Struggling with spots? Salicylic acid is your new BFF
24 Jul 2018
Most of us know about alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) like glycolic and lactic acid. They’re chemical exfoliants that do a great job of dissolving the bonds between old, dead skin cells. They are known to reveal a brighter, fresher-looking complexion. The other acid you should get familiar with, especially if you struggle with pimples or blackheads is beta hydroxy acid (BHA). While you get several different types of AHAs, there’s only one BHA and that’s salicylic acid.
While AHAs do a great job of exfoliating the surface of your skin, salicylic acid is able to penetrate deep inside your pores. This helps, in turn, to keep them clean and clear. It also has natural skin-soothing properties making it gentle enough to be used by those with sensitive skin and even conditions like rosacea. In short, BHA is one of your best weapons against blackheads and acne.
Salicylic acid superstars
You’ll find a host of brilliant skincare brands on Online Skin Shop, including those containing BHA. Just two of our favourites are SkinCeuticals and Lamelle.
SkinCeuticals’ Blemish and Age trio that consists of a cleansing gel (face wash), solution (toner) and defense serum. The cleansing gel and solution make use of both AHA and BHA. In other words, you get the best of both worlds when it comes to exfoliating. A deep cleanse both on the surface as well as within your pores.
The oil-free, weightless-feeling defense serum contains the largest percentage of AHA and BHA plus dioic acid to reduce the amount of sebum your skin produces. It’s a great serum for anyone struggling with adult acne and is used under your day or night cream.
Lamelle’s Clarity line is another fantastic choice. The day cream, Clarity Correctives AM, contains BHA as well as antibacterial anti-inflammatory ingredients. These include ingredients like azelaic acid and tea tree oil plus epidermal growth factors that speed up wound healing.
Clarity Correctives PM, the night cream, contains similar actives but also makes use of a retinoic ester. This is a gentler form of retinol, so you can enjoy it’s anti-ageing benefits without the negative side effects, things like dryness and irritation.
Get an in-office BHA fix
If you’re loving the results you’re getting from BHA at home, you’ll really like what an in-office treatment can do. Opt for something like Skin Renewal’s ‘no downtime’ Beta Hydroxy Peel. It’s suitable for patients of any age, race and skin type but is especially beneficial to those struggling with mild acne.
Most will find their skin feels and looks completely normal after a peel, just smoother and tighter, and that they can reapply their makeup straight away. Depending on the strength of the peel, the most intense after effects you could experience are as follows. Mild, short-lived redness, a bit of dryness and possible subtle scaling (similar to peeling after a sunburn) that won’t last more than 3 to 7 days.
A series of BHA peels, usually, a course of 6 repeated at one to four-week intervals, can help reduce acne breakouts, improve your skin’s texture and radiance while reducing the appearance of enlarged pores, mild pigmentation and fine lines.
The long and short of it
If you’re wanting to keep your pores as clear as possible, be sure to include BHA products in your skincare routine and consider a series of peels to reap the ultimate rewards from spot-busting salicylic acid. A pimple and blackhead-free skin can be yours for the taking.