Salicylic acid is a lipophilic monohydroxybenzoic acid, a type of phenolic acid, and a beta hydroxy acid.
Salicylic acid removes dead skin and can improve the texture and color of sun damaged skin. It penetrates oil-laden hair follicle openings and, as a result, also helps with acne. There are many skin care products available that contain salicylic acid. Some are available over-the-counter and others need a doctor’s prescription. Studies have shown that salicylic acid is less irritating than skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids, while providing similar improvement in skin texture and color.