I’ve personally used it with a number of cosmetic products and tested it with different acids.
And I’m going to share with you the ones that work best in terms of safety and efficacy.
What Acid Can You Use With Salicylic Acid
Here are some of the most common acids that you can use with salicylic acid:
1. Glycolic Acid
This alpha hydroxy acid is derived from sugar cane extract and is water-soluble.
Glycolic acid works by exfoliating the top layer of dead skin cells on your face which can help reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
It also helps unclog pores so they don’t get clogged up with oil and dead skin cells which causes pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads!
2. Lactic acid
Lactic acid is another AHA that works in the same way as glycolic acid does by dissolving the bonds that hold dead skin cells together.
Lactic acid is derived from milk and therefore has a creamy texture when applied topically on the skin.
It’s available as a standalone ingredient or in combination with other acids like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to fight acne-causing bacteria.
3. Citric acid
Citric acid is made from citrus fruits and it is often used as an additive in cosmetic products because of its ability to help them penetrate the skin more quickly and deeply than other kinds of acids do.
4. Tartaric acid
Tartaric acid comes from wine grapes and it has been used in cosmetic applications since ancient times because of its ability to help reduce inflammation while also brightening the complexion when applied topically on the face or body in a lotion or gel form.
5. Malic acid
Malic Acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that’s found naturally in apples — hence its name!
Malic acid is a gentle exfoliator that dissolves dead skin cells more slowly than glycolic or lactic acids do, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin who want to avoid chemical peels or microdermabrasion treatments.
What Can You Not Mix With Salicylic Acid?
There are several ingredients that should be avoided when using this product.
Salicylic acid should not be used with:
Retinoids such as tretinoin (Retin-A), adapalene (Differin) or tazarotene (Tazorac, Avage).
These products can increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight and make it more likely that you’ll get sunburned or windburned.
Mixing them with salicylic acid may also increase your chances of developing hyperpigmentation or dark spots on your skin.
2. Topical benzoyl peroxide
Topical benzoyl peroxide products, can irritate the skin if used in combination with salicylic acid.
How to Layer Active Ingredients in Your Skincare Routine?
Here are the steps on how to layer active ingredients in your skincare routine:
The first step in layering your active ingredients is to choose the right ones for your skin type.
If you have oily skin, try using a lightweight oil-free moisturizer like CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30.
This product has been clinically proven to restore the hydrolipidic film (a protective layer of lipids that help retain moisture) on the skin and reduce oil production.
Choose an exfoliating cleanser that contains alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs).
AHAs are naturally occurring acids that work by breaking down dead skin cells, which allows for new cell growth underneath.
Try Stridex Maximum Strength Pads for sensitive skin or Neutrogena Advanced Anti-Blemish Cleanser with 2% salicylic acid.
Apply a serum or moisturizer containing retinol (vitamin A), which helps improve skin tone and texture.
Try Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream with Retinol or Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum (with Argireline).
Both products have been clinically proven to visibly reduce wrinkles in just 4 weeks!
Pat on an antioxidant serum containing vitamins A and E.
However you treat your skin, always check to see if other forms of acid may be used in conjunction with it.
In some cases, it’s best to avoid double dipping, but in others, it’s safe and even advisable.
Experiment as needed and contact a doctor if you have any questions or concerns.