At What Age Should You Start Using Salicylic Acid?

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Salicylic acid is a popular ingredient in many skincare products, especially those targeted towards acne-prone skin. It is a type of beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that exfoliates the skin and helps to unclog pores. But at what age should you start using salicylic acid? Let’s find out.

Childhood and Teenage Years

Salicylic acid is not recommended for children under the age of two. In fact, it is best to avoid using any type of skincare product on a child’s skin unless it is specifically designed for babies and toddlers. As for teenagers, salicylic acid can be a great addition to their skincare routine, especially if they suffer from acne. However, it is important to start with a low concentration and gradually increase it over time.

Early Adulthood

Once you reach your early twenties, your skin starts to undergo some changes. You may notice that your skin is not as smooth as it used to be, and you may be more prone to breakouts. This is a good time to start incorporating salicylic acid into your skincare routine. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is important to start with a low concentration and gradually increase it over time.

Middle Age

As you reach your thirties and forties, your skin starts to lose some of its elasticity and firmness. You may also notice that your skin is more prone to wrinkles and fine lines. Salicylic acid can still be beneficial at this age, but it is important to use it in conjunction with other anti-aging ingredients, such as retinol and vitamin C.

Older Age

Once you reach your fifties and beyond, your skin becomes even more fragile and delicate. Salicylic acid may not be the best option for you at this age, as it can be too harsh and drying for mature skin. Instead, focus on using gentle, hydrating skincare products that will help to nourish and protect your skin.


In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when you should start using salicylic acid. It all depends on your age, skin type, and individual needs. However, as a general rule of thumb, it is best to start using salicylic acid in your teenage years or early adulthood, and to gradually increase the concentration over time. If you have any concerns about using salicylic acid, be sure to consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional.