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Hi all,

I've decided to start using a Salicylic cream in addition to Cleansing, then applying DKR's 2.5% BP to my skin.

What are your opinions on this?

Should the SA be in liquid form instead as part of the cleanser? How tough will it be on my skin if I use both a BP gel and a SA gel?

What are some Brands of SA cream/gel that I can find at Walgreens/CVS?All of the ones I see are in liquid form inside cleansers.

Thanks, all comments appreciated.

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Hi all,

I've decided to start using a Salicylic cream in addition to Cleansing, then applying DKR's 2.5% BP to my skin.

What are your opinions on this?

Should the SA be in liquid form instead as part of the cleanser? How tough will it be on my skin if I use both a BP gel and a SA gel?

SA in gel or liquid form is best for both penetration and delivery. I have fairly resilient skin, so I may not be the best test case, but using BP and SA each once a day has kept my skin brilliantly clear and with moisturizer, visibly healthy (though I use glycolic acid, an AHA, as well). The only way to know for sure is to try it, as everyone reacts differently. Salicylic acid in a cleanser is a complete waste. It doesn't stay on long enough to make a difference - most of it is flushed down the drain. Further more, most detergent based cleansers are at a high pH of 8 or 9, at which SA is completely inactive as an exfoliant. Salicylic acid MUST be at an acidic pH between 3 and 4 in order to dissociate enough to be biologically available.

What are some Brands of SA cream/gel that I can find at Walgreens/CVS?All of the ones I see are in liquid form inside cleansers.

This is tough. For some reason, product makers love to put SA in cleansers, which makes little to no sense. Here are some reasonable options though.

Neutrogena Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment - This product is cheap, has some great performance ingredients (and supposedly MicroClear, which is still a mystery), and is at the right pH. My skin didn't react well to it, which is very rare, but I know it has worked for some other people. It does a strong fragrance and some unnecessarily irritating filler ingredients, but for the price, its still a good buy. Neutrogena also sells an astringent toner with SA, but it has far too much alcohol to be using it on your face, and likely an ineffective pH. Stick with this gel-lotion, if you want to go with Neutrogena.

Nature's Cure Body Acne Treatment Spray - This one is fairly expensive, but has lots of nice performance ingredients. To be honest, while it was mildly effective, it never really seemed like it was exfoliating much. All the other great natural ingredients were probably what was providing the results. I never tested the pH myself, but I've thought about simply adding apple cider vinegar to it to lower the pH to an effective level.

Clean & Clear Advantage Mark Treatment Salicylic Acid Acne Medication - A hilariously small tube for the price. Not sure about the pH, but it has an acceptable ingredients list. I would call and ask about pH, if you can.. otherwise it's worthless.

Pads of various kinds - In general I think pads are a silly, wasteful way to deliver SA. But Stridex pads for instance, are at the right pH to exfoliate, and do work. If you like the convenience, it might be your best choice. I can't speak for the other pad brands as far as effectiveness is concerned. Just don't wash your face after you use them! You're just washing the SA down the drain.

Edited by greentiger87
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Thank you very much for you detailed reply.

How can I determine what pH my skin is at? How can I make it a 3 for the SA to be effective?

I use a cleanser, then apply BP, then apply SA?

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Don't worry about the pH of your skin persay, what matters is the pH of the treatment solution. When its between 3-4, the salicylic acid is available to do its job on your skin.

I like to use salicylic acid alone, rather than on top of BP (at a different time). But it will work on top of BP if you let the BP absorb well. Definitely use it last.

Edited by greentiger87
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I used the Neutrogena 3-in-1 acne stress control gel, and really like it. I don't find it irritates my skin at all, and it's done great job in helping to keep my skin clear.

greentiger, what do you find irritating on the ingredient list? I picked up this product because Paula Begoun recommended it, and I would think if it had a lot of irritants, she wouldn't have rated it so highly.

Also, I do the BHA *before* I do bp. It was another thing I thought she recommended -cleanse, tone, exfoliate, treat, moisturize, in that order.

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I used the Neutrogena 3-in-1 acne stress control gel, and really like it. I don't find it irritates my skin at all, and it's done great job in helping to keep my skin clear.

greentiger, what do you find irritating on the ingredient list? I picked up this product because Paula Begoun recommended it, and I would think if it had a lot of irritants, she wouldn't have rated it so highly.

Also, I do the BHA *before* I do bp. It was another thing I thought she recommended -cleanse, tone, exfoliate, treat, moisturize, in that order.

Just the fragrance and color additives. Like I said, it was probably just a personal reaction... I still think its worth a try. Definitely the best over the counter option.

As for doing BHA before BP, i don't think it makes sense. A BHA takes at least 15 minutes to penetrate the skin.. adding BP on top of that would dilute and alter the pH the BHA is "experiencing" and make it less effective. If you let the BP absorb first, and then do the BHA second, you avoid this problem.

If you're physically exfoliating, of course it makes sense to do that before you add BP - but this is a chemical exfoliant that's very sensitive to pH.

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Hmm, interesting. I sometimes wait 15 minutes between bha and bp, but not always. Now I wonder if I've just been wasting time/money with the bha all along! Maybe I'll try reversing the order I do them, and see if I notice a difference.

I notice from your sig that you also use an aha. What benefit are you getting from both bha and aha? I know that bha is better able to penetrate the folicle, and aha is often used in anti-aging products to reduce the appearance of fine lines. I always thought that if you used a bha, you didn't need an aha, because they bha could do everything an aha could do, and then some.

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