Can You Use Salicylic Acid Over Primer?

Can You Use Salicylic Acid Over Primer?

It's well known that having a well-established skincare routine can affect the look of your makeup. We have received a few questions recently about using skincare ingredients and makeup products. For some it may come as a surprise to hear that your skincare can alter the way your makeup products apply to the skin, the finish they have on the skin, and how long they stay in place.

So, with that in mind, we are going to explore whether you can use salicylic acid over primer. Before we dive in, let’s have a quick refresher course about what salicylic acid is and how it benefits the skin.

What is salicylic acid?

  • Salicylic acid is a member of the beta hydroxy acid (BHA) family and is the most used within skincare formulations
  • Often favoured by those who are prone to blemishes with an oily skin type
  • Works at sloughing away the top layer of dead skin cells that can build-up and develop into blackheads, whiteheads, and other blemishes
  • Improves a lack lustre complexion by exfoliating the skin leaving it brightened and luminous
  • Has a smaller molecular size meaning it can reach the lower layers of the skin and unclog the pores of excess sebum, dirt, bacteria, and other impurities
  • Packed with antibacterial properties salicylic acid can rid the skin of active spots and blemishes by removing the bacteria and reducing redness and swelling
  • Can be found in various skincare formulations, from face cleansers to serums

If you wanted to find out more about salicylic acid, you can check out one of the blog posts we have about the clever BHA.

Can I put makeup over salicylic acid?

Yes, you can put makeup over salicylic acid. As I have already mentioned, there are different types of products formulas containing the BHA that can be used daily. Whether it’s a cleanser, exfoliating toner, serum, or spot treatment. All of which can be used as normal before applying your makeup, just ensure you leave enough time for the product to absorb fully into the skin.

If you are applying a spot treatment rich in salicylic acid, be mindful that you don’t need to spread it all over the face, but instead dot it directly onto your blemishes and wait for it to dry slightly. Try to avoid applying too much of the formula onto the skin surrounding the spot as this can become too drying and irritating for the skin.

As I have already mentioned, salicylic acid is a potent blemish fighting ingredient. Not only does it neutralise any redness, but it also reduces swelling and regulates the production of sebum. This results in your makeup product, such as foundations, concealers, and even primers gain some longevity and show no signs of slipping off the skin.

Should I use primer if I have acne?

Yes absolutely, in fact, many with an oily and blemish prone skin type benefit from using a primer instead of moisturiser on their face. This is because, unless the formula for the moisturiser is water based with a lightweight gel consistency. You will sometimes find that some moisturisers are full of comedogenic ingredients that can clog the pores causing the skin to become congested with a flare-up of acne. Many prefer to swap their moisturiser for a primer as it makes a good alternative and ensures your foundation applies to your skin smoothly, seamlessly, with a flawless finish.

Just a small word of warning, some primer formulations are full of silicone which is a common ingredient but can cause the pores to become blocked with excess product, bacteria, and other impurities. To prevent any further flare-up in breakouts, ensure once you have removed your makeup, you clean your face with a cleanser enriched in actives to work deeply into the pores and exfoliating the top surface of the skin leaving it deeply cleansed and makeup free.

What is the best way to use salicylic acid?

There are a couple of ways salicylic acid can be used within your routine. Many find using a cleanser enriched in the BHA is the best way of benefiting from the acid. This is because a formula like a cleanser or face wash is rinsed from the skin meaning it avoids irritation developing on the surface, ideal for those who have just started using the ingredient in their routines. For those who have built a tolerance to salicylic acid, a serum is more likely to deliver the best results.

Salicylic acid is also known to increase the skin’s photosensitivity so always apply a daily SPF of 30 and above for protection from free radical damage, such as UV exposure, pollution, and other environmental aggressors. Alternatively, you can wait for your evening skincare routine to apply your serum, this will mean the salicylic acid is able to work on the face without the worry of encountering any free radicals. Come the morning, you’ll wake up with improved clarity and an all-over healthy complexion.

How do I keep my foundation from clogging my pores?

The best way of preventing your foundation from clogging your pores is to avoid heavy foundation formulas. As tempting as it may be to opt for a full coverage foundation, the best way to gain full coverage without clogging the pores is to use a sheer and light coverage. Apply an even amount of the product over the skin then go back over any areas that require more coverage using a dapping motion of your brush or sponge. This helps build coverage without the face looking cakey.

With this lighter coverage and product, you will find it is easier to cleanse the skin, ridding it of all traces of foundations, debris, and other impurities. Makeup remover wipes, although considered quick and easy, are unable to fully cleanse the skin. For the best results and to stop your foundation clogging your pores, use a cleanser applied with your hands, work the product into the skin and then remove it with a clean, damp flannel or muslin cloth. Follow this with a swipe of a cotton disc soaked in an exfoliating toner, then restore hydration back into the skin with a serum packed with hyaluronic acid.

If you have any further questions about using salicylic acid over primer, come and follow us over on Instagram for more.


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