The most common form of BHA, this exfoliating acid from Willow Bark or Birch Tree species is best known for its acne fighting powers. It is able to penetrate deep in the pore to dissolve dead skin and destroy Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria. Although very effective for heavily congested skin with deep nodules or cysts, Salicylic Acid’s antibacterial/antimicrobial powers can result in a gross over-cleansing of good skin flora. This can lead to a cycle of breakouts instead of breaking them. To be used with caution, as a spot treatment for light mild breakouts.
Try instead: Enzyme washes for a mild but deep clean that also disrupts acne bacteria without stress on the skin.