Salicylic acid is a medicinal product commonly used to treat acne, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. It works by gently exfoliating the the top layers of the skin. What other steps should be taken simultaneously? Can you use moisturizer after salicylic acid?
The general consensus is that you should moisturize after applying salicylic acid, since it can be very abrasive and irritate the skin. However, individuals should wait a few minutes before doing so, allowing the product to be absorbed into the skin.
If you suffer from acne or other skin conditions, consult with your health physician before using salicylic acid and then moisturizer. The effects may vary depending on each particular skin type.
Effects of Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is usually recommended by health physicians to patients who suffer from frequent breakouts, specifically acne. Many times, it is used in combination with other acne treatments. The treatment works by causing the top layer of skin to shed, which limits acne from reproducing and further growing. It is also a common skincare step in many people’s regimen, even if they do not suffer from acne.
The product also helps reduce inflammation and redness which accompanies most acne cases. Salicylic acid comes in varied different formulas, including gels, lotions, ointments, pads, soaps, and solutions. Many users claim to have had a positive overall experience using salicylic acid, even though the peeling process can be lengthy, and at times stressful.
Salicylic acid may not work the same for everyone, so make sure to test out a small amount on a section of your skin before applying the product all throughout. There are a series of common side effects while using salicylic acid that users should be aware of before beginning treatment:
- Dryness leading to prolonged irritation. This occurs because the products decrease the amount of oil production within the face, which some people who naturally suffer from dry skin may depend on.
- Consistent itching that may become bothersome.
- In extreme cases, hives.
Benefits of Moisturizer
Even though salicylic acid aids in reducing acne, blackheads, and general pore congestion, the effects can become harmful if used consistently for a long period of time. Moisturizer is recommended as a second step after using salicylic acid, since this will replenish the dry skin, and help prevent any serious side effects. Even individuals with naturally oily skin will see a change in their skin’s condition, since it will become noticeably dryer.
Moisturizer is best applied after using salicylic acid products that are washed off, such as facial soaps. If you are using a product that comes in an ointment or cream formula, that should be kept on for a consistent period of time, do not apply moisturizer simultaneously. By mixing different formulas you could create a harsh effect on the skin; simply wait the required time, wash off the product, and then follow up with a layer of moisturizer.
The moisturizer used should be carefully selected, as any harsh formulas could affect the salicylic acid and negatively react on the skin. Choose an oil free, non comedogenic moisturizer that is gentle on the skin, and try to find one that is water based. The ‘cleaner’ the formula, the better it will be in combination with salicylic acid. Consider the following options:
- CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
- Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream
- Bliss Drench & Quench Cream To Water Hydrator
Moisturizers are a great way to replenish, hydrate, and heal the skin after any aggressive skin treatments. Consider however that sometimes, the skin must be left to breath with no products applied. Allow some time to pass in between product applications, to lower the chances of creating any disruptions.
A light coat of moisturizer should help heal your skin during your current acne treatment, and cause no disruptions to the treatment itself. If you notice any changes for the worse while using moisturizer, avoid using that particular kind and consider choosing a gentler formula.