Whether you’ve known the annoyance of a small pimple to the agony of a full-blown breakout, acne in your adult years is extremely distressing. I’ve tried every treatment under the sun to clear my skin (I’m still fighting blemishes at nearly thirty) and the only thing I’ve found to make a genuine difference this past year is by using a salicylic acid-based product on my skin.
Salicylic acid is a multi-tasking ingredient that can tackle spots due to its exfoliating nature. As an anti-irritant, it has the ability to soothe stressed skin, reduce redness and it work as an anti-inflammatory to calm breakouts and reddened skin. People with oily and acne-prone skin benefit from salicylic acid-based products and peels because they loosen blackheads, reduce oil and even discolouration from past breakouts.
Used in small amounts (I tend to go for products which contain 2-4%), it’s extremely gentle and safe to use on even very sensitive skin, yet penetrates deep into the layers of the skin to restore and help clear breakouts. If you’re worried about it causing excess dryness, use your product every second day to see results. Below are three of the best salicylic acid-based beauty products from my own skincare routine, all gentle-yet-effective when used on a regular basis:
Agera Deep Cleansing Salicylic Wash, €31
This one came recommended to me by a dermatologist, and though it has a low percentage of salicylic acid (1.8%), it still works wonders and is gentle enough for everyday use. Use as a light cleanser to clean skin once your make-up is removed and you should see a difference after just once use.
SuperFacialist Salicylic Acid Anti-Blemish Clay Mask, €13.99
Una Brennan’s SuperFacialist Salicylic Acid Anti-Blemish Clay Mask uses a mix of salicylic acid and an oil-absorbing Dead Sea Mud rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron, all combined with avocado oil rich in Vitamins A, D and E to rebalance the skin. Use this once or twice a week to help clear those stubborn breakouts.
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, €53
This gentle, rice-based exfoliating powder contains papain, salicylic acid and rice enzymes that micro-exfoliate dead cells, instantly leaving skin smoother and brighter. If your skin is oily enough to need a daily exfoliant that isn’t harsh, this product is one of the best.