Tuesday, 4 October 2011

My Blemish Treatment ( Part 1 ): Salicylic Acid Treatment and Benefits

( Image taken from getacnehomeremedies )

I had a series of breakouts for the past 2 months and most of it is due to hormonal breakouts. Sigh! My breakouts are not major... probably 1 pimple per week especially on forehead and chin area. Though it is little, I usually freak out and I would desperately find remedies to calm it down. ( I think anyone would )

This is the Part 1 of my 3 'experimental treatments' ( which I will share with you this week and next too ).

Before I move on, here is a quick look on my updated skin profile:

Normal to dry, sensitive.
( Slight oiliness on the forehead but normal to dry on nose and cheeks area)

Occasional breakouts at forehead and chin area.

Congested nose
 ( blackheads )

Pigmentation and freckles at cheeks area.

In the month of April, my skin type was combination to dehydrated. ( Read HERE ) I am happy that after 5 months, my dehydrated skin type changed back to normal and my pigmentation problem is under control.:D

Due to my skin type, I am prone to acne scarring ( even though I do not pick on them ) and it would usually take 2 months for the scars to lighten. I am not sure if it is only me or it's normal for acne scars to take that long to clear or lighten.

In this post, my first blemish treatment that I've tried is using products containing salicylic acid. Here is a brief description on salicylic acid and other uses too.

What is it?
Salicylic acid is a kertolytic agent that aids in treating skin problems such as acne, psoriasis and dandruff. It is probably best known as a component similar to asprin, because salicylic acid is a metabolite of asprin. ( Now I know where the asprin mask hype comes from ). This treatment can be administered  in a wide variety of forms such as dry, liquid and moistened products.

Blemishes or Acne
Salicylic acid works by causing the cell of epidermis to shed properly. This prevents the pores of the skin from getting clogged up and being infected by bacteria.

This helps in making bumps subside and help the skin to return to its normal production of skin cells. The most efficient way to apply salicylic acid as a topical solution is through cosmetic pads that have been soaked in the acid, which are then applied to the skin daily.

Psoriasis is a disease that manifest itself through irritated, scaly patches on the skin. Psoriasis can be treated with products containing salicylic acid, which helps to soften the scaly patches and encouraging shedding of the skin.

It is a remedy to this condition by controlling the shedding of skin cells from the scalp.

Salicylic acid has drying effects and advisable to follow dermatologist's suggestions. It should be used externally only.

( Source from here. )

My Experience

I am thankful that I do have a product at hand that contain salicylic acid and it is my Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant.( Read review and experience HERE )

In one of my trips to my facial appointment, I was told by the beautician to leave the product on my face for a few minutes after the exfoliating process as it helps in treating blemishes and brightening my skin. During the time of my breakout, I decide to try this trick to see if it helps.

After messaging the product on my face for a few minutes, I left it on my face for 3-5 minutes. I dared not exceed more than 5 minutes because my skin is normal to dry. I followed with my mask after rinsing it off.

Results? It works on tiny whiteheads. It helps to control and subsequently subside it in the next two days. ( Bear in mind that I do the treatment only once at night, 3 times a week ) However.....it doesn't really work on whiteheads that formed to pustules stage ( inflamed, appears as a red circle with white or yellow center ) or cysts ( larger acne spots, hard bumps and pus-filled ).

I think to really try to subside the pustules or cysts, I would need to apply a little of the product on the affected area daily ( probably 4 days ) for it to subside. ( I am currently trying this method with another ingredient, which I will share with you later )

My Thoughts

I think using salicylic acid from my Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant as a treatment does help to control the tiny whiteheads and subsiding it. However, it didn't really help when it is formed to pustules or cysts. In the future, I will try applying a little of the product on the problematic spots to subside it.

To be fair, the salicylic acid in the Daily Microfoliant is minimal as it falls at number 13 over 21 in the ingredient listing. Guess the working power is not as pronounced as opposed to buying higher doses of salicylic acid contained in lotions or solutions, specifically for acne treatments.


  1. i used to be allergic to salicylic acid, instead of treating my acne, it gave me more! but thankfully now i can!

  2. Hi Xin!:D

    Really, it gave you more? Was the dosage strong? Glad that now that your skin is able to tolerate it though.


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