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12 Best Salicylic Acid Face Wash You Must Try

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Looking for a face wash with salicylic acid? We’ve curated a list of the best facial cleansers with salicylic acid to achieve blemish-free, radiant skin.
12 Best Salicylic Acid Face Wash You Must Try

Anyone who has dealt with pimples and explored ways to knock ‘em down knows the wonders of salicylic acid. This acne-destroying ingredient actually works at clarifying skin, which is why it’s a classic tried-and-tested dermatologist favourite for most skin-related concerns. If you have yet to witness this ingredient transforming your skin, it’s never too late to jump on the bandwagon. Lucky for you, we’re here to break it down for you.

Salicylic Acid Specifics

1. What is It:

Derived from the bark of willow trees, salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) which is a chemical exfoliant. A study dubbed salicylic acid as a safe and efficacious peeling agent for several dermatological and cosmetic problems.

2. How It Works:

Salicylic acid penetrates deep into your skin and breaks apart the substance responsible for holding dead skin cells together (thanks to its oil-soluble properties). This makes it easier to decongest pores and clear skin – a claim corroborated by this study. Plus, owing to its anti-inflammatory properties, it lessens acne-induced redness and skin irritation.

3. Who Should Use It:

If your skin is particularly oily and acne-prone, opt for a salicylic acid-based treatment. According to a study, the oil-soluble salicylic acid reduces sebum production in patients with acne, leading to a therapeutic effect. It’s also great for people looking to treat pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads, as well as those who want to reduce future breakouts.

4. When to Use It:

After you’ve done a patch test to check for any possible allergic reactions, you can use salicylic acid products. It is advised to be used in moderation – not more than twice a day. P.S. It’s recommended to first check with your dermatologist before using concentrated salicylic acid products.

Why Make Salicylic Acid a Part of Your Skincare Routine?

1. Gets Rid of Excess Oil

If you have oily skin, you will certainly agree that too much of anything can never be good. So, if you are looking to get rid of the excess sebum (oil) on your face, you can count on salicylic acid to draw out excess oil from pores and make your skin appear less oily.

2. Calms Skin

Breakouts are okay until they leave your skin itchy and red. The calming properties of this ingredient help address skin irritation and inflammation while treating breakouts.

3. Exfoliates

Exfoliation can keep your skin from appearing dull. Salicylic acid works as an exfoliator to speed up cell turnover and buff away dead skin cells. The result? Better complexion and texture.

4. Prevents Acne

Salicylic acid advances deep into the pores to clear debris and bacteria that can otherwise clog the pores and encourage pimples or acne. This acne-zapping hero thus, prevents future acne while paving the way for clear skin.

How To Choose The Best Salicylic Acid Cleansers

1. Concentration: Begin with low-concentration cleansers to test the tolerance of your skin against salicylic acid. Low concentration (0.5% to 1%) is ideal for those new to the ingredient and suitable for sensitive or dry skin. For those with oily or acne-prone skin consider concentration levels up to 2%.

2. Skin Type: First, for all sensitive skin readers – opt for a low-concentration facewash with soothing natural ingredients like aloe vera. Those with combination or dry skin should opt for cream-based formulas to avoid dryness. Gel-based or foaming cleansers are best for those with oily skin.

3. Formulation: Gel-based cleansers are great for acne-prone skin as they wash away easily. Creams and moisturising formulations are great for those with dry skin as salicylic acid tends to be drying. Foam washes are effective in removing oil and dirt but can feel drying depending on your skin type.

4. Additional Concerns: To make the optimum use of your face wash, look for products that target additional concerns. If you have dry skin, look for additional hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or ceramides. Soothing niacinamide, aloe extract, or green tea can help reduce inflammation, redness, and irritation.

Best Salicylic Acid Face Washes

If you are seeking to give salicylic acid a try, you can start by adding a salicylic acid face wash to your daily regime. To save you the effort of browsing for the popular picks, we’ve rounded up for you the best face washes containing salicylic acid.

1. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser
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Hate the clinical smell of salicylic acid face washes? Try the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser. While you lose yourself in the uplifting blast of pink grapefruits, the hardworking salicylic acid works behind the scenes to deeply purify your skin. Infused with Microclear Technology that prepares the skin to receive the benefits of salicylic acid, this cleanser wipes out dead skin cells without over-drying skin.

2. Globus Natural Glycolic Acid & Salicylic Acid Face Wash

Globus Natural Glycolic Acid & Salicylic Acid Face Wash
Globus Natural Glycolic Acid & Salicylic Acid Face Wash
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When Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid work in synergy, you get a potent cleansing formula that eliminates dead skin cells, reduces inflammation, clears spots, and improves skin texture. Meet: Globus Natural Glycolic Acid & Salicylic Acid Face Wash. Suitable for all skin types, the powerful ingredients in this face wash absorb into your skin to unclog pores and refresh them. Oh and after all the efforts, this cleanser with salicylic acid promises to not leave your skin feeling dry and stretchy.

3. COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser

COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser
COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser
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When it comes to clearing acne, it helps to have a mild cleanser that won’t strip your skin dry. Opt for the COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser which is fortified with skin-purifying botanical ingredients and salicylic acid. It eliminates dead skin cells, excess oil, blackheads and whiteheads, whilst retaining moisture in the skin. The creamy foam dissolves debris while controlling oil production to keep acne from seeing you often. Oh and did we tell you? It’s hypoallergenic. Cue to add to cart for sensitive skin peeps.

4. Dot & Key Cica Salicylic Anti-Acne Facewash

Dot & Key Cica Salicylic Anti-Acne Facewash
Dot & Key Cica Salicylic Anti-Acne Facewash
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If you’ve been scouting for a face wash that can calm flare-ups sans stripping your skin, your search ends here. The Dot & Key Cica Salicylic Anti-Acne Facewash combines the strong antibacterial properties of tea tree oil with the anti-inflammatory superstar salicylic acid to treat breakouts whilst imparting soothing hydration. Perfect for oily skin, the ingredients help control overzealous oil glands. Bonus points for its cute packaging; this one is definitely a keeper.

5. WOW Skin Science Anti Acne Face Wash

 WOW Skin Science Anti Acne Face Wash
WOW Skin Science Anti Acne Face Wash
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What’s better than a face wash that slays acne-causing microbes? A soothing face wash that fades blemishes of past acne. Meet WOW Skin Science Anti Acne Face Wash Bottle. Replete with tea tree essential oil, neem extracts, mulberry, liquorice, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins B5 and E, this zit-zapping formula unclogs pores and refreshes skin. What makes it even better? It’s free of toxins and makes it to the dermatologically tested list. Brb. Adding to Cart.

6. Mamaearth Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash

 Mamaearth Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash
Mamaearth Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash
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If you are looking for a budget-friendly way to target breakouts and drive ‘em away over time, opt for Mamaearth Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash. Here’s why. Fortified with the antibacterial goodness of tea tree and the acne-fighting benefits of salicylic acid, it helps decongest skin, regulate oil production, heal acne, and reduce blemishes. Plus, it’s infused with aloe vera extracts to keep hydration in the loop. Also, we love how it’s so easy to use – just pump, massage, and wash!

7. Ustraa Face Wash - Oily Skin

If your face is inclined to excess sebum production, it helps to invest in a face wash specially formulated for oily skin like the Ustraa Face Wash. A salicylic acid face wash, it includes ingredients extracted from European white willow trees and meadowsweet flowers. The basil extracts and lime extracts keep acne as well as glow in check. Plus, it’s free from any questionable elements like parabens and sulphates.

8. Panchvati Herbals Deep Clean Foaming Facewash

Panchvati Herbals Deep Clean Foaming Facewash
Panchvati Herbals Deep Clean Foaming Facewash
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If your skin type is either combination or oily, this is the one to go for. Infused with tea tree oil and salicylic acid, Panchvati Herbals Deep Clean Foaming Facewash fights acne and breakouts to keep skin nice and clean. While it works at drawing out debris and pollutants from clogged pores, it ensures to not strip your skin dry. The best part? It comes with a built-in silicone brush that assists in deep cleaning and purifying pores.

9. Minimalist 2% Salicylic Acid + LHA Face Cleanser With Zinc For Reducing Sebum & Acne

Minimalist 2% Salicylic Acid + LHA Face Cleanser With Zinc For Reducing Sebum & Acne
Minimalist 2% Salicylic Acid + LHA Face Cleanser With Zinc For Reducing Sebum & Acne
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The non-comedogenic, anti-bacterial, and hypoallergenic cleanser from Minimalist removes grime from the skin without hampering its natural pH. Enriched with zinc and our star ingredient salicylic acid, the formulation also curbs sebum production, preventing outbreaks.

10. The Derma Co. 1% Salicylic Acid Face Wash for Active Acne with Salicylic Acid & Witch Hazel

The Derma Co. 1% Salicylic Acid Face Wash for Active Acne with Salicylic Acid & Witch Hazel
The Derma Co. 1% Salicylic Acid Face Wash for Active Acne with Salicylic Acid & Witch Hazel
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Crafted by leading Indian dermatologists, the Derma Co. Face Wash works on different stages of active acne. This potent formulation carries willow bark which helps in sebum control and maintains a healthy skin microbiome. The heart of the brew, salicylic acid, sloughs off dead-dried cells from the dermis, making it look incredibly smooth and flawless. Also, in the blend, witch hazel keeps redness and inflammation at bay.

11. Dr. Sheth's Neem & Salicylic Acid Face Wash

Dr. Sheth's Neem & Salicylic Acid Face Wash
Dr. Sheth's Neem & Salicylic Acid Face Wash
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The brew by Dr. Sheth’s boasts a medley of salicylic acid, neem, and tulsi on the ingredient list which provides a holistic approach to terminating acne. It expels deep-seated grime from the pores, curbs sebum production, and inhibits acne-causing bacteria, all with a dot-sized amount. Add this Dr Sheth’s bestseller and bid farewell to pesky breakouts!

12. Plum 1% Encapsulated Salicylic Acid AHA Foaming Face Wash- Fights Active Acne & Oil For Smooth Skin

Plum 1% Encapsulated Salicylic Acid AHA Foaming Face Wash- Fights Active Acne & Oil For Smooth Skin
Plum 1% Encapsulated Salicylic Acid AHA Foaming Face Wash- Fights Active Acne & Oil For Smooth Skin
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The foaming face wash by Plum lathers exceptionally, expelling every morsel of dust and grime from the pores. Infused with the exfoliant salicylic acid, it doesn’t overdry the skin and is vegan and cruelty-free. Buy this potent brew to dissolve traces of active acne and say hello to smooth, soft skin.

FAQs On Salicylic Acid Face Wash

1. Can you use salicylic acid face wash every day?

Short answer: Yes. But there are certain things to consider before incorporating salicylic acid face wash into your daily routine:

  • Start with a low-concentration face wash and make sure your skin is reacting well to the products.
  • Monitor the reaction and tolerance of your skin. Consult a doctor if you notice any sudden redness or irritation.
  • If you’re combining with other products, ensure they react well with salicylic acid.
  • Since salicylic acid can be a bit drying, regular use will make your face appear drier than usual. This particularly helps people with combination or oily skin. If you have dry skin, ensure you follow up with a hydrating moisturiser.

2. Can face wash remove pimples?

Face washes with active ingredients can help prevent and manage pimples as they cleanse the skin effectively. This study proves that salicylic acid products are effective against the appearance of acne as well as the discomfort caused by pimples. However, you should ensure that you are also following a skincare regime for healthy and glowing skin.

3. Which is better, salicylic acid face wash or serum?

Salicylic face washes can help cleanse the face and remove excess oil and impurities from the skin but have brief contact with the skin. Meanwhile, serums provide a deep penetration and allow you to target focus areas. Your choice should depend on your skin type and concerns – face washes are great for those with sensitive skin and are less likely to irritate, while serums can be more effective but may not suit all skin types.

4. How to prevent and treat acne?

If you are planning on topical salicylic acid treatments, ensure you don’t use it to treat warts in sensitive areas, moles or birthmarks. It should only be used on affected areas with pimples or acne. If you have extremely dry skin avoid concentrated salicylic acid-based treatments. You can opt for mild cleansers with salicylic acid to get the benefits of the ingredients without drying out your skin.

5. Is salicylic acid good for face wash? Which is the best salicylic acid face wash to use?

Salicylic acid-based face wash is great for targeting mild acne, blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. It also helps control excess sebum production which consequently prevents acne. According to a study, salicylic acid acne treatment showed a significant reduction in inflammatory acne, as early as four hours after application.

Here’s a lowdown on the best face wash containing salicylic acid:

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