If your skin is acne-prone, the face wash or face cleanser you should be looking for should contain salicylic acid. This phenolic acid treats various skin conditions, and is the main ingredient in most acne-related products.
Salicylic acid is a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) that is willow tree-derived. Because they’re oil-soluble, BHAs can penetrate the skin and do so without clogging up pores. As such, salicylic acid is capable of taking away dead skin cells and exfoliating the rest of your skin.
In fact, study show that salicylic acid serves as the perfect preventative treatment for all types of acne, including whiteheads, blackheads, cystic acne, and the like.
Acne can develop at any time for people of any age. When that happens, you will need to use a salicylic acid face wash to handle the issue. These types of facial washes will take away dead skin cells, pollution, and dirt, giving you much clearer skin.
A Review of the best salicylic acid face washes and cleansers
To help you bypass extensive research looking for the right product, our beauty expert team has put together a list featuring some of the top salicylic acid face washes and cleansers out there today.
Exposed Skin Care Facial Cleanser
This one is really great and on top of that, it has a great 30 day money back guarantee 🙂
When dealing with blemishes, unbalanced skin tone, or acne breakouts, you need to use the best salicylic acid solution available. This one is great and it has a sweet 30-day money back guarantee. So, you don’t take any risk by trying it.
The Exposed Skin Care Facial Cleanser’s formula is mild, and as such, it will not make your skin feel stripped. More often than not, face washes that have a high concentration of salicylic acid can over-dry the skin. Fortunately, this will not be an issue when using this cleanser, as its formula’s salicylic acid count is 0.5%. In other words, dead skin cells can be purged without taking away any more moisture than necessary.
The formula does not contain soap. Excess oil is washed away by the product while stimulating cell turnover. It is infused with Pro vitamin B5 to regulate oil production and sage extract to prevent dryness and irritation.
The Exposed Skin Care Facial Cleanser was tested out on males and females, 90% of which reported having skin that looked and felt much healthier within one month of regular use. Further, the product has been evaluated for allergies – it is a completely safe product, one that is ideal for anyone who suffers from acne.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Face Wash
This one is our team favorite !!! Love it !!! and it has no scent…. ( also recomme,nded by dermatologists)
The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Face Wash has a salicylic acid count of 2%, which can treat mild conditions of acne.
This clinically-tested product minimizes oiliness by as much as 47%. There is 0.05% LHA in the formula that micro-exfoliates skin to boost cell regeneration and prevent breakouts.
The formula contains citric acid, which improves the texture of skin and levels-out oiliness.
To purge stubborn whiteheads and blackheads, you would do well to use this particular face wash. Blemishes can be diminished with this cleanser, too.
The formula does not contain any oil, so your skin won’t shine after use. Menthol is part of the formula, giving you a cooling effect and overall fresh feeling throughout the day.
The fragrance-free formula has been tested out on people with sensitive skin. Each ingredient used to make this product is safe and mild.
this cleanser has 2% salicylic acid, So it could be a little drying. so, if you don’t have oily skin, it could be a little too harsh on you.
LuxeJoie AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
Do you have combination skin and need a suitable acne treatment to deal with it? The LuxeJoie AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser integrates glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid to sanitize your skin. It will also give it a balanced tone.
Your skin will be exfoliated by its jojoba beads, moisturizing the skin from the inside and sloughing off skin cells that are dead. It is also beneficial for spot treatment.
The LuxeJoie AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser will eliminate blackheads, whiteheads, and acne while simultaneously reducing wrinkles, sunspots, and fine lines.
This mild cleanser can be used twice each day, and it won’t dry your skin out or irritate it.
Further, you will see an improvement in skin texture after just a handful of uses.
This formula will refresh and energize your skin while preventing your face from breaking out in the future. I feel this one is not as effective as the 2 previous ones.
Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Cleanser
For acne-free, flawless skin, you might want to check out the Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Cleanser. The facial cleanser contains a salicylic acid count of 1%, and it is made with natural ingredients like tomatoes and charcoal.
Your skin is strengthened by tomato extracts. They contain antioxidant properties capable of minimizing inflammation and repairing skin with cellular damage. Its properties are capable of lightening your skin, clearing up dark spots and blemishes in the process.
There are no toxic or harmful ingredients in this product. The charcoal eliminates oil, bacteria, pollution, and dirt from skin while warding off acne. People with sensitive skin can use the product safely, as the formula does not contain any parabens or silicone.
For optimal exfoliation, the jojoba beads will make your skin smoother and softer. The scent it leaves behind is exquisite. ( I admit I am addicted to it lol)
Paula’s Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser
This acne cleansing facial wash contains salicylic acid, which combats acne without dehydrating your skin. Also, it can help with whiteheads, blackheads, itchiness, and redness. The product’s texture is gel-like and cleanses the skin gently.
If dullness and an unbalanced skin tone is something you are dealing with, it might be because you are not using the right product. Paula’s Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser is ideal for those who have sensitive skin. It removes bacteria that causes acne directly on contact. It eliminates oil and dirt while doing so.
This product can also shrink your pores. It contains a salicylic acid concentration of 0.5% – just the right amount to alleviate your skin issues. Besides reducing redness and acne, it will soften your skin to make it more firm.
Whether you have sensitive, oily, dry, or combination skin, this product can give you the results you’re looking for.
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser
This product has a salicylic acid content of 2%, in addition to aloe vera and chamomile as its central ingredients. Aloe vera and chamomile condition the skin and prevent it from getting irritated.
The Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser is formulated to minimize redness induced by acne. Many users notice immediate results after using the product for the first time. It regulates excessive oil production and minimizes sebum activity. The result – skin that is acne free.
The product also maintains the health of your skin while retaining its calmness. It finds your acne’s source and stops skin from breaking out any further. The formula does not contain any oil or toxic substances. It is safe to use on skin and leaves it feeling soothed.
The Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser does not contain any parabens or sulfates, and has not been tested out on any animals. For optimal results, use it two times a day.
Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser
A bestseller for those who love organic or natural products 🙂
This product is a natural face wash containing salicylic acid. It’s been tested clinically and capable of treating acne by taking away impurities, including oil and dirt. The salicylic acid content is 1% and is derived from willow tree bark. It regulates acne breakouts specifically by penetrating skin right down to the pores before purifying them.
Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser replenishes skin and retains its moisture with beetroot extracts, which also provides you with a very natural glow.
The product’s primrose oil content helps with irritation, fine lines, wrinkles, and redness, among other issues. Those with rough skin will find this product particularly beneficial. If natural products are the only thing you’ll use, this product won’t let you down.
Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser will provide you with smoother and clearer skin, as well as give it a glow that is quite radiant. It has been dermatologist and comedogenic-tested. Best of all, it gives your skin essential nutrients to keep it healthy.
Tracie Martyn Amla Purifying Cleanser
Avoid this one: this is our least favorite product, it is too expensive for what it is….. you can get much better products for cheaper.
This antiaging facial wash was purposely made for skin that is prone to acne. It also helps with other issues like unbalanced skin, dull skin, wrinkles, enlarged pores, fine lines, and of course, acne breakouts. This cleanser does not contain soap or anything else that could potentially irritate skin.
In addition to salicylic acid, the Tracie Martyn Amla Purifying Cleanser contains amla, which purifies and brightens up your skin. The formula is capable of treating unbalanced tones, spots, and dullness while softening and tightening skin.
The enzymes from green papaya exfoliates skin, lightens complexions, and removes skin cells that are dead. The product contains an antibacterial in sandalwood oil – ideal for those who suffer from irritation and eczema.
This product will not dry your skin. Rather, it will freshen it up and make it lighter. Also, the product has not been tested out on animals. Be mindful that it is one of the costlier facial cleansers out there.
The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser
Unfortunately, many salicylic acid facial cleansers dry skin out, but this cleanser isn’t one of them in spite of its 2% salicylic acid because its formula is gentle, exfoliating skin without over-drying it. It has zinc compound to help reduce excess oil production. It has 0,5% allantoin to help soothe irritation.
The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser’s salicylic acid helps to unclog pores and gently exfoliates, eliminates dead skin cells while treating various types of acne. Your skin will be more supple and soft after use.
There are no microbeads in this formula, so it won’t irritate your skin. It is also free of fragrances and mechanical exfoliants. The product is non-comedogenic, too. Each one of these aspects makes it an ideal facial wash for those with sensitive skin.
InstaNatural Acne Face Wash with Salicylic Acid
This acne wash can be used on any part of your body. It contains mild ingredients, making it safe to use on sensitive, dry, and oily skin. The product contains a strong combination of natural extracts and salicylic acid (2%) to hold acne and skin issues like it at bay.
This face wash can help acne scars fade away and remove stubborn pimples. The gel-like texture washes excess dirt and oil away effectively. It also diminishes fine lines and blemishes.
The InstaNatural Acne Face Wash with Salicylic Acid’s main ingredients are willow bark extract, aloe vera, witch hazel, and salicylic acid. Each one of these ingredients can help make your skin clear and acne-free. Also, this product is antibacterial naturally – it is capable of killing bacteria without harmful ingredients like triclocarban and triclosan.
Regardless of the location of your acne, this product will eliminate it. It is completely natural and made in America.
The formula was not tested out on animals and does not contain parabens, mineral oil, or synthetic dyes.
Phisoderm Anti-Blemish Gel Cleanser
This product stands head and shoulders above the rest. There are many great things about this particular cleanser. For starters, the salicylic acid content (2%) is just the right amount to take care of any acne breakouts.
There are no dyes, alcohol, or soap in the formula, making it safe to use for people with sensitive skin.
Its nourishing formula hydrates and moisturizes skin to maintain its health. It also restores the right balance of oil and moisture for it.
Do you have oily skin? Worry not! The formula will give you a bright, oil-free appearance, post-use. Further, this product is not made with any harmful chemicals.
Finally, the Phisoderm Anti-Blemish Gel Cleanser is capable of clearing acne scars and blemishes, giving you a balanced, brighter, and clearer skin tone.
How To Choose the Right Salicylic Acid Facial Wash
A number of things should be considered when choosing a face wash with salicylic acid. You should refrain from buying something just because it has salicylic acid, though. You need to be aware of the following before spending your money:
Concentration of Salicylic Acid
The salicylic acid content in your face wash is the initial thing you should look for. The FDA allows no more than 2% of salicylic acid concentrations for skincare products.
A higher amount than that may dry your skin out. Look for a product that has a concentration that ranges from 0.5% and 2%.
Look at Ingredients
Reading the label is also important. Stay away from the product if it contains sulfates, parabens, alcohol, and the like.
Also, look for formulas that don’t contain soap, but do contain various natural ingredients like chamomile, papaya, and aloe vera, which can prevent irritation and calm skin.
Don’t spend anything that you can’t afford. One face wash is capable of lasting you for many months. If you find that the product isn’t for you, it should be inexpensive enough that you can replace it without worry.
With that said, you should also refrain from going with the least expensive option available, as it may have harsh ingredients. Simply look at the ingredients, then make a suitable decision.
The Top Benefits of Salicylic Acid
What so special about salicylic acid, anyways? Good question! Here are the answers:
- Exfoliates skin – many skin issues come about because of a buildup of skin cells that are dead. Your skin is exfoliated by salicylic acid in order to remove those dead cells, which, in turn, prevents further skin problems from developing. It penetrates deeply to unclog pores, remove excess oil, and hold bacteria and dirt at bay.
- Combats acne – your pores are cleansed by salicylic acid, increasing cell turnover. It is a great treatment for whiteheads and blackheads.
- Minimizes sebum secretion – salicylic acid minimizes sebum secretion for people who suffer from acne. Excess production of sebum results in oily skin that produces acne. As such, if you struggle with skin that is oily, salicylic acid will be beneficial for it.
- Hyperpigmentation treatment – in high concentrations, hyperpigmentation issues like PIH, melasma, and acne scars can be treated with salicylic acid. It also happens to be a frequently-used chemical peel ingredient.
- Astringent – an optimal approach of dealing with skin that is acne-prone is to make astringents a regular part of your daily skincare routine. Salicylic acid cleanses skin, tightens pores, and purges excess oil.
The Side Effects of Salicylic Acid
Use of salicylic acid isn’t always so good. Mind you, it is generally safe, and the following side effects are quite rare, namely:
- Burning sensations
- Skin peeling
- Skin redness
If you have a salicylic acid allergy, you should not use any products that contain it. If the symptoms listed above occur, speak to your doctor.
How to use a Salicylic Acid Facial Wash or cleanser
When you use a cleanser containing salicylic acid:
- Only apply a small portion of the product to your face after wetting it.
- Massage the cleanser gently onto your skin for between 15 and 20 seconds.
- Use circular motions to lather the cleanser in before thoroughly rinsing.
- Pat dry Your face.
- Apply your moisturizer immediately in order to avoid moisture loss and dryness.
The cleanser can be used like other face washes. The packaging should contain specific instructions, which you should read before using it.
Note : cleansing your face using salicylic acid can irritate your skin if you do so more than two times a day. It can also dry out your skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s answer a few questions frequently asked about salicylic acid facial cleanser.
Can a face wash containing salicylic acid be used every day?
Yes. In fact, regular application of it will purge acne. Just don’t overuse it – limit your use to two times per day.
What salicylic acid percentage is ideal for acne?
The products you should look for will have concentrations that range between 0.5% and 2%. Greater concentrations than that will result in dryness, redness, and skin irritations, among other issues.
Is it safe to use salicylic acid on skin?
It is, but overusing it can result in dryness and irritation.
How long do I have to use salicylic acid for before I start to notice results?
After two uses or so, you will start to notice improvements. Mind you, some users don’t see results in their entirety for as long as three months.
Can salicylic acid be left on my face overnight?
Not if your skin is sensitive. In fact, if your skin is sensitive, it should be washed off your face after 30 seconds. Those who don’t have such issues are free to use face creams with salicylic acid in them, including ones that are meant to be left on overnight.
Is it okay to use moisturizer after I have used a salicylic acid face wash?
It is. In fact, you should do so regardless of what type of face cleanser you use.
As far as treating acne goes, nothing beats salicylic acid facial washes or cleansers. The above-mentioned products will help prevent breakouts, provide you with healthy skin, and handle both blackheads and whiteheads.
Pimples can come about, no matter how old you are. After reading this article, you will know how to take care of them better. Best of all, your skin will receive other benefits products containing salicylic acid are used.
If your skin is prone to acne and you are not sure what steps to take, go ahead and pick up a cleanser with salicylic acid. You’ll be quite pleased with the outcome.
Have a nice day.