If you’re looking for velvety soft skin from head to toe, you should strongly consider adding a salicylic acid exfoliant into your skin care routine.
While many people assume that exfoliants are only meant for your face, they’re great to help your entire body feel like a dream. Want to know more about what these exfoliants are, and how you can use them to take your skin up a level? Stick with us.
Salicylic acid basics
Salicylic acid has been a dermatology darling for years now. On a chemical level, it's a monohydroxybenzoic acid made from benzoic acid with an added hydroxy group located at the ortho position.
Salicylic acid can be categorized as a beta hydroxy acid, more commonly known as a BHA. The name actually comes from the Latin word for willow tree, Salix, which is also where most salicylic acid is found in nature. BHAs, like salicylic acid, are often talked about alongside their counterparts, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). The difference between the two, other than effectiveness, is that there is an extra carbon in the chemical structure of BHAs (hence the “beta” label versus the “alpha”).
That chemical structure is essential in making salicylic acid more efficient and effective than its AHA cousins (namely, glycolic acid), especially when treating oily, acne-prone skin, as it penetrates more deeply into the pores instead of staying closer to the surface. But how? It really comes down to solubility, or how and what it can dissolve in.
For example, AHAs are considered to be water-soluble, meaning they dissolve better in water. BHAs, on the other hand, are oil-soluble, allowing them to sneak in between the lipid (fat) layers that exist between the skin cells far more easily without being repelled back out.
Why is a salicylic acid exfoliant good for your body?
Most people are aware of the importance of adding salicylic acid into your facial care routine, whether in a cleanser, a toner, or even a face mask. Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of skin care routines stop. But your body needs and deserves just as much love and attention as your face!
That’s part of what makes a salicylic acid exfoliant so great. In medical lingo, salicylic acid is known as a topical keratolytic. While that sounds technical, all it means is that it is good at softening and loosening up keratin, which is the protein that not only the skin but also your hair and nails. When the keratin is less tightly bonded together, it can be removed more easily with manual exfoliation techniques like scrubs.
In addition to working on the skin’s keratin, salicylic acid also works on the attachments that help keep the skin cells together, at least outside of the skin. Known as desosomes, these attachments also loosened up before ultimately being broken apart entirely by salicylic acid. That’s why the skin feels so soft after you use a salicylic acid body exfoliant. You are literally helping to dissolve and remove the very top level of the skin, revealing the softer, smoother, more radiant skin underneath.
Salicylic acid and acne
Unfortunately, as many people know, acne doesn’t just show up on your face. Some people also deal with body acne, especially on their shoulders and their back. That’s another pro of using a salicylic acid exfoliant; it has been proven by multiple medical studies to be most effective when helping resolve acne. It does that by helping dissolve the keratin plugs that can form and trap bacteria and dead skin cells inside the pores, which is the most common cause of acne.
With far fewer dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, your skin will not only be much softer but also less prone to acne. It is the perfect two-for-one — and one more reason you’ll want to show off your new, healthier-looking skin.
How can Clay Time help?
Why buy two separate products to take care of your face and your body, when you can use a powerful product all wrapped in one? That’s why we created our Clay Time polishing charcoal mask, which can be used on both the face and body. This salicylic acid exfoliant is safe for acne-prone, oily, normal and combination skin. Clay Time combines the deep, pore-penetrating power of salicylic acid and charcoal with the surface scrubbing benefits of gentle quartz to exfoliate your skin for a silky-smooth, healthy-looking glow.
When using Clay Time on your face, make sure that you first cleanse the skin appropriately. Apply directly to clean skin and let it sit for three minutes. Once the time is up, gently remove it by rubbing into the skin in small, circular motions before rinsing off with warm water. Adjust use depending on how your skin reacts. Oily skin types may be able to use it more frequently, and those with dry skin may want to only use it once or twice a week.
When using Clay Time as a salicylic body exfoliator, you can skip the three-minute waiting period and apply all over your body in the shower after you’ve washed your skin. This helps to loosen up those old, dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, help clear out any oils and debris from your pores, and gives your entire body that healthy, radiant glow you’ve been longing for!
A quick precaution
While everyone can use a salicylic acid exfoliant safely (as long as you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients in it, of course), there are a few skin types that should use a little more precaution with how they use it. Specifically, this applies to people who have either dry or sensitive skin. Because salicylic acid is so proficient at helping to exfoliate the skin, it can often work a little bit too well. That can really irritate people with skin that isn’t as resilient, leading to redness, itchiness, tightness, and severe dryness. If you know that your skin is extra sensitive, try a patch test first. Apply a small amount of exfoliant on a tiny area on your face as directed, then wait for 24 hours. Evaluate this section of your skin and see what, if any, side effects you’re noticing. If your skin doesn’t seem to be significantly bothered, you can try your entire face. It’s best to only use it sparingly, especially at first, before increasing the frequency.
To wrap things up...
Everyone deserves youthful, radiant, velvety soft skin. Not just on your face, but on your entire body, too! If you’ve been noticing your skin is hanging onto that winter roughness, or if you’re just attempting to boost your skin’s natural texture, try Skin Pharm’s Clay Time salicylic acid exfoliant. Using it even just once a week can help, from head to toe, as it helps to clarify, brighten and smoothen your skin. You only get one body — it’s important to treat it right!