In most cases, salicylic acid is pretty tolerable, but some do find it to be drying. And the truth is, that’s sort of the purpose of this active ingredient. Its main benefit is sucking up excess oil, so if you don’t have excess oil to begin with, you’ll just find your skin to be tight, dry, and even slightly irritated.
Generally, salicylic acid should only be used as directed, so don’t toss your skin care packaging until you’ve read the directions. In most cases, products will advise you use one to two times a day. However, if you find that your skin is feeling uncomfortably dry, flaky, or even irritated, reduce usage to once a day or once every other day until you’ve built up a tolerance.