Acne, blemishes, and other skin ailments have become a common problem in today’s world. And who wants their skin to not look and feel good? Haven’t we all tried hundreds of over the counter acne products and creams and seen quick results? These improvements are so because of Salicylic acid–a unique compound that is added to these treatment products.
While there have been many other compounds that deemed fit to become a part of beauty treatment products, however, they left skin either too dry or too tight or uneven in tone. Usually, it is believed that the acid controls oil production on the skin and removes spots from the skin. Yet, the primary property of salicylic acid is, it acts as an exfoliator.
What are the uses of Salicylic acid?
Salicylic acid is mainly used to treat various skin disorders like acne, dandruff, psoriasis, scaly skin conditions, nail infections, skin and foot warts. It helps in gradually peeling off the skin ailment. The medications containing salicylic acid can also be used to help remove calluses and corns.
Typically, acne breakouts occur when dead skin cells, acne causing bacteria and oil combine together to clog pores and form plug. The exfoliating property of salicylic acid helps in ensuring the pores remain clear and unblocked.
It cures most skin diseases by increasing the amount of moisture in the skin and covering the substance that is causing the diseases to stick around together. This makes the outer layer of the skin to loosen and shed off, making it easier for the bacteria to get drained off. As it mainly effects on the skin cells, therefore, this acid is also used in shampoos to kill dandruff. The acid helps in promoting a healthy skin and inhibits the formation of acne thus, reducing future breakouts.
Salicylic acid is also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It helps in calming the swollen, acne-stressed skin and reduces the redness.
How to use salicylic acid?
Salicylic acid is applied topically on the affected area. It is strictly advised that you let your doctor or your pharmacist know in advance of any of the following problems you might be suffering from–if you are suffering from diabetes or poor blood circulation; if you are allergic to specific types of medications or if you are pregnant or are breastfeeding your child.
Salicylic acid is found in various beauty products such as soaps, lotions, cleansers, liquid foam, face washes, toners, scrubs, face creams and more. Alternatively, one can find it in medications like powder and skin ointments.
Precautions you need to take while using salicylic acid:
1. Always read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet your receive with your medication. It gives you information on how to use it.
2. Typically, most preparations are applied once a day on the affected area. However, follow the advice your pharmacist or your doctor has prescribed.
3. If you are using salicylic acid to remove warts, do not forget to clean the top once every week. You would be able to see the results after two to three weeks of application and may take up to three months of daily application for the wart to vanish completely.
4. Try to avoid the application of salicylic acid on the healthy or the inflamed areas of the skin. You could apply vaseline on the skin before the application if needed.
5. Avoid using nail paints, or nail paint remover, or artificial nails while using salicylic acid for nail infection.
6. Topical liquid, ointments or paints can be flammable. Never go near flames or open fire after the application of the medication.
7. Never apply salicylic acid directly to your skin. In the case of skin irritation, it may cause scarring. Moreover, the acid can cause skin soreness and dryness. In such cases, it is advised to stop the treatment and allow the skin to recover. If the irritation gets severe, your skin will become itchy and red. Such signs could also lead to a side effect or an allergy. One should consult the doctor as well and seek advice if needed.
8. It is advised that medications and products containing salicylic acid should not be used on moles, birthmarks, face, warts with hair growing over them..
9. Moreover, salicylic acid should not be used with products containing retinol.
10. Store salicylic acid away from the reach of children and in a cool, dry and dark place, away from light and heat.
What are the natural sources for salicylic acid?
While most people expect citrus fruits & vegetables like lemon will contain a high amount of salicylic acid, this is not really true. On the contrary, some of the mildest and sweet fruits like berries have higher amounts of the acid. Below is a list of fruits containing salicylic acid. You can choose from these fruits to mash, slash, and slather them on your face for relief from acne.
- Red Grapes
Why should you opt for natural sources instead of conventional salicylic acid?
Well, we all know over the counter ointments and all other beauty products that we use, do more harm to our skin than good. Not like all the products are worthless, however, sometimes applying one wrong product on your skin can leave scars and marks forever. Moreover, natural sources of salicylic acid are pure and free of other chemicals can compounds. You can simply pick a fruit, mash it and apply it as a mask over a clean face and leave it on for about ten minutes. These fruit packs are absolutely harmless and more effective. Also, they do not damage the skin cells at all. In case, you are not suffering from major acne or skin related issues, we suggest, opt for natural ingredients that contain salicylic acid.
The next time you or your loved one suffers from such acne issues or mild skin irritations, you know what the cure is! We are sure you’d know if some home remedies too. Share them with us and our readers in the comments section below. Go on, we are waiting!