Salicylic Acid in Oil

I'm sorry if this is a foolish question but is salicylic acid still effective when dissolved in Octyldodecanol, for example? I was reading up on Sunday Riley's UFO Oil because I love it (it's a variety of plant oils and salicylic acid) and came across a post where they said because there's no pH and salicylic acid isn't dissolved in water, it isn't effective.

I've been looking all over to try and find information to prove or disprove this and I cannot. In the oil, the SA is simply used as an exfoliant and I can't imagine it only being effective when dissolved in water. And of course, all of the SA products I've found are emulsions of some sort so pH is always a measurable factor.



  • And of course my browser lagged and this posted twice... my apologies!
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    Salicylic Acid is oil soluble ... when it is dissolved in oil (or in a cream or in an aqueous solution) the SA will be carried into the hair follicle in the sebum where it functions as a lubricant to prevent dead skin cells from sticking together.  So, yes, SA is effective when dissolved in an oil.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

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