Words by guest writer, Yadira Galarza Cauchi

Let’s talk about acne, because whether you suffer from the common pimple, ‘bacne’ or hormonal breakouts you’re not alone. Plus, we know how overwhelming it can feel trying to navigate your way through the world of skincare when searching for new products. Which is why we want to strip it right back and chat about ingredients. Specifically Salicylic Acid, the arch nemesis of congested skin.

You see if you have breakout-prone skin or congestion, then Salicylic Acid is an ingredient that you need to have in your routine. In fact, if you’ve ever had blemishes or very oily skin before then chances are you may have been using this ingredient without even knowing it. However, what is it exactly and how does it work?

What Is Salicylic Acid And How Does It Work?

Salicylic Acid is one of the better known Beta Hydroxy Acid’s (BHA’s) and can be found in the bark of willow trees. It is one of our favourite Accelerating Acids. Salicylic Acid is oil-soluble and works by penetrating the skin to work through the pore and break down any built up oil and gunk found inside.

So unlike Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) (such as popular, Lactic or Glycolic Acids), which are known for their surface level exfoliating properties often found in peel like products, Salicylic Acid exfoliates at a much deeper level. Which means, that instead of specifically targeting concerns at a surface level the way an AHA would, it works right through and inside the pore to treat what’s lying beneath.

However, it’s benefits don’t end there, because in addition to its pore clearing skills, Salicylic Acid can also play a role in controlling sebum production, which helps control oily skin. Plus, since it’s the principal metabolite of Acetylsalicylic Acid (i.e. aspirin), meaning it can fight inflammation too. In fact, that’s what gives aspirin its anti-inflammatory action.

How To Include Salicylic Acid In Your Skincare Routine

If your skin is oily, breakout prone or congested, then including products with Salicylic Acid, which will help deep-clean and clear your pores, will be hugely beneficial to you. Our Clear Skin Collection contains five products that can assist with these skin conditions.

Try: our Clear Skin Tonic, that features 2% BHA Salicylic Acid. This product is ideal for persistently problematic skin owing to its ability to penetrate the follicle and clear out debris that is down deep in the pore, causing those unpleasant bumps under the skin’s surface.

Our Clear Skin Daily Face and Body Wash is also an incredible antibacterial, exfoliating and cleansing gel, full of bacteria-fighting ingredients like as Salicylic Acid. However, calming Niacinamide (vitamin B3) is also included in the formulation to help soothe, hydrate and ensure your skin isn’t stripped of its natural lipids. This product is also great for treating body breakouts on areas including the chest, neck, and back.

You could also try our Clear Skin Collection Kit: which is our five-step clinic treatment program to target oily and consistently problematic skin. The kit brings together portable sizes of the Clear Skin Daily Face and Body Wash, Clear Skin Hydrator GelClear Skin TonicClear Skin Blemish Control Mask and Clear Skin Blemish Control Gel – all formulated with the ultimate congestion-fighting ingredient, Salicylic Acid. It offers a complete day and night system that targets active blemishes whilst also treating the underlying build-up of excess oil and dead skin.

Who Shouldn’t Be Using Salicylic Acid?

As Salicylic Acid is quite a strong oil-zapping ingredient, people who are prone to sensitive, dry skin or have an impaired barrier should introduce products gradually as using this ingredient can lead to irritation, redness or even peeling. This doesn’t mean it should be avoided completely. It means dry/sensitive/impaired barriers shouldn’t use the complete Clear Skin Collection very suddenly and all at once. Instead we recommend opting to introduce products gradually, using them every other night or if you only have very occasional breakouts, use Clear Skin Blemish Control Gel as a one off spot treatment, which will be better tolerated.

For more information or to get a bespoke routine incorporating our Clear Skin Collection, please get in touch to set up a free online skin consultations with one of our trained skin therapists.

Warning: these products (excluding the Clear Skin Blemish Control Mask) contain Salicylic Acid and are not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.