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Salicylic Acid: The superhero skincare ingredient you need to know about

Salicylic Acid: The superhero skincare ingredient you need to know about
Jo Hoare
Writer and expert1 year ago
View Jo Hoare's profile

Breakouts beware, our cult Super Facialist Salicylic Acid range is introducing two new big hitters. An on the spot Anti Blemish Clarifying Gel and a daily Anti Blemish Clarifying Moisturiser.

Here’s why the ingredient is one of your best defences against acne and how to nail the perfect blemish busting routine.

What is Salicylic Acid?

One of the best over the counter (meaning you don’t need to see a doctor to get a prescription) spot treatments, Salicylic Acid works deep into your skin to dissolve dirt and debris. An excellent all-rounder for blackheads, whiteheads and red inflamed spots, it helps clear up existing blemishes faster and works to stop more cropping up. Derived from willow bark, it’s a BHA - beta hydroxy acid - which means it has a structure that enables it to penetrate your pores while encouraging exfoliation and the loosening of dead skin cells and dirt. Basically it gets in there and gets stuff done.

Who should use it?

Anyone who wants to treat and prevent blackheads and blemishes, speed up drying out a spot, or regulate their oily skin. It’s generally ok to use low concentrations (under 2%) every day on oily or blemish prone skin, but keep an eye out for any irritation or redness.

Who shouldn’t use it?

Most people won’t see any adverse reactions, but if you have very dry or sensitive skin, or suffer with a condition like eczema or rosacea, then you should either consider avoiding it or introduce it cautiously, using it only once or twice a week to start with.

What Salicylic Acid products are best for me?

BRAND NEW: Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Clarifying Gel

Best for: An SOS spot you want gone fast

Keep this on hand for time of the month spots, breakouts that appear before a big date, or stubborn blemishes that have outstayed their welcome.

67%* of people who tried this said they saw their spot size reduce and 73%* felt they were satisfied with the reduction in redness. With 1% Salicylic Acid it works hard, but thanks to the addition of glycerin it won’t leave your skin dry and flaky. Dab on individual blemishes before bed and expect to see an improvement come morning.

*User trials made up of 60 applicants

 Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Purifying Cleansing Wash

Best for: Getting a grip on mild acne

A daily face wash containing Salicylic Acid is a good bet for anyone suffering from mild acne.

Properly cleansed skin is the first step in the fight against blemishes and with a gentle but effective 0.2% Salicylic Acid active ingredient, this face wash is gentle enough for everyday use and will remove makeup, dirt and debris without sensitising or drying your skin.

The added bonus of 1% Niacinamide works to help fade redness and even out skin tone, so it’ll help with scarring and marks left by previous breakouts too.

BRAND NEW: Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Anti Blemish Clarifying Gel Moisturiser

Best for: A gentle moisturiser for oily skin

It’s a myth that oily skin doesn’t need a moisturiser. If you allow oily skin to get dehydrated (dry and dehydrated are not the same thing), your skin can make even more oil to try to protect itself.

A light everyday moisturiser is essential for everyone. This brand-new oil-absorbing gel moisturiser helps regulate shine, meaning it’s perfect for under makeup and 71%^ of our testers agreed that it kept their skin clear with a whopping 80%^ saying it left their skin felt soft after use.

^User trials made up of 60 applicants

Discover the Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish range here.

Jo Hoare
Writer and expert
View Jo Hoare's profile
Jo Hoare is an editor and author with over 17 years experience. She spent a decade at heat magazine at the height of its popularity where her favourite memories are One Direction popping in the office with cakes and flying to a private tropical island with a hair brand. Post-heat she went on to freelance across titles like Grazia, Glamour and Stylist before heading up Superdrug’s content team. She is now a freelance editor and author with eight published books.