Salicylic Acid Vs Glycolic Acid Serums

Salicylic Acid Vs Glycolic Acid: Which One Should You Use For Acne

  • By Srishty Singh

Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid grace the labels of several skincare products. From exfoliating masks to acne-control cleaners to brightening serums, you name it. But just how different are these two active ingredients? Moreover, which one should you use to beat acne? Let’s find out.

This blog covers the basics of the two exfoliants and their differences. We also look at the respective benefits of Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid, helping you make an informed decision.

 What Is Glycolic Acid?

Glycolic Acid is a form of AHA or Alpa Hydroxy Acid. Due to its small size, Glycolic Acid penetrates the lipid barrier to gently slough off dead cells, debris, and impurities. The meticulous yet gentle exfoliant causes healthy cellular regeneration of skin cells. You can use Glycolic Acid in your skincare if you need to achieve one (or more) of the following results.

1. Less fine lines and wrinkles

2. Firmer, tighter skin

3. Faded dark spots and patches

4. Enhanced skin brightness

 What Is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic Acid lies under the umbrella of BHA or Beta Hydroxy Acid. It is an oil-soluble active that possesses both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Unlike Glycolic Acid which buffs away dirt and debris from the outermost layer of skin – Salicylic Acid percolates deep into the pores to work its magic. Results? Squeaky clean skin. You can use Salicylic Acid in your daily skincare if want one (or more) of the following.

1. Less whiteheads & blackheads

2. Reduced greasiness or shine on the face

3. Alleviated acne-related inflammation or irritation

So, Which One Should I Use For Acne?

Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid are both phenomenal acne remedies. Several anti-acne products carry both exfoliants for optimal results. If we had to pick one though, Salicylic Acid will edge out Glycolic acid – only by a wee bit. Let us understand how.

Salicylic Acid is a Godsend for all stages of inflammatory (papules, pustules, etc) and non-inflammatory acne. The sebum-regulating active dislodges the most stubborn impurities by seeping deep into the pores, keeping blackheads and whiteheads at bay. Moreover, due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, Salicylic Acid helps reduce breakouts and bumps.

Best Salicylic Acid And Glycolic Acid Products On Foxtale

Now that you are well-versed in the many benefits of Glycolic acid & Salicylic Acid – we bring you some Foxtale best-sellers featuring the two actives. You can grab these products or build the perfect skincare routine for acne-prone or oily skin. Read at your leisure and add them to your cart.

1. Acne Control Face Wash With Salicylic Acid

Key Ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid & Niacinamide

When To Use It: Daily Twice

The acne control cleanser removes dirt, grime, and impurities from the pores while ensuring a balanced microbiome. The Salicylic Acid-infused formula regulates sebum production, unclogs pores, and reduces acne outbreaks. Moreover, Niacinamide and Hyaluronic Acid in the formulation ensures long-lasting hydration for the skin.

2. AHA BHA Exfoliating Serum

Key Ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid & Niacinamide

When To Use It: Thrice A Week

You get the best of both worlds with Foxtale’s AHA BHA Exfoliating Serum. Infused with Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid, the serum dissolves build-up overnight to reveal smooth skin. The glycolic acid serum removes blackheads and reduces acne while bestowing a soft glow to your skin. Grab the gentle, nourishing formula for different stages of acne.   

3. Acne Spot Corrector Gel

Key Ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid & Azelaic Acid

When To Use It: For An Acne Emergency!

With Salicylic and Glycolic Acids at the forefront, this SOS treatment visibly shrinks acne in 12 hours. The non-greasy gel inhibits the growth of acne-causing bacteria, unclogs pores, and prevents future acne marks. Moreover, Azelaic Acid in the formulation provides instantaneous relief from acne-related redness or inflammation.

4. Overnight Glow Mask

Key Ingredients: Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Mandelic Acid

When To Use It: Once A Week

Want salon-like brightening overnight? Get your hands on this Lactic Acid-infused mask STA. Our Overnight Glow Mask starts working in 30 seconds to dissolve buildup, revealing a bright and smooth surface. Moreover, its retexturizing formula reduces whiteheads, blackheads and acne bumps while bestowing an unparalleled glow to your face.

Conclusion: Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid are popular active ingredients in face masks, cleansers and many more skincare products. While Glycolic Acid buffs away dirt & debris from the outermost layer of the skin – Salicylic Acid percolates in the pores to dislodge buildup. The two exfoliants pair exceptionally well and are often used in everyday skincare to combat acne.


1. Can I use Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid together?

Ans) Absolutely! Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid pair well together. If you wish to beat whiteheads, excessive greasiness or acne, try Foxtale’s AHA BHA Exfoliating Serum with these star ingredients.

2. Can Glycolic Acid brighten my skin?

Ans) Yes. Glycolic Acid sloughs off dead cells, debris and other impurities from your skin, revealing a brighter surface.

3. What acid kills acne?

Ans) Use Salicylic Acid-infused products to bid farewell to acne. The oil-soluble active regulates sebum production, unclogs pores and inhibits bacterial growth – reducing acne.

4. Can I leave Glycolic Acid overnight?

Ans) Yes! You can even try Foxtale’s Overnight Glow Mask if you want a coveted glow without any hassle. The Glycolic Acid-based formula dissolves dead cells, impurities and debris for a smooth, radiant complexion.

5. What active ingredient should I use to prevent non-inflammatory acne like whiteheads and blackheads?

Ans) Try Salicylic Acid to fight pesky whiteheads and blackheads. The active dislodges dirt, excess sebum and grime from the pores, preventing blackheads.

6. How to use Salicylic Acid?

Ans) If you are using Salicylic Acid in the serum format – dab a few pumps of the formulation on to your face. Avoid using a heavy hand as it may strain your skin.

7. What is the best Salicylic Acid Serum?

Ans) Try Foxtale’s AHA BHA Exfoliating Serum! The lightweight formula blots excess oil, unclogs pores and alleviates inflammation – the perfect fit for folks with acne or acne-prone skin.


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