When a product contains the word “acid” in its nomenclature, most people conjure images of dangerous chemicals with corrosive properties--a strong acid. Salicylic acid does not fit into that category. This mild acid was originally derived from the bark of a willow tree and is considered a natural plant hormone. Nowadays salicylic acid is manufactured in a laboratory with more exact measurements and fewer variables. With myriad uses, salicylic acid has also proven to be a leader in facial care products; in fact, more than 100 facial products contain salicylic acid. What is it that gives beauty care chemicals, like salicylic acid, an edge over other facial care products?
Salicylic acid works as a keratolytic, or a substance that aids in the softening and shedding of the outer layer of skin. Once keratolysis occurs, the underlying skin is exposed, giving the user a more even, smooth skin surface. As a bacteriostatic, salicylic acid prevents bacteria from reproducing and disrupting skin function. Lastly, the comedolytic action of salicylic acid breaks up or destroys comedones (clogged hair follicles). These clogged hair follicles also produce an inflammatory response, and the beauty care chemical, salicylic acid, calms this response so the skin no longer appears puffy. With acne, the exfoliation experienced from using products containing salicylic acid will likewise remove many comedones. Even after application, salicylic acid works to decrease the diameter of pores, preventing new bacteria from entering.
Along with acne products, salicylic acid is also used to prevent or reduce the effects of seborrhoeic dermatitis (affecting the areas containing sebaceous glands in the epidermis), psoriasis, acanthosis nigricans (skin discolorations), ichthyosis (dry, flaky, thickened, or scaly skin), calluses, warts, and other skin care problems. It is also used in dandruff shampoos or other shampoos that treat dermatologic difficulties.
Because the properties of salicylic acid have been proven over centuries, its use is considered safe and effective. Everyday use is acceptable and often recommended for many skin afflictions. The benefit of an anti-inflammatory component allows only one medication to treat multiple symptoms, which elevates salicylic acid above many other facial care products.
If you’re looking to purchase this beauty care chemical, or require additional information, contact Bell Chem today at 407-339-BELL (2355). We’re more than happy to assist you in any way we can. Also, check your beauty care products’ labels and share this post if your favorite products are made with salicylic acid. Tell us about the product and whether you like it!