Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid. It’s a derivative of aspirin and differs from alpha-hydroxy acids (like glycolic acid) as it exfoliates, unclogs pores and has antibacterial properties.
The structure of this compound is what makes it so hard-working as it can penetrate deep into the pores and dissolve the skins ‘glue’. This deep-cleaning exfoliation is the reason why this ingredient features in some of our favourite skincare products.
Once salicylic acid is put to work on the skin, it penetrates pores and dissolves the bonds between surface skin cells. It’s this process that unclogs pores and makes it a great fighter against blemishes. It’s deep cleaning and exfoliating properties is what makes it stand out on the skincare spectrum.
It can also reduce sebum secretion (oily skin) and reduce inflammation.