Today’s focus is one of our favourite ingredients, and one we’re sure a lot of our acne-prone friends have heard of: Salicylic Acid. This potent ingredient battles acne blemishes and works to keep skin clear - but how does it work, and where does it come from?
Salicylic acid as actually a BHA - a Beta Hydroxy Acid. Unlike their counterpart AHAs (alpha hydroxy acid), BHAs are oil-soluble. Both types work to exfoliate skin, but thanks to their oil-soluble properties, BHAs can penetrate skin more readily, getting to work on deeper skin problems. That’s why you’ll see a lot of AHAs in products aimed at brightening skin - our Miracle Organic Face Mask, for example, uses glycolic acid to gently exfoliate the top layers of your face and leave you smooth and glowing.
Salicylic acid can be found in Willow Bark. Sinking deep into skin, this ingredient unclogs pores and works as an anti-inflammatory agent. It breaks down the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to be removed instead of sticking to the face. At the same time, it works as a surface exfoliant, helping your face to shed the dead layers of skin that can lead to clogged pores in the future.
Unfortunately, the way it works means that Salicylic Acid is of most benefit to people who suffer from whiteheads and blackheads. Its antibacterial properties will help to calm cystic acne a little, but you won’t see such a drastic reduction in size. If you do suffer from cystic acne, we recommend a gentle face wash like our Daily Detox Facial Wash, which contains Moringa Peptides to rebalance your skin’s oil production. Follow up with our Rainforest Rescue Blemish Serum, which does contain Salicylic Acid, to get the calming benefits and create a clean canvas for any further skincare.
If you are struggling with whiteheads and blackheads, you’re most likely also battling sebum imbalance. Again, the MoringaPeptides in our Daily Detox Facial Wash are a good bet to take you back to a neutral level, and when combined with the acai and copaiba in our Rainforest Rescue Blemish Serum, you’ll be oil-free in no time. On top of that, Acai and Copaiba work to reduce any existing blemishes and the appearance of pores, leaving your skin calm and spot-free. We use willow bark as our natural source of Salicylic Acid, which works to boost cell turnover without irritating skin. Smooth some of this on in the evenings and you’ll be left looking balanced and healthy! Boasting five-star reviews, we’re pretty confident it works.
While we use it in a gentle formulation to help combat irritation, Salicylic Acid can dry out skin. It’s worth using a good moisturiser as well - especially if you’re trying to battle excess oil, even if this sounds counterintuitive! Often, an overproduction of sebum is the result of the deep layers of skin actually being too dry, which your skin then overcompensates for. We recommend reaching for something containing Hyaluronic Acid - our True Balance Lotion uses lower-weight Hyaluronic Acid, which penetrates deeper into your skin. Combined with avocado extract, which helps to limit excess oil production, and ginger plant cells, which mattify the skin, you’ll be left with a glowing, not greasy, complexion. Sounds like a win to us!