Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) with exceptional skin health properties. This compound is found naturally in the bark of the white willow tree (Salix alba), although it is currently produced synthetically in laboratories for use in a variety of medical and cosmetic applications.

Salicylic acid’s ability to promote cell renewal and its mild exfoliating action make it a valuable asset in skin care.

Functions of salicylic acid

Salicylic acid exerts its action mainly on the skin when applied topically. Its mechanism of action includes penetration into the pores, where it dissolves excess sebum and removes dead skin cells. This exfoliating action helps keep pores clean and prevents clogging that leads to acne.

In addition to its exfoliating effect, salicylic acid is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and relieve itching, making it useful in the treatment of conditions such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. It also possesses antimicrobial properties that can help prevent skin infections.

Medical utilities

Salicylic acid has been used for centuries in traditional medicine due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Its history dates back to the ancient Egyptians, who used willow extracts to treat pain and fever. Over the years, its use has expanded to various medical and dermatological applications.

Uses of salicylic acid in aesthetic medicine

In the field of aesthetic medicine, salicylic acid has established itself as an essential resource for improving the appearance and health of the skin. Here we take a closer look at their specific applications:

  1. Acne treatment: Salicylic acid is very effective in the treatment of acne when applied topically in appropriate concentrations. Helps unclog pores, eliminate impurities and reduce inflammation. Salicylic acid chemical peels are ideal for this purpose, and the treatment can be customized according to the needs of each patient.
    In addition, for people with oily skin, salicylic acid helps control sebum production, reducing the appearance of enlarged pores and preventing acne breakouts.
  2. Exfoliation: removes superficial dead cells and stimulates cell regeneration. It can be used to fight acne, reduce blemishes and achieve smoother, more radiant skin.
  3. Warts and corns: salicylic acid is used to treat warts because it has a softening action, which helps to loosen these skin lesions, facilitating their gradual removal.
  4. Photoaged skin: salicylic acid is sometimes combined with other facial rejuvenation procedures to treat photoaging, caused by sun exposure and external agents.

Commitment to quality

This text on salicylic acid has been prepared by professional writers. In addition, we have relied on experts in medicine, engineering and aesthetics as a source of information, as well as specific studies to maintain the quality of what we publish.

At Sisneo Bioscience we are committed to publish truthful and contrasted information. And to update or correct it as soon as new knowledge becomes available.

Among others, we have used the following sources:

  • Arif T. «Salicylic acid as a peeling agent: a comprehensive review» en Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015 Aug 26;8:455-61. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S84765.
  • FORTUNY, Joan et al. «Uso de analgésicos y ácido acetilsalicílico en un estudio multicéntrico en España» en Gac Sanit. 2005, vol.19, n.4 [citado 2023-09-27], pp.316-320. Disponible en: <>
  • Bettoli V, Micali G, Monfrecola G, Veraldi S. «Effectiveness of a combination of salicylic acid-based products for the treatment of mild comedonal-papular acne: a multicenter prospective observational study» en G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2020 Dec;155(6):744-748. doi: 10.23736/S0392-0488.20.06751-6. Epub 2020 Oct 16. PMID: 33070577.