All About: Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid has been recognized as an effective pain reliever for hundreds of thousands of years. Evidence exists showing that ancient civilizations used the bark of a willow tree (later classified as the Salix species) as an analgesic, fever reducer, and anti-inflammatory drug. While willow trees provided the primary ingredient long ago, it is now recognized that several other plant species contain either esters or salts of salicylic acid. In modern times, the microbial degradation of naphthalene produces salicylic acid, and currently, this ingredient is chemically derived from phenylalanine. This most modern form is one of many of Bell Chem’s, a personal care raw materials supplier, long line of quality ingredients.

Salicylic acid is commonly used in skin-care products and topical medications and as a food preservative. According to a recent report, the volume of salicylic acid utilized in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics is anticipated to escalate throughout the next few years.

Salicylic acid is often listed as beta hydroxy acid (BHA) on cosmetic packaging. It may be used as salicylic acid salts or esters. Found in moisturizers, shampoos and conditioners, skin cleaners, sunscreen, mouthwashes, and other dental products, salicylic acid is a powerful antibacterial agent that separates cells within skin pores. These cells tend to conglomerate, block the pores, and cause a backup of oil, which leads to blackheads and whiteheads. Salicylic acid unclogs pores, reduces the amount of oil produced, and evens out skin tones.

Patients suffering from psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis benefit from a topical application of salicylic acid. As a keratolytic, salicylic acid breaks through keratin, releasing layers of skin to expose the underlying smooth skin cells. Salicylic acid is slightly acidic and acts as an exfoliator, anti-inflammatory, and acne medication.

Food and Beverage
Salicylic acid has antibiotic properties which fend off bacteria that spoil foods. For this reason, it is a great choice as a preservative. One of salicylic acid’s esters, methyl salicylate, has a strong, minty flavor which can enhance foods and beverages. Salicylic acid is by far most commonly used as a preservative in the bottling industry for carbonated beverages and beer.

Bell Chem is a personal care raw materials supplier based in Longwood, FL (just north of Orlando) with hundreds of products, including salicylic acid, stocked in their 50,000+ square-foot warehouse. You can expect the highest quality products, expedited shipping options for maximum efficiency, and unrivaled personalized customer service. Let our knowledgeable and friendly customer service representatives and accounting staff personalize all your needs by either calling 407-339-BELL (2355) or by sending us an online message.