Moisturizing After Salicylic Acid: The What, Why & How

PUBLISHED ON 2023/11/02 at 5:19 PM

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What Moisturizer To Use After Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid might be the skincare product of your dreams with its pore unclogging properties, but there’s more to the story. You need to pair your salicylic acid serums with hydrating and moisturizing products if you truly want radiant skin. 

So keep reading to discover how you can keep your skin’s moisture barrier intact while using SA. Using our solid three years of skincare experience and hands on testing of products, we’ve got answers. We’ll tell you exactly how and when you should use a moisturizer after slathering on some salicylic acid.

Your journey to healthier, glowing skin begins here.

How Does Salicylic Acid (SA) Help Your Skin?

SA or Beta Hydroxy acid is known for its exfoliating properties. It’s commonly used in skincare products to unclog pores, exfoliating, treat acne, and promote smoother skin.

It penetrates the skin to exfoliate both the skin’s surface and inside the pores. It promotes the shedding of dead skin cells, leading to smoother, more even-toned skin.

Can I Use A Moisturizer After Salicylic Acid? 

Certainly! Moisturizing after applying SA acid is indeed a necessary step in your skin care routine.

SA acid, with its exfoliating properties, can strip away dead skin cells and excess oil. Because of this it leaves your skin feeling dry or tight. 

Using SA acid will enhance the moisturizer’s ability to penetrate the skin layers more effectively.

BHA acid clears away debris and dead cells from every layer of your skin, so the moisturizer can efficiently penetrate the lipid and moisture barrier maintaining your skin’s hydration and overall health.

So after moisturising, you replenish lost moisture, ensuring your skin remains well-hydrated and comfortable.

 The Best Moisturizers To Use After Salicylic Acid 

After some intense research and reviewing, we have our top three picks for the best moisturizers to use after using SA.

1- Cerave Hyaluronic Acid Serum for Face

By applying the CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum after SA acid, you can replenish the moisture that your skin needs and soothe any inflammation. The serum can also enhance the effects of SA acid by improving the skin’s texture and smoothness. This serum’s effectiveness is evident, making it a must-have for anyone seeking a hydrating and soothing skincare solution.

This serum provides deep hydration, seals in moisture, and revitalizes your skin’s protective lipid barrier for long-lasting health.

Active ingredients:  Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and vitamin B5.

What we Like:

  • Intense Hydration
  • Non-Greasy
  • Fragrance-Free
  • Compatible
  • Affordable 

What We Don’t Like:

  • Packaging
  • Availability in local stores.

Who Is It for?

The serum is suitable for

  • Dry skin
  • Sensitive skin
  • Oily skin
  • Acne-prone Skin

2- Toleriane Double Repair Facial Moisturizer with SPF

Toleriane Double Repair Facial Moisturizer is a skin-friendly oasis, hydrating without heaviness and offering SPF protection for daily wear. After SA acid treatments, it rescues your skin, leaving it soft, smooth, and perfectly balanced, erasing dryness and irritation. 

It is designed to offer 48 hours of deep hydration and to rejuvenate your skin’s innate protective shield.

Active Ingredients: This moisturizer boasts a rich blend of La Roche-Posay prebiotic thermal water, ceramide-3, niacinamide, and glycerin in high concentration.

What We Like:

  • Hydrates and repairs the skin barrier
  •  Protects the skin from sun damage
  • Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive
  •  Oil-free and non-comedogenic
  •  Fragrance-free and paraben-free
  • Affordable and widely available

What We Don’t Like:

  • Some people might prefer a scented moisturizer, but this one is mostly unscented.
  •  While functional, the packaging could be more aesthetically appealing.

Who is it for?

It is suitable for all sensitive skin types including dry skin, oily skin and acne prone skin.

3- CeraVe Day & Night Face Lotion Skin Care Set

After applying SA acid, your skin might need some extra care to maintain its moisture and balance. The CeraVe Day & Night Face Lotion Set does just that. The lightweight, non-greasy formula of both lotions ensures your skin stays hydrated without feeling heavy. The day lotion provides essential hydration and sun protection, while the night lotion works overnight to replenish and soothe your skin, leaving it soft, supple, and revitalized. Together, they create a perfect aftercare routine, ensuring your skin remains healthy and glowing.

What We Like:

  • Effective Hydration
  • Daytime Sun Protection
  • Nighttime Repair
  • Non-Irritating
  • Affordable and widely available.

Active Ingredients: Both of these formulations are packed with ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid.

What We Like;

  • Effective Hydration
  • Daytime Sun Protection
  • Nighttime Repair
  • Non-Irritating
  • Affordable and widely available.

What We Don’t Like:

  • May not be enough for very dry or sensitive skin
  •  May cause allergic reactions in some people
  • May leave a white cast on darker skin tones due to SPF

Who is it for?

It is suitable to use by every type of skin.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About SA

Is It Safe to Use SA Acid Face Wash Every Day?

Using a SA face wash daily can be safe and effective for many individuals, especially if you have oily or acne-prone skin.

However, it’s essential to monitor your skin’s response. If you notice any signs of excessive dryness, redness, or irritation, it may be wise to reduce the frequency to every other day or as recommended by a dermatologist.

Is It Okay to Use Salicylic Acid with Retinol?

Yes, you can use salicylic acid with retinol, but it requires caution and a gradual approach. Start by using them on alternate days or at different times, as they both can be potent and potentially cause skin irritation if used together too soon. It’s advisable to consult with a dermatologist.

Is it Effective to Apply Moisturizer Before SA Acid?

No, it is definitely not effective to use moisturizer before application of SA acid.

SA peels away dead layers of your skin, revealing fresh skin underneath.

But you do not want to trap it under a moisturizer layer. Moisturizers can stop SA acid from doing its deep-cleaning work. It also dilutes the strength of BHA acid and make it less effective.

Therefore, the best practice is to apply moisturizer after SA acid.

Can Moisturizer Be applied on SA Acid?

Yes, moisturiser can be applied on SA acid. It helps lock in hydration and ensures that your skin remains well-moisturized and protected after using SA acid.

However, it’s a good idea to allow the BHA acid to be absorbed by your skin first before applying the moisturizer.

How long after SA acid for moisturizer?

The general recommendation is to wait between 5 and 20 minutes after applying SA acid before you put on your moisturizer. However, the specific time may vary depending on the formulation of the SA acid product you use.

  • For face washes and toners, waiting at least 5 minutes after your face has dried is usually sufficient.
  • In the case of serums, creams, and spot treatments, you may want to wait about 10-20 minutes.
  • After a chemical peel, most skincare professionals suggest waiting around 15-20 minutes as part of the aftercare routine. This waiting period allows the acid to absorb into the skin effectively.

Is It Safe to Apply Oil After SA Acid?

It is definitely safe to use oil after applying SA acid.

But, choose one that won’t clog your pores and helps retain moisture.

For acne-prone skin, opt for a lightweight oil to avoid aggravating breakouts.

For sensitive skin, go for a non-exfoliating and non-irritating option.

Some great example of oils you can use after applying SA acid are

  • Rosehip seed oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Sweet almond oil
  • Argan oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Pumpkin seed oil

Is It Okay to Use Rosehip oil after SA Acid?

Yes, rosehip oil can be a part of your skin care routine, but not on the same day as salicylic acid.

Rosehip oil is a great hydrator and brimming with skin-loving nutrients, but it also packs a bit of skin-exfoliating vitamin A.

Mixing it with salicylic acid might lead to skin irritation and dry skin, which is not the goal.

For the best results, use them on alternate days in your skincare routine.

What’s the Ideal Post-SA Acid Skincare Step?

The best thing to apply after treatments like SA acid, is the moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid.

It’s a humectant, meaning it locks in moisture, keeping your skin both hydrated and balanced.

It is gentle and non-pore-clogging, it won’t irritate your skin, letting it breathe freely. It is definitely a skin-friendly choice.


/ Final Verdict

In conclusion, understanding how to incorporate salicylic acid into your skincare routine can make all the difference for your skin. Whether it’s for unclogging pores, treating acne prone skin, or achieving a smoother complexion, the right balance is key. Remember, patience is essential, and personalized care is best. So, go ahead, embrace your skincare journey, and enjoy the glowing results! Your skin deserves it.

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