Shopping Cart
Call Us: (65) 6532 2400   WhatsApp: (65) 8318 6332

Salicylic Acid for Acne: What It Does and How It Works

Salicylic Acid for Acne: What It Does and How It Works

Salicylic Acid for Acne: What It Does and How It Works

Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide, causing not only physical discomfort but also emotional distress. Among the myriad of treatments available, salicylic acid stands out as a highly effective option for combating acne. In this article, we’ll explore what salicylic acid does, how it works, and why it has become a staple in acne treatment.

Understanding Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) derived from willow bark. It is renowned for its ability to penetrate deep into the skin, making it a powerful ingredient in the fight against acne. Unlike alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that are water-soluble and primarily work on the skin’s surface, BHAs are oil-soluble, allowing them to penetrate the pores more effectively.

How Salicylic Acid Works

1. Exfoliation

One of the primary functions of salicylic acid is its ability to exfoliate the skin. It works by dissolving the bonds between dead skin cells, facilitating their removal and preventing the buildup that can clog pores and lead to acne.

2. Deep Pore Penetration

Due to its oil-soluble nature, salicylic acid can penetrate deep into the pores, where it helps to unclog them. This action not only treats existing acne but also prevents future breakouts by keeping the pores clear.

3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the redness and swelling associated with acne. This makes it particularly useful for inflammatory types of acne, such as pustules and cysts.

4. Sebum Regulation

By decreasing the production of sebum, the oily substance produced by sebaceous glands, salicylic acid helps to reduce the likelihood of clogged pores and subsequent breakouts.

5. Antibacterial Effects

While not as potent as some antibiotics, salicylic acid possesses antibacterial properties that can help reduce the number of acne-causing bacteria on the skin.

Benefits of Using Salicylic Acid for Acne

1. Accessibility

Available in various formulations such as cleansers, toners, serums, and spot treatments, salicylic acid is easily accessible to consumers looking for over-the-counter solutions.

2. Minimal Irritation

Compared to other acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid tends to cause less irritation and dryness, making it suitable for sensitive skin types.

3. Complementary Use

Salicylic acid can be used in conjunction with other acne treatments, such as retinoids or antibiotics, to enhance their efficacy and provide a well-rounded approach to acne care.

How to Incorporate Salicylic Acid into Your Skincare Routine

To maximize the benefits of salicylic acid, it’s important to incorporate it correctly into your skincare routine:

  • Start Slowly: Begin with a lower concentration (0.5% to 2%) to see how your skin reacts. Gradually increase the concentration as your skin builds tolerance.
  • Consistency is Key: For best results, use salicylic acid consistently. Incorporate it into your daily routine, either as a cleanser or a leave-on treatment, depending on your skin’s needs.
  • Moisturize: Salicylic acid can be drying, so it’s crucial to follow up with a good moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.
  • Sun Protection: Salicylic acid can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so always apply sunscreen during the day to protect your skin from UV damage.


In conclusion, salicylic acid remains a cornerstone in acne treatment due to its ability to exfoliate, penetrate pores, and regulate sebum production. However, it may not be the most comprehensive solution for everyone.

For individuals who require more advanced acne treatment in Singapore, The Clifford Clinic is an aesthetic clinic that offers a variety of state-of-the-art solutions tailored to meet specific skin needs.

Advanced Acne Treatments at The Clifford Clinic

The Clifford Clinic offers a range of specialized options tailored to individual skin types and concerns. Some of the most popular acne treatments include:

1. AGNES Acne Treatment

Renowned for its long-lasting relief from acne, this treatment uses low-frequency electric currents to reduce the size of sebaceous glands and control excess sebum production. With a success rate of over 83% in non-inflamed cases and exceeding 93% in inflamed cases after just three treatments spread over a year, AGNES ensures clear, acne-free skin for up to a year post-treatment.

2. Platinum Photothermal Therapy (PTT) Treatment

This upgraded version of Gold PTT uses light energy to enhance skin texture, tone, and overall health. By utilizing nanoparticles like gold and platinum, PTT effectively regulates oil production, stimulates collagen synthesis, reduces inflammation, and encourages cellular rejuvenation.

3. PlaSon Therapy

Combining plasma and ultrasonic technologies, PlaSon Therapy combats acne by eliminating bacteria and reducing inflammation, while also promoting collagen production and skin radiance.

4. V Beam Laser Therapy

Specifically designed to target and eliminate acne-causing bacteria, V Beam Laser Therapy also regulates excess oil production, reducing breakouts and improving skin texture.

5. Q-Switch Laser Therapy

This versatile, non-invasive treatment targets common skin issues such as age spots, sun freckles, and acne scars, delivering precise high-energy pulses to break down pigments and achieve clearer, more evenly toned skin.

6. AviClear

Experience the cutting-edge AviClear treatment at The Clifford Clinic, designed to address and diminish acne at its source. Using state-of-the-art laser technology, AviClear offers a gentle, non-invasive approach to reducing acne outbreaks, eliminating the need for aggressive chemicals or medications. This treatment delivers visible improvements in skin clarity and texture, making it an excellent option for those in search of a reliable and safe acne solution.

For more information, do not hesitate to get in touch with us today.