What is salicylic acid?
Salicylic acid is a lipophilic monohydroxybenzoic acid, a type of betahydroxy acid ( BHA). It is derived from the metabolism of silicin. It is the best known for its use as a key ingredient in topical anti-acne products.
Salicylic acid is used to help remove the uppermost layer of the skin. It is also used to treat warts, psoriasis, dandruff, acne and comedones etc. It is also the main ingredient in many skin-care products.
How does it work?
A salicylic acid peel is a superficial peeling agent so it targets only the outermost layer of skin. It is effective in treating oily skin and clogged pores. It extracts desmosomal proteins , due to which epidermal cells are lost leafing to exfoliation. It does not cross epidermal layer so can be frequently in acne prone skin.
This comes in three strenghts : light (10%) , medium (20%), and deep (30%). The skin is first cleaned and peel is applied which may give a little stinging sensationfor few seconds. The peel is then neutralized after 7-8 minutes and rinsed off with water. Mild flaking may occur for 3 to 7 days but that should be taken care with good moisturizers.