Can Salicylic Acid Help Treat Acne?

Absolutely. Salicylic acid is well-known for reducing acne by exfoliating the skin and keeping pores clear. You can find salicylic acid in a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) products. When applied to the skinsalicylic acid may work by helping the skin to shed dead cells from the top layer and by decreasing redness and swelling. This decreases the number of pimples and speeds healing.

Salicylic Acid works particularly well for mild to moderate acne (whiteheads and blackheads). When used regularly it can even help prevent more severe outbreaks of acne from occurring in the first place.

Salicylic Acid is available in the form of creams, gels, and even lotions.

Although salicylic acid is considered safe overall, it may cause skin irritation when first starting. It may also remove too much oil, resulting in dryness and potential irritation. If you have sensitive skin, be careful and patch test the product on your skin in a small amount, to see how your skin reacts.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists notes that topical salicylic acid is safe to use while pregnant, but please confirm with your own doctor.