HomeDoctors ArticlesSalicylic Acid: What It Is And How It Works

Salicylic Acid: What It Is And How It Works

In the over-the-counter battle against breakouts, there are a few key skincare products that you should know about, and salicylic acid is at the top of that list. Simply speaking, salicylic acid is one of acne acne’s biggest enemies.

Salicylic Acid:  What It Is And How It Works
Salicylic Acid: What It Is And How It Works

What is salicylic acid?

When it comes to skin-care products, there are two classes of acids you’ll see often: beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid.

This structure is important because it makes salicylic acid more oil-soluble so it can penetrate into the pores of the skin.

Both alpha and beta hydroxy acids exfoliate the skin, but AHAs are water-soluble, while BHAs are oil-soluble.

Generally, oil-soluble ingredients penetrate through the lipid layers between the skin cells more readily. In other words, oil-soluble ingredients can penetrate the skin at a deeper level than their water-soluble counterparts.

AHAs work well on the skin’s surface to loosen old, dead skin and reveal fresh newer skin. acid works deeper and is able to penetrate into the pores to unclog them.

What does salicylic acid do for the skin?

Salicylic can get deep into your skin to do its job. This quality is precisely what makes it such a potent ingredient for targeting acne — especially for blackheads and whiteheads.

The ingredient can penetrate so deeply into skin that it actually breaks down the connections between skin cells. Once it has penetrated the skin, the acid part of the molecule can dissolve some of the intracellular ‘glue’ that holds skin cells together.

Once it penetrates the skin, acid dissolves skin debris that clogs pores, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and also helps red, inflamed pimples and pustules go away faster.

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Dr. DonikaAbout the Author: Dr. Donika Vata is a medical doctor from Ferizaj, Kosovo. She studied general medicine from University of Hasan Prishtina.
She has been writing about medical and skincare related issue in journals, social media websites, and books. She was working for some well reputed clinics such as Telehealth Pro- Online consultations, German Cancer Center, and AppLMD. Dr. Donika was also volunteering in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Currently, she is working as a medical doctor and researcher in a dermatology clinic.

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