Myths and truths about salicylic acid

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Salicylic acid is one of the best-known ingredients in the care of skin prone to pimples and other inflammations caused by acne. Today we are debunking some of the claims we have read on social media that may raise doubts when it comes to including it in our routine.

  • Many people think that salicylic acid is a photosensitising ingredient, i.e. that it causes skin reactions when exposed to the sun after use. This is false. Salicylic acid is not photosensitising, in fact it has a protective effect against some UVB-induced damage. What is true is that when we subject our skin to continuous exfoliation, we may be reducing the outermost layer of our skin, making it more sensitive. Either way, whether or not we use salicylic acid in our routine, daily sunscreen is a must if we want to keep our skin healthy and well cared for.
  • Another myth that needs to be cleared up is the confusion between salicylic acid (widely used in cosmetics) and acetylsalicylic acid, the ingredient in aspirin. A medicine should never be used for cosmetic purposes. Aspirin should therefore not be used to formulate homemade masks of any kind.
  • Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), which is characterised by its liposoluble nature, dissolving in fatty media and therefore having easy access to them and cleaning them in depth; in fact, this is part of its recognition in the treatment of blackheads. In contrast, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are water-soluble, and their use is recommended at low pH levels to improve liposolubility and thus have a similar effect to salicylic acid on pores.
  • Another mistake that is made and that often prevents us from performing the peels that our skin needs, is to think that this practice causes damage to the skin barrier. Salicylic acid, far from damaging the hydrolipidic barrier, helps to improve it as it has the ability to accelerate the rate of cell renewal of our skin and thus repair the skin barrier.

You can take our diagnostic questionnaire and if your skin needs an ingredient with exfoliating, skin-renewing or sebum-regulating properties, one of the possibilities offered by Uniquely is to include salicylic acid in your formulation, especially if you are looking for a formula for your night-time routine.



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