Clinical evidence on the efficacy and safety of an antioxidant optimized 1.5% salicylic acid (SA) cream in the treatment of facial acne: an open, baseline-controlled clinical study

Skin Res Technol. 2013 May;19(2):125-30. doi: 10.1111/srt.12022. Epub 2013 Jan 19.


Background/purpose: Acne pathogenesis is multifactorial and includes inflammation. Combining active ingredients targeting multiple components of acne pathogenesis may yield optimal outcomes. This study investigates the safety and efficacy of an antioxidant optimized topical salicylic acid (SA) 1.5% cream containing natural skin penetration enhancers in combination with antioxidant activity for treatment of facial acne.

Methods: A total of 20 patients with facial acne, aged 19-32 years (2 males, 18 females; mean age 26.1 ± 3.2), were enrolled. Patients were treated with topical 1.5% SA cream and instructed to apply the cream as a thin film over the affected area twice daily (in the morning and evening) for 4 weeks. Inflammatory severity, numbers of papules and pustules were evaluated by investigators at day 0 and weekly, and patients ranked their improvement.

Results: In all, 95% of patients improved: 20% had complete clearing, 30% had significantly improved, 15% had moderate improvement, 30% had mild improved, and there was no response in 5% of the patients by 4 weeks of treatment. No side effects were observed.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates the efficacy and safety of this optimized topical 1.5% SA cream containing natural skin penetration enhancers in combination with antioxidant activity when applied twice daily for the reduction of facial acne; in particular, it is most effective for mild-to-moderate acne.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Acne Vulgaris / pathology*
  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Antioxidants / adverse effects
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Salicylic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Salicylic Acid / adverse effects
  • Skin Cream / administration & dosage*
  • Skin Cream / adverse effects
  • Skin Cream / chemistry
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants
  • Salicylic Acid