Salicylic acid: beauty aficionados will know it well as the hero ingredient that helps to banish blemishes and keep skin clear, but did you know it’s also a gentle yet very effective exfoliant? A beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that’s derived from willow bark, it’s not as harsh as AHAs and can help to buff away dead skin cells as well as its usual role of unblocking pores. However, the oil-soluble acid can also be pretty drying, making it problematic for those with more sensitive skin - and if you’re looking to get rid of dry, rough skin in the first place, the last thing you want is to strip it even more in the process.
Thankfully, with the right formula we can benefit from the BHA’s skincare superpowers and be left feeling soft and smooth - and dermatologist-backed brand CeraVe has cracked it. The SA Smoothing range takes all the goodness of salicylic acid and combines it with ingredients that moisturise and hydrate the skin, resulting in a clinically proven formula that helps to reduce dryness while restoring the natural barrier.
It’s huge in the US already, and now two of its bestselling products have arrived in the UK to smooth things over here. Here’s why it’s well worth adding to your skincare routine…
The magic formula
OK, so it’s not so much magic as it is science, but the clever bods at CeraVe have mixed salicylic acid with three essential ceramides (something that’s core to all of their products) which protect the delicate skin barrier, so that even the most sensitive types can use it.
Plus, their patented MVE technology allows the active ingredients to be released slowly through the course of the day, so you won’t feel that stripping feeling that many exfoliators can cause.
The one-stop skincare solution
With 10% urea as well as hyaluronic acid, the products moisturise deeper down while they get to work on the outer surface - which means brighter, clearer, smoother skin in one. Use the range on congested, spotty areas, dry skin and even on keratosis pilaris (so-called ‘chicken skin’, a common condition that causes tiny bumps, typically on the backs of the arms and thighs due to a buildup of keratin).
Both products are also fragrance-free and non-comedogenic, so every skin type can benefit from using the range, and the results are impressive too. In consumer testing, 94% of users felt their skin was softer and smoother in just three days, while skin barrier function was noted to have improved in just one hour*.
The power couple
First up in the new duo is the SA Smoothing Cleanser, £12 - a gentle, gel cleanser that carefully removes the daily grime while also exfoliating the skin thanks to the salicylic acid. Ideal for congested skin, it’s free from physical exfoliants and will leave your complexion looking brighter than ever.
Next is the SA Smoothing Cream, £12, a super hydrating formula that combines the hero ingredient, salicylic acid, with AHA lactic acid to help remove rough, dry and bumpy skin. The rich cream is a must-have for dry and scaly patches and a saviour for sufferers of keratosis pilaris, breaking down the excess keratin while keeping the all-important skin barrier well hydrated.
Whatever’s causing your skin’s texture to be anything but baby-soft, this range will help it reset. Best of all, both of the new products are designed for face and body, so whether you’re sick of spots or prepping your pins for a fake tan, clearing up your keratosis pilaris or simply want to cleanse and exfoliate in one, CeraVe has it covered, and all at a very purse-friendly price. Now that’s smooth…
**55 subjects, male & female, aged 25-60, applied SA Smoothing Cleanser and Cream twice daily
SA Smoothing Cleanser RRP £12 (236ml), SA Smoothing Cream RRP £12 (177ml tube), SA Smoothing Cream RRP £18 (340g tub) are available to buy online here
Written in partnership with CeraVe