probiotic acne serum *FAQ*

We hope you’re as excited as we are about our salicylic acid-charged acne serum! We’ve compiled the answers to some of your most frequently asked questions below - let us know if you have any others!

what is salicylic acid?

Great question! Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that’s great for treating acne and clearing out pores. 

how does it work?

Salicylic acid works at the skin’s surface level and at the pore level; it’s oil soluble, which allows it to penetrate into pores and work to unclog them! It works at the surface level to help reduce redness, excess oil production, and the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles.

what % of salicylic acid should you look for in a skincare product?

The FDA classifies salicylic acid in concentrations of 0.5-2% as an acne treatment.

how is plant-derived salicylic acid derived?

Salicylic acid is naturally derived from the bark of white willows or the leaves of wintergreens! Because salicylic acid isn’t a volatile aromatic compound, it isn’t found in the essential oils of these plants.

what are some of the other important ingredients of this serum?

lactobacillus ferment (postbiotics)

Lactobacillus ferment is a non-living postbiotic produced by fermentation. This ingredient soothes stressed skin, reduces redness, hydrates, and helps support the skin’s microbiome! It also naturally produces antimicrobial peptides, which help protect skin from environmental stressors like pollution.

Though this probiotic is non-living, studies (1, 2) have shown that it still benefits the skin


Beta-glucan is a humectant that draws moisture into the top layer of skin. It also deeply hydrates, plumps, and soothes skin! Some studies have shown that beta-glucan at 0.4% is 20% more hydrating than hyaluronic acid at 0.4%.


Gluconolactone is a very gentle exfoliant and a polyhydroxy acid (PHA). Along with providing mild exfoliation, it’s also a humectant, offers antioxidant properties, can help improve skin barrier function, and can help boost the efficacy of other ingredients. 

is the probiotic acne serum vegan?

Yes it is! Our acne serum and all cocokind products are also 100% cruelty-free.

is the probiotic acne serum organic?

While this formula is not certified organic, it does contain certified organic aloe barbadensis leaf juice. 

is the probiotic acne serum gluten-free?

All of our products are formulated without gluten or peanuts! 

what is the pH of this formula?

The pH of this formula is between 4 and 5, which is slightly acidic (a pH of 7 is neutral).  Ideally, the pH of your skin should be around 5.5-6, which is also slightly acidic. Read more about your skin’s pH on our blog!

what makes this serum different from other acne treatments?

While our formula effectively treats acne with 1.5% salicylic acid, it also contains soothing ingredients like beta-glucan to balance and nourish the skin! Our formula also uses postbiotics to help support a healthy microbiome, which is crucial to healthy skin. Additionally, this serum does not contain the harsh drying alcohols commonly found in acne treatments. 

when will I see results from this product?

It depends on your skin and the condition that it’s currently in! Salicylic acid works quickly so it’s possible to see improvement after using it overnight but generally, it takes around 2-4 weeks to see sustained improvement. 

can I use the probiotic acne serum and the ceramide barrier serum together?

Yes! We do recommend starting with the serum that best matches your biggest skin concern - acne or barrier support. 

can I use salicylic acid with retinol?

Yes, but proceed with caution! Both are active ingredients and using them at the same time has the potential to irritate your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin. If you’d like to use both, here’s what we recommend:

  • Use them during separate routines. For example, salicylic acid during the day and retinol at night.
  • Start slow. Let your skin become familiar with salicylic acid (the active ingredient of our probiotic acne serum) before introducing retinol. When you decide to introduce retinol, begin using it a few times a week instead of every night. 
  • Listen to your skin. If you start experiencing irritation, reduce your usage. For example, if you are using both every day, reduce retinol to a few times a week at night. 

how do I use the probiotic acne serum?

  • Gently massage or pat 2-3 drops of serum onto clean skin, avoiding eye area. 
  • Use am or pm. For daytime use SPF and for nighttime, follow with the rest of your skincare routine.
  • If you are new to BHA then apply 2-3 times a week then build up to daily usage
  • Because drying may occur, especially if your skin already tends to be dry,  start with one application daily, then gradually increase to two or three times daily if needed. 
  • If bothersome dryness or peeling occurs, reduce usage to once a day or every other day.

where does this serum fit into my routine?

Use it after cleansing and toning, but before moisturizer! Allow it to dry for 1-2 minutes before applying other products. We also recommend using SPF during the day! 

does the probiotic acne serum cause purging?

Everyone’s skin is unique - most people do not experience purging with this product, but some might! 

Purging is when a product with an active ingredient like salicylic acid speeds up cell turnover, causing deeper pre-existing clogs to surface quicker than normal. If you do experience purging it should stop after a few weeks! 

since the star ingredient of this product is salicylic acid, will it cause my skin to become dry or peel?

Our formula features hydrating ingredients to help counteract this potential drying effect! However, if you do start to experience dryness or peeling, we recommend reducing your usage to once a day or every other day. 

can I use this serum if I don’t have acne?

Yes! Although this is an acne treatment, it can also help with any pore-related skin concerns.

is the probiotic acne serum safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding? 

Our products are formulated to be effective yet gentle, but we always recommend showing our ingredients lists to your doctor to confirm safety for you specifically!

how should I store it? when does it expire?

Store your serum in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. The expiration date is printed on the bottom of the bottle! 

how do I recycle the packaging?

  • The carton is fully recyclable and made from responsibly-sourced FSC paper.
  • Rinse out the bottle and peel off the labels. Gently pull the glass tube out of the dropper cap. Toss the bottle and glass tube in your recycling bin. Unfortunately, the remaining parts of the cap are not recyclable due to their small size. 
  • Check out this blog post on how to dispose of all our product packaging.

where can I buy the probiotic acne serum? 

This product is only available online and in Target (7/18), until further notice!

any other questions? shoot us a DM on Instagram or an email at!