Can You Use Salicylic Acid and Retinol Together?

Skin care routine is about combining products with different ingredients to improve the appearance of the skin. Some of the components play nice together, while others deactivate each other or even become harmful. In this article, we will discuss one of the most popular couples – salicylic acid and retinol, how they work on the skin, and which products to use for optimal results.

Table of Contents

What is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid is a type of beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that can help unclog pores and control sebum production. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, effectively treating redness and swelling associated with blemishes. This all sounds tempting, but not for everyone. Salicylic acid is not the most tolerable ingredient. It has a drying effect and can cause irritation if used on dry skin.

Can You Use Salicylic Acid and Retinol Together?Can You Use Salicylic Acid and Retinol Together?

Only people with oily and acne-prone skin can benefit from it. However, for safety matters, you better start with a low-concentrated product and gradually increase the frequency of use to assess skin tolerance. It is also essential to finish up with a good moisturizer to avoid dehydration and a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect the skin from harmful UV rays.

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a form of vitamin A that has been proven to speed up cell turnover to bring fresh skin to the surface. It also stimulates collagen production, providing strength and firmness to the skin. In addition, this ingredient acts as a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.

Can You Use Salicylic Acid and Retinol Together?

Retinol is a unique ingredient and can be used to treat acne and diminish signs of aging. However, you should be careful when incorporating this ingredient into your skin care routine. Sometimes, people misuse it and claim it is ineffective or causes too much irritation. In fact, you should be ready for an adjustment period, which usually lasts two to three weeks. To find more information on how to start using retinol, read the article – “When to Start Using Retinol: The Ultimate Guide.”

The best candidates for this treatment are people with oily, acne-prone, and aging skin. Those with dry and sensitive skin risk developing redness and irritation. Moreover, it is not a good idea to start using retinol before you turn the 30s, as your skin produces enough collagen, and the cell cycle is short enough to maintain a luminous look. Those who struggle with acne in their mid-20s may try not less effective alternatives like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and alpha hydroxy acids.

Can We Use Salicylic Acid and Retinol Together?

The answer is no, and let me explain why. Salicylic acid and retinol are drying ingredients. When applied together, they reinforce each other, causing more harm than good. This raises another question. What skin concern makes you want to use them both at the same time? If you are under your 30s and have acne, you can safely use salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or alpha hydroxy acids. If you are older and looking for anti-aging treatments, get your retinol bottle. Go smart and restrain your impulses to use all the nice bottles with beauty formulas together. Less is blessed.

Product Picks with Salicylic Acid

Peace Out Acne SerumPeace Out Acne Serum

Peace Out Acne Serum is a perfect skin care product with well-selected active ingredients. It contains an anti-acne combo of 2% salicylic acid, niacinamide, and zinc that can effortlessly reduce inflammation, clears the pores, and combat pesky pimples. Besides, the formula includes soothing ingredients like aloe, Centella Asiatica, and hyaluronic acid. Together they revive the skin’s natural moisture, relieving the drying effect of salicylic acid. The serum is fast-absorbing and feels comfortable on the skin.

Murad Outsmart Acne Clarifying TreatmentMurad Outsmart Acne Clarifying Treatment

Murad Outsmart Acne Clarifying Treatment is a lightweight gel serum with a huge fan club! It has the same anti-acne ingredients as in the abovementioned product but with a less potent salicylic acid (1%). This means people with sensitive skin can safely use it without fear of irritation. It clears up any pimple anywhere on the body and does it quickly. Alcohol-free. This serum is pricey, but a little goes a long way.

Product Picks with Retinol

Paula's Choice 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment

* This article was originally published here


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