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Salicylic Acid: Fight Oil and Clear Breakouts
Skincare, Featured, Ingredients

Salicylic Acid: Fight Oil and Clear Breakouts

What is Salicylic Acid?

Acne fighting products

If your complexion ranges from slightly oily to very oily with occasional or frequent blemishes, you’ve probably heard of one of our favorite ingredients- Salicylic Acid. Known for its ability to cut through oil and clear pores of any unwanted, acne-causing gunk, this stand out Beta-Hydroxy Acid is a must for anyone tackling blemishes. At its core, Salicylic Acid helps clear pores and promote new cell growth. By doing so, you're able to treat current blemishes and prevent new ones.

Should I use Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic Acid products

If your skin is oily, congested or acneic, absolutely. Salicylic Acid is incredibly helpful at clearing up your complexion and making way for healthy, smooth skin. If your skin type is dry or you’re focused on tackling other skin concerns like aging or hyperpigmentation, try Glycolic Acid as a replacement.

How do I use it?

Salicylic Acid products

How you use any active ingredient largely depends on your skin’s needs. If you’re extra sensitive, you’ll want to limit your usage to wash off products (like cleansers) or spot treatments to reduce excess dryness and irritation. If you’ve built up more of a tolerance, try incorporating a targeted serum or leave on toner to allow the ingredient to really work its magic.


  • Purifying Gel Cleanser: Easy, simple and a go-to for many Glo clients. Purifying Gel Cleanser does exactly what you want- it cleanses and purifies without stripping your complexion of its natural oils.
  • Clear Skin Cleanser: If targeting breakouts is your #1 concern, you’ll want to bring in the big guns. Clear Skin Cleanser features at 2% Salicylic Acid formula that contains environmentally-friendly scrubbing beads to help clear out each and every pore.
  • Daily Polishing Cleanser: A unique, powder formula that not only smooths skin’s texture but also deeply cleanses and makes the perfect travel companion. What more could you want?


We love serums for the powerful punch that they add to skincare routines. These little guys will be your best course of action if you’re wanting to see transformative results.

  • Renew Serum: Without a doubt, our #1 recommendation for anyone tackling acne. The powerful blend of Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid and Retinol help smooth texture, refine pores and keep breakouts at bay.
  • Healing Gel: Once you’ve sufficiently dried out a breakout, you may be left with an unfortunate patch of skin. Healing Gel softens end stage flare ups to smooth textured skin and restore its strength. Use Healing Gel under makeup to help ensure a smooth finish.
  • Lightening Gel: Struggling to erase shadow marks left over from post-acne spots? This may be your answer. While it’s main ingredient is Hydroquinone (best know for its lightening or melanin inhibiting properties), Salicylic Acid also plays a prominent role in helping exfoliate off dull skin cells to reveal clear, bright skin.


The easiest and quickest way to get rid of acne-causing bacteria is with a toner. These products are perfect to toss in your bag when you need a fast way to get rid of dirt, oil and debris.

  • Clear Complexion Pads: These pads work quickly and efficiently to reduce excess oil. Pro tip: cut the pads in half to get more uses out of each box!
  • Clear Skin Body Spray: Acne and breakouts aren’t limited to your face and often occur on hard to reach areas like your back, making it more difficult to treat them. Clear acne-causing bacteria with a powerful formula and easy to use spray bottle that even lets you spray upside down!

Any negative side effects?

Acne fighting products

Yup, but nothing out of the ordinary. The main side effects are dryness and sun sensitivity. When starting a Salicylic Acid product, proceed slowly and gradually work your way up to full time usage. If you’re still experiencing dryness, use a moisturizer (wait 20 minutes after applying the acid to ensure it penetrates the skin). And as always, use an SPF daily. But, to be extra safe, save Salicylic Acid products for nighttime use only.

Want to learn more about other acne-fighting ingredients? Click here for our complete overview of acne.

June 13, 2019