If you suffer from acne, it can sometimes feel as though nothing will clear your skin. However, salicylic acid is scientifically proven to be a great way to clear skin. It is a gentle acid that works to penetrate multiple layers of the skin, unclogging pores and allowing the natural oils to flow.

To read more about how Salicylic Acid works click here.

A lot of skincare brands are now getting behind this miracle cure and are offering cleansers with a gentle percentage of salicylic acid. These cleansers can be highly effective at clearing skin from acne breakouts, acne scarring and many even have anti-aging properties.

Top 3 Salicylic Acid Cleansers Editors Choices

ProductOur Rating

Misumi skin cleanser
#1. Misumi Clear Skin Salicylic Acid Cleanser

Key features: This cleanser uses salicylic acid for a deep pore-penetrating power that will clear any active breakouts.

  • 4 fl oz
  • Helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • Produces collagen for a youthful complexation
  • Pore-penetrating exfoliant to clear active breakouts
  • Soothes and calms pimples


Proactiv face wash

#2. Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash

Key features: Designed to handle both active breakouts and minimize acne scarring, making it a great multi-action product for those who suffer from breakouts.

  • 16 fl oz
  • Gentle exfoliant beads
  • Works deep into the skin to keep it clear
  • Incredibly refreshing wash
  • Reveals bright and clear complexation

Replenix Cleanser
#3 Replenix Acne Solution Gly/Sal Exfoliating Acne Cleanser

Key features: This cleanser combines glycolic acid with salicylic acid for the ultimate acne treatment. These two acids work to clear breakouts, exfoliate pores and smooth skin.

  • 6.7 ounces
  • Promotes exfoliation within the skin’s pores
  • Includes green tea extracts to soothe and soften skin
  • Two acids to clear both surface and deep grime
  • Prevents future breakouts as well as treating active pimples


 

 

The Best Salicylic Acid Cleansers

With so many different skincare products available in the market, it can be hard to find the best cleanser for your skin’s needs. We’re narrowed down out top five salicylic acid cleansers that are certain to refresh your skin.

#1 Misumi Clear Skin Salicylic Acid Cleanser

This cleanser uses salicylic acid for a deep pore-penetrating power that will clear any active breakouts.

It works to remove impurities, dead skin cells and excess oils from your skin’s uppermost layers. The salicylic acid content boosts collagen for a more youthful complexion.
Find out more about Misumi

Key features

  • clear any active breakouts
  • remove impurities, dead skin cells and excess oils

Pros

  • 4 fl oz
  • Helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • Produces collagen for a youthful complexation
  • Pore-penetrating exfoliant to clear active breakouts
  • Soothes and calms pimples

Cons

  • Slightly Drying
  • Causes some redness

This cleanser is effective at both clearing skin from acne and handling signs of aging, such as fine lines or wrinkles to leave your complexion bright and youthful.

#2 Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash 90 Day (16 Ounce)

This gentle wash is a two-in-one product that can be used to treat acne on either the face or body.

It is designed to handle both active breakouts and minimize acne scarring, making it a great multi-action product for those who suffer from breakouts.

The salicylic acid content works to unclog pores and keeps them clear preventing future breakouts. It is tough enough to handle both black and whiteheads while maintaining gentle on the skin.
Find out more about Proactiv

Key features

  • Treat acne face & body
  • Unclog pores & keep them clear
  • treat black & whiteheads

Pros

  • 16 fl oz
  • Gentle exfoliant beads
  • Works deep into the skin to keep it clear
  • Incredibly refreshing wash
  • Reveals bright and clear complexation

Cons

  • Thick consistency

Using this cleanser on a daily basis will show a decrease in breakouts, as it actively works to treat current pimples and well as preventing any future breakouts.

#3 Replenix Acne Solution Gly/Sal Exfoliating Acne Cleanser

This cleanser combines glycolic acid with salicylic acid for the ultimate acne treatment. These two acids work to clear breakouts, exfoliate pores and smooth skin.

The cleanser has been specially formulated to be gentle enough for even sensitive skin. Both acids work together to unclog pores, remove dead skin cells and regulate the skin’s natural oil production. It is a gentle wash that maintains the skin’s natural quality while aiding acne repair.

There are multiple strengths of this cleanser available to suit any skin type or acne issue.

Key features

  • clear breakouts
  • exfoliate pores
  • removes dead skin

Pros

  • 6.7 ounces
  • Promotes exfoliation within the skin’s pores
  • Includes green tea extracts to soothe and soften skin
  • Two acids to clear both surface and deep grime
  • Prevents future breakouts as well as treating active pimples

Cons

  • Dries your skin out
  • Best to use on servere acne

This cleanser combines two incredible skincare ingredients to help maintain a high quality of complexation. It is tough enough to handle breakouts, but gentle enough to be used daily on the face.

#4 Lira Clinical- PRO Exfoliating Cleanser

This stimulating face exfoliator removes impurities from the pores in the skin to reveal natural beauty.

As an exfoliant, this cleanser removes dead skin cells from the surface to reveal a bright, youthful complexion.

With salicylic acid, this cleanser acts as a two-in-one product. There is no need for a toner when you use this at is both cleanses and tightens the skin to prevent any further clogging of the pores.

Key features

  • removes impurities
  • removes dead skin cells
  • acts as two-in-one – no need for toner

Pros

  • 6 ounces
  • Exclusive pearlescent cleanser
  • A uniquely pH balanced formula for anti-aging
  • Leaves skin clear, soft and smooth
  • Reveals a dewy youthful complexion

Cons

  • Causes redness
  • The acid dries you skin out a little

This stimulating cleanser works to remove impurities and dead skin cells from the skin’s surface to reveal a brighter, more youthful complexion. This cleanser will help boost your confidence and make you appear healthier.

#5 CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser

This cleanser works by smoothing the skin while removing dirt and excess oils through exfoliation.

It uses a combination of salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and antioxidant vitamin D to remove dead skins cells and reveal a clear, bright and clean complexation underneath.

This cleanser does not contain any harsh microbeads that are commonly found in exfoliants, so you can rest assured that your skin is getting a deep clean without the threat of damage.

Key features

  • smoothing the skin while removing dirt
  • does not contain harsh microbeads

Pros

  • 8 ounces
  • Non-comedogenic, non-drying and non-irritating cleanser
  • Gentle but effective formula
  • No microbeads for a safe but effective exfoliation
  • Cleanses and smooths skin for a brighter complexion

Cons

  • Not great for combination skin
  • Doesnt remove makeup well

This cleanser uses a gentle but effective formula to increase the quality of your skin. It works by removing impurities from pores to prevent future breakouts.

Buyers Guide To Salicylic Acid Cleansers: FAQs

 

Cleaners that contain salicylic acid can sound a bit threatening to those who have never used this ingredient before. However, once you understand how effective it is for acne treatment there’ll be no more doubts!

If it is a less harsh cleanser that you are after then we have you covered. Check out our top rated face cleansers.

How to chose the right acne cleanser

There is an overwhelming choice of acne treatments available over-the-counter. Each product proclaims to be the best yet, but that mightn’t be the case with your skin.

When choosing an acne treatment for your needs, you need to consider your own personal preferences. After all, this is a product you’re going to be using every day!
You should consider:

  • What form of cleanser your prefer

Do you want a foaming wash? Perhaps you would prefer a bar soap that can be used for a long time without any waste? Allow your preferences to guide you in choosing the best acne treatment for your needs.

  • Whether you need a medicated option

Depending on how to serve your acne is, you may need to consider a medicated treatment. Most acne treatments contain salicylic acid, which is a natural acid that is highly effective in treating and clearing acne. If you do need a medicated skincare treatment, chances are the levels of salicylic acid will be higher than those you can buy from the drugstore.

To find out more about prescription medication click here.

  • How does it feel on your skin?

The best way to make the right choice for your skin is to simply pay attention to how it feels.

Visit Bioelements to find out how to choose the best cleanser for your face.

Salicylic acid vs. Scrubs with Harsh Exfoliators

No matter how bad your acne may be, you still need to treat your skin with tender care. A lot of acne treatments are incredibly harsh.

Most facial scrubs contain microbeads or some other tough component to exfoliate. These scrubs are not as gentle as they may claim. The uneven edges on the exfoliating beads can cause great damage to your skin.

Not only that, but scrubs are not as effective as you may think. In order for scrubs to be as effective as salicylic acid cleansers, they need to be applied in even amounts all over the face. This just simply isn’t possible!

However, salicylic acid cleansers actually encourage your skin’s natural healing process. They work by helping remove dead skin cells, unclogging pores and encouraging your skin to do the rest.

What’s the difference between salicylic and glycolic acid, and what is best for acne?

Salicylic acid is the only acid that can penetrate oil as it is fat-soluble. This means it can reach inside the skin’s pores to exfoliate. This process allows the content of the pore to move around freely and to be removed without damage.

Salicylic acid is best for oily, combination or acne-prone skin.

However, if you have mature, dry or sun-damaged skin then glycolic acid is the best choice for you. Glycolic acid penetrates the skin into it’s deeper layers and is highly effective at healing skin issues. It is best suited to concentrated conditions, such as aging or sunspots.