The Dos and Don’ts of Using Salicylic Acid in Your Skincare Routine

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What Is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid is an active ingredient in many skincare products because of its ability to treat acne-prone skin. It is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that breaks down oils and debris that can clog pores, which helps to reduce the occurrence of pimples and other blemishes. It is also used to treat various other skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, and dandruff. Therefore, it can be a useful addition to your skincare routine.

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The Dos and Don’ts of Using Salicylic Acid


  • Use salicylic acid in a product designed for your skin type, such as gels and creams for oily skin.
  • Start slow and gradually increase your use of an exfoliating product containing salicylic acid.
  • Look for products that contain no more than 2% salicylic acid.
  • Apply the product to clean skin, at night.
  • Be sure to use a good sunscreen if you’re using a product that contains salicylic acid.


  • Don’t use an exfoliating product containing salicylic acid every day.
  • Don’t use an exfoliating product containing salicylic acid on sunburned, irritated, or broken skin.
  • Avoid products containing more than 2% salicylic acid.
  • Don’t combine salicylic acid products with irritating ingredients, such as retinol or benzoyl peroxide.
  • Don’t overuse salicylic acid, as this can cause dryness, irritation, and other unwanted side effects.

The Benefits of Using Salicylic Acid

When used properly, salicylic acid can offer several benefits for your skin. It can help to reduce the appearance of acne, blemishes, and other skin imperfections. It can also help to gently exfoliate the skin, leaving it looking smoother and brighter. Lastly, salicylic acid has been shown to help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, making it an ideal anti-aging ingredient.


Salicylic acid is an effective ingredient for treating acne-prone skin and other skin conditions. By following the dos and don’ts listed above and using a product formulated for your skin type, you can enjoy the many benefits of salicylic acid without overdoing it and experiencing unwanted side effects.