A variety of acids are now becoming commonplace on the ingredient lists of many staple skincare products. But what do all these acids do? We know for some of you that the periodic table and chemistry class may be springing to mind right now! But these acid ingredients really do work miracles for your skin and can support with some serious skincare concerns.

Here we take a splash into the 3 main benefits of Salicylic Acid and look at how it helps treat an array of skincare qualms. We will touch on what it is, how it works, and the types of skins it suits best. Saving the best ‘till last, we will then share with you our top 3 Aurelia products that contain Salicylic Acid at their core.


Okay, white lab coats on! There are two main classes of acids that feature in skincare products, the Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) and the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs). The role of both BHAs and AHAs in skincare is to provide exfoliation, but the main difference between these two categories is their solubility. Solubility means the degree to which a substance can be dissolved in something else. Salicylic Acid belongs to the Beta Hydroxy family, and BHAs are oil-soluble. This means that BHAs can be dissolved in oil, whereas AHAs dissolve in water. Salicylic Acid can therefore get down much deeper into the layers of the skin and can penetrate oil-clogged pores. We will come back to this in greater detail later!

Salicylic Acid in its original form is called Salicin and is derived from the bark of willow trees. Both Willow Bark Extract and Salicylic Acid are used as ingredients in skincare products, sometimes also alongside each other. Willow Bark Extract is much gentler than the synthesised version but still contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, the universal pain relief medicine Aspirin originally contained components of Willow Bark Extract!

Balancing Range

If you struggle with oily build-up, pore-clogging or dull, lack-lustre skin then Salicylic Acid really is for you. Other exfoliating ingredients work mainly on the surface of the pores but this means dirt and debris is only lifted superficially. The magical ability of Salicylic Acid’s oil-solubility means the lining of each individual pore can be exfoliated from the inside. Yes, you heard that correctly!

Once Salicylic Acid has worked its way inside your pores it starts loosening and breaking down cellular components that are stuck together. This means it helps dissolve oily gunk and cellular debris that have accumulated deep within. Although it’s exfoliating properties are super powerful, Salicylic Acid is gentle and totally non-irritating when used appropriately. Using an organic Salicylic Acid face wash leaves all skin types sumptuously exfoliated, bringing about a total complexion refresh.


Whiteheads and Blackheads both result from clogged pores that have become infected with bacteria. Tiny glands under the skin secrete sebum, which is a lubricating oil that naturally hydrates our skin. Changes in hormone levels occurring particularly in adolescents can result in excessive sebum production. Alongside the natural shedding of dead skin cells this can lead to blocked pores and a build-up of nasty bacteria.

Both Whiteheads and Blackheads are considered symptoms of Comedonal Acne. Comedonal Acne is characterised by small papules covering the skin and resulting in a bumpy appearance. Depending on whether an infected pore remains open or closed, you will either be left with a Whitehead or a Blackhead. When skin closes over an infected pore, you are gifted a Whitehead! And when the clogged pore is left open and exposed to air, oxidation creates a Blackhead.

As well as thoroughly cleansing your pores and dissolving oily residue, Salicylic Acid also suppresses excessive sebum production. By doing so, breakouts are kept at bay and further clogging is prevented. By exposing pores to fresh air Salicylic Acid also helps to weaken Acne bacteria. Acne bacteria thrive when they are deep down under the skin and deprived of oxygen where they can multiply much faster.


Herbalists have used Salicin (Willow Bark extract) for centuries to treat symptoms of inflammation in different parts of the body. From toothache to fever, to even cancers… it’s no wonder it’s precious anti-inflammatory properties also work beautifully when applied topically. Salicylic Acid soothes inflammation within the skin and calms the symptoms of redness, swelling and pain. This reduces hyperpigmentation and areas of discolouration, leaving a clear and balanced complexion. Salicylic Acid is ideal for alleviating the irritation of small scale break-outs triggered by hormones, stress or dietary imbalances. Further still, it can offer real salvation when it comes to serious chronic inflammatory conditions such as Rosacea.

For conditions involving overgrowth and flaking of skin cells such as Psoriasis or Dandruff, Saliyclic Acid can also help. Salicylic Acid is a Keratoytic agent, which means it helps reduce inflammation through softening of skin cells. This equals less irritation and itch, and less skin drying and flaking. Result.

Balance & Purify Citrus Cleanser

As you can see, the benefits of Salicylic Acid really are astonishing. Enhanced blemish-control with deep pore cleansing offers solutions to a multitude of skin dilemmas. Here at Aurelia we take exceptional care that all of our ingredients are organic and ethically sourced. We use both Willow Bark Extract and Salicylic Acid and combine these with our beautiful botanicals and our signature probiotic complex PROTIDA™.

We’ve chosen 3 of our favourite products featuring Salicylic Acid as a core ingredient that make an ideal addition to any skincare routine. We’ve even formulated a new collection of mini-sized versions of this blemish-blasting triple threat so you can try before you buy big! Our Find Your Balance Collection is conveniently travel-sized and the packaging is also made of 30% post-consumer recycled plastic. All of the packaging is 100% recyclable, so you can rest with ease when you need to restock. When used in combination these 3 products aid the acceleration of your skin’s natural balancing and healing processes. This results in tighter pores and a smoother, brighter and more refined complexion. And so, without further ado, let’s take a look at our winning Salicylic Acid line-up…

Balance & Purify Citrus Cleanser

Key ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Lemon Peel Powder, Marula Oil, Baobab Oil

This Salicylic Acid cleanser offers deep yet gentle exfoliation and absorbs and dissolves excessive oil and debris. The day’s sweat, pollution and stress simply melt away with the application of this purifying and natural cleanse. Despite its exfoliating and cleansing superpowers, it’s also infused with moisturising Marula and cold-pressed Baobab Oil. These opulent oils offer deeply enriching hydration and leave skin softer and suppler. Remember, thorough pore cleansing doesn’t have to result in stripping the skin! Our PROTIDA™ technology also supports with nourishing and re-balancing by infusing unique probiotics and peptides deep into the skin matrix. A blend of organic citrus oils also help with the detoxification process, and add a gorgeous harmony of scented delight.

Balancing Ultra-Light Moisturiser

Key ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Willow Bark Extract, Witch Hazel, Mulberry

This glorious salve restores equilibrium to unbalanced skin while enriching and hydrating deep within. This balancing and light moisturiser is strictly anti-clogging and is infused with both Salicylic Acid and Willow Bark Extract. Willow Bark Extract is high in tannins and flavonoids and offers alleviation for blotchiness, discolouration, soreness and swelling. Distilled Witch Hazel also supports in reducing enlarged pores and taming excessive sebum production. A complex array of botanicals, essential oils and the power of PROTIDA™ offer soothing rejuvenation alongside our key player, Salicylic Acid. This means your skin is supported and prepared to fight oily residue and blemishes so that pure, natural radiance is restored.

Probiotic Blemish Hero

Key ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Willow Bark Extract, China Clay, Zinc Oxide, Witch Hazel

As if blemishes weren’t bad enough, many of us also battle with textured scarring and blotchy discolouration post break-out. This cream is designed specifically for spots, and really is a true hero! Willow Bark Extract and Salicylic Acid work their wonders here by supporting pore-shrinkage and by providing anti-oxidising properties to calm irritation. China Clay also supports by absorbing excessive oil and neutralising impurities, and angry wounds are nourished and healing is facilitated. Sebum production is regulated, and Zinc Oxide also helps with tissue regrowth and repair to prevent further blemishes from developing. The Probiotic Blemish Hero just wouldn’t be complete without PROTIDA™ probiotics that stimulate the skin’s natural immunity to help reduce scarring and bounce back.

Disclaimer: All of our products are designed with sensitive skin in mind, yet we still always recommend carrying out a patch test before trying a new product.

If any symptoms worsen after using our products, please cease usage and always seek professional dermatological advice.

If you have a chronic inflammatory skin condition and your treatment is managed by a Dermatologist, please always inform them before you start using a new product.

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