Ingredient Glossary

How Does Salicylic Acid Help to Clear Blemishes?

How Does Salicylic Acid Help to Clear Blemishes?

Best known for its exfoliating and pore-cleansing properties, salicylic acid is a key player in the battle against blemishes and breakouts – but what is salicylic acid and how do you use it? Read on to discover the benefits of salicylic acid and find the best salicylic acid acne treatment for you. 

What is salicylic acid?  

Salicylic acid, also known as a BHA (beta hydroxy acid), is a powerful exfoliant similar to AHAs (alpha hydroxy acid)but with a key structural difference. While AHAs are water-soluble and act on the surface of the skin, BHA is oil-soluble and can penetrate pores, exfoliating both the skin’s surface and its deeper layers 

The benefits of salicylic acid

What does salicylic acid do?

A powerful exfoliator with acne-fighting propertiesthe benefits of salicylic acid include: 

  • Helping to clear blemishes 
  • Helping to unblock clogged pores and prevent new breakouts 
  • Exfoliating away dead cells on the skin’s surface to reduce congestion 
  • Exfoliating away dirt and impurities to reveal clearer-looking skin 
  • Helping to control sebum production and restore balance to troubled skin 

Salicylic acid: How to use 

How to use salicylic acid 

How you apply salicylic acid will vary from product to product. However, it’s most effective when applied topically to specific congested and acne-prone areas. 

When to use salicylic acid 

As salicylic acid can make skin more sensitive to the sun, it’s best applied as part of a nighttime skincare routine. An SPF moisturizer should then be applied every morning 

How often should you use salicylic acid? 

To see how skin reacts to the BHA, introduce salicylic acid into your skincare routine gradually. Apply once a week for the first week, then increase usage to three times a week as skin grows accustomed – though be sure to read the product label and use as instructed.  

The new No7 salicylic acid acne treatment 

To reap the benefits of salicylic acid and achieve healthierclearer-looking skin, try No7 Laboratories Acne Treatment 2% Salicylic Acid 

A medicated salicylic acid acne treatment, it works alongside the skin’s nightly renewal processes to help clear existing blemishesprevent new breakouts, and restore balance to troubled skin. 

  • Salicylic acid helps to unblock clogged pores, and exfoliate away dirt and impurities to prevent new blemishes 
  • Pre-biotic technology supports a nourished, balanced, and healthy-looking complexion 
  • Kaolin clay helps to absorb excess oil 
  • Bisabolol and licorice work to soothe and calm the skin 

After cleansing in the evening, apply a thin layer onto troublesome areas. Leave overnight and rinse away in the morning to reveal clearer and healthier-looking skin. Use 2-3 times a week to achieve your clearest complexion in years in just 4 weeks.* 

Shop the No7 Laboratories Acne Treatment 2% Salicylic Acid to enjoy the acne-preventing benefits of salicylic acid 

*After 4 weeks, women saw their clearest complexion in years. Based on consumer perception study on UK women 

No7 Beauty

No7 Beauty

Writer and expert