Monday, October 6, 2014

Which Ingredient Is Best? Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide or Glycolic Acid?

Your cleanser will most likely contain one of the following ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide, or Glycolic Acid. All three are great ingredients for treating acne and keeping your skin regulated, but they are used for different reasons. When determining what cleanser you should use, it would be helpful to know what type of care your skin requires.

From left to right: Kate Somerville salicylic cleanser - Proactiv + benzoyl peroxide cleanser - Murad glycolic acid cleanser

I spoke with my Esthetician, Jordan Smith, at Dolce Salon and Spa to better understand what exactly these acne-fighting ingredients do for our skin. Here's what she said:

Salicylic Acid: This ingredient is able to penetrate through oil-filled pores, reducing clogged pores and black heads. It is also an excellent anti-inflammatory agent.

Salicylic Acid is the most common ingredient for an acne-fighting treatment for exactly that reason. Most individuals with acne are suffering from clogged pores and inflamed breakouts.

Benzoyl Peroxide: BPO is a great antibacterial agent. It is able to penetrate into the follicle and kill the bacteria that causes acne. There is no bacterial resistance to the appropriate percentage of BPO.

I tend to gravitate towards products with Bezoyl Peroxide because Salicylic can be slightly harsh for my dry skin. I've also done laser therapy, which lowers the bacteria count on your skin, and my complexion significantly improved. So products containing a bacteria fighting agent, such as BPO, tend to be best for my skin.

Glycolic Acid: This ingredient helps break down the bonds that hold cells together (this is important for the exfoliation of dead skin cells).

I regularly get a Glycolic Peel, or keep a product containing Glycolic on hand, when I feel like my skin could use a little TLC and exfoliation.

Smith also said, it is important to note that some percentages and product formulations of these ingredients are more effective and ideal than others.

I found a very detailed quiz, "Finding Acne Treatments That Are Right For Your Skin Type," which may help you better understand your complexion and which of these three ingredients is best.
I would also suggest taking a trip to the dermatologist or making an appointment to see an esthetician in order to understand what your skin could use more of and what it could use less of.

We want to know: What skin questions or concerns do you have? email us at

1 comment:

  1. Great post! This is very useful for me and gain more information, Thanks for sharing with us.

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