Best Salicylic Acid-Based Products for Acne-Prone Skin

These days I have noticed a lot of products claiming to have Salicylic acid in it, considering this is an enemy acne, it has a peeling action on the skin which in turn helps with clogged pores. This is what Wikipedia has to say about it :

“It works as a keratolytic, bacteriocide and comedolytic agent by causing the cells of the epidermis to shed more readily, opening clogged pores and neutralizing bacteria within, preventing pores from clogging up again by constricting pore diameter, and allowing room for new cell growth.[14] Because of its effect on skin cells, salicylic acid is used in several shampoos to treat dandruff.”

Vichy1 (1)

Now since we might be all confused what to buy in the name of this “acid” most of our face-washes for oily skin claim to have this and hence I am compiling this list of products that might work for you, if you havent tried to use a product with salicylic acid claims, it gets even more helpful for you, check out the products.

Kaya Skin Clinic Acne Free Purifying Cleanser:
Purifying cleanser for a clear, oil-free and healthier looking skin.
It gently cleanses the pores from deep within, removing excess oil, dirt and impurities. It contains salicylic acid with acne fighting properties that help reduce acne and prevent future breakouts. Unique skin conditioners ensure that skin doesn’t feel stretched and dry. A must have for clear, oil-free and healthier looking skin.


Saslic and Saslic DS Face Wash
It gets rid of dead skin on top, so that other medications can get to the inflamed skin underneath more easily. Salicylic acid has many cosmetic benefits and is usually used to treat blemishes. When applied to the skin, salicylic acid works by causing the cells of the epidermis to shed properly. This prevents the pores of the skin from getting clogged up and being infected with bacteria. It’s basically a chemical agent that aids in the process of exfoliation by eliminating surface skin cells and opening up pores. The acid is also known to break down blackheads and whiteheads as well as other types of acne. Salicylic acid is a keratolytic agent. It encourages the peeling of the top layer of the skin and opening up of the plugged follicles, which helps re-establish the normal skin- cell replacement cycle. For milder acne, salicylic acid helps unclog pores to resolve and
prevent lesions. It does not have any effect on the production of the sebum or P. Acnes.

saslic face wash

L’Oreal Go 360 Clean Anti-Breakout Facial Cleanser
Go 360° Clean Anti-Breakout Facial Cleanser is L’Oreal’s most powerful acne-fighting formula with The Scrublet™. This super-soft, flexible cleansing disc applies the cleanser with 500 extra-supple touch points that gently glide across the skin. Go 360° Clean Anti-Breakout is specially formulated with 4 key ingredients:

• 2% Salicylic Acid – a beta-hydroxy acid that causes the cells of the epidermis to exfoliate more readily to open clogged pores and remove bacteria. the result: penetrates pore by pore to help clear breakouts and prevent future ones
• ER195 LHA – a proprietary and internationally patented molecule that provides micro exfoliation; leaves healthy skin intact while sloughing off dead skin cells
• Glycerin – a humectant that deeply hydrates skin; ensures that the formula is effective but gentle, not over-drying or stripping the the skin
• Menthol – a refreshing ingredient that creates an invigorating sensation, leaving skin feeling fresh and clean
Break free of breakouts with this clear complexion secret!


Garnier Pure Active Range
Garnier Pure Active is a breakthrough formula which has the unique association of two powerful actives – Salicylic acid with powerful anti-bacterial properties, and Herbal repair with natural repairing and regenerating properties. Clinically tested on acne prone skin, it’s maximum strength formula works immediately on imperfections and delivers visible results from day one.
Its Secret? An unprecedented association in the formula which fights imperfections and their marks:

Concentrated Salicyclic acid is one of the most efficient exfoliant actives.The proven power of plants: HERBAREPAIR is natural active extracted from Vaccinium Myrtillus with exceptional regenerating and skin-repairing properties.


Pond’s Clear Pimples Facial Foam
the face wash is designed for pimple-prone skin. Since it is highly absorbent, it helps remove dirt, grime and oil from deep within the pores. Also, that it gets rid of pimple causing bacteria, thereby, preventing the recurrence of pimples.

ponds clear skin face wash

Himalaya Clarina Anti-Acne Face Wash Gel
Clarina anti-acne face wash gel has anti-inflammatory, antiseborrheic, keratolytic, wound-healing, antioxidant, and antibacterial activities. Clarina anti-acne face wash gel inhibits the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by its antioxidant activity, thus reducing inflammation mediated by acne-causing bacteria. (After reading through all theses gibberish medical terms, all I could understand is that it kills the acne-causing bacteria, enough for me).Required quantity to be applied on moist face in gentle circular motions to work up a lather and then washed off. To be used twice daily

himalaya clarina face wash

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup
Skin-clearing makeup with salicylic acid feels cool and comfortable. Non-irritating, oil-free formula helps cover, clear and prevent acne with a fresh, flawless look.

clinique acne solutions foundation

Garnier Pure Active Multi-Action Toner-
Garnier PureActive Multi Action Toner provides an instant cooling affect and helps control sebum to clear impurities and control shine on acne-prone skin.

PureActive Pimple Reducing Toner’s pore-tightening double-action formula contains 2% Salicylic Acid to remove dead skin cells and help prevent blocked pores. Together with HerbaRepair, a natural skin-repairing ingredient, it provides concentrated anti-bacterial protection and controls spot-causing sebum production and prevent the re-appearance of pimples and marks.

garnier pure action toner

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash
Oil-Free Acne Wash is the #1 dermatologist recommended acne-fighting cleanser. This oil-free formula gently cleanses deep down into pores for clear skin. It contains Salicylic Acid to get rid of acne you have now and help prevent future breakouts. Special skin soothers help prevent irritation and overdrying. Skin is left clean, residue-free and never oily.

nuetrogena acne wash

Vichy Normaderm 3 in 1 Cleanser Scrub Mask
Unique combination of Salicylic acid, Glycolic acid and 25% Clay with a soothing agent. Salicylic acid works to remove impurities and excess sebum, Glycolic acid smoothes and evens the skin, while the Clay mattifies the skin for a clear complexion.

Allergy tested. Non comedogenic.
Soap-free. Paraben-free.
Alcohol-free. Oil-free.

vichy normaderm

ELF Clarifying Pressed Powder

Create a flawless finish with our silky Clarifying Press Powder that blends evenly into skin. Treat and prevent skin imperfections with key active ingredients formulated for problematic skin. Proven skin clarifiers absorb oil on contact to create a beautiful matte finish. Wear alone or with your other favorite e.l.f. face products for naturally smooth and flawless looking skin.

Absorbs excess oil on contact.
Helps treat and prevent breakouts.
Skin looks fresh and healthy.
Using the puff sweep the powder over the face to blend in for a flawless coverage

elf compact powder

Vichy Normaderm Anti-Imperfection Hydrating Care
All in one daily use care to treat imperfections hydrate and gives matt finish all day long. Tested on sensitive acne prone skin, non comedogenic

What it contains-
Salicylic acid- derived from willow bark extract, it eliminates dead skin, has anti microbial action
Glycolic acid- derived from sugar cane juice gently micro exfoliates dead skin
LHA- Vichy’s patented ingredient which helps to regulate sebum and eliminate shine

Vichy1 (1)

Clinique Anti-Blemish Spot Treatment Gel
Clinique Anti blemish Spot treatment gel contains Salicylic acid, which is no surprise as it’s often found in spot treatment products as it acts as an anti-septic and an anti-inflammatory, this is also why you notice a slight dryness of the spot as salicylic acid causes dryness, and so this product should not be used all over your face.

Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3
A gentle, oil-free exfoliating lotion for combination and oily skin. This second step in Clinique’s 3-Step Skin Care System is a true difference-maker for great skin. Developed by Clinique’s dermatologists, the smoothing formula whisks away pore-clogging oil and flakes to reveal a clearer complexion. It helps control excess oil to minimize breakouts and keep skin feeling clean.

Helps clear away pollution, excess oil, dulling flakes for clear, glowing skin.
• Helps block a blemish.
• Purifies pores to look cleaner, smaller.
• Skin grows stronger, stays clearer, healthier.
• Dermatologist-reformulated to be comfortable, non-drying.

clinique lotion

Garnier Light Complete Multi-action Whitening Cream
Light Complete
Pure lemon essence + Salicylic acid derivative

Dullness, dark-spots, acne marks and oiliness. They are barriers to achieving complete fairness. Garnier Light Complete is a multi-action whitening cream that acts on dullness dark-spots, excess oil and acne marks. It makes your skin visibly fairer while leaving it perfectly clarified.

garnier cream

Olay Age Protect Anti-Ageing Cream
Olay Age Protect anti-ageing cream gives you a simple anti-ageing solution, its formula contains Beta Hydroxy that stimulates skin’s natural renewal process to visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles, help lighten dark spots and improve skin tone. Within 4 weeks, skin will be more radiant and younger looking.
Benefits of using Olay Age Protect:
1. Lightens dark spots
2. Reduces wrinkles
3. Improves skin tone
4. Gives radiant younger looking skin

olay age protect

Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturizer
• Moisturizes dry skin
• Treats and helps prevent pimples

Product Description:
• Salicylic Acid acne medication.
• Used for management of acne.
• Oil free moisturizer suitable for almost all types of skin- dry, oily, combination.
• Suitable for acne-pimple prone skin.


Fabindia Tea Tree Skin Toner
An alcohol-free skin toner with tea tree oil that controls sebum and clears blemishes.


AromaMagic Mineral Glow Scrub
This face and body scrub for all skin types takes away layers of dulling cells and blackheads uncovering clean pores and fresh glowing skin in just 10 minutes. The skin appears lighter, smoother and looks healthier. It also removes fine lines.The ingredients are: Corn, Almond, Beta Hydroxy Acids, Citrus extracts, Trace elements of Zinc and Calcium, Pure essential oils of Tea Tree, Rosemary, Thyme and Lavender


Clean & Clear Clear Fairness Cream
Its breakthrough formula enriched with cherry extract and multi-vitamins instantly brightens and lightens skin for pinkish fair skin
It is unique PureRiceTM Oil Control System helps control oil
It also contains UV filters that protects the skin from harmful UV rays which cause darkening
Leaves skin pinkish fair and oil free!


Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub
Neutrogena® Claims that this scrub powerfully clears blemishes and blackheads with maximum strength Salicylic Acid acne medicine plus an uplifting blast of grapefruit.

With 100% naturally derived grapefruit extract and vitamin C, Neutrogena® Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub features gentle microbeads that smooth away roughness without over-drying or irritating your skin, for healthier looking skin. With an uplifting blast of grapefruit plus vitamin C, this unique formula clears blemishes and blackheads.

nuetrogena scrub

Clinique Exfoliating Scrub
Skin-clearing, water-based scrub for strong, oily skins. De-flakes, refines, softens tiny lines. Leaves skin refreshed.

Clean&Clear Pimple Clearing Face Wash
Effective solution for pimple prone skin. Its effective Salicylic Acid formula deep cleanses pimple causing bacteria and excess oil. Active Botanicals help reduce surface redness and soothe pimples. Leaves skin noticeably clearer.

clean & clear face wash

Alba Botanica Natural Acnedote Oil Control Lotion

Maybelline Clear Smooth BB Stick
Clear Smooth BB Stick is a multi-benefit product that combines the benefits of skin care, makeup, and sun block in a stick. It contains salicylic acid that helps clear away pores and imperfections, and mineral clay that helps control shine all day.

Dermatologically recommended.
Recommended for oily or combination skin.
Suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

maybelline bb stick

Neutrogena Advanced Solutions Acne Mark Fading Peel

Lakme Clean Up Clear Pores Face Scrub
Get a Salon like clean up. Gentle scrub with soothing green tea extracts specially designed for troubled skin. Helps fight blemishes,reduce irritation and & prevent further breakouts for clear and mattified skin
Oil free Dermatologist tested, Non comedogenic, Hypoallergenic.

lakme clean up

Clean and Clear Blackhead Clearing Cleanser

Clean and Clear blackhead clearing cleanser is formulated to start acting against blackheads from day 1. It removes oil, dirt and dead cells trapped deep in the pores-the impurities that can lead to blackheads. It also contains a blackhead fighting ingredient and helps prevents blackheads from coming back. With soothing actives, this cleanser is gentle enough to use every-day to thoroughly cleanse your skin and fight blackheads. Your skin is left feeling really clean from day 1, beautifully clear and refreshed.

clean and clear cleanser

St. Ives Blemish and Blackhead Control Apricot Scrub

Oil-free, with 2% salicylic acid, dermatologist tested and contains 100% natural extracts, this scrub gently cleans pores and helps stop breakouts before they occur.Key ingredients:Apricots, which are known to contain one of the highest levels of carotenoids (think Vitamin A) and super effective antioxidants. All of this natural power might seem, well, too powerful, but they are actually quite gentle and nourishing and they help make fresher, more nourished skin beautifully possible.

st ives scrub

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Triple Action Toner-

Help stop acne before it even emerges with a refreshing, multi-tasking toner that works in 3 ways for clearer, shine-free skin. Neutrogena® Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Triple-Action Toner:

1) Treats acne even before it emerges through MicroClear, clinically proven to boost the delivery of acne medicine to unclog congested pores.
2) Eliminate oil and shine, while helping to prevent future oil clogs.
3) Delivers a unique formula of skin-soothers, such as green tea and cucumber extracts, to reduce redness and irritation.

nuetrogena toner

Kaya Skin Clinic Purifying Toner

Toner is an essential product for every skin conscious person. Though there are many toners to use but people having oily skin can easily rely on Kaya Purifying Toner.

kaya toner

Neutrogena Deep Clean Blackhead Eliminating Cooling Toner

Helps to effectively eliminate blackheads from the very first use and prevent new ones from forming, for clear & healthy looking skin!

Delivers instant cooling sensation, tightens pores, and soothes skin.Blackhead Fighting Complex containing BHA to remove dead skin cells and control excessive oil. Cedarwood extract and moisturizer help strengthen the skin’s natural water and oil balance, and prevents new blackheads from forming with continuous use. For best results, use together with other Blackhead Eliminating products.Dermatologist tested, Oil free, Allergy tested, Non comedogenic.

Neutrogena cooling toner

Avene Cleanance Purifying Mask

Cleanance purifying mask.
Exfoliating and absorbing cleansing mask.
Formula specifically developed to help oily-prone skin regain a clear and healthy complexion.

Normal to oily-prone sensitive skin.
Visible shine.
Enlarged pores.
Tired, dull, lack luster skin.

avene clearance

Lastly make your own salicylic peel..

Mild Beta Hydroxy Peel/Mask at Home: DIY

An aspirin tablet [as one tablet is enough for face, if you want for the neck, add one more tablet][use non-coated one- here I am using Disprin].
• Plastic bowl[its always ideal to use plastic oneswhen you are dealing with chemicals].
• A heavy spoon or a mortar and pestle [to pound the tablet to powder].
• Few drops of lime juice[you can use water also but the effect will be slightly less].
• Good moisturizer of your choice.


Which ones have you tried? Are there any more products you would like to add? 🙂 I will write a post on facewashes for acne prone skin soon, what do you think?

How to Lighten/ Fade Acne Marks
Pimple and Acne Creams that Didn’t Work
How I Got Rid of Acne
How to Get Rid of Acne Scars
Review: Lotus Acne Gel with Tea Tree Oil and Lotus haul
Keracnyl Foaming Gel for Acne Prone Skin
VLCC Acne Control Clove Massage Gel
Rosacnil Gel for Acne and Skin Blemishes
Himalaya Clarina Anti-Acne Face Wash Gel
Gel Moisturisers for Oily Skin : Ask IMBB Gang
Vichy Normaderm Purifying cleansing gel
Pimple and Acne Creams that Didn’t Work
Acnemoist – Oil Free Moisturiser for Acne Prone Skin
Secret to My Pimple Free Skin
Ayur Tea Tree Face Wash for Acne-Prone & Oily Skin
How I Got Rid of Acne
How to Get Rid of Acne Scars
Neutrogena Oil – Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Cleanser


28 thoughts on “Best Salicylic Acid-Based Products for Acne-Prone Skin

    1. Try Vichy normaderm. I have literally tried everything from neutrogena to environ and my spots were not going away. Get the 3 in 1 vichy normaderm. *preen*

    1. Loreal cleanser, maybelline bb stick, neutrogena blackhead eliminating toner, garnier neem face wash
      Im just scared of trying new products now. *scared*

      1. Sal acid didnt break you out, the products you mentioned have other comedogenic ingredients which broke you out. You should check out this Skingredient app – you can download the android version from google play or use the online version on – it`ll tell you about comedogenic ingredients and what to avoid in products. ^_^

  1. Even I have very oily and acne prone skin..
    I bought Vichy after viewing fab reviews on IMBB but that didnt work on me and neither gave any change in skin.. 3 of the products are wasted.
    same goes with Kaya products. all 4 products wasted from its range *cry* *cry* *waaa* *waaa*

    1. Ponds clear pimple foam hasnt shown any positive output. i have been using it since a month.
      saslyic was good for removing oil only. no change in pimples thru that.

      1. Hey! Try the neutrogena deep clean foaming cleanser. It’s really nice and removes all oil from the skin. And get the small tube first to try it so that if it doesn’t suit you,it doesn’t really pinch your pocket either. 😀

          1. ya,i have used AHA glow face wash..d best face wash ever *happydance*
            couldnt get it back due to stock issues *headbang*

  2. Wow this post is sooo useful… *puchhi* *puchhi* *puchhi* i have acne prone skin only *hifive* i have tried half of these and wanna try some more but don’t know where ill get them *cry* ill keep on trying… i like benzoyl peroxide products more *happy dance* *happy dance*

  3. wow.. treasure.. *happydance* bt unfortunately clean & clear and neutrogena was average for me *duel* I loved loreal go 360 clean.. *haan ji* Am tempted to try vichy now.. *drool*

  4. Thankssssssssssssssssss so much for this post Neha… know, I am big on salicylic acid and I didn’t know there are sooooooooooooooooo many products with it as an ingredient. I am so happy now, there’s cleanser, toner, even foundation with salicylic acid. This is such an awesome compilation Neha………good work *happydance* *happydance* *happydance* *happydance* *jai ho*

  5. Nice compilation Neha.. *clap*
    Tried some of these, but DIY of beta hydroxy peel at home works best for me!!
    *happy dance* *happy dance*
    IMBB has a biiiiiiig role in helping me gain a glowing skin.. *haan ji* *clap* *clap*

  6. thank you Neha *thankyou* its really helpful Just like Jomol mentioned I didnt know I could get a toner and foundation with it yaaay

  7. NehaS ,
    I completely agree with arja.
    Salicylic does not break out, but other ingredients in the product does.
    Also check if you are sensitive skin type. I have worst acne prone skin and i have wasted money on all above said products. Even Clean and clear dint suit me.
    I use kaya Products, not the one with Salicylic acid, i use the soothing cleansing gel.
    It cleans well and doesn’t irritate.

  8. Perfect timing! My adaplene gel was making my worse from bad, again, and i just swore that I will re-embrace salicylic acid. And you brought the perfect list to us today!

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