close-up picture of a dropper bottle with salicilic acid serum for skin

A few weeks back I watched an educating short by medical doctor Simi Adedeji, who explained the difference between the classic blackheads and so-called Sebaceous Filaments – those annoying small and flat spots on your nose and chin that are similar to blackheads, but so much harder to get rid off! I tried everything possible and impossible to clean them out, and almost nothing seemed to work.

In her short, Dr. Simi Adedeji recommended Salicylic Acid (SA) as an effective remedy against Sebaceous Filaments, and I gladly decided to try it out! So, for today's skincare review, I want to present you the Salicylic Acid Renewal Exfoliant by The Chemist Look. We are going to discuss everything about it: from the band's background to active ingredients and my first impression! 

About The Chemist Look Ácido Renovador Esfoliante SA

Let me begin my review with a little introduction to the brand and the product. The Chemist Look is a skincare brand that emerged in 2015, in Uruguay. It was founded by  Florencia Jinchuk – a blogger with a Cosmetic Chemistry degree, who tried to blend science and creativity with classic ingredients. In 2018 The Chemist Look expanded to Argentina, in 2019 to Chile, and later to Brazil, where I was able to put my fingers on their Salicylic Acid 2% Renewal Exfoliant. 

This product is recommended for oily and acne-prone skin, but it generally suits any skin type, therefore I thought it would be good for my blackheads. It promises to homogenize skin texture, making it smooth and evening out the complexion. Salicylic Acid Exfoliant also improves the appearance of enlarged pores and prevents the appearance of blackheads (and that is exactly what I need!)

close-up of a skin care product containing Salicylic Acid and its swatch on the skin
  • Packaging

It comes in a classic dropper bottle made of tinted glass, with a beautiful minimalist label. In my opinion, such packaging is the most comfortable and hygienic in use, as glass is a non-porous material that does not harbor bacteria. Tinted glass is also a good barrier against light and air, which can help to protect the product from getting spoiled prematurely. I regularly reuse these bottles for my homemade skin care recipes and treatments.

  • Texture & Scent

Salicylic Acid by The Chemist Look has a runny, slightly creamy texture with a beautiful milky color. It applies and spreads easily on the skin (not too runny, not too thick, just perfect.) The product has a mild chemical scent, which I can't really describe, but it isn't bad at all. You can barely feel it after the application.

  • Ingredients

Now goes the most interesting part! We are going to take a detailed look at the formula. Salicylic Acid isn't the only component in this serum, as it also features a bunch of additional botanical ingredients. For example, Chamomile extract, with a skin-calming and antimicrobial action; Mallow Extract, with moisturizing and soothing power that also improves skin's elasticity; and Green tea extract prevents oxidative damage to the skin. 

Besides, Salicylic Acid Exfoliant includes Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract aka sebum-regulating postbiotic. This extract decreases sebum production, which makes it beneficial for oily, acne-prone skin, particularly for those with enlarged pores or blackheads (that will be me!) Plus, it enhances collagen synthesis, leading to improved skin elasticity. 

close-up picture of an opened dropper bottle with salicilic acid serum for skin

About 2% Salicylic Acid 

Salicylic acid seems to be one of the best skincare ingredients that helps with various issues: it reduces acne, exfoliates skin, controls skin oiliness, treats keratosis, and the list of benefits can go on and on! Of course, as with any other potent compound, it has its drawbacks (like dry skin and sensitivity to the sun), but, overall, it is an excellent, versatile exfoliant. 

  • How to Use Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid can be a fantastic addition to a skincare routine when used properly. Here's a general guide on how to use it:

‣ Start with Clean Skin: Begin with a clean face. Choose a very mild cleanser or face soap to remove oil and makeup residue.

‣ Pat Dry: Softly pat your skin with a clean towel to dry it. Avoid harsh rubbing, especially if you have sensitive skin.

‣ Apply a Salicylic Acid Product: You can find salicylic acid in various skincare products like cleansers, toners, serums, or spot treatments. 

‣ Spot Treat or Apply All Over: Depending on the product type and your skin's needs, you might spot-treat specific areas prone to breakouts or apply it all over your face. If you're using a toner, apply it with a cotton pad. For serums or creams, use your fingertips to apply evenly.

‣ Allow Absorption: Let the product absorb into your skin. Avoid layering too many products containing salicylic acid, especially if you're new to using it, to prevent potential irritation.

‣ Follow with Moisturizer and Sunscreen: Once the salicylic acid has been absorbed (give it a couple of minutes), follow up with a gentle moisturizer to hydrate your skin. During the day, always protect your skin from sun damage by applying sunscreen, as salicylic acid can increase skin sensitivity to the sun.

‣ Frequency: Wondering how often to use salicylic acid for the best results? Start by using salicylic acid products every other day or a few times a week to allow your skin to adjust, gradually increasing the frequency and dosage. 

‣ Be Patient: It can take some time for salicylic acid to show noticeable effects. Give it a few weeks of consistent use to see improvements in acne, blackheads, or overall skin texture.

‣ Consult a Professional: If you're unsure about using salicylic acid or have specific skin concerns, consider consulting a dermatologist or skincare professional for personalized advice.

Final Verdict

Now, for the final words about the product. I think it is fantastic! No tingling, or burning sensation, wonderful ingredients, and affordable price. Yet, after a few days of contact usage, I have not seen any results. The Chemist Look's website states that the first results will be visible after 10 days, so I'm going to keep working on my skincare routine, thoroughly following the instructions. I'll keep you updated in future skincare reviews and blog posts.

Lots of love,