Grooming Editor

Ingredient Focus: Salicylic Acid

Do you suffer from spot prone skin, or get the occasional cluster of blocked pores? Well, Salicylic Acid could be your answer. In our last Ingredient Focus we took a look a Glycolic Acid, which we found wasn’t quite as scary as it sounded. In fact Glycolic Acid is brilliant for replenishing your complexion and giving your skin a healthy glow! Salicylic Acid has a different purpose within skincare though, which we will now tell you more about in our latest ingredient focus here on the Mankind blog!

Ingredient Focus: Glycolic Acid

Grooming Editor

Ingredient Focus: Glycolic Acid

Skincare is a mysterious thing isn’t it? With so many products on the market, it’s hard to know which ones you should be investing your hard earned cash on. BHA’s, AHA’s, Acid this, Exfoliate that…

2016-01-07 10:30:11By Terri

What is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic Acid is a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) from the bark of the willow tree, which makes it an organic acid. Used as a key ingredient within skincare for spot and acne prone skin, due to its anti-inflammatory and soothing effects, you will find Salicylic acid helps to clear up wanted blemishes and maintain a clear complexion. The acid can also be used to chemically exfoliate the skin, which means it can be much gentler than a physical exfoliator. Chemically, Salicylic Acid is similar to the common pain killer aspirin, and both are praised for their abilities to ease inflammation and redness.

What Does Salicylic Acid in Skincare Do?

Salicylic Acid works as a bacteriostatic agent in skincare, causing the cells of the epidermis to shed more readily, opening clogged pores and clearing the bacteria within. This helps in preventing pores from clogging again by tightening the diameter to ensure that future clogging can be avoided, as well as helping the skin to regenerate by promoting cell turnover. Ultimately, the clearer your pores are the less spots and breakouts you should have. Despite being brilliant for unclogging pores, you may want to be careful of overusing Salicylic Acid if your skin tends to be dry, as with overuse you will find yourself developing drier patches on your complexion. However, Salicylic Acid is a god send for oily skin and can help to keep sebum and oils under control. Unlike alcohol based products, which people think work because they *feel* a sensation against their skin, Salycilic Acid is gentle and you would only feel a very light tingle, if any feeling at all. Remember that just because you can’t feel it doesn’t mean it isn’t working!

Mankind Recommends

There are a range of Salicylic Acid based products to suit all budgets here at Mankind, from the Perricone MD range to our more wallet friendly options from KORRES and men-u. The Perricone MD Pore Minimiser is perfect for those who are concerned about enlarged pores and removes daily dirt and grime whilst being really gentle on your skin. Use after cleansing with a cotton wool pad and gentle glide across areas of concern. KORRES Salicylic Acid wash, on the other hand, is used as one of the initial steps in your cleansing routine. The Sage and Salicylic wash is perfect for both face and body – meaning it can really benefit your routine if you suffer from ‘backne’! Not to mention the upliftingly herbal sage scent. If you do find yourself particularly prone to acne and spots, the men-u skin refresh gel is a lightweight, fast absorbing formula which can really take the hassle out of your skincare routine, by soothing and aiding redness and spots. With the addition of Witch Hazel you will see some great results in a short amount of time. Our tip is to use a small dab directly on spots when you first see them appearing.


As with any change in your skincare routine, be sure to introduce new products gradually and don’t expect instant results! Refining your skincare routine takes time and patience, especially if you have particular concerns such as oily skin or acne.

Have you discovered Salicylic Acid yet? What’s your favourite product which has this skincare saviour in it?

Let us know over on Twitter @Mankindcouk



Writer and expert

Creative storyteller. Believer in the power of natural ingredients and cruelty-free formulas. Always puts skincare first for a no-makeup look.