Top Effects of Salicylic Acid on the Skin

middle aged woman smiling

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid, which is found in many beauty products today.

In fact, it’s one of the most common ingredients in cleansers and acne-fighting products.

In this article, we’ll cover every angle of salicylic acid’s role in women’s beauty routines today.

It can be a useful tool for mature women everywhere.

Start out with a simple look at salicylic acid. What can it do for you?

beautiful woman holding saliclic acid

What is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid is a peeling agent used for acne and other blemishes. It actually comes from willow bark in its rawest form.

It’s also referred to as a beta-hydroxy acid or BHA. What does this complex term mean?

From a chemistry perspective, BHA is a hydroxy molecule with an acid attached to two carbon atoms.

Although this explanation is complex, it reveals that salicylic acid is an oil-soluble substance.

Why is this information important? The skin has a mixture of oils on and within its structure.

Other beauty products that are water-soluble types can only remain on the skin’s surface. In other words, they can’t do much good at the deeper layers.

Salicylic acid can absorb deeply into the skin where it might work wonders on acne and other blemishes.

Explaining the Acid’s Reaction on the Skin

As a woman rubs salicylic-acid products on the skin, it quickly moves into the lower layers. The acid portion of the compound performs the work at this point.

Acids typically dissolve tissues, including skin cells. Think of a callus that won’t go away.

Salicylic acid dissolves the cellular connections between the skin cells to diminish the callus’s size.

This same concept works within the skin layers. Blackheads, whiteheads and other blemishes become targets for the acid.

With regular use, salicylic acid encourages the skin to have a healthy glow without those blemishes gaining any ground.

Are you curious about what salicylic acid can do for your skin? It can improve the skin on many different levels.

Keep reading to see if some of the most common blemishes are targeted by salicylic acid.

different skin problems

What Does Salicylic Acid do for the Skin?

Salicylic acid performs an important service for the skin: it penetrates the deeper layers.

Depending on the skin’s blemishes, salicylic acid works in a variety of different ways.

Take a look at the skin issues listed below that mature women face every day. There’s a salicylic-acid solution for most of them.


The lipids or oils that hold the skin cells together can remain stuck at times. The skin’s production of new cells can slow down as a result.

Salicylic acid breaks down the lipids between the cells, which leads to skin rejuvenation.

Mature women can see anti-aging effects as they use the acid on a regular basis.


Because salicylic acid helps the skin with dead-cell removal, acne breakouts are effectively minimized.

There’s no debris to clog the pores and create blemishes in the first place.


Warts are simply accumulations of skin in a concentrated area.

Use salicylic acid to slough off the wart’s tissues while encouraging new cell growth beneath it.

With daily use, salicylic acid can reduce a wart’s size in little time.

Blackheads and Whiteheads

Both blackheads and whiteheads become blemishes in the deepest parts of the pores. Everyday beauty products just can’t reach them.

Consider salicylic acid as a clever alternative to visiting the dermatologist for physical removal. The acid reaches deep into the pores so that the blemishes slowly diminish.


Calluses form as a result of friction against the skin. Fight off calluses with daily salicylic-acid treatments.

The acid’s exfoliating power will bring the callus down to a normal layer of skin.

Exfoliating and Cleansing Power

Salicylic acid acts like a keratolytic process on the skin. What does this mean exactly?

It merely performs an exfoliating process on the skin’s top layer. As the skin sloughs off, new and fresh skin emerges.

This acid also has cleansing power as it encourages natural skin shedding. It controls the skin’s sebum or oil production, which leads to a clean and balanced complexion.

Do you want to know how salicylic acid should be used on the skin? Learn more about the applications for a regular beauty routine.

mature woman applying salicylic acid cream

How to Use Salicylic Acid on the Skin?

A good rule of thumb when it comes to using salicylic acid on the skin is following the product manufacturer’s recommendations. It’s used in both over-the-counter and professional capacities.

What are the various kinds of products that use salicylic acid as a main ingredient? You’ll find this substance in several beauty items, such as:

  • Lotions
  • Medicated pads
  • Toners
  • Chemical peels

All of these products fight acne and other blemishes with the acid’s absorbing power.

General Guidelines

Most professionals suggest that any treatment should be applied in a widespread manner. Spot treatments won’t be very effective.

For example, mature women might use salicylic acid on the face. Cleanse, tone and add lotion to the entire face during every treatment.

The reason for widespread use is simple: there can be blemishes that aren’t even visible yet. Salicylic acid works on established and emerging blemishes.

Professional Treatment

Chemical peels are largely the realm of dermatology. Salicylic acid in its concentrated form must be applied to a patient’s skin by a certified doctor.

The peel focuses on the deeper skin layers as the doctor monitors the multiple treatments.

The majority of mature women can see solid results with just the at-home products, however. Turning to a chemical peel is for more extreme circumstances.

With salicylic acid found in a variety of different products, it’s a good idea to know if there are any side effects.

Get to know some of the most common effects so that you can reap the rewards from this unique ingredient.

mature woman checking wrinkles on face

What are the Side Effects of Using Salicylic Acid on the Skin?

Salicylic acid isn’t a benign substance. It would have no positive effects on the skin otherwise.

With this fact in mind, it’s always important to know about potential effects that might arise.

Discover the side effects associated with salicylic acid right now.

Skin Irritation

Every woman will have a distinct experience with salicylic acid. Irritation in the form a rash, redness and other reactions are common.

Most people who’ve never tried this ingredient will experience some irritation. It just depends on the person’s sensitivity levels.

Severe Dryness

This side effect typically occurs when a woman uses salicylic acid with too high of a concentration. The skin dries out too quickly, even with a moisturizer applied afterward.

Choosing a low concentration of salicylic acid will alleviate this issue.

Lightheaded Sensation

Some people might be sensitive to salicylic acid, and they don’t know until they feel lightheaded. The acid is simply too strong for their bodies.

Digestive Issues

A high concentration of salicylic acid can lead to diarrhea or vomiting. Alter the product’s use to see if the effects subside.

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath can be either a sensitivity issue or allergic reaction. It’s not normal to feel this sensation so wash away the topical as soon as possible.

Neural Concerns

A cloudy mind, extreme headache and other neural issues can occur with salicylic-acid use. They may be part of a negative reaction with the body’s tissues.

Allergic Reaction

Swelling, hives and severe itching are all signs of an allergic reaction. Discontinue use to calm these conditions.

Stop using the product if you notice any of these effects several minutes to a few days after use. In severe cases, seek emergency assistance.

Most mature women don’t experience the severe effects, but they should still be considered.

After using salicylic acid for awhile, women will know exactly how the ingredient reacts with their bodies.

Do you want to know a few precautions to keep in mind when using salicylic acid? Safe use is possible when mature women go over the facts listed below.

a bottle of salicylic acid

Precautions When Using Salicylic Acid

There are a few people who shouldn’t use salicylic acid. It’s in their best interests to avoid this ingredient.

Take a look at these precautions so that only beneficial effects are your experience with salicylic acid.

Children With Compromised Immune Systems

Anyone under age 18 who has the chickenpox, flu or high fever shouldn’t use salicylic acid.

A compromised immune system may aggravate any negative side effects in the ingredient.


Diabetics often have weakened cardiovascular systems. Salicylic acid indirectly impacts this system so it’s best to avoid this ingredient as a precaution.

Blood-Disorder Patients

Salicylic acid might aggravate any blood disorder so try an alternative treatment.

Kidney or Liver Disease

These organs process all toxins, which includes salicylic acid after it’s been absorbed.

Don’t use this ingredient so that the organs remain free from strain.

Sensitive Individuals

If a woman has had issues with acidic products in the past, steering clear of salicylic acid is a good idea.

Allergic Candidates

People who may be allergic to salicylic acid and its derivatives should avoid contact.

Pregnant or Nursing Mothers

Any strong ingredient should be avoided when a woman is supporting an infant in any capacity.

Salicylic acid might negatively influence the baby’s health.

Are you a good candidate for salicylic acid? With all of these precautions in mind, arm yourself with the best tips and tricks for regular use.

Explore application hints from today’s professionals. The skin can react with a youthful glow after only a few treatments.

senior woman smiling while cleaning face

Tips and Tricks When Using Salicylic Acid

Did you know that there are specific tips and tricks to using salicylic acid?

Women and professionals everywhere have explored this product with growing enthusiasm.

Follow a few of the best tips listed below. Healthy skin takes some attention to detail with each cleansing session.

Start With a Low Concentration

Enthusiasm is always appreciated when it comes to trying a new beauty product, but mix in some common sense. Don’t select a high concentration of salicylic acid at first.

Every woman will have a different reaction to this ingredient. Avoid severe side effects by starting out with a 0.5-percent concentration.

If women desire more results after trying the low concentration, they can move up to another product.

Pick a Product Type

Choose from one of the products that has salicylic acid built into its ingredients.

Everyone will have her preference, from medicated pads to enhanced lotions.

Don’t Combine Products

Select only one product with salicylic acid. Combining different products with this same ingredient will put too much strain on the skin.

Be Aware of Personal Reactions

Discontinue use of a particular product if side effects become uncomfortable.

Salicylic acid should be beneficial and not a pain across the skin.

Don’t Forget to Moisturize

Avoid dry patches by moisturizing after treatment. Select a natural moisturizer, such as argan oil.

The Power of Argan Oil

Why should you choose argan oil over every other moisturizer around today? It’s natural and effective.

Argan oil is found in Morocco where the argan tree creates its valuable nuts.

Local people draw the oil from the tree, which becomes a pure product for your use.

Several ingredients found naturally in argan oil are positive contributors to the skin’s health, such as:

  • Linoleic acid
  • Omega fatty acid
  • Vitamin E

Each one of these substances nourishes the skin after salicylic-acid treatment. The skin becomes balanced and supple afterward.

Some women might ask why an oil should be used on the skin when controlling sebum in the first place is the goal.

Argan oil doesn’t create oily conditions, however. It actually absorbs into the skin with amazing speed.

Because the oil balances out the dryness caused by salicylic acid, the skin doesn’t react with a lot of sebum production.

Fewer blemishes are the result of this beneficial relationship between salicylic acid and argan oil.

Always select pure argan oil for these applications, however. Any mixtures or dilutions won’t have the same impact on the skin.

Let’s wind down this discussion with a final look at argan oil. Pick your first purchase based on the manufacturer’s reputation and quality appearance of the oil itself.

Treating the skin with salicylic acid and argan oil together can bring out the skin’s youthful glow after several applications.


Salicylic acid is an incredibly versatile tool in any mature woman’s beauty arsenal. Check our infographic below for the key points!


In this article, you learned some important facts, such as:

  • How salicylic acid reacts with the skin
  • The best tips and tricks to salicylic-acid use
  • Combining salicylic acid with argan oil to create a harmonious treatment

With salicylic acid as a regular part of a beauty routine, blemishes can be fought off. Every mature woman deserves skin that glows.

Have you tried salicylic acid? Did you discover a few tips and tricks of your own?

Share your experience with other women right now by adding your comments to the section below. Your knowledge can help everyone with glorious skin.

Try salicylic acid along with argan oil for beautiful skin today!