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Salicylic Acid Reaction

The past few months I've been breaking out a lot on my chin and decided to try The Ordinary's Salicylic Acid. I've been using it for about two weeks and it seems like I've been breaking out even more on my chin than I was before. I've been putting it on in the morning and evening, and usually apply it about 30 minutes to an hour before putting anything else on my face so it has time to set in. Has anyone had this kind of reaction to salicylic acid? Are there any suggestions of other products that work better to treat/prevent breakouts?

Re: Salicylic Acid Reaction

I responded to a similar post to yours yesterday. My opinion applies to your post as well.

Re: Salicylic Acid Reaction

@vrh26 Here's a review of that product from

Salicylic acid, also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA, is an exceptional ingredient for oily, breakout-prone skin struggling with enlarged, clogged pores. It's also a soothing ingredient known for its ability to reduce redness due to its relation to aspirin (aspirin is acetyl salicylic acid). Salicylic acid also hydrates and, of course, exfoliates for smooth, soft skin. However, this formula contains some problems that could limit these benefits.

Salicylic Acid 2% Solution contains, surprise, 2% salicylic acid. It's formulated at a pH of 3.6 to ensure exfoliation occurs. Unfortunately, a primary ingredient in this BHA exfoliant is witch hazel water, a plant extract that poses a risk of irritating skin due to its alcohol content.

Also missing are ingredients that give this product a more elegant, silky texture. The Ordinary recommends this as a spot treatment, but also says you can apply a thin layer all over your face, except that this exfoliant doesn't have the nicest-feeling finish.

All told, you will get effective exfoliation from this product, and you should see some relief from clogged pores and breakouts—but you will find more aesthetically pleasing, benefit-packed BHA exfoliants from other lines.

On the surface, the price for this appears unusually low, but the size is relatively small for this kind of product, making it one of the more pricey options from The Ordinary.

  • Contains 2% salicylic acid in a pH-correct formula.
  • Sheer gel texture works for all skin types.
  • Fragrance free and inexpensive.
  • Witch hazel leaf water poses a risk of irritation.
  • The size makes the price high for this kind of product.

I personally rec BHA from Paula's Choice.  Love it!

Re: Salicylic Acid Reaction

@vrh26 It’s definitely not uncommon for you to have a purging stage while using a BHA. That means it’s working. Its decongesting your skin. I say keep at it. You need to give it a couple of weeks then you’ll clear up and from that point, you’ll notice your breakouts will be farther inbetween. 

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