As great as salicylic acid is for fighting against acne, it does have its drawbacks. Some of the most common side effects of salicylic acid include dryness, burning, and irritation. Therefore, if you have dry or sensitive skin, you’ll want to proceed with caution or consult your dermatologist before using. Additionally, salicylic acid can make your skin more sensitive and prone to sunburn more easily. So, it’s imperative to limit your sun exposure as much as possible and always use (and reapply) sunscreen daily. At the end of the day, Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, MD, FAAD, reminds us that salicylic acid is an acid, and “you should not use it if you have considerable facial redness, broken vessels, or rosacea because the acidic pH can worsen these conditions.”
Although salicylic acid is most commonly found in acne spot treatments, it comes in many other forms, like cleansers, toners, serums, and peels. With help from our experts, we’ve rounded up our favorite salicylic acid-infused products to help keep your clogged pores at bay for clearer skin days ahead.