Salicylic acid is classified as a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that is a derivative of aspirin and functions as an exfoliant helping to loosen and expel comedones (aka blackheads and whiteheads – clogged pores) from the skin. Salicylic acid also has anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce the redness of inflamed breakout lesions. The acidic nature of salicylic acid makes it a good exfoliator with a powerful defense mechanism of your skin against bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) that cannot survive in an extremely acidic environment. It acts by breaking the small attachments joining your skin cells together, thereby encouraging exfoliation (skin peeling) and unclogging of pores. So this combination of exfoliation and anti-inflammatory properties helps the skin heal, prevents scarring, and helps to decrease the chance of future breakouts.
Salicylic acid, which is oil soluble, is able to penetrate deeply into the pore helping to keep sebaceous follicles clear of cellular buildup and can help minimize the formation of new comedones. For the salicylic acid product to be effective, it should have at least a 1% concentration of the ingredient but preferably a 2% concentration. But just as important is the pH level of the product. The pH must be between 3 and 4 in order for the product to be effective. Otherwise, the salicylic acid is not as effective as an exfoliant. Serumize Clear Fight Serum is perfect as it has 2% salicylic and has a pH of 3.7.
Its lipophilic structure also allows it to penetrate oily parts of skin that result in deep cleaning. However using too much salicylic acid can also cause skin irritation, dryness, and excessive peeling. Therefore one must be cautious when applying salicylic acid-containing products, especially for those with sensitive skin. We advise that you use SPF when using a BHA.