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Salicylic Acid Face Wash for Oily Skin

by Nisha Garg
Salicylic Acid Face Wash for Oily Skin

Today, skincare is an essential part of life. There are so many products available in the market. With the amount of information available around you, anyone can feel overwhelmed. Today we will be discussing one very known skincare ingredient: Salicylic acid. It can be used in facewash, serum, moisturizer, or toner. The most common form is a salicylic acid face wash for oily skin.

The salicylic acid face wash is commonly used for oily skin as it helps to exfoliate the skin and unclog pores. This face wash effectively removes excess oil, reduces pores’ appearance, and prevents breakouts. It is recommended to use a salicylic acid face wash specifically formulated for oily skin. Using a high concentration of salicylic acid can be too harsh for some skin types. It is essential to follow up with a moisturizer to avoid over-drying the skin.

What is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid is one of the most versatile acids used to treat skin issue like acne and oil-ness. Salicylic acid is derived from the bark of willow tree. It is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and has several properties that make it useful in skincare.

It is known for its exfoliating and anti-inflammatory properties. In skincare products, it has the ability to penetrate the skin and exfoliate the inside of the pores, preventing the formation of whiteheads and blackheads.

What is the Correct Percentage of Salicylic Acid Facewash for Oily Skin?

Salicylic acid comes in different concentrations, from 0.5 to 2%. The correct percentage is different for every individual. It depends on certain factors like the oiliness and level of sensitivity, and one can decide on the right portion. It’s best to start with a lower-concentration product and work your way up as your skin adjusts.

Benefits of Salicylic Acid Face Wash for Oily Skin

Benefits of Salicylic Acid Face Wash for Oily Skin

Salicylic acid works best for oily skin because of its following benefits:

  • Exfoliation: Salicylic acid is a powerful exfoliant that helps to remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and improve skin texture.
  • Acne treatment: Salicylic acid is often used to treat acne, blackheads, and whiteheads by penetrating deep into the pores to remove impurities and excess oil.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe irritated skin and reduce redness.
  • Keratolytic: Salicylic acid has keratolytic properties, which can dissolve the protein bonds that hold dead skin cells together, making it easier to remove.
  • Reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles: Salicylic acid can help improve the overall appearance by promoting cell turnover and collagen production.

What is the Right Way to Use Salicylic Acid Face Wash for Oily Skin?

In general, it’s always a good idea to follow the instructions on the product label. Here are some general guidelines for using salicylic acid in your skincare routine:

  1. Cleanse your skin: Start by thoroughly cleansing your face to remove dirt, oil, and makeup.
  2. Apply to damp skin: Salicylic acid is more effective on wet skin, so apply it after cleansing and toning but before moisturizing.
  3. Start with a low concentration: If you’re new to salicylic acid, start with a product with a low concentration (0.5-2%) and gradually increase as your skin adjusts.
  4. Spot treat: If you have localized breakouts, you can spot-treat the affected areas with a salicylic acid product.
  5. Use in moderation: Overuse of salicylic acid can cause dryness, irritation, and redness. Using it a few times a week or as directed by the product label is best.
  6. Follow with moisturizer: Salicylic acid can dry the skin, so follow up with a hydrating moisturizer to keep your skin balanced.
  7. Sun protection: As with all exfoliating acids, it is essential to use sun protection when using salicylic acid, as it increases skin’s sensitivity to UV rays.
  8. Patch test: It’s always a good idea to patch test a new product first and consult a dermatologist if you have any concerns about how your skin will react to salicylic acid.
  9. Avoid eye area: Salicylic acid can irritate the eyes, so be careful to avoid the eye area when applying the product.

Side-Effects of Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is usually beneficial for oily skin types, but it can also have some drawbacks, including:

  1. Irritation: Salicylic acid can cause dryness, redness, and itching, primarily if used in high concentrations or if you have sensitive skin.
  2. Over-drying: Salicylic acid can strip the skin of its natural oils, causing it to become dry and flaky. If you have dry or combination skin, you are more prone to this side effect.
  3. Photosensitivity: Salicylic acid can increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun, making it more susceptible to sunburn and other types of damage.
  4. Ineffective for specific skin conditions: While salicylic acid treats some skin conditions like acne, it may not be effective for others, such as eczema or rosacea.
  5. Drug interactions: Salicylic acid can interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and diabetes medications, so it’s essential to consult with your doctor before using it if you take any medications.

It’s important to use salicylic acid products as directed and to start with a low-concentration product, gradually increasing as your skin adjusts. If you experience any adverse effects, discontinue use and consult a dermatologist.

Things to keep in mind before choosing the right salicylic acid facewash for oily skin

  1. Concentration: If you are completely new to salicylic acid, always start with a lower concentration. Buy trial-size products first and see what works best for you.
  2. Perfume-free: If you have sensitive skin, make sure to avoid ingredients such as perfume in your skincare products. This can irritate your skin and will not let you take advantage of salicylic acid and other useful ingredients.

Best Salicylic Acid Face Washes for Oily Skin in India

Face Wash Name Percentage of
Salicylic acid
MRP in INR Amazon Rating
(Out of 5)
Foxtale 2% Salicylic Acid Face Wash 2% ₹349 for 100 ml 4.6
SaliAc Foaming Facewash 2% ₹435 for 60 ml 4.5
Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash 2% ₹675 for 175 ml 4.2
Minimalist 2% Salicylic Acid Face Wash 2% ₹299 for 100 ml 4.1
Mamaearth Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash 1% ₹399 for 150 ml 4.1
The Derma Co 1% Salicylic Acid Gel Face Wash 1% ₹299 for 100 ml 4.1
Kaya Clinic Acne Free Purifying Cleanser Salicylic Acid Face Wash Not mentioned ₹380 for 100 ml 4.1
Dot & Key CICA Face Wash 2% ₹295 for 100 ml 4.1
Cipla Saslic Foaming Face Wash 1% and 2% ₹400 for 60 ml 4.1
Be Bodywise 2% Salicylic Acid Face Wash 2% ₹299 for 100 ml 4.1

Foxtale 2% Salicylic Acid Face Wash

  • Suitable for Oily & Acne Prone Skin
  • This salicylic face wash comes with other active ingredients like Niacinamide and Hyaluronic Acid, that aids in skin health
  • This facewash controls excess sebum production & kills acne causing bacteria
  • This gentle facewash maintains skin pH and keep skin’s natural biome and essential oils intact.

SaliAc Foaming Facewash

  • This is medicated facewash by Entirety brand.
  • This is recommended by many dermatologist. SaliAc Foaming Face Wash can be used daily in Cleansing Routine.
  • It lightens acne spots.
  • It has calming and soothing effects on the skin.
  • Suitable for all skin types.

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash

  • This facewash is suitable for oily and acne prone skin.
  • This facewash is made from all natural ingredients and do not over dry the skin.
  • Neutrogena facewash Removes excess oil and surface buildup to penetrate deeply to clean pores and prevent acne.
  • It has dermatologist tested non-comedogenic formula.

Minimalist 2% Salicylic Acid Face Wash

  • Minimalist is one of the most favourite skincare brand in India.
  • This facewash is suitable for oily to combination skin.
  • It contains Capryloyl Salicylic Acid (LHA), which remains on the skin’s outer layer and gently exfoliates the skin to expose soft skin.
  • It has oat extracts, zinc and allatonin as other actives which reduces acne and prevents future breakout for clear looking skin.

Mamaearth Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash

  • This facewash is suitable for beginner as it contains only 1% salicylic acid.
  • This Mamaearth facewash has neem and tea tree oil, both of these ingredients are very good for acne.
  • It is free from harmful chemicals.
  • Suitable for all skin types.

The Derma Co 1% Salicylic Acid Gel Face Wash

  • The Derma Co face wash has witch hazelnut.
  • Suitable for all skin types.
  • This facewash controls oil production by suppressing sebocytes.
  • The derma co facewash is very suitable for beginners who are struggling with active acne.

Kaya Clinic Acne Free Purifying Cleanser 

  • This Kaya Clinic Facewash is another suitable pick for beginners.
  • Suitable for oily, combination and acne-prone skin types.
  • This facewash deeply cleanses your skin and prevents acne.
  • The salicylic acid in this facewash gently exfoliates dead skin cells.

Dot & Key CICA Face Wash

  • This facewash comes with the goodness of salicylic acid and green tea.
  • Suitable for oily and sensitive skin types
  • Dot & Key facewash controls excess oil & minimizes active acne breakouts.
  • This facewash helps in getting rid of blackheads and blemishes.
  • This facewash is non-comedogenic & fragrance-free.

Cipla Saslic Foaming Facewash 

  • Cipla Saslic Facewash is top recommendation of dermatologist.
  • Suitable for oily and acne-prone skin types.
  • This anti acne face wash is available in two variants: Normal and Double strength. If you have severe acne, double strength facewash is very useful for getting rid of acne and clean your face.

Be Bodywise 2% Salicylic Acid Face Wash

  • This facewash is designed specifically for women.
  • It does deep cleansing of face and prevents acne.
  • This facewash has soothing properties and it calms inflamed and red skin.
  • The formula of this facewash is free from harmful ingredients like Paraben and SLS.


Salicylic acid face wash for oily skin is a must. When used in the right concentration, it is a boon. It helps control excess oil production, remove impurities, black and whiteheads, and unclog pores. It has to be used in moderation to avoid any side effects. Salicylic acid can be overtly drying for some people. Always do a patch test before incorporating it into your skincare regime. Consult a dermatologist if you face any side effects.

FAQs on Salicylic Acid

Q1. Can I use salicylic face wash everyday?

Salicylic acid facewash are safe for everyday use, if you have combination to oily skin. However, an exfoliant containing salicylic acid is not advised to be used more than thrice per week, as it can be overtly drying.

Q2. Which is better for acne benzoyl or salicylic?

Salicylic acid works best for getting rid of blackheads and whiteheads. It unclog pores and clear out mild acne and texture of the skin. On the other hand benzoyl peroxide works well for severe acne that tends to be inflammatory, such as papules and pustules. Benzoyl peroxide can cause irritation to people with sensitive skin.

Q3. Is salicylic acid good for hormonal acne?

Salicylic acid facewashes are good for every type of acne including hormonal acne. They help in unclogging the pores and clarifying the acne. Along with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide solution can also be used to reduce inflammation.

Q4. Should I use 1% or 2% salicylic acid?

If you are new to salicylic acid, always start with lower concentrations usually 0.5%. As your skin adjusts, move your way up the concentration. 2% concentration is considered to be the optimum concentration, recommended by most of the dermatologists to treat acne.

Q5. What is 2% salicylic acid face wash used for?

Salicylic acid is a potent BHA (Beta Hydroxy acid). 2% Salicylic acid facewash is used for exfoliating dead skin cells and removing excess oil, dirt and impurities from the skin. It can also be used to unclog pores and reducing blackheads and whiteheads.


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