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September 28, 2010

salicylic acid post

I have something I'd like to get off my chest.. about the sometimes nasty product, 'Salicylic Acid'. It's in so, SO many skin care products.. mostly in cleansers, but it can also be found in moisturizers and spot creams. It's touted as one of the best acne clearer-uppers on the market, but sadly.. in not only my experience, but friends I've talked to about it, have relayed that it's only made things worse. MUCH, much worse.

In the research that I've done, I've learned that this beta-hydroxy acid is a byproduct from the willow tree.. variation of it can be found in aspirin as well.. I've seen suggestions for problem-skinned people to crush up aspirin and use it as a topical treatment for blemishes.. bad move, yo. Check out this wiki page on: I realize this stuff helps a lot of people shed old skin cells to help bring forth the new, radiant ones.. but not for me. If you have sensitive skin like I do, AND acne problems you might want to steer clear of Salicylic acid. And if you do use it, if things get worse it's probably because of this ingredient!!!

I think it's really important for people to know what ingredients are actually the most important, and widely used in the industry so that they can find better products that suit their individual needs. I hope that if anyone reading this has problems that don't seem to be going away, check the ingreedz on your skin care bottles! It has taken me a REALLY LONG TIME to get to where I am today, and I'm still learning new things about how my skin reacts to certain products. Good luck to all in their search for their perfect skin care regimen <3


  1. I don't think I have an allergy to salicylic acid, but it doesn't work like I felt like it used to in my teens. I've gone through a bunch of bouts of acne and tried pretty much everything besides accutane, and the only thing that seems to work is being on birth control, not being stressed out and eating well. Every time I get really stressed out the acne comes again and stays for months. Acne is all about cortisol and testosterone/estrogen balance.

  2. Ugh. I'm having such problems with my skin right now. I'm stressed-out and trying to find a job, and it's still technically summertime (it got up to 88 today) so my face is basically a grease pit.

    I have an allergy to a lot of things, but I don't think salicylic acid is one. I've had acne get a lot worse when I try something new and then eventually clear up when all the... stuff got pulled out.

  3. Thanks for this info. I've never had 'problem' skin, just occasional minor blemishes. So I've never been one to use salicylic acid. But I agree, it is very important to look at the ingredients in you products. I have been using skin care products from Joppa Minerals for a while now, and love their products!

  4. "Acne is all about cortisol and testosterone/estrogen balance." - this is absolutely true and a lot of people/doctors don't know this.. hence the prescription of accutane and other worthless sulfa antiobiotics. a lot of the time those methods work, but a few months later the acne comes back full force. there are plenty of natural steps you can take to balance out your hormone levels, it just takes some searching =)

    dull_flame - you might want to try either using a heavier, or a little more moisturizer (sans oil obviously) after you wash your face!! i used to think that i just had "t-zone oily skin", but then i read somewhere that people with oily skin actually have dry skin that isn't getting what it needs so it overcompensates by producing more oil. i have found this to be absolutely true, for myself. i hope this is somewhat helpful!

    peach, i have never heard of joppa! i'll look 'em up sometime soon and see what they are all about.

  5. It's good you posted about this. :-) Sometimes it's best to just step away from the mirror and any products to let your skin take a break for a while.
    I really feel like salicylic acid is good for normal skin or mature skin. I use a cleanser with it once in a while but if I use it too much, it dries out my skin.
    And you're so right about the oily/dry skin thing. I used to be able to fry an egg on my face when I was using acne stuff...was gross. Now it's more normal since I stopped using acne crap, but the Colorado air is pretty evil on me and dries my hair and skin out. So slather the cocoa butter on my body and oil in my hair and I'm good. :-)

    Oh yeah and everyone needs to try Skin MD! Seriously...I should post my before and after pictures and everyone will know!

  6. YES!! I have used it twice now and i already like it. it left my skin feeling a little dry, but it didn't get all oily like i feared it would. i'm sure it will normalize in a few days.

  7. Thanks for the heads up! I definitely had this problem when I branched out and tried different face washes. For now, the thing that seems to work best with me is Origins products. Never tried Skin MD though.

  8. Too bad the best stuff is kinda expensive. I used Skyn Iceland face wash and LOVED it, despite the strangely medicinal smell, and that costs $30 a bottle. And now that CVS stopped carrying Lumene (this kick-a$$ cosmetics brand from Finland) I don't know what else to do because nothing else has worked, really.

    Right now I use Kiehl's blue toner and acne moisturizer, and I wash my face with Clearasil Ultra. It's helped a bit, but maybe I'll try something else because I may have the same problem BLIX did.

  9. I think i'll make a post soon about two really great cleansers i've used.. currently i'm using Avalon Organics lavender cleanser for sensitive skin. YES, post coming soon!

  10. I was trying out a bunch of different moisturizers and cleansers, but I kind of settled on using cold process facial soaps and facial oils. Also, I think this stuff is pretty awesome as a moisturizer:

    Going this way is super affordable, you can get a soap for $5-7 and a moisturizer for $5-10 and be good to go for a while.

  11. oh man, i totally bought some shampoo bars (sham-poo bears hehe) from chagrin valley a while ago!! i really liked a few of them, but couldn't keep up with using them. i think the reason my hair looks SO healthy and shiny now is because i used only those bars for like 2 months.

    anyway, i actually wanted to try out their body butters and might get a little of the squalane stuff to use around my eye area. thanks for sharing the link!