It is a key ingredient in many skin-care products for the treatment of acne. It causes the cells of the epidermis to shed more rapidly, preventing pores from clogging up, and allowing room for new cell growth. Salicylic acid has multifunctional properties to help with a variety of skin problems, including acne, pimples and blemishes. Salicylic acid is an excellent exfoliant and at the same time has good anti-irritant as well as anti-inflammatory qualities. Salicylic acid also helps break down blackheads and whiteheads.