Will 5% Salicylic acid help to remove blackheads and clear my skin?

I'm looking to buy an at home solution to apply to my face but I'm not sure whether to get 5% or 10%? I would say I have a medium skin tone (white to light brown in the summer). I have combination skin often get white-heads (not sure what causes them) and prone to black heads. I have large pores in places and pimples under the skin that don't surface. Some spots in pores even when I squeeze them (I know I shouldn't) just don't unclog! Please advise on what strength I should use? GREATLY appreciated :)

Doctor Answers 1

Yes, salicylic acid at 5% can help

This is a good and safe concentration, and it can help with blackheads and acne. Salicylic acid is also called a BHA or beta hydroxy acid peel, and can be anti-inflammatory. 

Apply the solution with a cotton ball at night after a shower, start 2-3 times a week, and increase as tolerated. Wash your hand afterwards, or your fingers may peel. I like the 5% to 8% concentration for at home salicylic acid peels. 

We perform 15-30% peels, however this should be done as a clinical peel, and not home peels. 

All the best

Dr Davin Lim 
Fiori Institute - Skin and Body
Brisbane, Australia


Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

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