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  • Salicylic acid and emollients

    Posted by beautynerd on February 26, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Hello everyone,

    I am working on a gentle exfoliating gel-cream face mask with willow bark extract (at a 10% standardized concentration of salicylic acid) which in my formula should work out to 1.8 percent salicylic acid.
    I recently read (on that the acid will react to emollient oils and therefore they should not be used together. Is this true? Would it be more effective as a gel only mask with willow bark extract and hyaluronic acid as the skin conditioning agent?
    beautynerd replied 7 years, 11 months ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • MarkBroussard

    February 26, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Can you provide a link to the article or more specific information.  Hard to answer your question based on this limited information.

    If you want to make a gel-only mask, try using Konjac Root Powder as your gelling agent.
  • ozgirl

    February 26, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Maybe try looking for emollients that are resistant to hydrolysis at low pH levels. These type of emollients are often used in antiperspirants. An example is Cetiol OE (Dicaprylyl Ether).

  • MarkBroussard

    February 28, 2015 at 4:02 am


    Thanks for your e-mail referencing the Dermascope article.  There is only one line in the article regarding Salicylic Acid and emollients and give no detailed explanation as to the rationale for her comment regarding SA and emollients.  I am unaware of any incompatibility between the two.  Personally, I would not put too much stock in that statement.
    From what I gather, the author is referring to the use of AHA’s and BHA as exfolliants in chemical peels.  For instance, she referred to using AHA’s at 30% which is in the chemical peel range.
  • beautynerd

    March 1, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Here is the link to the article in question:

    Thanks again Mark and OzGirl for the very helpful suggestions.