One skincare issue that the majority of people suffer from is acne, blemishes and clogged pores. Thankfully, there are a plethora of beauty products that can significantly minimise zits and keep them at bay! Salicylic acid is the most common ingredient that can effectively banish acne and treat oily skin. You can also find different products with salicylic acid ranging from facial cleansers, shampoo, and body wash to moisturisers. So, Beauty Insider has gathered everything you need to know about salicylic acid and the best products formulated with it. Say hi to clear skin and bid goodbye to acne now!

What is Salicylic Acid?

Hold your horses! Before you go through the list of salicylic acid products that we have handpicked, it is important that you thoroughly understand this wonder ingredient. Salicylic acid is a type of beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that can help to slough off dead skin cells and treat blemishes. What sets it apart from benzoyl peroxide is that salicylic acid is suitable to combat blackheads and whiteheads. Additionally, it also prevents acne from recurring and clogging pores, making it ideal for those with acne-prone skin. Products that contain salicylic acid can be used for morning and nighttime skincare routines since it’s gentle to the skin, but make sure that you apply sunscreen afterwards. However, remember to use it warily since it can lead to dryness when overused.

What are the Benefits of Salicylic Acid?

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Well, there’s a reason why the beauty community is head over heels for this ingredient. With its ability to penetrate deeply into the layers of the skin, salicylic acid is a potent ingredient that can help you to achieve a clear and flawless complexion. If you think that salicylic acid only works to banish acne, think again!

  • Gently remove dead skin cells
  • Regulates excess sebum
  • Prevents blackheads and whiteheads
  • Features antibacterial properties
  • Helps to soothe inflammation and redness

What to Look for When Buying Salicylic Acid Products?

As much as you want to purchase the best salicylic acid products that people swear by, sometimes not all of them work for your skin condition and type. Therefore, we recommend that you take into consideration these tips before purchasing the products.

  • Make sure to prioritise salicylic acid products that have a fragrance-free formulas to minimise skin irritation
  • As salicylic acid can cause dryness and sensitivity, it is advisable that you opt for beauty products that contain moisturising ingredients
  • Select salicylic acid products that are suitable for your skincare routine and type

The Best Salicylic Acid Products in Malaysia That You Need in Your Skincare Routine

1. MissOLUMES Clarifying Toning Lotion

Meticulously formulated with Kalalit extract, skin-calming botanical extracts and a combination of PHA + AHA + natural BHA to gently refine and retexturize, this toning lotion is perfect for those who want to clear breakouts, de-congested pores, curbs excess sebum and smooth bumpy skin. 

Despite its powerful ingredients, this toning lotion is non-drying, non-irritating, and gentle enough to use every day. Best suited for those with normal to oily, normal to dry, combination and oily skin that are prone to blemishes, acne, shine, large pores, bumpy and uneven texture.

Why We Love It:

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Free from fragrance, silicone, sulphates and mineral oil
  • Slough off dead skin cells, diminish signs of scarring and unclog pores

Price: RM 49.00

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2. The Raw. Salicylic Acid 1.5% Deep Cleanser

On top of the list is The Raw. Salicylic Acid 1.5% Deep Cleanser which features a concoction of lactic acid and salicylic acid. This oil-free facial cleanser deeply cleanses the skin against impurities, sebum and dirt, leaving you with clearer-looking skin. Plus, it also penetrates into the layers of the skin and helps to clear out all of the gunk in the pores. It has a lightweight formula that keeps your skin hydrated even after cleansing.

Why we love it:

  • Oil-free formula
  • Mild foam
  • Provides deep cleansing

Price: RM39.90

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3. Minimalist BHA 2% Solution (Extra Pure Salicylic Acid)

If you’re looking for the best salicylic acid products for acne, the Minimalist BHA 2% Solution (Extra Pure Salicylic Acid) should be on your next wish list. It has an ultra-lightweight consistency that absorbs easily into the skin, making it highly effective. Enhanced with aloe vera extract, it helps to soothe irritation and boost the skin’s hydration level. Simply pour two drops on the palm before you gently pat it all over your face.

Why we love it:

  • Multipurpose
  • Clean ingredients
  • Dermatologically tested

Price: RM33.00

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4. Garden of Wisdom Salicylic Acid 2% Serum

Garden of Wisdom Salicylic Acid 2% Serum is a cult favourite product that will help you to attain clearer and smoother-looking skin. It features a gentle formula that helps to eliminate dead skin cells and minimize the appearance of scars as well as blemishes. On top of that, this serum helps to deeply cleanse the skin and prevent the pores from clogging. Regular usage helps prevent comedones from recurring and boosts the skin’s radiance.

Why we love it:

  • Helps to brighten the skin tone
  • Minimizes acne scars
  • Decongest the pores

Price: RM72.50 (Original price RM80.00)

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5. Face Republic Calming Acne Salicylic Cleanser

Next on the list is the highly-rated product by the K-beauty brand, Face Republic Calming Acne Salicylic Cleanser. This drugstore cleanser is expertly formulated with skin-loving ingredients including tea tree leaf extract, fig fruit extract, Centella Asiatica extract and salicylic acid. It effectively dissolves and cleanses the skin against impurities, debris and sebum without stripping the skin of its natural oils. This gel-based cleanser also helps to soothe inflammation and redness associated with acne.

Why we love it:

  • Gentle and mild formula
  • Retains skin moisture level
  • Soothing properties
  • Vegan formula

Price: RM45.90

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6. Geek & Gorgeous Porefectly Clear 2% BHA Exfoliating Serum

For those who are concerned about developing skin sensitivity due to salicylic acid, the Geek & Gorgeous Porefectly Clear 2% BHA Exfoliating Serum is a perfect product for you. It is enriched with hydrating and nourishing ingredients including allantoin and sarcosine. With its lightweight texture, this gel serum sinks quickly into the skin without leaving any greasy residues. It helps to minimize the appearance of pores and also prevents blackheads.

Why we love it:

  • Hydrates the skin
  • Prevents enlarged pores
  • Eliminates dead skin cells.

Price: RM65.00

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7. Chemist Confessions The Specialist: AHA + BHA + Niacinamide Treatment for Intermediate Acid Users

Chemist Confessions The Specialist: AHA + BHA + Niacinamide Treatment for Intermediate Acid Users is a multipurpose product that can be used as an exfoliating mask, spot treatment and acid booster. It contains a cocktail of salicylic acid, niacinamide and mandelic acid for maximum effectiveness. The top-notch formula functions to prevent congested pores and minimize acne scars. It also ensures that your skin looks smoother and radiant with just one application.

Why we love it:

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Multipurpose product
  • Helps to lighten scars

Price: RM229.60 (Original price RM245.00)

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8. Some By Mi Miracle Toner

Some By Mi Miracle Toner is a real deal that can deliver visible improvements in just 30 days. This toner is loved by many people as it contains high-quality ingredients and formulas. It is infused with essential ingredients like AHAs, BHAs and PHAs to prevent acne. It helps to gently remove dead skin cells unveiling radiant-looking skin. However, it also functions to keep your skin hydrated without any dryness.

Why we love it:

  • Helps to brighten the skin tone
  • Deeply cleanse the pores
  • Slough off dead skin cells

Price: RM59.00

Where to buy: Watsons

9. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel is the best-kept secret among the beauty community. Plus, it is a perfect option if you’re thinking of incorporating salicylic acid products into your at-home treatment routine. It is formulated with seven types of acids, vitamins and antioxidants which effectively smooth out uneven skin texture and dead skin cells. Plus, it also works wonders to regulate sebum production. It only takes two-step for you to attain the skin of your dream.

Why we love it:

  • Minimizes fine lines and wrinkles
  • Smooth out skin texture
  • Vegan formulation
  • Instant results

Price: RM380.00

Where to buy: Sephora

10. The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque features its star ingredient, salicylic acid to purify the skin from impurities and sebum. Besides that, this cult favourite mask gently removes dead skin cells and minimize redness due to blemish. It also delivers deep cleansing to prevent pores congestion, making it ideal for those with oily and acne-prone skin. In fact, thousands of people have sworn by this product.

Why we love it:

  • Infused with charcoal
  • Regulates excess sebum
  • Brightens the skin tone

Price: RM120.00

Where to buy: Zalora

11. Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA

Show your body the love it deserves with Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA. This leave-on body exfoliator features a lightweight lotion that helps to revive dull skin and softens rough patches all over the body. Plus, it also ensures that dead skin cells are gently removed so you can have super silky smooth skin. It has a gentle and mild formula that is suitable for all skin types.

Why we love it:

  • Ideal for all skin types
  • Minimizes the signs of ageing
  • Helps to soften the skin

Price: RM80.00

Where to buy: Zalora

12. CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser

CeraVe is the most well-known and popular skincare brand on the market. Everyone is constantly trying to get their hands on one of CeraVe’s products. It is a wonder that any of them are still in stock! But, if you are looking for an excellent salicylic acid cleanser that will get the job done, the CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser is something you should be looking out for. It helps smooth out bumpy, rough skin as it exfoliates gently. With each wash, it is also protecting the natural moisture barrier of the skin. Furthermore, it provides hydration thanks to ceramides and hyaluronic acid. 

Why we love it:

  • Fragrance-free
  • Smooths bumpy and rough skin
  • Suitable for acne-prone skin

Price: RM135.00

Where to buy: Threebs

13. Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3

In order to achieve smoother and clearer skin, you’ll need a good lotion in your skincare routine. The Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3 is best for oily and combination skin types. It has the benefit of helping get rid of impurities, grime, dirt and exfoliates the skin. Furthermore, its formula contains witch hazel, which has properties to reduce redness and inflammation. 

Why we love it:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Brighter skin
  • Salicylic acid offers a deeper cleanse 

Price: RM170.00

Where to buy: Sephora

14. The Inkey List Beta Hydroxy Acid Exfoliant

A must-have salicylic acid serum to add to your skincare routine is The Inkey List Beta Hydroxy Acid Exfoliant. This salicylic acid serum helps get rid of debris, impurities and dead skin cells from pores. Besides that, it also removes any excess oil produced by your skin and evens out your skin tone. This resurfacing treatment is gentle and targets blackheads among others to unclog your pores. 

Why we love it:

  • Salicylic acid serum
  • Retexturises the skin
  • Gentle exfoliant

Price: RM59.00

Where to buy: Threebs

15. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

The Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant helps you achieve skin that looks smoother and brighter every day! This is an iconic exfoliant that offers a rice-based powder which only activates as it comes in contact with water. To polish your skin to perfection, this Microfoliant releases rice enzymes, salicylic acid and papain. Its formula further contains white tea, phytic acid from rice bran and liquorice. All of which help balance any signs of uneven skin tones. Thanks to the soothing blend of allantoin and colloidal oatmeal, it is gentle enough for daily use, and calms the skin! 

Why we love it:

  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free 

Price: RM69.00

Where to buy: Dermalogica

16. La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (+)

For those struggling with acne, we recommend the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (+). It is suitable for both oily and acne-prone skin. With a non-sticky texture, it offers benefits of unclogging pores and eliminating blemishes. It also makes a great makeup base for many of La Roche Posay’s products. A little drop is all you need to start your journey of healing acne scars and marks. With an efficacy lasting 12 hours, it offers an anti-breakout occurrence. 

Why we love it:

  • Mattifying effect
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Prevents acne from reappearing

Price: RM28.41

Where to buy: Shopee

17. Cosmoderm Niacinamide Salicylic Acid Balancing Gel-Cream Moisturiser 

If you are looking for a great salicylic acid moisturiser, then try the Cosmoderm Niacinamide Salicylic Acid Balancing Gel-Cream Moisturiser. As a non-oil-based moisturiser, it is suitable for oily and combination skin types. Thus, keeping your skin looking healthy and glowy without drying it out. This gel-cream moisturiser is also packed with niacinamide and salicylic acid. Both of which, help to combat acne spots, blackheads, hyperpigmentation and acne. One of the best salicylic acid products in Malaysia, it helps your skin to achieve a youthful glow. 

Why we love it:

  • Gentle exfoliation
  • Brightens the skin
  • Soothing 

Price: RM21.51

Where to buy: Watsons

18. Cosrx Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser 

Cosrx Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser is one of the best salicylic acid products. It features a formula made with natural botanical BHA composition. Besides that this cleanser also creates a soft foam with a creamy texture that will help unclog pores and gently cleanse your skin. Furthermore, it also helps to exfoliate the surface of your skin to prevent whiteheads and blackheads from forming. With natural ingredients and affordability, it is a great cleanser for most skin types. 

Why we love it:

  • Travel-friendly
  • Affordable
  • Prevents blemishes 

Price: RM36.75

Where to buy: Watsons

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