Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.
Is there anything worse than going through your exhaustive nighttime skin care routine with vigilance and determination, only to still wake up with a huge blemish? Of course, it happens to the best of us, but then we have no choice but to deviate from our go-to regimen. Major bummer.
But, with all the “must-have” products that promise a perfect complexion in a snap, it’s hard to decipher which ones will work best for your skin. The first step? Ignore the flashy label and instead, examine the ingredient list. If breakouts are your main concern, salicylic acid — an antibacterial agent derived from willow bark — could be your savior. The treatment works by softening the top layer of skin, penetrating into the clogged follicles, and exfoliating to remove the dead skin cells that can cause inflammation. And, unlike many popular pimple fighters, low doses of salicylic acid aren’t harsh on the skin, making it a great additive in everything from treatment gels to daily moisturizers.
Because it can be hard to decode exactly which products you should add to your routine, we rounded up eight of our go-to favorites that are made for everyday use. Click through for the top blemish-banishing salicylic acid picks!