Published: November 29, 2022
If you spend any bit of time researching skincare, you’re sure to read a lot about salicylic acid and vitamin C. That’s because both are essential for a well-rounded skincare regimen.
Salicylic acid is an exfoliant that works to hydrate oily skin and cleanse the pores, while vitamin C is used to brighten the skin and help diminish the appearance of aging.
It can be taxing to figure out which products’ ingredients can be safely used together…and which ones should be avoided. Allow us to put this confusion to rest. Salicylic acid and vitamin C can be used together. In fact, they actually can enhance each other when combined the right way. You can even add in additional acids such as hyaluronic acid.
Continue reading for a breakdown of both salicylic acid and vitamin C, their benefits, and how to properly add the two to your regular skincare routine. Once you understand how to best combine your skin care products, we’re certain you'll be amazed by the results.
"As we move into winter weather, and especially if your skin is sensitive and/or dry, start with just a few times a week, using Vitamin C in the morning and Salicylic Acid in the evening, for best results with minimal irritation."
Elisabeth Nehme, Board Certified Esthetician and
[ comfort zone ] Master Educator
Salicylic acid has been used for over 2,000 years to treat various skin conditions. This acid is a member of the beta-hydroxy acid group, often referred to as BHAs. This is just a fancy science word that means it contains a chemical exfoliant that works to remove dead skin cells.
These specific BHAs can be found naturally in willow bark. Plus, it is the only BHA used in skincare products. It works as a peeling agent and has anti-inflammatory properties that can aid those with acne-prone skin.
When it comes to using salicylic acid, long-term consistency is key. However, it should also be used sparingly—only a few times a week to be exact. It can take around six to eight weeks for results to become noticeable.
Salicylic acid can be used on normal, oily, or a combination of both skin types. You can find salicylic acid with low concentrations in moisturizers, acne patches, chemical peels, serums, gels, masks, and toners.
They say two is better than one, and in this case, we agree. Salicylic acid and vitamin C are both great on their own, but even more beneficial together.
Whether you are hoping to brighten your skin, prevent acne breakouts, or slow down the signs of aging, this might be just the combination you are looking for. Start slowly by incorporating a vitamin C booster into your routine and then add a salicylic acid. Remember, good things take time and consistency is key.