Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid, which is a mild antibacterial and exfoliant that works by dissolving dead skin cells on the surface of the skin as well as within the follicle wall. Salicylic acid can be a great choice for specific types of acne. It can have a soothing effect on inflamed skin, making it a very popular ingredient, especially for people who have sensitive skin, redness, inflammation, and/or very oily skin. Serums with salicylic acid are oil loving so this is a great serum for oily skin that is congested and/or inflamed. Salicylic 7% is a stronger than your OTC product and will be more active in clearing acne.