Why Even Worry About Salicylic Acid And Sun Exposure
As we all know, excessive sun exposure can in itself be harmful to the skin. It can cause premature skin aging and, in some cases, can result in serious consequences, such as skin cancer.
Concerns about salicylic acid and sun exposure are based on the fact that alpha hydroxy acids, which are closely related to salicylic acid, do make the skin more sensitive to the sun. A compelling amount of evidence shows that AHAs can increase sun damage in skin cells.
For instance, research indicates that using AHAs for four weeks can increase skin redness caused by the sun by 18% and can double the sun damage to skin cells. In other words, your skin may be more sensitive to the sun and may burn more easily while you use AHAs.3
Because of this, the FDA recommends that manufacturers label products containing AHAs with this statement:
- Sunburn Alert: This product contains alpha hydroxy acid which can increase your skins sensitivity to the sun and especially the possibility of sunburn. Use a sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards.3
However, salicylic acid is probably much less sensitizing than AHAs. So, while there is good reason to take precautions in the sun while using AHAs, you can likely rest easy when it comes to salicylic acid. Still, it is better to stay on the safe side and wear sunscreen when using topical products with salicylic acid while we wait for more research evidence to come in.
What Concentration Of Salicylic Acid Is Best For Acne
OTC products are available in concentrations ranging from 0.55%. It is best to start with a low concentration to reduce the risk of irritating your skin.
Higher concentrations are available by prescription for ointments or medicated pads. Additionally, professional treatments will use medical-grade strength products and up to 30% for chemical peels.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Acne Scars In A Week
Applying face wash or lotion containing AHAs and BHAs causes mild exfoliation and exposes fresh skin underneath. Regular use of AHA and BHA on the face can reduce the appearance of scars and uneven pigmentation. Skin peels and serums containing vitamin C have a lightening effect on acne scars in about three weeks.
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What Does Salicylic Acid Do For Acne
Salicylic acid is a type of fruit acid, called an alpha hydroxy acid, or AHA. As acids go, its a fairly gentle acid, that wont cause skin scarring.
It works by removing the uppermost layer of skin to reveal, newer, younger looking, clearer skin underneath. This is similar to the action of a mechanical exfoliant, such as a face scrub or exfoliating brush in that it removes dead skin, but a salicylic acid product produces better, more noticeable results.
Salicylic face products can benefit anyone looking for fresher skin, but particularly in the case of acne prone skin, they help to unclog the pores of the excess sebum, dirt, old makeup and cellular debris that can lead to spots and acne breakouts.
How Do Salicylic Acid Cleansers Work
Cleansers containing salicylic acid are the best option for people who have acne. The salicylic acid will work unclogging the pores and prepare the skin for acne treatment cream to better penetrate the skin. In contrast to harsher acne cleansers, a salicylic acid cleanser is mild, non-irritating, and suitable for even the most sensitive skin when used in the right concentration. For the best results, cleansers with salicylic acid should be massaged gently into the entire face , creating a nice lather for around 20-seconds, then rinsed off with tepid water.
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Can Salicylic Acid Make Acne Worse
There are times when using products that contain salicylic acid can make the skin appear worse before it gets better. This is down to a process called skin purging that can occur after treatment with salicylic acid.
Skin purging causes the skin cells to renew faster, bringing the new skin cells to the surface, pushing up all the old skin cells, dirt, oil and cellular debris. This is exactly the reason for using AHA products, to refresh and renew the skin.
But sometimes this can cause the skin pores to become temporarily clogged, causing spots and acne breakouts. If this happens to you, know that in a few weeks, your skin will clear again, revealing clearer, fresher skin.
How Does It Treat Acne
Salicylic acid is found naturally in white willow bark and wintergreen and also can be synthesized . Its especially helpful in treating acne because of its ability to penetrate the follicle, where it encourages the shedding of dead skin cells from within the follicle, helping keep the pores clear. It works best against non-inflamed breakouts and blackheads. Salicylic acid also helps to decrease oil and inflammation.
On its own, salicylic acid isnt the most effective acne treatment out there. But its claim to fame lies in its ability to help other acne-fighting ingredients penetrate the skin better.
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When To Seek Help
Stop using salicylic acid products and get emergency medical help if you have signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as hives, itching, difficulty breathing, dizziness, or swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Talk with your healthcare provider if youre having side effects that are particularly bothersome. And if youre using a prescription acne medication, always ask your dermatologist first before adding a salicylic acid product to your daily routine.
Acne Scar Treatment No: Dermal Fillers
Not just here to make you look like a contestant on Love Island, fillers can be used to help an array of skin problems, one of them being acne scars. A tiny amount can temporarily plump and smooth over any skin craters left behind from acne.
‘Dermal fillers are very good for indented scars’, says Dr. Anjali Mahto, Consultant Dermatologist and British Skin Foundation Spokesperson. ‘However, depending on the type of filler used, the treatment will need to be repeated at regular intervals – most probably every six months – to maintain the results.’
Your skin’s initial reaction may be to bruise, swell up and go red but be patient and wait for the magic to happen. As acne scarring treatments go, this one isnt the priciest and is relatively non invasive and pain free. Hooray!
To find your nearest cosmetic dermatologist, head to the British Association of Dermatologists.
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The Dry Out Your Skin Myth
One major myth surrounding fighting acne is the idea that you should dry out your skin to shrink and eliminate your zits. In reality, the opposite is true. Drying out your skin does not improve its overall health and can end up causing you more issues.
Overusing certain skincare products, especially without using a moisturizer, can dry out your skin and potentially cause breakouts. One major culprit that can over-dry your skin if used too much is benzoyl peroxide, which is often used as a spot treatment for acne. If you use benzoyl peroxide to fight your acne, make sure to use it sparingly and pair it with a moisturizer.
What Are The Benefits Of Salicylic Acid For Acne
Salicylic acid is oil-soluble, meaning it penetrates the oil gland to decrease sebum production and shrinks pores. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce pimples by minimizing swelling and redness.It has an affinity for the oil gland and an antibacterial effect against cutibacterium acnes, a bacteria well known to have a role in the development of acne says Abdulla. Salicylic acid also has keratolytic , allowing it to loosen and dissolve dead skin cells to treat and prevent clogged pores and acne.
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Does Hyaluronic Acid Treat Acne Scars
If youre struggling to get rid of your acne scars, keep reading. Lets talk about what hyaluronic acid may be able to do for you!
Acne is bothersome, irritating and often hard to get rid of. Everyone has had a zit or two, but for those who suffer from persistent acne, the search for effective treatments can be grueling.
Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options to try that can help with addressing your specific acne-related concerns. Before getting into hyaluronic acid specifically, its important to familiarize yourself with the various types of acids youll see as ingredients in skincare products.
Acne Scar Treatment No: Exo Needling
Microneedling on it’s own isn’t effective enough to get rid of acne scarring but combining it into a treatment does do the trick.
‘Exo Needling is a combination of deep microneedling with simultaneous Exo infusion. Exo is a serum exceptionally high in growth factors, derived from the patients own blood ‘, explains Dr Williams.
Might sound a bit Twilight-esque but PRP works to promote collagen and elastin production, key players in keeping skin it’s glow-y best self.
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Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Using Salicylic Acid
Even though salicylic acid is available in OTC preparations you can pick up at your local grocery store, you should talk with your doctor before using it. Considerations to discuss include:
- Allergies. Let your doctor know if youve experienced allergic reactionsto salicylic acid or other topical medications before.
- Use in children. Children may be at more risk of skin irritation because their skin absorbs salicylic acid at a higher rate than adults. Salicylic acid should not be used for children under the age of 2.
- Drug interactions. Certain medications do not interact well with salicylic acid. Let your doctor know what medications youre currently taking.
You should also tell a doctor if you have any of the following medical conditions, as these may affect their decision to prescribe salicylic acid:
- increase in breathing depth
How Effective Is The Fotona Laser For Mild Acne Scarring And What Advantages Does It Have Over Other Treatments
A multimodal approach is often needed to remove acne scars. These can include:subcisionTCA CROSSand punch excision with microsurgery apart from laser treatmentsAcne scars can be depressed or raised, with or without discoloration. Examples of depressed scars are ice pick scars, box scars and rolling scars. Raised scars are called hypertrophic or keloid scars, which result from an overproduction of collagen. Sometimes, a red or brown discoloration remains after acne has healed, and these are called post-inflammatory erythema and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation .
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The Frequency Of Using Salicylic Acid
The frequency may also differ as per the formulation. You may use an OTC product as directed by the manufacturer or a doctor. Hereâs what you can do:
- SA creams for corns and calluses: Use once every 3-5 days.
- SA gels for acne: Use once a day.
- SA gel for warts: Apply once a day.
- SA lotions for acne: Use 1-2 times a day.
- SA soaps for acne: Use as needed.
Salicylic acid is extremely potent and if used excessively, it may cause side effects. Letâs take a look.
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Is Salicylic Acid Good For All Skin Types
While salicylic acid products are an excellent choice for fighting blackheads, they may not be appropriate for all skin types. Because salicylic acid dries out the skin and decreases sebum production, it can cause already dry skin to peel and become irritated.
If you experience excessive dryness after using salicylic acid, you may want to consider a blackhead treatment especially formulated for dry skin, such as one containing glycolic acid.
If you have sensitive skin, you can still use salicylic acid as part of your skin care routine, but you may want to limit your usage to just once or twice per week, depending on how well you tolerate it.
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My Acne Is Better But Can Salicylic Acid Remove Acne Scars
Salicylic acid is a keratolytic compound that breaks down the outer layer of skin. As new skin cells takeover, dark spots and marks tend to lighten, leading to a reduction in the appearance of acne scars. The cellular turnover also helps remove the dry or scaly outer layer of skin, shedding dead cells and allowing absorption of moisture and oxygen. In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties of salicylic acid can calm inflamed skin and reduce the swelling and redness that often accompanies acne. This works in two ways preventing acne scars can also minimize the appearance of existing ones.
What Causes Acne Scars
The inflammation of acne can leave behind pitting and patches on the surface of the skin. These, along with the associated discoloration and indentation form the dreaded acne scar. The larger and more inflamed the breakout, the greater the likelihood of scars. To begin treating acne scars with salicylic acid or by any other method it is important to first control and treat the acne itself.
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What To Look Out For In Your Products
Just because a product contains salicylic acid doesnt mean it contains the right dose to be effective, says Lucy. It needs to be in a high enough percentage and concentration and not buried in the bottom of an endless list of other ingredients. At least 0.5%-2% salicylic acid will give you a great result.
So there you have it.
Check out our helpful guides onbanishing acne on different parts of your body,hormonal acne,back acneandhow to get rid of acne scars.
In need of professional skin help? Check out our guide toevery type of facialto figure out your treatment options.
Getting A Professional Chemical Peel
There are two types of skin care experts to consider when looking for a chemical peel pro: dermatologists and estheticians. Dermatologists are medical doctors with additional specialized training in skin health they practice in a variety of healthcare and medspa settings. Estheticians are nonmedical skin care specialists who work in spas and salons.
If you have deep acne scars, visiting a pro for a more potent, medical-grade chemical peel is typically a more effective treatment including ingredients like phenol and trichloroacetic acid .
Chemical peels you can get from a qualified professional might include:
|Type of peel|
Many factors can affect the final outcome of your chemical peel. These include:
- severity of your acne
- your skin tone
- other treatments youre pursuing
A 2018 study of 473 chemical peels done over 5 years found that people with darker skin tones experienced higher rates of negative side effects like crusting and hyperpigmentation. Other research concluded folks with darker skin tones should avoid deep peels because they are more susceptible to scarring and severe discoloration.
But if you have darker skin prone to hyperpigmentation and still want to try a chemical peel, research suggests glycolic peels might be best.
Also, because different kinds of skin, acne, and acne scars respond differently to various chemical peels, it may take some trial and error.
To find what chemical peel works for you, it may be necessary to:
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How Does It Work
Salicylic acid penetrates deep into the skin to clean it from the inside out. In people with acne-prone and oily skin, the cells in the lining of the hair follicles multiply much faster than average. These cells also tend to stick to each other, not allowing anything to pass through.
Salicylic acid dissolves the glue that holds the cells together in these pores. This results in an unclogging of the hair follicle pores, consequently decreasing the appearance of acne and blackheads.
Salicylic acid is oil soluble as well, which is why it’s the perfect weapon to penetrate oil glands. Due to its unique structure, the hydroxy part of the molecule is separated from the acid with two carbon atoms, and is more soluble than alpha hydroxy acids with only one carbon atom separating the hydroxy and acid.
This chemical structure comparison is done between AHAs and BHAs. Once the BHA penetrates into the skin, the acid part of the molecule starts to dissolve the glue that holds the cells together. Moreover, by unsticking the cells from each other, it allows the dead skin cells to slough off, instead of accumulating on the skin.
Is It Ok To Use Salicylic Acid Everyday
Yes it is considered ok to use salicylic acid every day, however, due to it sometimes resulting in the skin becoming irritated many skin experts and dermatologists suggest using the acid in moderation, starting by applying it 3 times a week and if there are no signs of any reactions, you can build up the usage by one …
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