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Does Salicylic Acid Work For You?

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#1 Ukulala

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 06:19 PM

Hey friends!  26 year old woman here, with mild-moderate (but SO PERSISTENT) acne.  Definitely hormonally based - been working on evening that out, trust me.  Am considering the regimen, but would ideally like to not use BP just 'cuz it bleaches things and blah blah blaaahhh ... I just tried mandelic acid for, like, months and MONTHS and it helped, but not enough.  Is SA of any help to you?  Or is there another skincare miracle you've found?  Or should I just buck up and use BP and get over the bleaching?  Eeehh...

 

Well, have a super day!



#2 a.p.

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 12:45 PM

I like mandelic acid as its a two in one. It gets down into the pore and gets the dead surface skin off as well. It's a bit harsh to use everyday though.

I love salicylic acid. Works great on those stubborn closed comedones and any deep under the skin acne without a head. It actually brings them to a head and they heal much faster. It will cause initial worsening of the acne. It's going to bring all the clogged pores to the surface. So, beware if that

#3 David Lortscher

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 02:29 PM

5% tea tree oil can work almost as well as BP, without the bleaching effects. They both work similarly, by their antibacterial effects. Also if you got a prescription for clindamycin gel/lotion, that might work too.



#4 Ukulala

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 08:05 PM

Eh, I'd rather not go prescription route.  Is there a tea tree oil solution that people like?  I haven't found one in my (admittedly limited) searching.

 

Yaknow, I really WANT to like the mandelic acid!  I do!  It just... isn't... very effective for me.  Everyone's skin is different I guess...?

 

One more q: If I stop using mandelic acid and start using BP, should I give my skin a day or two without any topical to let it, like, even out?  Or can I jump right into BP land?

 

Thanks for all the input, y'all!



#5 a.p.

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 01:04 AM

Mandelic acid is just to harsh and I felt like it caused more acne when I used it everyday. It was effective when I only used it twice a week. It just strips your skin way too much to use everyday. Well that's how I felt about the brand I was using.

Yea just immediately discontinue use of mandelic acid and replace it with bp in your regimen. You should be fine.

#6 cvd

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 09:28 AM

My skin never did well on salicyclic acid.  Just inflammed it and made things worse.  Some people are sensitive to it.  I like Panoxyl 4% cleanser.  It is a BP cleanser that is patented to stay on the skin...but it doesn't bleach clothes.  It does bleach towels but I can deal with that.  I agree with above that Cleocin-T is incredible.  Yes it is a perscription but it works wonders on resistant acne.



#7 Tom Busby

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:59 AM

You could try salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and coconut oil in a kind of differential diagnosis to see what works best for you.  My skin likes salicylic acid ("SA") because I have a malassezia-induced skin condition, but you may be different.  I blend the SA powder into lotions and body washes, usually at 0.5% because it has an odd "medicine smell" that I don't like at higher concentrations, but it can be blended up to 10% in lotions.

 

If you are a "1" or a "2" on the Fitzpatrick scale of skin coloration, you could try salicylic acid to exfoliate and remove discolored skin.  Compound up to a 10% salicylic lotion -- for a 10 % mix, first dissolve 10 grams SA in 10 grams food grade vegetable glycerin and 20 grams 100% isopropanol, in a shot glass, cover and heat in a water bath to about 130 degrees F, and then add it to 90 grams of any lotion you like. Shake well.

 

You'll need to mail order a tenth-gram electric scale, which costs about $30 US, and a half pound of SA powder, which costs about $15 US.

 

Do not apply this lotion near your eyes, or above your eyes if you are going to the gym for a workout.  If you experience a burning sensation, rinse with Aloe Vera gel, and reduce the lotion to a 5% mix with an additional 90 grams of lotion.

 

Or, mix up to 50% tea tree oil in avocado oil, which will treat a demodex-induced condition.

 

Or, apply coconut oil, which will treat a candida-induced skin condition, but which will make a malassezia-induced condition much worse.

 

If you try each of these three treatments, by itself, for 2 weeks, you can perhaps diagnose what you have and what works for you.  Dermatitis often involves more than one causative factor, so keep an open mind. 



#8 LewisS

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 06:47 AM

Salicylic acid in lower percentages (.5%) can be really beneficial for acne. There are higher percentages like 2-3%, but I think they can be as (if not just as much as) drying as BP. I used Paula's Choice 2% BHA, but I eventually just got as flaky as I did when I used BP. It definitely didn't burn as much or cause any redness (it actually reduced redness).

 

I would suggest you use a BHA wash, since it doesn't stay on the skin (because you wash it off) which means it won't cause too much sensitivity. OR (like myself) use a moisturiser that contains .5% SA. The higher percentages can be quite as harsh. 



#9 Tom Busby

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 02:30 PM

I agree LewisS.  I use 0.5% in body washes and lotions on a daily basis. 

 

My attempt to blend a 10% started out as an experiment, because 0.5% SA was precipitating out of solution in the Cetaphil lotion, which was annoying to me, so I substituted glycerin/isopropanol for ethanol (which I had used previously) as a solvent for the SA, and it did not precipitate out at 0.5%, so I thought I would test a small batch at an extreme of 10% SA lotion, to see what would happen, and the SA still did not precipitate out. 

 

OK I thought, good, but then I had this small batch of 10% SA lotion so I tried it on myself to see what would happen.  It stings and slightly reddens my more sensitive skin, like my face, but it's fine on thicker skin, like my hands, arms, legs, etc.  It was interesting -- I had some papery skin plaques between my fingers that exfoliated about 2 hours after I used the 10% SA lotion, so I suppose it is useful to try it once in a while, but 10% SA lotion is too extreme for anything other than occasional use.



#10 nycqueen

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 09:14 AM

I wish it worked for me but SA just didn't have any effect on my skin... Perhaps it's because I used many OTC versions but it just made my skin red, irritated, and did nothing for my cystic acne... Everyone's skin is different, so you have to try and see what works best for you... Good luck and keep us up to date on your progress.. :)



#11 sorbet

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 11:05 PM

I started using skin care with a low amount of SA in it about three weeks ago, and I have to say I've noticed that my complexion in general is starting to look brighter and smoother. I only have mild acne and I find that when I use SA and BP together, any whiteheads can be gone within 1-3 days.

 

I've used pure tea tree oil in the past too, just to dab on whiteheads which seems to dry them up pretty quickly, and a 10/1 mixture of water and tea tree after cleansing.