Cosmetics boosting sales of acne-fighting salicylic acid

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Cosmetics boosting sales of acne-fighting salicylic acid

Related tags Salicylic acid Acne vulgaris

The use of salicylic acid, a multifunctional ingredient that addresses many of the systemic causes of blemishes, is on the rise in acne treatments and related cosmetics, and, according to a new report, this growth is set to continue. 

The ingredient’s increasing prominence in beauty products has been singled out by researchers as a key factor fuelling the growth of the market predicted in a new study.

Carried out by Grand View Research, Inc., the research highlights that the global market for salicylic acid is posed to reach $426.8 million by 2020, and pins this growth of 8.6% CAGR on the growing hair care and skin care market.

Globally strong

Europe, the researchers note, “was the largest consumer of salicylic acid, owing to the predominant pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry in this region, with an estimated salicylic acid demand of over 42 kilo tons by 2020.​”

The report noted that although Europe is the key region, other important regional markets for the acid include North America and Asia Pacific, with the latter expected to show the fastest growth, at an estimated CAGR of over 7.6% from 2014 to 2020.

It was China, the report states, which proved the largest producer of salicylic acid in 2013.


Salicylic acid has been found to exfoliate, degrease the skin, reduce inflammation and improve the appearance of pores, and it is increasingly being used as a staple ingredient in acne-related skin care products.

This variety of application is seeing further expansion: despite the age-old belief that sufferers of recurring acne should avoid salicylic acid peels due to the chemical reacting badly with the skin, beauty brand Aveya recently developed a salicylic acid peel gel serum with a concentration of 20%, which, it claims, “is highly effective and safe when treating acne as directed​”.

A recent study by Research and Markets also confirmed that salicylic acid’s usage is on the rise thanks to chemical peels, with the researchers pointing out its development as an alternative to glycolic acid in such products is a key growth factor.

Older women

Cosmetics with acne-fighting properties are currently enjoying a boost from the rise in adult consumers suffering from acne, with the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology noting that 54% of women over 25 now have at least ‘some facial acne’.

Clinique has recently rebranded its long-standing ‘acne solutions’ range which caters to acne-prone skin, in a move with which it hopes to make the product’s sales double​.

Related topics Market Trends Skin Care

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