Salicylic Acid and Vitamin C are well-known ingredients in the world of skincare. If you don’t already have one or both somewhere in your medicine cabinet, you’ve likely considered adding one to your routine at least once before.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your skincare regimen or are just looking to wrap your head around these two ingredients and when you should be using them, look no further. We’re here to help you better understand Vitamin C and Nature’s Salicylic Acid otherwise known as Black Willow Bark.
What Is Salicylic Acid?
Salicylic Acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) derived from Willow Tree Bark. It’s often used as a spot treatment or in the formulation of serums and creams intended to help improve breakouts.
Compared to Alpha Hydroxy Acids, BHAs have a slightly different structure, making them oil-soluble. That means that Salicylic Acid is better able to penetrate your pores than other breakout-busting ingredients. If you’re looking for a vegan Salicylic Acid, there’s nothing better than Black Willow Bark.
This is good news for your breakouts because it means Black Willow Bark can get into your pores to help dissolve any build-up of dead surface skin cells, dirt, and other impurities that may have taken up residence there. Even your most stubborn blackheads are no match for Nature’s Salicylic Acid “Black Willow Bark”.
Black Willow Bark also helps slough away dead surface skin cell buildup. This can lead to brighter, smoother, and more even skin overall. It can also help maintain a healthy balance in your skin’s natural oil.
Black Willow Bark is particularly effective when it comes to minimizing comedones. Comedones are lesions like blackheads, which are open comedones, and whiteheads, which are closed comedones. If you struggle with whiteheads and blackheads, we have good news – Salicylic Acid could be a great fit, but nature’s Salicylic Acid, also known as Black Willow Bark, could be an even better fit. We’ll explore that shortly.
Salicylic Acid can be found in lower concentrations in over-the-counter products. It also may be prescribed to you by your doctor or dermatologist in higher concentrations.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Like most BHAs and similar chemical exfoliants, Salicylic Acid can have some side effects. These effects are visible signs of irritation, such as redness, dryness, and flakiness.
Generally, Salicylic Acid is most likely to cause a problem when you’re using too much of it or using too high of a concentration for your skin. It’s also best to keep your Salicylic Acid application to breakout-prone areas rather than slathering it all over your face. However, when you use nature’s Salicylic Acid equivalent, Black Willow Bark, these side effects are less of a concern because this ingredient is more gentle.
If you have particularly sensitive skin, you may want to patch test your Salicylic Acid or Black Willow Bark product first. And since this ingredient is a chemical exfoliant, it’s important to keep your skin hydrated while using it.
We recommend using a heavy-duty cream moisturizer like our Chebula Extreme Cream. Our Chebula Extreme Cream is an anti-aging moisturizer that 100% of subjects agreed made their skin look and feel smoother, softer, more glowy and deeply hydrated.
This formula also features Chebula, a breakthrough, cascading antioxidant that targets five signs of aging. Chebula offers anti-aging protection alongside potent plant actives, including Acerola Cherry, Calendula Oil, and Wild Pansies Extract to help soothe skin and improve moisture levels.
What Is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, known in the skincare world as L-Ascorbic Acid, is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are crucial to a well-rounded skincare routine because they’re what your body needs to maintain healthy surface skin cells.
Many factors, including sun exposure and other environmental irritants, can stress out your skin cells and contribute to signs of aging. Antioxidants like Vitamin C can help support and maintain your skin during exposure to irritants and stressors, working to ensure that your skin stays radiant.
Vitamin C also supports youthful-looking skin, which is important if anti-aging measures are a priority for you. This is because as we get older, our body’s production of collagen decreases, and this can contribute to fine lines. Vitamin C may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve the appearance of dark spots, and help your skin look more plump and firm.
This is why we love our Vitamin C Booster. Add some of this simple three-ingredient booster to your cream moisturizer and apply lavishly to your skin.
This vitamin-rich booster can give you the look of dramatically brighter skin and help reduce the appearance of dark spots with its potent, oxidation-proof formulation. The added power of Ferulic Acid helps to support proper surface skin cell turnover and protect overall skin integrity.
How Should I Use Nature’s Salicylic Acid and Vitamin C Together?
Depending on your skin type, conventional Salicylic Acid and Vitamin C may cause irritation if used at the same time or layered directly on top of one another. In general, the easiest way to get around a potentially adverse reaction between these two ingredients is to apply them at opposite ends of your routine.
However, you can also use an ingredient that has all of the properties and benefits of Salicylic Acid without any of the potentially drying effects — or any of the possible negative reactions with Vitamin C. That ingredient is Black Willow Bark Extract, also known as nature’s Salicylic Acid.
Let’s walk through an example routine using nature’s Salicylic Acid, Black Willow Bark, and Vitamin C to make sure your skin is bright, glowing, and even — and that breakouts become a thing of your past.
1. Use a Breakout-Busting Cleanser
Let’s be clear — by breakout-busting, we’re not talking about those super drying, astringent cleansers that leave your skin feeling tight and dry. We’re talking about our Clear Nourishing Cleanser.
Most cleansers marketed to oily, breakout-prone skin use synthetic ingredients and harsh surfactants that disrupt the skin barrier and exacerbate those exact problems. But our Clear Nourishing Cleanser was specifically formulated to help cleanse oily skin while nourishing and supporting your skin barrier.
It uses Black Willow Bark Extract, which is nature’s Salicylic Acid, to slough away dead surface skin cells while Helichrysum helps clear away blemish-causing bacteria. Rather than stripping your skin, Aloe Vera leaves you feeling balanced and hydrated.
2. Use Our Nutrient Toner
Toner is a step often left out of many people’s skincare routines. But if you’re interested in Black Willow Bark or Vitamin C for their ability to help clear up breakouts and blemishes that might make your complexion uneven, using a toner is a good idea.
Our Clear Nutrient Toner helps get your skin into the balanced state it needs to achieve in order to glow. Much like cleansers, many conventional toners strip your skin of the good bacteria and oils it needs. Our Clear Nutrient Toner, on the other hand, takes an innovative approach to calming breakout-prone skin.
This nutrient-dense ingredient cocktail is carefully formulated with everything breakout-prone skin needs to thrive, from nature’s Salicylic Acid, Black Willow Bark Extract, to organic Kombucha and raw Apple Cider Vinegar. These ingredients work together to help provide the ideal environment for keeping your skin’s microbiome balanced.
If you want to get the most out of your skincare products, adding a toning step to your routine is a great way to get your face as clean and prepared as possible to absorb all the goodness you’re about to apply.
3. Apply an Antioxidant-Rich Serum
Although Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, another powerful one we recommend working into your routine is Chebula. Chebula is a special antioxidant known as a cascading antioxidant.
Most antioxidants are more or less used up after they fight off one free radical — but Chebula converts itself into a new form after it fights off every free radical, helping to protect your skin over and over again.
Our Chebula Active Serum makes use of this super-effective antioxidant to deliver anti-aging results that are so dramatic it’s clinically proven to reduce wrinkles by 22% in only six weeks.* This is the last anti-aging serum you’ll ever need — it fights five signs of aging AND helps prevent future damage before it happens.
Scented with delicate orange blossoms picked by hand in April and May, this serum can help ensure your skin is left hydrated, glowy, and more youthful-looking.
While you can use Chebula Active Serum in the morning or evening, we love a specific night treatment, and our Clear Repair Nightly Treatment fits the bill. This treatment features nature’s Salicylic Acid, Black Willow Bark Extract, to help reduce the look of blemishes and fights signs of skin aging – all while you sleep.
But this all-in-one nightly treatment doesn’t just fight blemishes and breakouts. It also has powerful anti-aging properties thanks to hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, brightening Niacinamide, and a replenishing Green Tea base that nourishes the skin with free radical-fighting antioxidants.
4. Moisturize & Apply Vitamin C
If you love efficiency as much as we do, this dynamic duo will make your favorites list. Combine our Chebula Extreme Cream with our Vitamin C Booster to safely use the effects of nature’s Salicylic Acid with Vitamin C — plus the extreme hydration and antioxidant benefits of our Chebula-enriched moisturizer — to get the best glow of your life.
Choosing the right skincare products for your individual needs can be challenging, but with a little bit of help, it doesn’t have to be!
If you’re looking to ease breakouts, even your skin tone or texture, or brighten your complexion overall, Vitamin C and Salicylic Acid’s natural equivalent, Black Willow Bark Extract, might be just what you need.
Clinical Data Disclaimer:*Based on a 6-week single-blind comparative clinical study of 30 women aged 35-65 with twice-daily use.
Salicylic Acid Topical | Medline Plus
Beta Hydroxy Acids | Food & Drug Administration
Decreased Collagen Production in Chronologically Aged Skin | PubMed Central
EWG Skin Deep® | What is SALIX NIGRA (BLACK WILLOW) BARK EXTRACT | EWG