7 Best Salicylic Acid Serums Of 2022 That Nourish Your Skin

Transform acne-prone skin from the inside out with the power of this wonder ingredient.

By Shiboli Chakraborti, Certified Skin Care Coach
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A salicylic acid serum helps prevent acne, minimize the appearance of blemishes, and reduce dark spots. Thus, the best salicylic acid serum exfoliates your skin, cleanses the pores, removes blackheads, whiteheads, and prevents further breakout.

Salicylic acid or BHA is derived from plant-based sources like willow tree bark and wintergreen leaves that prevent clogging of pores. In addition, it penetrates your skin and eliminates oil buildup. Salicylic acid is a common ingredient in creams, face washes, and other formulae that are crafted for acne-prone skin. However, you can enjoy its true benefits only through serums.

Picking the right salicylic acid serums that nourish your skin can be challenging. So, in this article, we bring you the 7 best salicylic acid serums. Read on.

Top Picks
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Best Overall: Cos De BAHA S4 Salicylic Acid BHA 4% Serum
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Best For Skin Redness: Neutralyze Clearing Serum
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Best For Enlarged Pores: Caudalie Vinopure Skin Perfecting Serum
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Best For All Skin Types: Divulge Beauty Daily Exfoliating Serum
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Best For Acne: Derma E Acne Blemish Control Treatment Serum
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Best For Uneven Skin Tone: Dermalogica Active Clearing Age Bright Clearing Serum
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Best For Wrinkles: Pure Salicylic Acid 5% Clarifying Serum
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7 Best Salicylic Acid Serums With Different Concentrations

1. Best Overall: Cos De BAHA S4 Salicylic Acid BHA 4% Serum

This serum from Cos De BAHA is an effective solution for multiple skin conditions. It contains 4% salicylic acid with niacinamide, which help reduce blemishes, acne, dullness, and uneven skin tone. The serum also exfoliates the skin to improve clarity.

The salicylic acid in the formula eliminates dead skin cells and unclogs pores to clear congestion. It penetrates deep into the walls of the pores to repair the skin. This serum reduces blackheads, breakouts, and redness by dissolving pore-clogging impurities and gently removing makeup, excess oil, and dirt. It also rejuvenates the skin and contains lipid-soluble and keratolytic peeling agents that help oily, sensitive, and rosacea-prone skin types.

Pros

  • Non-irritating
  • A little goes a long way
  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Nut-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Sticky

2. Best For Skin Redness: Neutralyze Clearing Serum

The Neutralyze Clearing Serum contains 2% salicylic acid, nitrogen, and 1% mandelic acid to boost the health of your skin. The clinically proven formula is highly effective and delivers noticeable results from the first day of application. It visibly reduces redness and irritation and improves the skin tone.

This salicylic acid serum uses the multi-patented Nitrogen Boost skin care technology to prevent acne and heal the skin. It also prevents future breakouts and corrects uneven skin tone through gentle exfoliation. This serum diminishes dark spots, wrinkles, and fine lines to reveal a youthful glow. It is also effective for pimples, cystic acne, whiteheads, blemishes, blackheads, dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Suitable for teens and adults
  • Can also be used on the body
  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Fragrance-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Contains alcohol
  • Overpowering scent

3. Best For Enlarged Pores: Caudalie Vinopure Skin Perfecting Serum

The Caudalie Vinopure Skin Perfecting Serum is the best for tightening pores. The clinically tested formula fades imperfections and makes your skin clean and clear. It contains natural salicylic acid that unclogs and tightens the pores and an essential oil complex that purifies and tones the skin. The antioxidant-rich grape seed in the serum moisturizes and soothes the skin. This lightweight serum absorbs excess oil and prevents blackheads.

Pros

  • Smells good
  • Paraben-free
  • SLS-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Phenoxyethanol-free
  • No animal-based ingredients

Cons

  • Leaves a sticky residue.

4. Best For All Skin Types: Divulge Beauty Daily Exfoliating Serum

This 7% salicylic acid serum exfoliates dead skin cells, unclogs pores, and fades wrinkles and fine lines to reveal bright and even-toned skin. It is suitable for all skin types and imparts softness and smoothness to the skin by refining its texture. The BHA or salicylic acid has natural skin-calming properties that soothe rosacea and redness. It deeply penetrates the pores to get rid of uneven texture and blackheads.

Pros

  • Non-abrasive
  • Lightweight
  • No pH-disturbing chemicals
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free

Cons

  • Stings a bit

5. Best For Acne: Derma E Acne Blemish Control Treatment Serum

The Derma E Acne Blemish Control Treatment Serum has a lightweight formula with 0.5% salicylic acid for mild exfoliation. It also contains a unique Anti-Blemish Complex that features tea tree oil, lavender, chamomile, aloe vera, and willow bark extract to fade blemishes and prevent their formation. These ingredients deeply penetrate and unclog the pores to prevent acne formation and give a healthy appearance to your skin.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Artificial color-free
  • Artificial scent-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Petroleum-free

Cons

  • Leaves residue
  • Strong scent

6. Best For Uneven Skin Tone: Dermalogica Active Clearing Age Bright Clearing Serum

This serum from Dermalogica helps fade aging signs and acne to reveal bright and even-toned skin. The salicylic acid in it exfoliates the skin and prevents acne and breakouts. This serum also increases cell turnover. The Age Bright Complex in the formula works with the natural microbiome in the skin to make it appear clear and radiant. The serum also contains phyto actives derived from the resurrection plant to keep the skin hydrated and smooth. The niacinamide and white shiitake mushrooms in the formula even out the skin tone.

Pros

  • Mild scent
  • Absorbed quickly
  • A little goes a long way
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • Expensive

7. Best For Wrinkles: Pure Salicylic Acid 5% Clarifying Serum

This serum from Pure Organic Ingredients contains 5% salicylic acid and can be used to deal with acne, hyperpigmentation, and premature aging. It exfoliates the inside walls of the pores and clarifies the skin with regular use. The formula is especially effective on under-eye bags, wrinkles, large pores, breakouts, and uneven skin tone. The antioxidants in the serum neutralize free radicals and prevent wrinkles and fine lines.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Greasy

Salicylic acid serums help reduce dark spots, minimize the appearance of blemishes, prevent acne and other skin woes. Salicylic acid penetrates your skin deeply, eliminates build-up in the skin, and prevents pore-clogging. Moreover, the products mentioned above are free from harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances or colors. You should pick the best salicylic acid serum based on your skin type and avoid any product that has a strong scent. Finally, use it regularly to feel the difference!

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Shiboli Chakraborti, the author, is a certified skin care coach with a deep affinity for finding products that aid and improve skin health and prevent skin issues like acne. In this article, she lists out various salicylic acid serums with different concentrations. She studied and researched each of these products and their reviews on multiple forums. She selected these products based on skin-friendly ingredients, the absence of harsh elements, skin care benefits, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will salicylic acid lighten the skin?

No, salicylic acid doesn’t lighten the skin tone.

Does salicylic acid fade dark spots?

Yes, salicylic acid can help fade dark spots.

Can I use a salicylic acid serum every day?

Yes, you can use a salicylic acid serum every day. However, if you experience skin irritation, make sure to consult your doctor and reduce its usage.

Should I moisturize after using salicylic acid serum?

Yes, but wait 20 minutes before moisturizing your skin after using a salicylic acid serum.

How long does salicylic acid serum take to work?

A salicylic acid serum takes six to eight weeks to work.

Is it okay if I use vitamin C serum in the morning and salicylic acid serum at night?

No, combining vitamin C and salicylic acid in your serum routine may disturb the pH-balance of your skin.

Can you use 2% salicylic acid daily as a serum on teenage acne-prone skin?

Yes, you can use 2% salicylic acid serum daily on teenage acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid prevents breakouts and controls sebum production. However, consult your doctor before using if your skin is hypersensitive.

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Shiboli has a master’s degree in English literature from The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, and is a certified... more

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