The Problem with Salicylic Acid

The Problem with Salicylic Acid

We hear a lot about how salicylic acid is a hero product for those with acne, congested and breakout prone skin. This is because it exfoliates skin and gets deep down into the pores to clean it. It sounds like a good ingredient that we should all use, but at Nakin we never include salicylic acid in our natural skincare. We spend a lot of time researching skincare ingredients, to see what the best ingredients are that we can use in our anti-ageing face products, and we have a long list of ingredients that we steer away from. Salicylic acid is one of those for the reasons outlined below.

We believe that synthetic salicylic acid is just too powerful to use on our delicate skin. It is a BHA, which stands for beta hydroxy acid and its potent exfoliating ability means that it can cause skin irritation, dryness and redness on skin. We have also heard of reports that when people have used it on their skin, it develops a kind of addiction to the ingredient. As when they stop using it their skin overreacts, and they can have quite severe breakouts and their skin becomes clogged. It has also been reported that it is an endocrine disrupting ingredient, although the Environmental Working Group give it a 1-3 safety rating, which is good, as the rating goes up to 10 for the harmful ingredients.

So, if you are thinking of using salicylic acid, then we recommend using alternative products like Nakin’s face cleansers, as they are much kinder and nourishing to skin. We have four gorgeous plant-based cleansers in the Nakin range, and our face wash and exfoliator contain fruit AHAs and so makes a good alternative to synthetic salicylic acid. The Advanced Cleansing Milk is a milky lotion made with natural cleansers, that also soften and comfort skin. It removes make-up and grime, while caring for skin at the same time. For a kinder natural AHA experience use our Rejuvenating Face Wash or Exfoliating Radiance Tonic. After the cleansing milk use our Purifying Face Toner over the face and neck to remove the last traces of milk, plus refresh and detox skin. They contain gorgeous plant actives like seaweed, witch hazel and aloe, which clear and condition the face and neck naturally. This is why they are suitable for a sensitive skincare routine.

If you do love salicylic acid, then we recommend only use completely natural versions such as those from willow bark. Plus take care to see how your skin reacts as not everyone should apply it every day, plus use it at concentrations of less than 1% in a product. We also believe that it is more beneficial to use it in a wash off cleansing product, than a leave on cleanser.

Salicylic acid, commonly used in skincare products for its exfoliating properties, can sometimes be irritating to the skin. This irritation results primarily from its mechanism of action, which involves penetrating the skin to dissolve the bonds between dead cells, promoting their shedding. Though beneficial for unclogging pores and treating acne, this deep exfoliation can also strip the skin of essential oils, leading to dryness and potential inflammation. Additionally, individuals with sensitive skin or certain skin conditions may experience heightened irritation, manifesting as redness, itching, or even peeling. Therefore, it is crucial to use salicylic acid products with care, or opt for natural options, plus monitor the skin's response, adjusting use as necessary to mitigate adverse effects.

We hope that you found our article about salicylic acid helpful. We know that it is a favourite ingredient of many people, as it does have the ability to help with breakouts and skin exfoliation. However, it is an ingredient to be careful with, and especially if you have sensitive skin.

At Nakin we prefer more kinder cleansing methods for skin, and this is why all of our skincare products are packed with amazing plant extracts, to really boost and improve skin. All of our range is also made in the UK and cruelty free. Our philosophy is all about keeping skin looking as good as it can naturally.

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