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Title says it all, really, folks :). You don't have to read on if you can't be bothered. 

The longer version is that I have acne prone skin and was advised this by a friend who has not actually used a 5% Salicylic Acid cream herself nightly. I understand that it is better to use this as a night cream than a day cream, but I am not absolutely sure that using it every night straight away is cool. 

If you've done it, and had no issues, let me know. If you've done it and it was a disaster, definitely let me know.

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Some people find that leaving 5 % salicylic acid on overnight eventually dries their skin, though many who use it in the short term only find that it also does a great deal to clear whiteheads and blackheads rapidly. Because of these experiences, I think I would advise you to start using a 2 % salicylic cream instead, leaving it on over night and making sure to wash it off in the morning. This milder concentration should hopefully prevent dry skin while giving you the effect you want. After a while, if you do not notice irritation and dryness, you can increase the concentration to 5 %. 

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Yeah, that is cool! Like the previous poster suggested, I would also advise you build up the dosage gradually, and perhaps try every other night first. Then once your skin has acclimatized to the salicylic acid, you can certainly use it nightly without any worries as long as your skin tolerates and loves it. If there are any signs of irritation or something else, then cut back again. With this gradual method you will be fine though. The key is to always keep an eye on your skin and then you are OK.
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Call me a naysayer, but no. Salicylic acid can be awesome for pretty severe bouts of acne, but in the long term, it can dry your skin out pretty severely. Did you know this is exactly the stuff they use to clear away warts and verrucas? Well, it is. You're talking about much higher concentrations of course, but yeah, you probably get what I'm saying, which is salicylic acid works on warts 'cause it dries them out. So I'd say go ahead and put it on your skin but not in the long term, just until your acne has cleared, then skip it a while until you need it again.

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No, I would not do that. Two percent is perfectly fine and you don't need to use a higher strength than that. It is just as effective as higher doses but with fewer risks of side effects, so just go with the two percent and apply that every night. Then you will be fine. The important thing here is to be regular about it, to use it every night and then you will see your pores unblock and after your skin improves you are down to a maintenance regimen. Let us know how it goes for you and ask if you have any questions.
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As far as I am aware, over the counter salicylic acid products only go up to 2%. 5% sounds like an awful lot, especially when you consider that many people just use .25%. I would not use that myself unless I had a dermatologist tell me to do that and monitor my use of that product. Stick to the 2% if you have terrible acne and go for even less if you don't. Really, you would probably be overdoing it by a lot if you went with 5% and I wouldn't even know where to by that.
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Yes, I don't even know of any cream that has five percent salicylic acid in it!!! OP, where did you find such a thing and where were you going to order it? Or was it something you were going to be making yourself? Salicylic acid is very potent even in much lower concentrations. Five percent is too much on a daily basis. Please reconsider if you don't want to cause any damage to your skin!!!
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I would just use an over the counter product .You can get creams, cleansers, lotions, pads, all kinds. I found these to work well both to reduce my active acne and to counter that post acne pigmentation, and I never paid any attention to the actual percentage in the products I was using. However, one tip is to use salicylic acid in conjunction with benzoyl peroxide. That is because the two work better than either of them alone, and this has been proved in studies. My skin is now relatively acne free thanks to this combo. Look into products made by Proactiv for instance. They contain both.
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There's Dianne Yvonne's 5% salicylic acid for instance, so these solutions do exist. They're mainly used for spot treatment and not on the whole face, and also most people would recommend that you wash it off after a while as opposed to simply leaving it on overnight. I did do that, leave it on overnight, in the hope of getting rid of my pimples more quickly. Let me tell you girl, my skin looked great at first but after a week of applying this nightly and leaving it on, my skin was dry to the point of scales. So, don't do that. It isn't something that will ultimately deliver the results you are no doubt looking for, which is beautiful skin free of blemishes.
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