's very effective, it feels gentle on my scalp. It has no scent, which I wasn't really expecting. A similar shampoo from the same brand came with a strong menthol scent, which I was expecting here.

Salicylic Acid in Cosmetics

But either way, since I started using it I have less acne on my scalp (they are sometimes a reaction to a product/ sometimes because of all the oil buildup from sweating).  The shampoo leathers really well, so only a tiny bit is needed

  • washes hair and cleans the scalp
  • gets rid of dandruff
  • moisturises intensely

Salicylic Acid in Cosmetics

Avon Clearskin Blemish Clearing Patches for Problematic Skin to Treat Acne

The topical treatment Avon Clearskin will take care of the problematic areas of your skin. It also soothes irritation and promotes natural regeneration.

I thought these were more like my beloved COSRX acne patches, but they are not. They have different functions. 
They are straightforward to apply and are way thinner than the COSRX patches. They also don't wrinkle when I'm trying to peel them off from the foil. 

I used one on very angry acne - it wasn't quite ready to come out, but it was red and there was some leaking. Nothing major and nothing white. After about 8 hours of using a patch, the pimple finally came to head
I used the patches for two days and they helped immensely with helping the pimple come out after with the irritation

  • topically targets signs of problematic skin
  • reduces skin blemishes
  • visibly improves the condition of the skin

Salicylic Acid in Cosmetics

Neutrogena Clear & Defend Gel Cleanser

The Neutrogena anti-pimple daily wash gel effectively cleanses the skin. Scientifically confirmed: it helps from the 1st day even stubborn pimples and maintains the skin protection barrier. This makes the skin more resistant to new pimples - for a cleaner, even complexion. The application is very easy: use morning and evening. Moisten the face and gently massage the wash gel on the face. Then wash thoroughly with water. Avoid contact with eyes. In case of contact with eyes, rinse well with water. The wash gel refreshes the skin, has a pleasantly light smell and leaves a noticeably soft feeling on the skin - the ideal solution for a visibly nourished complexion.

This gel cleanser is a staple in my beauty collection. I've used it for several years and I don't even know which bottle I currently am in. 
I don't use it daily, but more like a couple of times per week, during nighttime. 

I like that it has a nice fresh scent, it leathers very well and the most important thing - it works. I have had clearer skin since I started using it. Of course, if a pimple wants to form it won't prevent it for me (because I keep picking on the damn thing!). But it won't be as big and ugly as it would be otherwise. So for me, it's like a crisis-averted type of product. 

  • regulates sebum production
  • refreshes pleasantly
  • does not irritate the skin


Salicylic acid is a wonderful ingredient. It is used in many different forms - from deodorants, and shampoos to antiacne products. 
I'm the most acquainted with the antiacne option. I think it's a wonderful ingredient that probably is in most beauty regimes. And no wonder - it is a well-earned position!

Do you use any product with salicylic acid in it? Which one is it? Let me know in the comments below. 

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