Salicylic acid formulas make skin more youthful

There's no shortage of products aimed at reducing or reversing the effects of the aging process on skin. Entire shelves in your local pharmacy are devoted to creams, lotions and other potions to make skin look younger. Salicylic acid, an effective agent in the treatment of warts, acne, corns, psoriasis and other skin ailments, is one recent addition to the list of agents used to combat the effects of the natural aging process on skin.

Many previous skin anti-aging products have used alpha-hydroxy acids. While these products have some benefits, these treatments have the potential to cause skin irritation. Existing topical salicylic acid-based treatments generally involve short-term uses with relatively large doses of the acid. Again, these treatments can cause irritation and peeling. An invention by Procter & Gamble for making facial skin more smooth and translucent while improving clarity and texture employs much smaller doses of salicylic acid (from about 0.2 percent to 5 percent by weight) in products intended for long-term use-as long as a lifetime.

Invention can be used in sunscreens, lotions, makeup

The most common applications for this invention are lotions and creams for the face, though other forms such as aerosols, gels, sticks, pads and pastes can be used. Salicylic acid can be combined with other materials beneficial to the skin including sunscreens, anti-oxidants, moisturizers, emollients, calamine, cocoa butter, vitamins or anti-inflammatory agents to create a wide variety of skin-friendly products. Their use should be limited to the face and hands. These products can be marketed as suntan lotions, skin moisturizers, and makeup such as foundations and other cosmetics.

Would consumers really want so many of these products? They just might because it seems skin can use all the help it can get. In addition to environmental factors such as UV rays, human skin is subject to natural aging factors that degrade it. With age, the number of cells and blood vessels that supply the skin declines. There is also a flattening of the dermal-epidermal junction that results in weaker mechanical resistance of the junction. Thus, it's more difficult for the skin of older people to maintain elasticity and strength. As a result, older people are more susceptible to blisters due to injury and disease, as well as having their skin appear leathery and dry.

In the United States and most Western nations with an aging population, products that are touted to combat the aging process will have strong appeal for the foreseeable future. In addition, the public's increasing concern over the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays from the sun on skin has raised the awareness of products that protect and revitalize skin. The salicylic acid active component can be the acid alone, salicylic acid derivatives or salicylic acid in combination with other active ingredients. The most preferred method is salicylic acid in polymer stabilized creams or lotions.

The frequency of application of these products can vary widely depending upon personal needs. The suggested treatment range is from about twice per week to about four times daily, but most preferably from about three times per week to about three times daily. When used for long periods-decades or even most of a lifetime-salicylic acid-based products produced according to Procter & Gamble's patented invention can reduce skin atrophy and discoloration and make facial skin more soft and supple.

As the average lifespan of the citizens of many developed nations continues to grow, the ravages of environmental forces and aging on skin will likely take a heavier toll. This invention isn't the fountain of youth, but it surely can make growing old easier to take for many.


Promotional Blurb: Procter & Gamble's salicylic acid formulas in lotions and cosmetics make skin more soft and supple.