Gift guide, check off your list with essential skincare

Gift guide, check off your list with essential skincare

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Acide salicylique et acné.

Salicylic acid: the go-to ingredient to target acne.

Every skin type can get spots. They’re caused by bacteria in the sebaceous glands. Salicylic acid is a powerful antibacterial ingredient which helps to fight blemishes and imperfections.

Acne: definition and causes.

According to the SFD (Société Française de Dermatologie - French Dermatology Society), 15 million people in France suffer with acne, and 3.3 million of those are over 15 years old. Around 80% of teenagers suffer with acne (15% with severe acne), and nearly 25% of adults, especially women. Acne can appear on the face as well as certain parts of the body (chest, back, butt…). It’s one of the biggest motivating factors behind visiting a dermatologist, because it can cause a lack of self-confidence and real psychological suffering.

Acne is a chronic inflammatory issue which starts with the pilosebaceous unit: our sebaceous glands secrete too much sebum, or sebum that is too thick, which blocks pores and and leads to spots and/or blackheads.

Cystic acne is often caused by stress, pollution or hormones. Poor life habits (lack of sleep, smoking, bad diet, poor hygiene) can also cause or aggravate this unbalanced sebum production which leads to blackheads and imperfections. Even worse, a bacteria naturally present in small quantities in the skin, Propionibacterium acnes, multiplies in an oily environment, leading to inflammation at the surface of the skin.

The benefits of salicylic acid for acne-prone skin.

Skincare products with salicylic acid are particularly effective for oily skin prone to breakouts. Salicylic acid works in several ways:

  • Skin cell renewal:

    Salicylic acid boosts skin cell renewal. Thanks to its keratolytic properties, it gets rid of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface and stops pores from getting blocked and leading to acne. It’s also very effective at reducing the appearance of blackheads, and tightens the pores to brighten and even the skin tone.

  • Prevention of the development of bacteria:

    The surface of the skin can be taken over by harmful microorganisms which unbalance the microbiota and lead to redness, irritation and painful spots. Thanks to its antiseptic properties, salicylic acid stops bad bacteria, like Cutibacterium acnes, which causes inflammation and acne, from multiplying.

  • Relieves discomfort:

    Acne-prone skin is often a source of discomfort. Spots can cause tingling, itching and burning. Salicylic acid’s soothing properties help to alleviate the symptoms of inflammation. It intervenes in the arachidonic pathway and inhibits the production of E2 prostaglandins, which are the molecules that cause painful inflammation. As an acne treatment, salicylic acid calms painful spots and visibly reduces redness.

Sources :

  • IL-HWAN KIM. Salicylic acid peels for the treatment of acne vulgaris in asian patients. Dermatologic Surgery (2003).

  • SEBASTIN F. Médicaments de l’acné. Actualités Pharmaceutiques (2014).

  • FRANK P. Topical azelaic acid, salicylic acid, nicotinamide, sulphur, zinc and fruit acid (alpha‐hydroxy acid) for acne. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2020).

  • RÈGLEMENT (CE) No 1223/2009 DU PARLEMENT EUROPÉEN ET DU CONSEIL du 30 novembre 2009 relatif aux produits cosmétiques.


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