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Thread: Salisylic acid - the good and the bad (side effects)

  1. #1
    Senior Member findingaway's Avatar
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    Default Salisylic acid - the good and the bad (side effects)

    OK, so i've heard Salisylic acid mentioned a few times now. Each time the people were getting good results.

    I am interested in peoples experiences with it, how you use it (with Vaseline for example?), what symptoms has it helped?...

    ...and any negative experiences? Side effects? Warnings? Advice?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mistica's Avatar
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    I use Paula's Choice 1% BHA gel.

    http://www.paulaschoice.com.au/Skin-...Gel-118ml.aspx

    I like it. It seems to provide a slight calming effect. Note the slight. It does not get rid of redness. Salicylic acid can help reduce inflammation, but it can't resolve it.

    I found it a bit irritating at first and had to work up to it. I started with small areas and gradually increased them until I was using it over my entire face. Back when I started, my face couldn't tolerate anything, so I am not going to say it was the BHA specifically which caused the irritation.

    I like the gel as it doesn't create a micro-environment. The latter causes inflammation in me.

    PA has a range of BHA products including moisturisers which don't suit me. I have noted that most people here prefer a moisturiser, however.

    PA in Australia, at least is very generous with samples.

    I can't tolerate the 2%.
    Previous Numerous IPL, ZZ cream.
    Supplements: Vit K2, High Dose Vit C, BHCL, Digestive Enzymes, Ionic trace mineral drops, low dose iodine to correct deficiency.
    Skin Care: Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, or ZZ soap.

    Treating for gut infections under specialist care. (This is helping).
    GAPS diet foods/no probiotics.

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    Senior Member shrimpy's Avatar
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    Default T/Sal Shampoo

    I use Neutrogena's T/Sal shampoo a couple times a week for my seb derm on my scalp and face. It helps with the flaking and reduces the redness and symptoms of my seb derm a bit. I don't think it affects my rosacea either way, though reduced irritation from seb derm helps my skin in general.

    Note to the moderators: can someone change the spelling of "Salicylic" in the thread title to make it better for future searches?

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    Senior Member findingaway's Avatar
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    Well, in an unexpected turn of events, the pharmacy refused to sell me any salicylic acid after they knew I was going to use it on my face.

    They said it is used to 'burn' away skin and is used for the overproduction of skin, such as on the feet. They said over time it would have a very damaging effect on the skin (I'm quoting here).

    I double checked we were talking about the same thing, salicylic acid and indeed we were.

    That is not what I expected!

  5. #5
    Senior Member shrimpy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by findingaway View Post
    Well, in an unexpected turn of events, the pharmacy refused to sell me any salicylic acid after they knew I was going to use it on my face.

    They said it is used to 'burn' away skin and is used for the overproduction of skin, such as on the feet. They said over time it would have a very damaging effect on the skin (I'm quoting here).
    I don't know where you're at but in the US there are OTC products, such as T/Sal. It looks like Mistica's product is also OTC in Australia. As for it buring away the skin, I don't think it's that harsh, especially if used sparingly only a few times a week.

    From: http://www.dermnetnz.org/treatments/salicylic-acid.html

    Salicylic acid works by softening keratin, a protein that forms part of the skin structure. This helps to loosen dry scaly skin making it easier to remove. When salicylic acid is used in combination with other medicines it takes off the upper layer of skin allowing the additional medicines to penetrate more effectively.

    In acne, salicylic acid helps slow down shedding of the cells inside the follicles, preventing clogging. Salicylic acid also helps break down blackheads and whiteheads.

  6. #6
    Senior Member findingaway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shrimpy View Post
    I don't know where you're at but in the US there are OTC products, such as T/Sal. It looks like Mistica's product is also OTC in Australia. As for it buring away the skin, I don't think it's that harsh, especially if used sparingly only a few times a week.

    From: http://www.dermnetnz.org/treatments/salicylic-acid.html
    It's so annoying as this is what I said to her, but she still refused even though it's used for some acne medication!

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    Does anyone know of any benefits of using s. acid relative to mandelic acid?

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    Senior Member findingaway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antwantsclear View Post
    Does anyone know of any benefits of using s. acid relative to mandelic acid?
    Interesting. Just lifted this from Wiki (bold particularly interesting):

    Mandelic acid has a long history of use in the medical community as an antibacterial, particularly in the treatment of urinary tract infections.[7] It has also been used as an oral antibiotic. In skin care, it is also an alternative to glycolic acid in skin care products. Mandelic acid is also advantageous in that it possesses antibacterial properties. Its use as a skincare modality was pioneered by Dr James E. Fulton, who developed vitamin A acid (tretinoin, Retin A) in 1969.[8]

    On the basis of this research, dermatologists now suggest mandelic acid for a wide variety of skin concerns, from acne to wrinkles; it is especially good in the treatment of adult acne as it addresses both of these concerns. Mandelic acid products have been used as an alternative treatment for rosacea sufferers, as it reduces inflammation and redness. Mandelic acid is also recommended for pre- and post-laser treatment, reducing the amount of redness and irritation caused by laser resurfacing.
    I wonder why we haven't heard of it more before? And why is it just an alternative?

    You may also find this interesting:

    What is Mandelic acid?
    Mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) extracted from bitter almond that has been studied extensively as a treatment for common skin concerns as photoaging, acne and melasma, with additional focus on use as a pre- and post-laser treatment. Mandelic acid is an aromatic AHA and its molecular size is smaller than any other aromatic AHA, making it the most effective in skin care products; however its size is smaller than that of glycolic acid, the most popular AHA in skin care, making it much less of an irritant.

    What does Mandelic acid do?
    Mandelic acid works on two levels: as a mild exfoliant and as an antibacterial. It has been clinically proven to help eliminate hyperpigmentation in the skin, such as Melasma, as well as acne and oily skin. It has also been shown to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles from the skin. In stronger formulas, when administered by a professional, Mandelic makes a great chemical peel and is less irritating than a glycolic peel with very similar results.

    How does Mandelic acid work?
    As an alpha hydroxy acid, Mandelic acid works by breaking up the bond between skin cells, leading to an increased rate of cellular turnover. This is beneficial because it purges the skin of dead skin cells, which can lead to wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and acne, among other conditions. Mandelic acid has also long been known to have antibacterial properties, which are especially beneficial in the treatment of acne and oily skin.

    Who can use products with Mandelic acid?
    Because of its molecular size, Mandelic acid is well tolerated by virtually all skin types, including sensitive skin types such as rosacea. Mandelic acid is one of the few ingredients recommended for those with darker complexions, who might experience hyperpigmentation from similar ingredients such as hydroquinone. Because Mandelic acid is absorbed at a slower rate than many other ingredients, it does not disrupt the melanin in the skin. Mandelic acid is also one of the few ingredients prescribed for acne treatment that can be used on pimples and pustules as well as acne cysts.

    What are the side effects of Mandelic acid?
    The side effects of Mandelic acid are minimal, especially when compared to similar skin care ingredients such as glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid) or hydroquinone (a skin lightening ingredient). However, because Mandelic acid is an exfoliant, it will expose new layers of skin to the sun. The newer skin will tend to be slightly more vulnerable to the sun. A sunscreen is recommended to help minimize occurrence of burning and irritation.

    SOURCE

    I found a few sites comparing Mandelic Acid and Salicylic Acid...Salicylic Acid is a BHA (Beta-Hydroxy Acid) and Mandelic Acid is a AHA (alpha hydroxy acid). It appears they both have the ability to cause skin to shed (not technical language ) by being mild exfoliants.

    Why would you want to use both?

    Well, I asked myself that question and came up with this:

    Combined, salicylic and mandelic acid work synergistically to exfoliate the skin while decongesting open pores and reducing irritation.

    Although one of the strongest A.H.A.s, mandelic acid's large molecular structure and even penetration help prevent inflammation and irritation that can sometimes occur with AHA use.

    Salicylic acid is a lipid soluble BHA that penetrates pores to dissolve sebum and cellular debris.

    By accelerating the cell renewal process, stimulating collagen synthesis, and improving elastin fibers in the dermis, this light chemical peel revitalizes sensitive skin and helps improve the appearance of problematic skin.

    Skinceuticals Salicylic and Mandelic Acid Peel is appropriate for serial applications and as a companion treatment for microdermabrasion or IPL.

    SOURCE
    If you try it, please let us know.

    Although I'm into trying new things, I'm a little hesitant about a peel such as this as my skin already reacts to everything!

    Maybe I am becoming cynical in my old age, but if it's so good, why haven't we heard of it before?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mistica's Avatar
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    Years ago, before rosacea reared it's ugly head in full bloom, but was certainly lurking, I tried Nucelle, which contains mandelic acid. I only used the serum 10%. My aim was to try and fade the dreadful facial melasma I had at the time.
    I had read it was capable of targeting dermal pigment.

    http://skincarerx.com/nucelle.html

    I couldn't tolerate it at all. I found it irritating and greasy.

    During the first year I had full bloom rosacea, I tried their sunblock and found it irritating, but back then everything was irritating.

    Since being a member of this forum, I have seen a couple of mentions of Nucelle.

    Here are a couple of threads pertaining to it.

    http://www.rosaceagroup.org/The_Rosa...hlight=nucelle

    http://www.rosaceagroup.org/The_Rosa...hlight=nucelle

    It would be interesting to hear updates from users.
    Previous Numerous IPL, ZZ cream.
    Supplements: Vit K2, High Dose Vit C, BHCL, Digestive Enzymes, Ionic trace mineral drops, low dose iodine to correct deficiency.
    Skin Care: Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, or ZZ soap.

    Treating for gut infections under specialist care. (This is helping).
    GAPS diet foods/no probiotics.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mistica's Avatar
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    My personal use of Salicylic acid is as follows.

    I began using the H+ skin care range a few years prior to developing full blown rosacea. I already had signs, I can see that clearly looking back, but had never heard of rosacea at the time.

    The toner contained some alcohol and SA was 2%. I sometimes felt a bit of a tingle when applying it and did worry at the time, but as I could never detect any redness I carried on using it. I had a bit of what I felt was acne at the time and this responded nicely. I experienced a very slight shedding in the way of a dusting appearance. No strips of skin or flakes peeled off my face. It was very gentle.
    Within two weeks, the texture and appearance of my skin was much better. I used the whole 5 step range and I felt it benefited me.

    Step three was a hyaluronic serum. I really liked this and felt it was soothing and helped my skin retain a dewy feel without being greasy. I had very oily skin back then.

    The rosacea was creeping on, and I have to wonder if my choice of skin care encouraged this? I would say probably not, but who knows!
    However, once I developed full blown rosacea, which happened within minutes due to one massive flush, I couldn't tolerate anything on my skin.

    Fast forward to Nov 2007 when I developed severe rosacea. Couldn't tolerate anything.

    Starting around mid 2009 ( can't recall exact date), I began to tentatively test the PCA 1% gel. I was still reacting to anything on my face back then, even the slightest touch. I only applied the gel to three tiny areas and continued doing that for a couple of weeks. I began to see less irritation in those areas, so I gradually increased the area size. My face felt more comfortable and less tight.

    Important. May 2009 is when I began my vitamin D3 journey as well and this was instrumental in my improvement.

    With 1%, I don't experience any shedding, or dusting of skin. In me, it seems to very slightly reduce inflammation. Every bit helps.

    The gel formulation was changed recently, which is a shame. It was a bit thicker prior. I called the company and bought up the rest of their old samples as I prefer the old stuff. The new formula has bit more of a bite and gives a less dewy finish. But I do use this from time to time, such as in humid weather when my skin goes crazy with oiliness.

    I have found that my skin is much more tolerant of topical products when there are less visible vessels. Including that just under the surface vascular grid haze.

    Increased skin turnover.

    Does a younger person with youthful skin need this? Can it be detrimental?
    I would suggest, that maybe, yes. After all, rosacean skin is often so delicate.
    And those pesky little visible vessels need as much protection in the way of skin as possible.

    Yet, BHA can provide an anti-inflammatory effect in the right formula.

    In my case, I have suffered structure damage to IPL and my skin no longer turns over properly. I have been examined by a plastic surgeon and he suggests I might have suffered sebaceous damage in some areas as well.

    Thus in my case, S&S and a gentle BHA is helpful.

    If I forget to apply my gel following my shower and start wandering around the house, my face is generally a bit redder. So I guess it does some good. We are talking about a minute calming effect here. It is not a wonder treatment.
    Previous Numerous IPL, ZZ cream.
    Supplements: Vit K2, High Dose Vit C, BHCL, Digestive Enzymes, Ionic trace mineral drops, low dose iodine to correct deficiency.
    Skin Care: Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, or ZZ soap.

    Treating for gut infections under specialist care. (This is helping).
    GAPS diet foods/no probiotics.

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