Smiling Asian woman with glowing skin putting cream on her face against a beige background.

Salicylic acid is a “holy grail” because its benefits go beyond banishing blemishes. From removing dead skin cells to getting rid of dandruff, this reliable ingredient can do it all. It deserves a permanent spot on your vanity. Read on to find out how to use salicylic acid for various concerns.

What Is Salicylic Acid?

(SA) comes from the leaves or bark of willows and belongs to a class of ingredients called salicylates. It is a chemical exfoliant classified as a , which is oil-soluble. This gives salicylic acid the unique ability to cut through oil and penetrate the pores to dislodge any debris and clear acne. But its healing powers don’t stop there.

Keep scrolling to learn how to use salicylic acid for other conditions, some even peskier than pimples.

Exfoliates Skin

In addition to unclogging pores, salicylic acid can help It’s considered a keratolytic, a compound that breaks down the outer layer of the skin and helps bind moisture. Good news for your skin and bad news for your dead cells.

Using it on acne-prone skin can help prevent further breakouts and maintain a healthy, glowing complexion.

Reduces Inflammation

Salicylic acid is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Once it penetrates the skin, it can help soothe inflamed pimples. Salicylic acid also has anti-microbial properties that help kill acne-causing bacteria on the skin.

If you have and you’re wondering how to use salicylic acid, you’ve come to the right place. Those who are prone to irritation may not be able to tolerate like benzoyl peroxide or adapalene. Salicylic acid would be a gentler alternative.

Minimizes Sebum Excretion

The skin naturally produces a substance called (oil). Overproduction of sebum on the skin gives dirt and bacteria something to bind to, and this sticky combination can clog pores and cause acne. Salicylic acid helps inhibit sebaceous glands from producing sebum.

with cleansers that balance oil production like POND'S Bright Miracle Ultimate Acne Control Facial Foam. It has salicylic acid and vitamin B3+ to help control excess oil and acne-causing bacteria.

Protects Skin From UV Damage

Anything that exfoliates the skin can make it more sensitive to sun exposure — salicylic acid included. If you’re using acne medication, slathering on sunscreen would be the wise thing to do. However, one study found that salicylic acid actually the skin from UV damage by inhibiting UVB-induced sunburn cell formation through regular use. 

That said, you shouldn’t substitute sunscreen with salicylic acid or both at the same time. Always apply SPF, regardless of your skincare routine or skin condition.

Addresses Dandruff

Now that you know how to use salicylic acid for your skin, it’s time to find out what it can do for your hair. Salicylic acid is also used as an ingredient in . It’s known to reduce flakes and exfoliate the scalp, effectively reducing inconvenient symptoms such as itching and irritation.

Although dandruff occurs in the scalp, other areas of the body can get flaky, too. Salicylic acid can on the ears and face by dissolving oil to reduce inflammation and relieve itching – SA SOP, no biggie.

Salicylic acid is a powerhouse ingredient that deals with various skin conditions, from oily to flaky skin. With these expert tips, learn how to use salicylic acid for concerns other than acne so you can optimize its benefits and achieve healthy skin.