10 Best Salicylic Acid Cleansers and Products of 2021

Salicylic acid is one of the best skincare ingredients for all skin types. Though it has ‘acid’ in its name, it is basically a very mild skin peeling acid that can be derived from organic sources. It deep cleanses the skin, helps in curing acne, reduces dullness, and prevents acne breakouts. There are plenty of ways to incorporate this amazing skincare ingredient in your skincare but the best among them as a beginner is to use a Salicylic acid Cleanser for everyday skin cleansing and exfoliating.

Who should use Salicylic Acid Cleansers?

Salicylic acid penetrates deep into the skin and helps in unclogging skin pores. This property makes it an ideal choice for oily and acne-prone skin. It is also a great chemical exfoliator that gets rid of dead cells from the surface of our skin without vigorous rubbing. It helps in reducing active acne, fades old acne marks, and brings a glow to the skin. It is also suitable for mature skin.

How to Use Salicylic Acid?

For everyday skin cleansing and exfoliating, dermatologists suggest up to 2% concentration of Salicylic acid. For therapeutic skin peeling, 30-40% concentrated salicylic is used by dermatologists. Salicylic acid needs at least 15-20 seconds to start working on the skin. So, I apply it to my wet face and wait for 1 minute. Then I gently massage the skin and rinse it off with plain water. Salicylic acid is a strong product so you must build endurance with acid-based washes. In the beginning, keep the product for 10-20 seconds only. Gradually increase the time but do not keep this wash on the face for more than 2-3 minutes. Always apply a good quality moisturizer immediately after using Salicylic Acid Cleansers otherwise the skin will get very dry and flaky.

Best Salicylic Acid Cleanser & Face Wash of 2021

1. Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash is an alcohol-free gel-based face cleanser with 2% salicylic acid. The sebum dissolving micro clear technology penetrates deep into the pores and clears out the accumulated impurities.

Pros:

  1. Budget-friendly salicylic acid face wash for oily, sensitive skin.
  2. 2-in-1 product; acts as cleanser and exfoliator.
  3. Unclogs pores and softens the skin from first use.
  4. Reduces acne, fades marks and brings a glow to the skin.

Cons:

  1. Might feel too drying to dry skin types.

2. Cipla Saslic Foaming Face Wash

Cipla’a Saslic is one of the bestselling Medicated Salicylic Face Wash for Oily Skin. It is a Dermatologist Recommended Salicylic Acid Cleanser that comes in two different concentrations. The regular Saslic face wash containing 1% salicylic acid is suggested to beginners or people with sensitive skin while the Saslic DS formula comes with 2% salicylic acid for faster actions.

Pros:

  1. Deeply cleanses the skin and regularizes the exfoliation process of the skin.
  2. Unclogs pores and treats blemishes and scars left by healed acne.
  3. Prevents existing acne from causing large pit-like lesions.

Cons:

  1. The foaming face wash formula can be quite drying on delicate skin.

3. Kaya Acne Purifying Cleanser

 Developed by dermatologists, the Kaya Purifying Cleanser is an excellent salicylic acid face wash for oily acne-prone skin. It’s designed to control acne breakouts without drying out the skin too much.

Pros:

  1. Deeply cleanses pores from within.
  2. Reduces acne and prevents future breakouts.
  3. Provides soothing and cooling effect on the skin.

Cons:

  1. Not SLS & Paraben Free.

4. Rejuglow Face Wash

Rejuglow Face Wash is a gentle exfoliating face wash with Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid. The Salicylic Acid in it unclogs pores and helps to reduce blackheads. The face wash also noticeably reduces sebaceous filaments and whiteheads. It’s a glow treatment product that lightens acne marks, removes tan, and rejuvenates the skin.

Features:

  1. Contains 2% Glycolic Acid and 1% Salicylic Acid.
  2. Clarifying gentle face wash yet non-drying.
  3. Enriched with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E.
  4. Exfoliates the skin.
  5. Great for control excess oil and acne breakouts.
  6. Suitable for both men and women.

Cons:

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  1. Contains fragrance.

5. Cosrx Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser

 Cosrx Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser is a non-drying skin cleanser for soft and smooth skin.  It’s formulated with 0.5% Salicyclic Acid to keep acne at bay by removing dead skin cells. This gentle and vegan formula is free from harmful parabens, sulfates, and pthalates.

Pros:

  1. The creamy foam draws out the impurities from the pores.
  2. Provides soft-to-touch skin with fewer textures.
  3. The formula is extremely gentle for all skin types.

Cons:

  1. Can be drying for dry skin.

6. Innisfree Bija Trouble Facial Foam

Innisfree Bija Trouble Facial Foam is a face cleanser with Salicylic Acid and Bija Seed Oil from Jeju Island in Korea. It’s a perfect solution for acne-prone easily irritated, and troubled skin.

Pros:

  1. This foam wash controls the sebum and keeps skin oil-free for long.
  2. It penetrates deep into the skin, prevents and cures acne.
  3. This exfoliating face wash is free from animal-derived ingredients, urea, artificial colorants, and fragrances.

Cons:

  1. Not for hypersensitive acne-prone skin.

7. CeraVe Renewing Salicylic Acid Cleanser

 Enriched with skin’s natural barrier-strengthening ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, and niacinamide, CeraVe Renewing Salicylic Acid Cleanser is an all-purpose skin cleanser for all skin types including extra sensitive and psoriasis prone skin.

Pros:

  1. Dermatologists Recommended Salicylic Acid Cleanser.
  2. Fragrance-free formula suits sensitive skin.
  3. Gently removes excess oil, accumulated dirt, and residues of makeup.
  4. Provides non-irritating and no-scrub beads exfoliation.
  5. Hydrates and soothes skin and keeps the skin’s moisture barrier intact.

Cons:

  1. None.

8. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser

 La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser is a 2% salicylic acid-based foaming gel cleanser that controls excess oil and shines to provide problem-free glowing skin every day. It contains a micro-exfoliating blend of Lipo Hydroxy Acid to cleanse the oily areas on the skin surface to gently remove impurities.

Pros:

  1. This award-winning face wash cleanses skin surface as well as deep pore cavities.
  2. It smoothes the skin removing clogged pore rashes or zits.
  3. Paraben-free, fragrance, and oil-free formula created by dermatologists.
  4. Suitable for oily, acne, and sensitive skin.

Cons:

  1. None.

9. Clean and Clear Deep Action Facial Cleanser

 Clean and Clear Deep Action Cream Facial Cleanser is one of the best drugstore salicylic acid cleansers that’s affordable and easily available. It is a creamy foam cleanser for clearing stubborn skin issues caused by excess sebum. This cleanser not only takes care of the superficial impurities, but it also provides a soothing and cooling fresh feel to the skin.

Pros:

  1. Penetrates deep into the skin and cleanses the skin from within.
  2. Removes stubborn makeup residues gently.
  3. Provides gentle tingle to the skin.

Cons:

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  1. Contains fragrance.

10. Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Gel

If you suffer from vicious acne breakouts quite frequently, then Vichy Deep Cleansing Gel’s acne-fighting formula is a must in your kit. This salicylic acid face wash contains double powers of glycolic acid and LHA. It is one of the popular Salicylic Acid Cleansers in the UK.

Pro:

  1. The deep pore action of this keratolytic cleanser fights and disrupts the acne forming process.
  2. Controls large pores, excess shine.
  3. Gives blackhead-free smooth skin.
  4. Soap-free and Alcohol-free.

Cons:

  1. Expensive.

Best Salicylic Acid Products of 2021

Best Salicylic Acid Exfoliator:

11. Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

 Made from clinically proven ingredients, Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant is one of the Best Salicylic Acid Exfoliator that dramatically improves skin texture. It’s a non-abrasive leave-on product that unclogs pores, combats blackheads, fight acne, and evens out skin tone.

Pros:

  1. Hydrates brighten and smoothen fine lines.
  2. Clears skin’s surface debris to reveal fresh skin from within.
  3. Unclogs pores and prevents new pimples.
  4. Cruelty-Free and Leaping Bunny Certified.
  5. Paraben and Fragrance-Free.

Cons:

  1. Not ideal for sensitive skin.

Best Salicylic Acid Toner:

12. Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid

 Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid is a much raved Salicylic Acid Toner among the Asian beauty community. It contains 4% Betaine Salicylate, a gentler form of Salicylic Acid which is as effective as 2% Salicylic Acid along with Willow Bark Extract to provide gentle exfoliation. It keeps the pores clean and reveals smoother and brighter skin.

Pros:

  1. Contains minimal effective ingredients.
  2. No parabens, alcohol, phthalates, and fragrance.
  3. Non-drying suits all skin types including dry skin.
  4. Controls excess sebum and reduces blackheads.
  5. Cosrx is cruelty-free.

Cons:

  1. Takes time to work on stubborn blackheads.

Best Salicylic Acid Pads:

13. Stridex Daily Care Acne Pads Maximum Strength

 Stridex Pads, as you can guess, are exfoliating wet pads that are soaked in 2% Salicylic Acid. Its keratolytic action unclogs pores and effectively dissolves oil and skin impurities.

Pros:

  1. The potent formula is highly effective for acne and blackhead control.
  2. Known to work for closed comedones and cystic acne.
  3. Alcohol-Free Formula.
  4. Great for back acne and body exfoliation.

Cons:

  1. The fragrance is overpowering.
  2. Not for sensitive skin.

Best Salicylic Acid Gel:

14. Sebogel

 Sebogel contains 2% salicylic acid and 6% Niacinamide both of which make an excellent combo for oily acne-prone skin. It clears up acne, controls oil, and gives a visible glow. The gel formulation makes application easy.

Pros:

  1. Glycerin and Aloe Vera Based Gel Formula.
  2. Fights off acne, pimples, inflammations, and other infections.
  3. Helps to prevent blackheads.
  4. Softens and smoothens skin.
  5. Works as a salicylic acid spot treatment as well.

Cons:

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  1. It’s not a moisturizer per se, so follow it up with a good moisturizer or squalane oil.

Best Salicylic Acid Mask:

15. The Ordinary Peeling Solution

 The Ordinary Peeling Solution is a highly concentrated peeling Solution with 30% AHA and 2% BHA that gives quick results in less than 10 minutes. It’s a wash-off mask that’s effective in improving the skin’s texture.

Pros:

  1. Instantly smoothes and softens skin.
  2. Clears out the congestion of pores.
  3. Improves skin texture.
  4. Great for blemish-prone skin.
  5. Alcohol-Free, Silicone-Free, and Oil-Free.

Cons:

  1. Not for beginners. A patch test is recommended.

16. Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment

 Glamglow Supermud is a best-selling charcoal mud mask that falls in the luxury beauty category. It’s highly potent with Activated Charcoal, Kaolin Clay and 6 acids including Mandelic, Glycolic, Salicylic, Lactic, Tartaric & Pyruvic Acids, so ideally sensitive skin types should steer away from this. The mud mask is excellent for oily and acne-prone skin.

Pros:

  1. Advanced clarifying mask.
  2. Purifies the pores and removes deep-rooted dirt & impurities.
  3. Visibly brightens up and improves complexion.
  4. Free of parabens, pthalates and minerla oil.
  5. Vegan and Gluten-Free

Cons:

  1. Tingles and skin may appear flushed after usage.
  2. Expensive.

Best Salicylic Acid Body Wash:

17. Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash

 Neutrogena makes some of the Best Salicylic Acid Products. This Body Wash is one among them. It comes in two variants – Original and Pink Grapefruit. Both have 2% Salicylic Acid to fight breakouts on your back, chest, and shoulders.

Pros:

  1. Rich lathering body wash.
  2. Refreshing fragrance awakens the minds.
  3. Treats and keeps body acne at bay.
  4. Reduces body odor.
  5. Excellent for the summers.

Cons:

  1. Contains synthetic colors.

Those were some of the Best Salicylic Acid Cleansers and Products that one must try. Let us know your favorites in the comments section below.