Table of Contents
- Is Salicylic Acid Good For Oily Skin?
- What Even Is Salicylic Acid?
- What Causes Oily Skin?
- Let’s Explore the Benefits of Salicylic Acid for Oily Skin
- How Often Should You Use Salicylic Acid?
- Let’s Explore the Side Effects of Salicylic Acid for Oily Skin
- Is Salicylic Acid Good For Oily Skin? Absolutely! Try It In the MOX Invigorating Peppermint Cleanser
Face care is kind of like food, except it’s not edible (if you feel that this is an attack on you, please stop eating your skincare). Something they do have in common are ingredient labels that don’t give you much info besides nutritional percentages and other jargon-y stuff. At MOX, we know it’s important to understand what you’re putting on and in your body, which is why we’re going to answer a common question among men: “Is salicylic acid good for oily skin?”
Below is a little cheat sheet video for those of you guys that like info fast:
Video Contents: Is Salicylic Acid Good for Oily Skin? Is It Worth the Hype? | Source: Dr. Sam Bunting
Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of salicylic acid and if it’s good for oily skin:
Is Salicylic Acid Good For Oily Skin? What Even Is Salicylic Acid?
Did you know salicylic acid comes from willow bark? It’s a fun fact that’s not well-known, so don’t beat yourself up if it’s news to you. Anyway – salicylic acid belongs to a class of ingredients called “salicylates,” and can be found in fruits, veg, herbs, and spices.
"Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA)," says cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller. "This means the hydroxy part of the molecule is separated from the acid part by two carbon atoms, as opposed to an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) where they're separated by one. This structure is important because it makes salicylic acid more oil-soluble so it can penetrate the skin's pores.”
To make this quote easier to digest, check it: AHAs and BHAs both exfoliate your skin, but AHAs are water-soluble, while BHAs are oil-soluble. Because BHA’s are oil-soluble, they can work their way deeper through the skin’s lipid layers that are between your skin cells.
But let’s go deeper (get your mind out of the gutter, men; we’re talking about giving you more info so you can answer, “Is salicylic acid good for oily skin?”).
What Causes Oily Skin?
To really be able to dig into the question of, “Is salicylic acid good for oily skin?” we need to have a quick discussion on what oily skin is and why some guys have to deal with it more than others. Basically, it’s a skin type where your sebaceous glands produce too much oil (AKA sebum).
Contrary to popular belief, sebum isn’t the Joker to your Batman; it does some pretty cool things like keep your skin moisturized and protected. However, when sebum is overly produced, you may experience its villainous side with a shiny complexion and you guessed it – acne.
A few common characteristics of oily skin are:
- Enlarged Pores
Want to learn more about oily skin so you can be the face care guru among your bros? Check out this article (it’s got all the goods).
Is Salicylic Acid Good For Oily Skin? Let’s Explore the Benefits
While salicylic is good for oily skin, it has some other impressive benefits worth noting, like its ability to KO acne – especially black and whiteheads. Naissan O. Wesley, a board-certified derm in Los Angeles, explains how salicylic acid works on your skin: “Salicylic acid dissolves skin debris that clogs pores and acts as an anti-inflammatory.”
MOX’s very own formulator and cosmetic chemist, Pharmacist Ben, had even more to say on the topic:
While we can safely answer a resounding yes to the question of, “Is salicylic acid good for oily skin,” let’s explore some other cool benefits it can have:
- Welcome to Exfoliation Station: Salicylic acid can exfoliate your skin by penetrating any oil-filled pores you may have. As we mentioned above, it helps to remove dead skin cells, excess oil, and debris, preventing them from clogging pores and causing acne.
- Acne, Be Gone: Salicylic acid can help reduce your number of acne lesions, including blackheads and whiteheads, and can also be effective in preventing new breakouts.
- Unclogged Pores, No Plunger Needed: Salicylic acid is oil-soluble, meaning it can penetrate oil to get inside your pores and break down the materials that lead to clogs.
- No Sign of Redness Here: Salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce redness and inflammation associated with acne.
- Smooth Move: Regular use of salicylic acid can contribute to a smoother and more even skin texture by removing rough and uneven patches caused by dead skin cells.
How Often Should You Use Salicylic Acid?
To give you the real-deal answer to how often you should use salicylic acid, we consulted Pharmacist Ben; he’s a seasoned pro who knows what he’s doing in the lab, you know what we mean? Here’s what he had to say:
“Salicylic acid can be used as often as you like. In the unlikely event that you overuse it, though, your skin might get irritated. If this happens, I recommend just backing off.”
Adding to that, Mayo Clinic has an interesting list that gives specific salicylic acid amounts to go by if you’ve been prescribed salicylic acid and/or aren’t just using it in face care. For example, it says to use salicylic acid shampoo twice a week for dandruff, but only if you’re an adult.
Pictured: Salicylic Acid Under a Microscope | Source: Microscopy
Is Salicylic Acid Good For Oily Skin? Let’s Explore the Side Effects
Even though salicylic acid is good for oily skin, has a ton of awesome benefits, and is considered safe, it’s always important to know the potential side effects and reactions (even when they’re rare, like in this case). Here are a few things to look out for:
- Dryness and Peeling
- Irritation and Redness
- Allergic Reactions
- Sun Sensitivity (MOX PROTIP: Salicylic acid can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so always use SPF (and we mean ALWAYS))
- Eye Irritation
If you experience any of these side effects and/or reactions, go have a chit-chat with your local doc because they can help.
Is Salicylic Acid Good For Oily Skin? Absolutely! Try It In the MOX Invigorating Peppermint Cleanser
While MOX products aren’t edible, they’re expertly formulated by our in-house pro whom you’ve gotten acquainted with above, Pharmacist Ben Fuchs; he uses his extensive knowledge and expertise to infuse each MOX product with hearty vitamins, minerals, and other good stuff.
Pharmacist Ben is highly motivated by providing men with face care that feeds and exercises their skin from within while kicking things like acne, dry patches, and oily skin to the curb. One of our best-sellers is the MOX Invigorating Peppermint Cleanser which features salicylic acid.
When we asked him why he used salicylic acid in the Peppermint Cleanser, he said it was to “allow for maximum salicylic acid benefits while minimizing potential dryness and irritation.” Pharmacist Ben basically means that it’s a game-changer because he made it to be one.
Often dubbed an ice bath for your face, here are some happy 5-star reviews that men left for the MOX Invigorating Peppermint Cleanser: