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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid (also known as beta hydroxyl acid) is a chemical that can be found in some of our skin products that we use

molecular structure of salicylic acid

Salicylic acid is excellent in treating acne and pimples.

But how does it work?

When applied to our face, it acts as an exfoliatant by causing the cells on our upper epidermis to 'move further apart' from each other, making it easier to remove the dead skin cells that are trapped in between.

Salicylic acid also promotes the regrowth of skin cells, and minimizes pore size.

It can be found in various products available in the market

L'oreal Menexpert White Active moisturizer contains salicylic acid to promote the growth of new skin cells

St. Ives Naturally Clear contains 2% of salicylic acid as their active ingredient

Clearasil Ultra deep pore face wipes contains salicylic acid for a deep clean

Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Mask, also with salicylic acid

Every product from the Clean & Clear Active Clear range contains salicylic acid

However, don't think that salicylic acid is the Holy Grail of cosmetic products as it has its disadvantages

People with sensitive skin should opt for products with a maximum of 2% salicylic acid or less. Salicylic acid has been known to cause irritation and redness in skin for some. People with extra sensitive skin might want to avoid salicylic acid altogether.

Products containing salicylic acid should only be used at night. Whenever salicylic acid is applied on our skin, it becomes 50% more prone to damage by sunlight, which will eventually lead to discoloration, pigmentation, sunburn etc.

However, if you still insist on applying salicylic acid in the day, make sure you finish off with a sunblock of at least SPF 30 and PA++, to protect your skin against the ultraviolet rays

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