Salicylic acid is a type of chemical exfoliant that fights acne and prevents future breakouts.
It helps to remove dead skin cells and surface oil, which helps prevent bacterial growth that leads to pimples.
Salicylic acid has been used in skin care products since the 19th century, but it wasn’t until recently that there was enough scientific evidence showing its effectiveness against whiteheads.
In this article, we’ll explain how salicylic acid works on whiteheads and why it’s so effective at fighting them!
How Salicylic Acid Works on Whiteheads
Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that’s derived from willow bark.
Its main purpose is to fight acne, but it also helps loosen dead skin cells and remove excess oil from your face.
If you have whiteheads, blackheads, or any other kind of blemish on your skin, salicylic acid can help clear up the problem by getting rid of dead skin cells and excess sebum (oil) that can build up in pores.
The way salicylic acid works on whiteheads comes down to its ability to break down keratin — a protein found in hair follicles and sebaceous glands — which leads to healthy cell turnover for both hair follicles and pores so they don’t get blocked with oil buildup or dead skin cells over time.
Salicylic acid also exfoliates away these blockages so they won’t contribute to further irritation when they’re exposed again after treatment has ended.
How to Use Salicylic Acid for Whiteheads
Here are 6 steps on how to use salicylic acid for whiteheads:
1. Clean your face
Clean your face with a mild cleanser, like Cetaphil or Neutrogena.
2. Apply salicylic acid
Apply a thin layer of salicylic acid to your skin in the areas where you have whiteheads and blackheads (the nose, cheeks, forehead, chin, and forehead).
3. Wait 20 minutes
Wait 20 minutes for the product to fully absorb into your skin.
Rinse off with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.
5. Repeat twice daily
Repeat twice daily until all whiteheads have cleared up from your face.
6. Continue using salicylic acid
Once all whiteheads have cleared up from your face, continue using salicylic acid products once or twice per week as maintenance to prevent future breakouts from occurring on other areas of your face (such as around your nose).
How Long Does It Take for Salicylic Acid to Work on Whiteheads?
It depends on the severity of your whiteheads.
If you have a mild case, you might notice some results in a few days.
For example, if you’ve been using salicylic acid as a spot treatment and your whitehead hasn’t completely disappeared but has improved significantly in size and appearance, then that’s evidence that salicylic acid is working for you.
On the other hand, people with severe cases of whiteheads may not even see any improvements after months or years of consistent use.
The fact is that there’s no set timeline when it comes to seeing results from salicylic acid—everyone’s skin responds differently!
While this means that it may take longer than expected for your skin to clear up (or if it doesn’t clear up at all), there are two ways around this:
Why is Salicylic Acid So Effective at Fighting Whiteheads?
Here are some reasons why salicylic acid is effective at fighting whiteheads:
- It helps loosen dead skin cells so they can shed more easily.
- It can reduce inflammation caused by clogged pores.
- It’s an effective treatment for blackheads too.
- It’s a gentle exfoliator that doesn’t irritate sensitive skin or cause redness or dryness.
- It improves the health of your skin by nourishing it with antioxidants and vitamins.
What Are Some Alternatives to Using Salicylic Acid on Whiteheads?
Here are a few ways to get the benefits of salicylic acid without having to use it topically.
1. Use a face wash with salicylic acid in it
Many exfoliating cleansers contain this ingredient, and if you’re looking for an even deeper cleanse than your usual face wash can provide, consider switching up your routine for one that contains salicylic acid.
2. Use a mask with salicylic acid in it
When applied as part of an at-home spa night, masks can help slough off dead skin cells while also helping to deep-clean pores—which makes them perfect for those who want their skin to feel refreshed and smooth after using them!
Try using one made specifically with salicylic acid so that you’ll reap all the benefits without having any issues caused by applying too much.
3. Use a serum with salicylic acid in it
Serums are great because they provide concentrated doses of active ingredients like vitamins or antioxidants.
They’re also incredibly easy (and affordable) compared to other types of skincare products like creams or lotions since all you have to do is massage them into your face once per day before bedtime so that they can work their magic overnight when there’s no makeup blocking access points into those pesky clogged pores!
Which Form of Salicylic Acid is Best to Get Rid of Whiteheads?
There are three types of salicylic acid: oil-soluble, water-soluble, and lipid-soluble.
The oil-soluble form is best for treating whiteheads because it penetrates deep into your pores where they are located.
But this form can irritate sensitive skin and should not be used on large areas of skin at once because it can cause irritation or burning sensations.
The water-soluble form has similar effects as its oil counterpart; however, it can sting more when applied directly to the skin.
The lipid-soluble form is used in ointments or creams because it penetrates deeper into the body than other salicylic acids.
Is Salicylic Acid Good for Blackheads?
It’s effective at treating blackheads, whiteheads, and other types of acne.
Even though salicylic acid is known as an effective pore cleanser, it also has several other benefits:
- It helps with oil production.
By removing dead skin cells that clog pores, salicylic acid can reduce the amount of excess oil being produced by your skin.
- It exfoliates gently yet effectively.
Unlike harsh chemicals or physical exfoliants (such as microdermabrasion), salicylic acid works in a way that allows you to go about your normal routine without worrying about sensitivity or irritation caused by harsh ingredients rubbing against your face every day—a huge plus if you’re prone to dryness or flaking much like me!
We hope that this article has given you a better understanding of how salicylic acid works on whiteheads.
It’s important to know that there are other options besides using an over-the-counter product with salicylic acid in it, so if you’re looking for an alternative use for your product (or simply want something more convenient), consider doing a homemade mask!