Every product with salicylic acid is different as far as how much you need to use.
Read this to find out how much salicylic acid you should use in order to be effective.
How Much Salicylic Acid is Effective
The amount of salicylic acid in the product can vary from 0.5% to 2%.
The higher the concentration, the better the results.
For example, with a concentration of 1%, you can expect to see some improvements in your skin after one use.
With a concentration of 2%, you will likely see more visible results after two weeks.
The best way to determine how much salicylic acid is effective for your skin is by trial and error.
You can start with a lower concentration of the ingredient and then increase it if needed.
If you find that the higher concentrations are too harsh on your skin or cause irritation, consider using a gentler product with less salicylic acid or look into other ingredients that may help improve your complexion instead.
How to Make Salicylic Acid is Effective for Your Skin
Here are 8 tips to help you get the most out of this popular skincare ingredient:
1. Use it at night
Use salicylic acid only at night because it can make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure.
2. Apply sparingly and carefully
Salicylic acid can dry out your skin if used too often or in too high of a concentration.
To avoid irritation, apply it only once daily, using just enough product so that it covers the areas where acne is present without dripping into other areas of your face.
3. Know your concentration
The amount of salicylic acid in a product is measured by percentage.
The higher the percentage, the more effective the treatment will be for your skin.
However, starting with lower concentrations first is always recommended so that your skin can acclimate to the treatment and any side effects can be minimized.
4. Wash your face thoroughly before applying salicylic acid
You want to make sure that there aren’t any impurities or dirt on your face when applying salicylic acid, as this can cause irritation or even allergic reactions if applied directly to the skin without washing first.
Make sure you wash your face thoroughly with soap and water before applying the product and use a gentle cleanser if needed for extra sensitive skin types.
5. Apply it when your skin is clean and dry
Excess oil on the surface of your skin can prevent salicylic acid from reaching its full potential.
6. Don’t use any other exfoliator with salicylic acid
When using salicylic acid, it’s important not to use any other type of exfoliator (such as glycolic or fruit enzymes), because they may cause irritation on top of the salicylic acid treatments.
If you want to do an exfoliation treatment with another product or tool, make sure you wait at least 24 hours after using salicylic acid first so your skin has time to heal before applying anything else.
7. Apply sunscreen
Sun exposure can increase the risk of hyperpigmentation and acne scarring, so using sunscreen is essential when using salicylic acid topically or in-office treatments like peelings or injections.
The antioxidants in sunscreen can also help protect your skin against free radical damage caused by UV exposure.
8. Moisturize after cleansing
Salicylic acid can be drying on its own because it tends to break down oil barriers and remove moisture from the epidermis (outermost layer of skin).
Of course, this should not be at the expense of a good skincare routine.
While salicylic acid can seemingly get rid of blackheads and whiteheads overnight, the acidity from these ingredients can very easily dry out your skin if you’re not careful.
Therefore, make sure that you’re following up your exfoliation with a moisturizing lotion to keep your skin healthy.