new on the site: Ask an Esthetician

What’s one of the best types of exfoliation for the bikini zone?

Quick Answer: salicylic acid toners & serums

Longer version: for most of us, salicylic acid (aka beta-hydroxy acid) comes from the same source as aspirin, white willow bark. This exfoliant is great because at the OTC percentage, it sloughs skin gently (on the surface & withing the follicle) & helps decrease redness.

I don’t recommend salicylic acid in a cleanser. OTC percentages are low enough that you need to leave this ingredient on the skin so that it can do its best work.

Salicylic acid is contraindicated if you are pregnant, have very dry skin (not just surface dry), are sensitive/allergic to aspirin.

Anytime you add a new active product, I recommend introducing it to your skin slowly. Start with using it just once or twice to see how your skin responds.

Here are some simple steps to using salicylic acid to keep your skin clear and eliminate bumps and clogged pores:

  1. if you get clogged follicles (aka bumps), NEVER pick, poke or prod.
  2. whatever you choose, treat your skin gently.
  3. if it is a single bump, first apply ice to the area.
  4. i recommend fine sea salt to use as a physical exfoliant.
  5. then, apply salicylic acid in a toner, toner pad, serum or moisturizer (like this one!).  do not rinse off. (apply 3-4x/week in the morning or evening)
  6. (salicylic acid should not be used in a cleanser; it needs to be left on your skin)
  7. apply moisture as needed to hydrate & protect your skin.
  8. clay or enzyme masks are deep cleaning treats (use 1-2x/week or month)
  9. contraindications: do a patch test if you’re sensitive to aspirin & do not use if pregnant.
  10. remember: be gentle and NEVER, ever, ever pick, poke or prod your skin

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common sense disclaimer:  i am not a doctor or a therapist. so if you need immediate medical attention, please call your health professional.