Skincare Junkie: Ditch The Toothpaste And Start Using A Real Spot Zapper

Cara Croke is all about salicylic acid.

Are you the type of gal who wistfully slaps toothpaste on a spot at nighttime only to be disappointed when it’s still there the next morning? Don’t you worry, I have the perfect addition to your skincare routine that’ll zap your spots away in no time.

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that is oil soluble rather than water soluble,┬ámaking it ideal to target oily skin conditions that may be contributing to frustrating breakouts. It’s acne’s biggest enemy, and if you slap it on your sore spots at night before you go to bed you’ll wake up with them dried out and minimised by morning.

As well as drying out your spots, salicylic acid is also a gentle exfoliator. It helps to soften keratin, a protein in the skin that makes skin cells stick together. This makes it much easier to rub away dead skin cells while removing dirt and impurities from deep down in the pores and reducing redness, inflammation and hyperpigmentation.

Large pores are usually due to pores being clogged with oil and debris. Salicylic acid helps to reduce excess sebum as well as thoroughly clearing the pores, meaning it reduces their appearance.

My favourite salicylic acid to use is, surprise surprise, by The Ordinary. It’s a salicylic acid 2% solution, meaning it’s not a pure concentration. It’s not recommended to use a high concentration of salicylic acid straight away if you’ve never used one before, as it can irritate the skin. This one is perfect if you’re looking to try it out for the first time, and it works perfectly on my normal skin type.

I tend to only use it if I have a prominent or noticeable spot and then slightly over the redness on my cheeks from acne scarring. If you have dry or normal skin I wouldn’t recommend applying it all over the face as it can cause texture and irritation.

As salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid, it’s recommended that you use an SPF on your skin while using it, as it increases your skin’s sensitivity. It’s great for bringing those painful, under the skin spots to a head and drying them out. Save your toothpaste for your teeth, ladies!