For acne is it safe to use a 2% salicylic acid gel every night?

Is it safe to use a 2% salicylic acid gel every night? I use it to help with breakouts and redness. I'm 32 and fair complected.

In general, unless you are allergic to it……..yes.    Originally salicylic acid was derived from the bark of the white willow tree and it has been used for hundreds of years by Native Americans and even european chemists in the 1800s and 1900s.    Now, it’s usually synthesized in a lab.

It is effective in the treatment of acne mostly because it helps to dissolve and prevent comedones (the plugs in pores).   It’s also used in peels (it’s a beta hydroxy acid) and is sometimes added to “anti-aging” products.   Two great salicyclic acid based products – a wash and treatment pads.

It can cause irritation if used to much, or in combination with other skincare products that may also be irritating.   Never use it on open or irritated skin. 

Hope this helps,  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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