Salicylic Acid is a kerolytic agent. Basically, that means that it gets rid of the proteins in skin cells. This is why you see this ingredient in common acne treatments such as soaps and spot creams, as well as corn and callous removers. In acne treatments, it tries to get rid of the debris that form pimples but it takes a long time for it to work – about 90 days for the debris to be removed. 90 days is a long time to wait for clear skin. Most of us want results right away.
If you have problem acne or very large comedones, it’s not worth your time or money on products that contain salicylic acid for existing acne. However, if you want to help future breakouts by keeping the skin follicles clean and helping to prevent further breakouts, you may want to consider using it – but you’ll have to use it everyday.
So, it’s best to only use this ingredient if and only if you have very mild acne.
There is one big benefit to using salicylic acid: it is an anti-inflammatory agent and it can help with redness of pimples.