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Salicylic acid peel without alcohol? Login/Join
 
Picture of Rossana
Location: Eden Prairie (MN)
Registered: 07 February 2010
Posts: 474
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I use a 20% Salicylic acid peel on my nose (for pores) from time to time. I have never had problems with it and it provides the right amount of peeling.
I wanted to start using it for the whole face (increasing gradually). I currently use a lactic acid peel (lactic acid + distilled water) from time to time, along with LacSal every day.
I want to try the salicylic on the whole face to get a deeper peel than the lactic or glycolic can offer, without going to the very strong TCA or Jessner peels, which would probably be too much for my sensitive skin.
But I do not like the fact that every single salicylic peel I can find has a ton of alcohol in it. For the nose only it may be ok but I do not want to soak my whole face in alcohol. It bothers my skin and I don't need it since my skin is already dry.
So I was wondering if anyone knows of any seller of salicylic acid peels at a strength around 20% or so, that does not have alcohol?
I found a seller on ebay last year and bought it but I very much doubt there is any salicylic acid at all in it, it peels nothing at all even if the bottle said 20%. So I was looking for a reputable source, and can't find any.
Thank you in advance!


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Picture of Skin Biology
Location: Skin Biology in Bellevue, Washington - USA
Registered: 22 June 2004
Posts: 4865
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Dear Rossana:

Yes. We were not able to find a good source for an alcohol-free salicylic acid peel either.

For your sensitive skin type we might recommend having to forgo the peel route and use much milder hydroxy acids over a longer period or accelerate your progress by using a Skin Biology Microdermabrasion Cloth in between peels or on the days you do not use LacSal.

Best Wishes,
-Skin Biology
Picture of Rossana
Location: Eden Prairie (MN)
Registered: 07 February 2010
Posts: 474
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Thank you Skin Biology!
So peculiar that nobody sells salicylic simply dissolved in water, like the AHA.
I have been using the Microdermabrasion Cloth too for a few months now. I think I will keep using LacSal and Power 10. I mix them with additional lactic acid sometimes, I will maybe increase the amount I add.
Thanks again!!


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Picture of Skin Biology
Location: Skin Biology in Bellevue, Washington - USA
Registered: 22 June 2004
Posts: 4865
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Yes Rossana, please keep in touch on how things go for you!

We'll ask Dr. Pickart to comment on why, perhaps at a certain percentage (or pH), formulators prefer to use a bit of alcohol for a particular reason.

At pH 3.6, our mild 2% Exfol Serum (Salicylic Acid) contains no alcohol...but then again, it is not a peel.


Best Wishes,
-Skin Biology
Picture of Rossana
Location: Eden Prairie (MN)
Registered: 07 February 2010
Posts: 474
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Thank you Skin Biology! I would love to hear Dr Pickart's opinion, as I am really curious about this alcohol thingy in salicylic Smiler My chemistry knowledge is waaay to poor to figure it out myself and googling I have not found any reason other than that salicylic is usually used for oily skins and alcohol dries out the oil (which I think is not the only reason).


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Picture of Dr. Pickart
Location: Skin Biology
Registered: 15 September 2004
Posts: 7065
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I have looked for alcohol-free salicylic acid peels. They are sold but seem to get a heavy percentage of negative reviews. Most complaints are about irritation or a rapid loss of effectiveness.
Picture of Rossana
Location: Eden Prairie (MN)
Registered: 07 February 2010
Posts: 474
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Thank you Dr. Pickart! Could it possibly be because Salicylic in water (or anything other than alcohol) is not stable and thus gets converted into something else over time?

The lack of effectiveness was my experience too with the one I got from Ebay. Granted, it may have not been 20% but I got several other salicylic peels from ebay, in alcohol, and all of them were completely effective. A tiny bit of salicylic, even much less than 20%, should still feel like an acid. But the one I got without alcohol would not peel at all, it felt like simply water, like the acid was not even there.


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Picture of Dr. Pickart
Location: Skin Biology
Registered: 15 September 2004
Posts: 7065
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Salicylic acid is hard to dissolve in water and has a tendency to come out of solution. With a concentrated salicylic in water, you would end up with a nice collection of salicylic crystals in the bottom of the container.
Picture of Rossana
Location: Eden Prairie (MN)
Registered: 07 February 2010
Posts: 474
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Ah, that is why there are so many negative reviews and is so rarely sold. Finally my curiosity about this has been satisfied Big Grin
Thank you Dr. Pickart!!


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Picture of Dr. Pickart
Location: Skin Biology
Registered: 15 September 2004
Posts: 7065
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If you need advice about getting through Minnesota snowdrifts, just ask me. I have a lot of experience in that area.

Charlene and I are going to my 60th high school reunion in Winona, Minnesota at the end of the month. Then we are off for 6 days in the Mohawk Valley of New York where my family started in this country. After this we will spend 11 days in New York City visiting with our daughter Francoise who works in the New York Department of Health.
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