Of late, salicylic acid has become one of the hottest ingredients in the world of skin care. The ingredient can be found in all sorts of cleansers, exfoliators and acne creams. Since most brands term this ingredient as the solution to all your acne issues, we often see people stocking up on the products that contain this ingredient the moment they experience a breakout. However, are you really aware of what salicylic acid really is and how should you best use it? Are you sure that it’s safe for your skin type? OROGOLD Cosmetics examines the role of salicylic acid in your skin care.

Salicylic acid is a Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA) that is derived from the bark of a willow tree. It contains keratin-dissolving properties which make it one of the best exfoliating ingredients for your skin. The ingredient can actually penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin to encourage shedding of the outermost layer and reveal younger and beautiful looking skin from within. When adding over-the-counter products that contain salicylic acid in your skin care regimen, you need to remember that your skin might take some time to get used to the ingredient. Since this ingredient can lead to mild irritation or stinging sensations, it is best used in moderation. Usually, any product that contains 0.5% – 2% of the ingredient is safe for use.

Now that you’re aware of what salicylic acid really is, let’s examine the benefits offered by this ingredient in greater details.

Salicylic acid is similar to aspirin in terms of anti-inflammatory properties – Salicylic acid can be used to treat all sorts of skin issues because of its drying and anti-bacterial effects.  It breaks up the cells that stick to each other in your pores, thereby de-clogging the whiteheads and blackheads. If you’re suffering from acne-prone skin or oily skin, you can benefit from the use of salicylic acid because it will reduce the oil content, minimize skin discoloration and also loosen the blackheads.

Salicylic acid can be used to treat acne, but it can also be used as an exfoliator – Despite being more famous as a remedy for acne, salicylic acid is actually one of the best ingredients to look for in your exfoliating products. Being a Keratolytic (an ingredient that loosens the keratin in your skin), salicylic acid loosens the scaly and thickened skin to allow it to shed easily. When you start using an exfoliator that contains this ingredient, your skin not only sloughs off easily, it also enjoys reduced breakouts and decreased inflammation levels. However, if you already have a strong exfoliation routine, you need to be careful while using salicylic based products. You might want to cut out on exfoliating peels or harsh soaps, in order to accommodate this ingredient into your skin care regimen.

So add this super-cool ingredient into your skin care regimen and give your skin the dose of freshness it has been missing.

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