6 min read

6 Benefits of Salicylic Acid: From Acne to Wart Removal

A pool of light pink salicylic acid serum on a powder pink background with a dropper tip mid-screen

There are only a handful of seriously standout skincare ingredients, and salicylic acid is right up there with the most versatile ones. Hardly the unsung hero by now, we know what salicylic acid can do, and, by the end of this info article, so will you. We hope you'll consider this wonderful expansion of your regular skincare routine, especially if you have moody, imperfection-prone skin.

What Is Salicylic Acid? 

A sealable jar filled with willow bark in water, sitting on a woven string tablecloth atop a beautiful natural wood table
Salicylic acid is another name for beta-hydroxy acid, commonly known by its abbreviated form BHA, and is derived from willow bark. Even though the ancient civilizations used willow bark for various difficulties, including pain relief, to break a fever (what we now commercially produce as Aspirin), and for skin issues, the widespread over-the-counter use of synthetic salicylic acid began in the 20th century.


Contrary to other exfoliating chemicals called Alpha-hydrazides (AHAs) which are water-soluble and ideal for surface exfoliations, salicylic acid is oil-soluble, expertly cutting through oils to penetrate deep into pores and eliminating any blockages. It’s a colorless acid used in over-the-counter skincare products – cleansers, toners, spot treatments, moisturizers – for various dermatological conditions.

Benefits of Salicylic Acid 

Famous for the ability to fight acne, reduce inflammation, and exfoliate the skin, this powerful compound offers many benefits. Let’s go through the highlights.

A Great Acne Treatment

Let he who had never stared and picked at an inflamed spot -  front and center of the face -  throw the first stone. Acne is the most prevalent skin concern, currently affecting a large number of the world’s population, not discriminating across age, sex, socio-economic status, or ethnicity. The pimple is the great equalizer.


A recent study showed that acne affects 80% of adolescents worldwide but it’s also an increasing problem in adults – it is estimated that 40% of adults are fighting acne! If you’re currently battling acne, acne scars, and blemishes, salicylic acid is truly your BFF - softening the skin, exfoliating dead skin cells, and unclogging the pores. This will help fade existing blemishes, while also preventing the formation of new trouble brewing under the skin.


To clear up your face once and for all, and stop the constant need to hide and cover up acne blemishes, try ESPADA™ BHA+PHA Blemish Solution, an acne gel formulated with a power-packed combination of ingredients, including 2% salicylic acid, that effectively helps to eliminate existing spots, blemishes, and inflammation. For even faster and more consistent results pair your blemish solution with ESPADA™ 2 blue LED therapy acne treatment device. Clinically proven to treat and heal acne-prone skin, ESPADA™ 2 also significantly reduces redness and pore size while making skin smoother. Oh, and the best (well, second best) part - it takes only 30 seconds per spot! 

A beautiful Asian woman and an African-American woman in front of the mirror using ESPADA 2 and blemish solution in front of the mirror together, looking satisfied

Fights Whiteheads and Blackheads

Whiteheads and blackheads are both common types of pore rebellion, called comedones. Whiteheads form under the skin when dead skin cells and oil become trapped in the pores, and blackheads are tiny black dots caused by clogged pores. So what is the difference? The whitehead is a closed pore - stuffing ever more sebum and dead skin cells into a limited space. A blackhead forms if the overstuffed pore opens but does not unclog, and the air oxidizes the top layer, making it appear darker.  


Salicylic acid-packed products can help fight whiteheads and blackheads by a simple mechanism of stopping dead skin cells and oil from becoming trapped in the pores. You know how reality works - an ounce of prevention is worth more than a kilo of cure.


A great option against blackheads is the brand new, problematic skin owners’ favorite - KIWI™ Active Pore & Blackhead Mask which softens the skin and loosens impurities that have accumulated in the pores, hardening and not budging for anyone. It is an amazing standalone pore de-clogger, developed primarily as a pre-step for KIWI™ Derma diamond (not “look at me I’m fancy diamond”, but because a diamond tip will never ever dull) microdermabrasion pore vacuum device. Microdermabrasion exfoliates dead skin cells, encourages healthy skin renewal, and makes your complexion look fresher and younger. It is especially beneficial for lackluster skin that looks tired, congested and is starting to show signs of aging.

A beautiful woman in a cosy white and beige  appartment, wearing a head bandana and sunglasses, smiling and holding the KIWI blackhead mask

Exfoliates and Improves Skin Texture

Layered on the skin surface, dead skin cells lead to dullness, roughness, and an uneven complexion, and removing what is no longer useful is the key step towards a desired goal, in our case - beautiful skin of a healthy radiance and an improved skin texture. By regularly exfoliating through chemical means like salicylic acid, you promote cell turnover for visibly fresher, brighter, and plumper skin. Using salicylic acid to exfoliate the top layers of the skin can help fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation and make your skin more even and uniform in look and texture.

Messy stucco wall with white paint peeling off and showing the gold underneath

By removing dead skin cells salicylic acid also enhances skincare products' efficacy by allowing them to penetrate deeper into the skin, maximizing their benefits. This means less wastage of precious formulas and more bang for your buck because the skin can actually absorb what’s at its disposal now.

Reduces Inflammation

Salicylic acid is also very well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It exfoliates the skin surface and penetrates deep into pores, dissolving excess oil and impurities. The ability to soothe inflammation makes it a valuable ingredient in skincare, particularly for people with sensitive or acne-prone skin, as it can help minimize the visible signs of inflammation on the skin such as redness and swelling while targeting underlying skin issues.

A closeup of a concerned-looking young woman's face, with dark colored eyes and inflamed skin on the cheeks, holding a palm against her face with pink nail polish

Wart Removal

Another useful property of salicylic acid is wart removal due to its ability to dissolve the warts’ tissue. Salicylic acid works by softening and breaking down the protein bonds that hold the wart together in its signature shape, gradually causing it to peel away layer by layer. This over-the-counter product is usually in the form of gel, pad, or solution and is applied directly to the wart and left on usually overnight. With consistent use over several weeks, the wart should gradually shrink in size and eventually disappear.

It's important to note that the misuse of salicylic acid for wart removal can lead to irritation or damage to the surrounding skin so following the instructions is very important. In case of large or stubborn warts, however, it's best to consult a professional for advice.

Reduces Sebum Secretion

By penetrating the pores and dissolving the bonds that hold together dead skin cells and sebum, salicylic acid helps regulate sebum production, making it an effective product for removing excess sebum from the skin's surface. This property makes salicylic acid a beneficial ingredient for anyone tired of their oily and overly shiny complexion. 

A side view of a blond, pale young woman and a white statue staring into each other's eyes on a white background. The statue has an under-eye patch and the woman has a foamy cleanser all over her face.

How Often Should I Use Salicylic Acid?

It is perfectly safe to use salicylic acid every day, but it is always wise to consult your doctor before using products containing acid, especially if you’re just starting the treatment and have never tried it before.

If you are new to using products containing salicylic acid, start by using them every other day and,  once your skin has become accustomed to the ingredient, increase to daily use. Salicylic acid can make your skin more sun sensitive, so throw that SPF into your bag of tricks and protect your skin with sunscreen, daily.

Side Effects of Salicylic Acid

When used correctly, products containing salicylic acid are typically well-tolerated but there are a few side effects that you should be aware of. The most common side effect is skin irritation - redness, dryness, and flaking. If you experience any of these, the advice is to reduce the frequency of using the product and if the irritation persists, you should stop using the product altogether.

In some rare cases, people may be allergic to salicylic acid so if you experience any symptoms, such as swelling, hives, or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention immediately.

The bottom line for this A-lister?

Salicylic acid helps to unclog pores, remove dead skin cells, and reduce inflammation. It is also gentle enough to use on sensitive skin. If you've got oily, problematic, breakout-prone skin - which also reacts volatile to various treatments - salicylic acid may seriously be worth a try. Not the I'll-try it-for-a-day-and-then-loose-it-in-my-cabinet try, but give it a consistent few weeks at least. We hope you get your success story and sincerely wish you to enjoy living in your gorgeous skin. 



MYSA user avatar
Sandra 06/06/2022

<span>I've been using the Espada for a long time. It is easy to use, very pleasant on the skin and extremely effective</span>

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nicely lu 13/06/2022

I love this kind of article – full of useful facts!

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Mona 24/06/2022

Salicylic acid would be a great addition to my skincare routine. Thank you; loved the article

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Ray watson 05/07/2022

<span>After using derma lmd anti acne serum for more than a week,my acnes have started disappearing. Also helped in reducing dark spots. Overall give it a try if u are also facing acne problem.</span>

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Linda heidi 11/05/2024

let me tell you about the magic of salicylic acid! It's like a superhero for your skin, fighting off pesky acne and giving you that flawless complexion you've been dreaming of. Seriously, once you start using it, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.
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