The Clarifying Essential For Oil-Slicked Skin

Having oily skin is agonizing, to say the least. Just like a young Miley Cyrus, the grease just “Can’t Be Tamed:” No matter how brisk and dry the weather is, the oil slick just packs on throughout the day — well, before I adjusted my skincare routine. Through a simple addition to my once-lengthy regimen, I finally found the key to obtaining a grease-free finish: salicylic acid.


What Is Salicylic Acid?


If you  cringe at the thought of using anything with acid on your skin, you’re not alone. But this ingredient is actually an exfoliating essential. According to Heyday Los Angeles Skin Therapist Natalie White, this beta hydroxy acid (a type of chemical exfoliator) targets clogged pores; salicylic acid works to loosen any gunk and dead skin cells that are lingering within your skin, making it a solid addition to your skincare routine if you’re dealing acne


Its true magic, however, lies within its oil-reducing abilities: “[Salicylic acid] will also cut down on skin oil production, which leads to some forms of acne,” says White. “It can be used by combination to oily skin types, as well as acne-prone skin.”


Dry-skinned friends, on the other hand, may want to steer clear: According to White, the exfoliant is known for its mattifying effects, which can “thin out” the skin and, as a result, makes it dryer. (White also advises pregnant women and individuals taking certain medications – check with your doctor if you’re not sure! – to steer clear of this ingredient.)


Where To Find Salicylic Acid


If your skin is able to handle it, salicylic acid is available in a variety of toners, cleansers, and exfoliants. And if you’re an “all natural” type  of person, you can easily get the benefits of the acid through alternatives like willow bark or aloe — two natural derivatives of salicylic acid, White says. “These ingredients can provide the skin the same benefits but naturally.”


One of the easiest ways to introduce your skin to salicylic acid is through your facial cleanser. These daily-use products usually have a lower percentage of the intensive ingredient but still do a good job of washing away dirt and grime. Think of the below as a daily detox, but for your skin.


Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Acne Cleanser Treatment



1851 Blue Herbal Acne Cleanser Treatment 5 oz/ 150 ml



Formulated with salicylic acid, frankincense, and ginger root, this face wash seeps deep into pores to remove any unwanted impurities lingering within the depths of your skin. It’s perfect for anyone with oily or combination skin, as it balances sebum and oil production for a purified feel. The results? Skin that’s free of blackheads, whiteheads, and pore-congesting oils.


Dr. Loretta Micro-Exfoliating Cleanser



Micro-Exfoliating Cleanser



Give your grease-stricken skin a new life with this invasive cleanser; it works hard to remove any impurities, but is gentle enough for sensitive types. It’s formulated with coconut oil to give your skin some much-needed hydration and nourishment, so you can feel cleansed without feeling stripped.


Aesop In Two Minds Facial Cleanser



In Two Minds Facial Cleanser, Size 3.4 oz



This combination of witch hazel, salicylic acid, and sage leaf doesn’t just smell good – it leaves your pores feeling refreshed. The gentle gel-based formula effectively cleanses and boosts hydration. You’ll have a soft-to-the-touch-finish immediately after washing.


Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser



Regenerating Cleanser, 4.1 oz./ 125 mL



This ultra-creamy cleanser packs on the moisture, but doesn’t leave skin with a greasy residue. It also contains the best of both exfoliation worlds: tiny microsphere beads made from apricot seed to scrub away any patches and dry flakes, plus the naturally BHA-containing white willow bark to target any deep-residing grime.


Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser



Zero Oil(TM) Deep Pore Cleanser With Saw Palmetto & Mint



If you need a maximum-strength cleanser, you’ve met your match. Beyond salicylic acid, this product contains saw palmetto and cooling mint to eliminate oil and reduce any unwanted shine. It has a slight tingle to it that’ll wake your skin up just like that.


bareMinerals Blemish Remedy Acne Treatment Gelée Cleanser



Bareminerals Blemish Remedy Acne Treatment Gelee Cleanser



This oil-free face wash is formulated with existing blemishes in mind. Peppermint and ginger extracts work together to rejuvenate skin while leaving a comforted, calm feel. It’s a clear gelée formula that cuts out all of the nonsense: no added fragrances, dyes, or harmful chemicals like sulfate or parabens.


Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets Foaming Cleanser



Top Secrets Foaming Cleanser, Size 5 oz



For brighter days ahead, try slathering on this gentle foaming cleanser. It’s packed with antioxidants to brighten and detox, leaving skin with a radiant appearance and even tone. Just two pumps of this will revive lackluster, oil-drenched pores.


First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Acne Clearing Charcoal Cleanser with Probiotics



Skin Rescue Acne Clearing Charcoal Cleanser with Probiotics 5 oz/ 142 g



If you have blackheads, then charcoal-infused skincare is a must. Think of charcoal as a magnet for dirt. It also acts like a sponge and absorbs oil, giving you the ultimate cleanse for a skin reboot. This face wash is so gentle that dry and sensitive skin types can use it at ease.


Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser



Acne Facial Cleanser



This simple cleanser will help prevent and heal blemishes and breakouts, without over-stripping your skin of natural oil. This high-powered cleanser blasts away any lingering dirt, makeup, and excess oil, but contains aloe vera to soothe skin and calm any redness or irritation.


Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel



Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel, Size 8.5 oz



Fine line and wrinkles clouding your skin? Then reach for this youthenizing face wash. It has a powerful combination of salicylic and glycolic acid to give your skin the exfoliating treatment that goes beyond the average face scrub. It also contains brightening botanicals that work hand in hand to plump, smoothen, and even skin, giving you a youthful appearance without any injections.


Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser



Time Release Acne Cleanser 6.75 oz



As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race: this facial cleanser has a low-foaming formula, enriched with sustained-release salicylic acid to provide a long-lasting acne treatment — even after rinsing. Amino acids and moisture-retaining hyaluronic acid work together to replenish any lost hydration, restoring a supple and buoyant appearance.


Skin Laundry Acne Face Wash with Salicylic Acid



Acne Face Wash with Salicylic Acid 6.7 oz/ 200 mL



We all want healthy-looking skin, and this cleanser will serve you your dreams of perfection on a silver platter. It contains salicylic acid and Lilac stems to fight breakouts, promote an even complexion, and balance your sebum production. Red, inflamed skin will be kept at bay through the nourishing formula, and the foaming texture will feel relaxing and comforting from application to wash.

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