Salicylic acid has a lot of uses and can be found not only in conventional skincare products but also in some foods.
But have you ever wondered what happens if you overuse salicylic acid?
What Happens if You Overuse Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid can be drying and irritating to the skin, causing dryness, redness, and sensitivity.
2. Acne flareups
Salicylic acid can irritate acne-prone skin, making it more susceptible to breakouts — especially if you’re using other acne treatments with AHAs or BHAs like benzoyl peroxide or retinoids at the same time.
3. Dryness and peeling
If you have dry or sensitive skin, salicylic acid may not be right for you.
It can cause dryness and peeling on normal to oily skin types too.
4. Itchy skin and stinging sensation
This is especially true if you have sensitive skin! The most common complaint we hear from people who use salicylic acid is that it stings when applied — no matter how much they dilute it!
It’s important to remember that this isn’t just a “temporary” feeling.
It’s actually caused by the chemical dissolving away dead cells on your face (which is good).
However, this process can also cause some irritation/stinging until your skin adjusts to having less dead cells around (which takes about two weeks!).
5. You could cause hyperpigmentation
Salicylic acid can cause hyperpigmentation (when your skin produces brown spots) if used too frequently without adequate protection from the sun and exfoliation of the buildup of dead skin cells on the surface layer of your skin (called corneum).
It’s no wonder that so many people use and love salicylic acid.
But, like everything in life, there are pros and cons.
And if you use it the wrong way, then you might find out the hard way what happens when you overuse salicylic acid.