Salicylic acid is the only beta hydroxyl acid (BHA), isolated from white willow bark and serving primarily as a chemical exfoliator. In the area of the European Union it is permitted in a maximum 4% concentration and it is most effective in a relatively acidic pH medium, ideally up to pH 4.
As an ingredient, salicylic acid is targeted towards oily to combination skin prone to mild to moderate acne and comedones. It reduces sebum production and helps the skin cleanse deep in the dermis. Of all the acids only salicylic acid is fat soluble which means that it can efficiently break through sebum and penetrate deep into the pore where it helps break apart the links holding lipids and remaining dead skin cells together thus forming a comedone or “small plug” which blocks oxygen inflow and enables the proliferation of P.acnes bacteria, the cause of acne.
Apart from being effective against acne and comedones and pores filled with remaining sebum and epithelia, salicylic acid is a fantastic anti-age ingredient which reduces the size of pores over time, speeds up lightening of hyperpigmentation marks in addition to having an anti-inflammatory effect. Although with long-term use it thins the surface layer of corneum cells, salicylic acid does not make the skin sensitive to sun and it even has a proven photo protective role in 4% concentrations (source: Casciano D.A., Allaben W.T. et al Photocarcinogenesis study of glycolic acid and salicylic acid in SKH-1 mice 2007 National toxicology program technical report series. September (524):1-242.)
This means that salicylic acid may be used as a night treatment throughout the entire year, although it is recommended to protect the skin with an adequate UV factor (a factor of 15-20 during the winter and 30 or more during the summer) so that the beneficial effects of salicylic acid are not cancelled out by the harmful photo effects of UV radiation. Use of salicylic acid, just as use of other AHAs, is not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding or for application on the skin of children or persons allergic to derivatives of acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin). Salicylic acid has also been proven to help in the treatment of papulopustular rash in rosacea-affected skin (source: Tosti A., Venturo N., Vincenzi C. 2004 Salicylic acid peeling in the treatment of rosacea Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology).
Skintegra’s serum Clarion combines 2% salicylic acid with 4% glycolic acid in order to achieve an optimum result on all levels of the dermis of persons suffering from mild to moderate acne, comedones and pigmentation marks requiring both anti-age and anti-oxidative adequate treatment.