Acids or keratolytics are used in cosmetics to regulate the activity of skin cells (keratinocytes) primarily for the purpose of achieving better skin texture or for the purpose of cleaner pores. The best known and most popular acid today, salicylic acid is the only beta hydroxy acid (BHA). It is isolated from white willow bark and is used primarily as a chemical exfoliant. In the European Union, it is allowed in a concentration of up to 2% in a cosmetic product for facial care, and is most effective in relatively acidic pH medium, ideally up to pH 4. In concentrations less than 0.5% it can be used as a preservative, but in that case salicylic acid has no keratolytic effect on the skin.
Who is salicylic acid for?
As an ingredient, salicylic acid is indicated for oily to combination skin prone to mild to moderate acne and comedones. It reduces sebum production, ie it acts sebostatically and helps the skin to purify itself deep in the dermis. Of all the acids, only salicylic acid is fat-soluble which means it can effectively penetrate sebum deep into the pores, where it helps break down the bonds that hold lipids and residual dead skin cells together, effectively making a comedone that blocks oxygen flow and allows the proliferation of C. acnes bacteria, the cause of acne.
In addition to treating acne and comedones, and purifying residual sebum and epithelium-filled pores, salicylic acid is a fantastic anti-aging ingredient that reduces pore size over time, accelerates the fading of hyperpigmentation and has anti-inflammatory effects. 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 through reducing erythema caused by exposure to UV radiation.
This means that salicylic acid can be used as a night treatment throughout the year, but it is also recommended to protect the skin with an adequate protective factor (15-20 in winter and 30 or more in summer) so that the beneficial effects of salicylic acid are not cancelled out due to harmful photo effects. Salicylic acid is not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding, for use on children's skin, or on skin of someone allergic to acetylsalicylic acid derivatives (aspirin). Salicylic acid has been proven to help treat papulopustular changes in skin with rosacea, but its use in such cases is recommended under the supervision and guidance of a dermatologist.
Skintegra product with salicylic acid
Our Clarion serum combines 2% salicylic acid and 4% glycolic acid to achieve a synergistic, satisfying effect on all levels of the dermis in people with mild to moderate acne and comedones and post-inflammatory erythema that require adequate anti-aging and antioxidant treatment.
- Casciano D.A., Allaben W.T. i suradnici. Photocarcinogenesis study of glycolic acid and salicylic acid in SKH-1 mice. 2007. National toxicology program technical report series. Septemper (524):1-242.
- Tosti A., Venturo N., Vincenzi C. 2004. Salicylic acid peeling in the treatment of rosacea. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology