Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid commonly used to treat acne. It also works as an exfoliant helping to slough away dead skin, which makes it a great tool for fighting wrinkles. It's best to use a 2 percent concentration, which all the picks are below. You can read more about salicylic acid from Angela Palmer, About.com's Guide to Acne, here. Also check out my list of the Best Products for Acne-Prone Skin.
Obagi is one of those products women go ga-ga for (my best friend Deirdre says of the dozens of products tried over the years, she loved Obagi the most for her skin problems). Based on reputation alone, this cleanser gets my thumbs up. It has 2 percent salicylic acid and is a light cleansing foam designed for those who suffer from normal to oily and acne-prone skin. It gently resurfaces to allow new skin cell growth and is also great for people with combination oily skin. It also has Butyl Avocadate, which regulates the skin's oil production.
This ia a basic drugstore version of a 2 percent salicylic acid cleanser. Neutrogena is also an excellent skincare company known for its products. You can't go wrong if you're trying to save money. It can be drying on sensitive skin.
According to Murad's Website, their acne product eliminiates 99.9 percent of bacteria in 60 seconds, it clears blemishes and prevents new breakouts. Users report loving the way it keeps their acne at bay without drying skin out too much.
Glytone is known for its glycolic acid products which make this a unique product in their line, however users give it a 5-star rating. Both teens and adults love the way it keeps acne in check. Great for oily skin (it can dry out dry skin further) and best when used two times daily.
This fragrance-free acne product is not expensive and is a product you can share with a guy. Some users report the consistency is too thin, others think it's a perfect basic cleanser. Does contain the required 2 percent salicylic acid to make this list.
This wash is designed for the face AND body (great for sufferers of back acne, or psoriasis on the backs on the arms). This is perfect for teens and adults with mild to moderate acne-prone skin. Does contain a light menthol scent and mild exfoliating beads.
Patricia Wexler's cleanser is created with anti-aging in mind. The salicylic acid removes dead skin cells, while promoting cell renewal. It also helps with adult acne.
This product gets huge props on the Murad Website from actual users. A whopping 387 of 393 (98%) customers would recommend this to a friend. It's especially great for those with sensitive skin.
Another affordable salicylic acid cleanser, at $5.49 you can't beat this price. Users report it clears up existing acne and keeps oily skin at bay.
Like many of the cleansers above, this comes with beads that help exfoliate skin, but can be harsh on sensitive skin. It's non-foaming which some don't like, but overall it's a good cleanser for the price.