Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid

The Power of Bhas

Acne skin’s enemy has earned its breakout-fighting reputation for good reason – why is Salicylic Acid effective in treating blemish-prone skin and how can it help you?

Curious if the superstar ingredient has a place in your skincare regimen? Read on to find out everything you need to know! 
What is salicylic acid?

Salicylic Acid is a beta hydroxy acid (it is actually the only BHA that is used for skincare). It is actually a derivative of aspirin and differs from alpha hydroxy acids (such as Glycolic Acid) as it exfoliates, unclogs pores and has antibacterial properties.  The structure of Salicylic Acid is what makes it some people’s favourite skincare ingredient as it can penetrate deep into the pores. This deep cleaning exfoliation is the reason why this ingredient features in so many blemish-prone targeted skincare products. 

Perfect for oily skin, this is best known for its ability to deep clean excess oil out of pores and reduce future oil production.

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know your


Discover what the ingredients found in your skincare regime are and what they can actually offer your skin, helping you debunk skincare myths and false promises.

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how does salicylic acid work?

Once Salicylic Acid is applied to the skin, it penetrates pores and dissolves the bonds between surface skin cells. It is this specific process that unclogs pores and makes it a hero product for those with acne-prone skin. Its deep exfoliating and cleaning abilities are what make this skincare ingredient shine!


why should i use salicylic acid?

Acne? Oily skin? Bad breakouts? Then this is for you!



If you are struggling with oily skin, salicylic acid is a key ingredient to clean up excess oil and reduce oil levels in the future. Salicylic Acid is oil soluble meaning it can exfoliate your pore lining and decrease oil buildup. What does this mean for you? It has the ability to reach underneath excess oil and dead skin deep inside your pores, unlike other skincare ingredients that only combat issues on top of your pores. 



Salicylic acid is a peeling agent which exfoliates dead skin cells and accelerates skin cell renewal. It is able to loosen the bonds between those cells that make up the skin’s outer layer. This makes is a gentler exfoliant than ingredients such as Azelaic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide, yet equally as effective in unclogging pores and preventing future whiteheads and blackheads from forming.



Salicylic acid has inflammatory properties and thus able to calm inflamed, irritated skin. Due to this, it is able to reduce redness for acne-prone skin, soreness and puffiness. It is also interesting to note that salicylic acid is a widely used topical treatment for psoriasis treatment – how amazing is that?



Acne bacteria are known to not like oxygen (thus the reason why they thrive under clogged pores). As Salicylic acid is able to unclog and exfoliate pores, fresh air is able to get into the skin and creates more of an oxygen-rich environment which is less friendly to acne bacteria. 



It can prevent future whiteheads and blackheads from forming. By keeping pores clean, whiteheads and blackheads will not develop from excess oil or dead skin cells nesting in your skin. 

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Book your free in-clinic, phone or video consultation.


Book your free in-clinic, phone or video consultation.


Pay a visit to one of our clinics in London, Essex & Germany.

less is more

Only use a pea-sized amount for your entire face – too much can cause irritation, especially if you have more sensitive skin.

Salicylic Acid should be followed up with…

  1. Moisturiser: It is recommended that you use an oil-free moisturiser twice a day to balance out the drying effects from your Salicylic Acid. 
  1. Sunscreen: Salicylic Acid does not fight against UV rays, it is important to limit your time in the sun and apply sunscreen daily to protect your skin. 

Can you use Salicylic Acid everyday?

Salicylic acid-based products are safe to use daily if used as directed and tolerated by your skin – it is always best to consult with your Skin Specialist to find out how best to incorporate it into your skincare regime. If your skin type is dry or sensitive, it is more likely that salicylic acid could cause some irritation, so be sure to follow as advised. We would suggest starting once or twice per week, increasing the tolerance as tolerated.


The key difference between the two are that they work on different levels on the skin, hence their unique classification. AHAs are water-soluble acids (most commonly derived from sugar cane, milk and citrus fruits). They work on the surface of the skin, dissolving skin cell bonds and revealing fresher skin beneath. BHAs are oil-soluble and therefore work on both the surface and deeper inside the pore, dissolving the trapped debris and excess sebum that leads to breakouts. 

using salicylic acid…

As with all skincare and beauty products, they do not work equally well on everyone and every skin type. It is easy to overdo it when applying Salicylic Acid- when you do that, your skin might start peeling and flaking, or feel irritated and look red. It is often forgotten that just because a product description states that a product should be used every day and every night doesn’t mean that you should. Listen to what your skin needs!


That being said, you can never be too careful as all skin types are different and unique, At VieDerma, we understand that everyone has individual goals and desires so book a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Skin Specialists to learn how you can integrate Salicylic Acid in your skincare.

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