Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Can salicylic acid make acne worse?

So as I regaled in my post concerning those shady acid skin peels on eBay, S/S13 saw my acne become the worst it has ever been. All vanity aside, it was the pain that really bothered - an aspect of acne that is totally overlooked, in my opinion. I was getting huge blind boils that were simply agonising, as well as many impossible-to-squeeze whiteheads. Every single day a new batch would pop up. To be frank, my skin was a red raw, swollen mass of acne legions. All very embarrassing in the strip-lit days of high summer, the hottest, steamiest one the UK has experienced for decades.

We are always being told what a magical ingredient salicylic acid is for acne, so I thought I was helping matters in liberally plastering on Neutrogena's Visibly Clear Spot Stress Control Hydrating Spot Treatment highly-rated at frequent intervals. Only...my acne was getting worse and worse. Every night time bathroom perusal was a horror show that often left me in despair. Until one day I thought, that's it, it must be the salicylic acid gel. Yep, I know. No flies on me. 

Anyway, within three days of me cutting it out, my skin was noticably better, everything was much less angry and sore, and generally gave me one less thing to worry about. I have zero idea why this product seemed to work brilliantly for a year or so, then started to cause all sorts of horrible problems. I suppose salicylic acid is bound to be irritating by its very nature - it goes right into the pore lining, exfoliating inside and outside, unlike other sorts of acid products.

The moral is, if you feel like something is causing your skin harm, stop using it. Even if something is touted as being a wonder ingredient for acne, it might not be right for you.

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