This Is How Salicylic Acid Transforms Your Skin

This Is How Salicylic Acid Transforms Your Skin

Oct 18, 2021, 12:39:20 PM Life and Styles

There are a few ingredients that you should be aware of in the over-the-counter battle against breakouts, and salicylic acid is at the top of the list. Salicylic acid, in a nutshell, is one of acne's most vexing adversaries. When you notice a zit on your face, you reach for a product. You apply it overnight to a pimple and frequently wake up the next morning with a pimple that has dried up and is no longer visible. However, what does salicylic acid actually do, and how can you make the most of it?

Discover how salicylic acid works on the skin, who should use it (and who should not), and why it is such a popular acne treatment.

What is salicylic acid exactly?

To begin, let us define salicylic acid. It's a little complicated, but understanding salicylic acid's exact structure is critical for understanding why (and how) it works so well. Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are two types of acids that are frequently found in skin care products.

Salicylic acid is a hydroxy acid that is classified as a beta-hydroxy acid. This means that the hydroxyl group is separated from the acid group by two carbon atoms, as opposed to one in an alpha hydroxy acid.

Additionally, salicylic acid is derived from willow bark and is classified as a salicylate. That is fortunate, as this is the point at which things become interesting. This structure is critical because it increases the oil solubility of salicylic acid, allowing it to penetrate the skin's pores.

Both alpha and beta hydroxy acids exfoliate the skin, but AHAs are soluble in water, whereas BHAs are soluble in oil. AHAs include glycolic and lactic acids.

Oil-soluble ingredients penetrate the lipid layers between skin cells more readily than water-soluble ingredients. In other words, ingredients that are soluble in oil can penetrate the skin more deeply than those that are soluble in water.

AHAs are effective on the skin's surface, removing old, dead skin and revealing newer, more youthful skin. Salicylic acid penetrates the pores and works to unclog them from the inside out.

How does salicylic acid affect the skin?

All of this means that salicylic acid can perform its function deep within the skin. This is precisely why salicylic acid is one of the best acne treatment, especially for blackheads and whiteheads.

Salicylic acid dissolves skin debris that clogs pores, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and aids in the healing of red, inflamed pimples and pustules once they are inside the skin.

The ingredient is capable of penetrating the skin deeply enough to disrupt the connections between skin cells. Once the molecule has penetrated the skin, the acid component of the molecule has the ability to dissolve some of the intracellular 'glue' that holds skin cells together.

Salicylic acid is also an exfoliant.

The breakdown of skin cells also aids in exfoliation. Salicylic acid is a keratolytic agent, which makes it an excellent choice for deep exfoliation. Keratolytic medications soften and slough off the top layer of skin cells.

Salicylic acid also dislodges and disintegrates desmosomes, which are cell attachments in the outer layer of the skin. This 'desmolytic' action aids in the exfoliation of the skin and the unclogging of clogged pores.

One theory for acne's aetiology is that abnormal skin cells stick together and clog the pores, resulting in cysts and blackheads. Salicylic acid helps remove and loosen these skin cells, as well as dissolves blackheads.

The most effective application of salicylic acid is on blackheads and whiteheads.

Acne is caused by three factors: abnormal skin cell shedding, excessive sebum production, and the action of the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria. Salicylic acid aids in the first cause by dissolving the type of skin debris that clogs pores and causes acne.

As a result, the best acne types to treat with salicylic acid are blackheads and whiteheads. Salicylic acid is capable of dissolving keratin plugs and directly regulating skin cells. It has some efficacy against cystic acne due to its antibacterial activity, but not nearly as much as it does against blackheads and whiteheads.

Who is not advised to use salicylic acid?

It is possible to use an excessive amount of salicylic acid, which is harmful. Salicylic acid's primary disadvantage is its proclivity to irritate and dry out the skin in those who are extremely sensitive to it or who use it excessively.

Depending on the concentration and number of applications, some individuals may experience redness, dryness, peeling, and skin irritation. As a result, individuals who already have extremely dry or sensitive skin should consider completely avoiding SA. Additionally, it is not recommended if you are pregnant or on certain medications, such as blood thinners.

What's more serious is that you can develop salicylate poisoning if you apply salicylic acid or any salicylate to large areas of your body. Therefore, rather than slathering it all over, keep it to acne-prone areas.

What is the best acne skin care product that contains salicylic acid?

As is the case with many other questions in life, the answer to this one is highly personal. I may recommend an acne wash containing SA, depending on the severity of their acne. Acne and spot treatments, when used early enough, can be beneficial for mild acne that occurs on a regular basis.

In terms of concentrations, the Food and Drug Administration allows manufacturers to make acne-fighting claims for products containing salicylic acid if they use it in concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 2%, which is the full range found in over-the-counter skin care products. Chemical peels performed in a dermatologist's office may contain up to 30% glycolic acid.

Additionally, salicylic acid eliminates dandruff.

Salicylic acid is beneficial for a variety of skin conditions, not just blackheads. Salicylic acid, at lower concentrations, can accelerate the desquamation process and aid in the treatment of conditions such as dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, which are caused by a slowed rate of skin cell sloughing.

Published by Dr Niketa Sonavane


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