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Natural Sources of Salicylic Acid for Acne—From Fruit!

Natural Sources of Salicylic Acid for Acne—From Fruit!

Why Use Natural Forms of Salicylic Acid for Acne Prone Skin?

Salicylic acid has been one of the most popular over-the-counter acne treatments in use today. It boasts many medicinal and cosmetic applications, one of which is for the treatment of blemishes and acne prone skin. Salicylic acid is usually prescribed for mild to moderate acne and can be quite damaging to skin in all honesty. I don’t recommend using it if you’re into curing your acne holistically, but don’t fret, there are a few effective and 100% natural alternatives that come from your kitchen fruit bowl.

How Does Salicylic Acid Work?

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid with mildly exfoliating properties. When you use anything that contains it topically, fruit included, it gently thins out the dermal layer by increasing cell turnover. Salicylic acid also dissolves blackheads, which makes it pretty handy to use if you’re suffering from comedonal acne; non-inflamed acne that is mostly caused by skin care products.

You’ve Got Fruit on Your Face

All right, so we’re going for a double whammy on acne today! Actually, I’ll be sharing part 2 in my next post, so here’s part one to get you started.

Why Use Fruit Instead of Conventional Salicylic Acid?

Most conventional salicylic acid treatments available over the counter contain 2% (sometimes more) of salicylic acid, plus several other ingredients that I would rather not put on my skin. The strength of these crèmes and gels loosen keratin quite a bit more harshly than natural alternatives, causing excessive skin peeling, mild to moderate burning, and reddening of the skin. This can actually cause more acne, the exact opposite of what we’re trying to accomplish.

Using fruit instead will gently exfoliate the skin. Aside from the more acidic nature of green apple and tomato, the fruit I mention below will soften, nourish, decrease inflammation and redness, and exfoliate the skin. They are packed full of nutrients like vitamins A, C, and B, phenols, and flavonoids. Try finding those in an over the counter salicylic acid gel… not gonna happen!

After trying these natural remedies, your blemishes should be gone or at least greatly diminished after 2-3 days.

Part One- Replacing Conventional Salicylic Acid with Natural Awesome-osity!

Choosing fruit with high salicylic acid content can be a bit tricky. One would think that citrus fruits like lemon or lime might have the highest amounts of salicylic acid when they really have almost the least amount. So I’ve compiled a simple list of fruits that have the most bang.

Now on to the fruit!

Raspberries– Mash em’ up and slather them on.

Granny Smith Apples– Rub a slice all over your face, mash it up, or juice it and apply.

Cucumber– Juice or mash it up and apply generously. This works well for redness too!

Cantaloupe– Works best juiced or blended. Apply a nice layer to thirsty blemished skin.

Strawberries– Take a bite from a strawberry and rub the remaining strawberry piece all over problem areas. You can also smash it up, apply it, and use its seedy juice to exfoliate. Leave the juice on to reap the clarifying benefits.

Tomatoes– Rub a slice of tomato on blemishes to dissolve blackheads.

Red Grapes– Bite one in half and apply it to affected areas.

How long do you Keep the Fruit Juice on?

I like to keep it on for at least 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly, however, for the green apple treatment, I will only leave it on for about 5 minutes due to its acidity. Acidity= not so comfortable for sensitive skin. However, green apple is one of the most effective salicylic acid fruit remedies I’ve used, so more often than not, I apply the juice with a q-tip to problem areas only. You can actually do this with any of the fruits I’ve mentioned above if you don’t want to wear them as a full fruit mask.

I hope you have fun trying out a few natural salicylic acid replacements that are actually effective AND good for your skin.

Oh! And here’s part 2 =)

Love and Light,


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  1. Hello,
    I liked this blog. I also use food to heal. Nightly, I use lemon juice(apply with cotton ball) on my face for a natural form of glycolic acid. Daily, I eat an apple(red delicious) because of it’s salicylic acid properties; however, is the green granny apple better? Also, is eating it just as beneficial as putting the juice on the face? Do you have any natural recommendations for finding lactic acid in foods?

    • Hi Evalry,
      I think the best food to put on your skin that has a nice amount of lactic acid is yogurt! It will make your skin so soft and smooth if you use it as a mask a few times per week =)
      I think the red delicious is better than green as far as getting clearer skin. They’re not my favorite apples, but I do see a difference when i eat those more often than other apples.
      <3 Tash


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