What is Salicylic Acid?
Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid derived from Willow Bark. It is a fat loving compound which removes intercellular lipids by encouraging the sloughing of dead skin cells. Because of this property, it is a highly effective superficial peeling agent, oil reducer and pore cleanser. In low concentrations, salicylic acid is applied to the surface of the skin to keep pores clean and prevent acne. Higher concentrations of the acid are used in chemical peels.
Salicylic Acid Helps Control and Prevent Acne
Salicylic acid has been found to be effective at keeping pores clean because it is able to penetrate oil into the pore which contains sebum. It encourages the peeling of the top layer of skin and the opening of plugged follicles which helps exfoliate the dead skin cells and re-establish the normal skin cell replacement cycle. It also has been shown to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Salicylic Acid Improves Skin’s Appearance
Salicylic acid chemical peels are known to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, texture and pigmentation. Salicylic acid can gently remove the upper layers of your surface skin. The skin left behind is tighter, firmer, brighter, and smoother.
The process by which salicylic acid removes the surface layers of your skin is an exfoliation process. It’s basically the same process by which your skin naturally sheds dead cells. The difference is that a salicylic acid peel speeds that process up. Rather than shedding dead cells slowly, you can remove them all at once with a salicylic acid peel. This can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can also help to limit the appearance of sun damage as we age.
Salicylic Acid is an Easy, Gentle and Safe Peel
Salicylic acid is gentle enough for use on all skin types Those with oily, dry, normal, and even combination skin types can enjoy the benefits. A formulation of either 20% or 30% salicylic acid is applied to the skin for about 5 minutes until a white precipitate forms. Salicylic is self neutralizing so it does not need to be neutralized. The face is wiped with cool water and sunscreen is applied. Some patients experience mild burning during the procedure and mild peeling after. The peels have the optimum benefit if performed in a series of 3-6 treatments at 3-4 week intervals.