When It Comes to Cleansing, How Often Is Too Often?
January 16, 2021
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Skincare aficionados know: Salicylic acid is one of the best things to ever happen to skincare, especially for those with oily or acne-prone skin.
According to an Elle UK interview with cosmetic dermatologist and laser surgeon Dr. Nada Soueidan, “[Salicylic acid] is lipophilic, which means that it is an oil-soluble acid that can penetrate skin and clogged pores” in order to deeply clean and unclog said pores. And all the people with oily skin said hallelujah.
Naturally produced by willow trees, Cosmopolitan calls salicylic acid “the gold standard for treating blackheads, whiteheads, and oily skin.” Plus it has “an anti-inflammatory ingredient. it also decreases the redness and irritation that comes with red, tender pimples,” according to Dr. Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. This means it’s also gentle enough to address redness from skin conditions like rosacea. With its myriad of benefits for your skin, it’s best to know how to properly use and incorporate salicylic acid into your skincare routine. Here are some tips.
Check the concentration.
Before purchasing anything with salicylic acid, make sure to read the labels carefully to check the percentage/concentration of the acid in it. A-list skincare specialist Debbie Thomas shares with Elle UK that “for home use, the maximum strength salicylic is 2%.” When it comes to acids, always remember that a little goes a long way, just like our Belo Illuminating Soap, which works well as a brightening soap (thanks to snail mucin) and a gentle exfoliator (thanks to its 1% salicylic acid concentration). This proprietary soap works not just on the face, but on any area of the body that you’d like to whiten: your armpits, groin, and inner thighs.
Always follow product directions.
In the same Elle UK article, Dr. Soueidan reminds readers that “the amount of salicylic acid that’s safe for an individual user depends strongly on your age and any skin conditions you have… as long as you use them as directed.” So make sure to read, read, read the label and follow the directions. Dr. Vicki Belo shared on her podcast, The Beauty Authority, that doctors and scientists have spent years studying their field and honing their expertise, so it’s best to listen to them.
Consider your skin type.
It’s best to know your skin type so you’ll know which product is best for you. As mentioned earlier, salicylic acid works best for people with oily or acne-prone skin. But if your skin is damaged, infected, or if you have skin conditions like eczema, it’s best to do a patch test on your skin before including it in your routine.
Dr. Soueidan suggests you “start with a low percentage, once a week, and build the usage up, [but] if you notice redness or irritation then consider reducing how often you apply it, or stop entirely.”
If you’re looking for a gentle but effective way to address your oily face concerns, try ZO® Oil Control Pads, which help remove and control oil, normalize pore size, help smooth skin’s surface and reduce irritation. It contains 2% salicylic acid, which works through the oil and dirt build up in order to clean the area deeply, but in a ~gentle~ way.
You don’t have to use it daily.
In her interview with Cosmopolitan, Dr. Nazarian doesn’t recommend using salicylic acid-based products daily right away. You should use it “once every three days until you know your skin can handle it.” So, remember that you don’t have to use it daily for it to work—a little goes a long way.
Results can take time.
This may be the only downside to the magic that is salicylic acid: It takes a while to see noticeable results. According to Dr. Nazarian, “You’ll likely see results in four to six weeks, after which you should continue to use it for long-term effects.”
But remember that like all good things, great skin is worth the wait and always worth the investment. If you have combination to oily skin and looking for a way to smoothen your skin, invest in good skin with FillMed BD-Balance Serum, which contains salicylic acid to gently exfoliate your skin, minimize your pores, and “erase mild to moderate color and textural imperfections.” It also contains Zinc PCA, “a physiological sebo-captor, it controls shininess and provides a lasting mattifying effect.”
If you’re looking for a dual-purpose product, you can check out FillMed Balance Booster, which contains 2% salicylic acid and 2.4% lactic acid to address skin blemishes like hyperpigmentation, age spots, and generally even out your skin tone.