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Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) Skincare Guide: Science and Benefits

3-hydroxypropionic acid chemical structure

Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is a type of exfoliant that is commonly used in skincare products to help improve the appearance of skin. BHA is a chemical exfoliant that works by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to be easily removed from the surface of the skin. This helps to improve the overall texture and tone of the skin, as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.

How BHA Works

BHA works by penetrating deep into the pores of the skin, where it breaks down the bonds between dead skin cells and oil. This helps to unclog pores, reduce the appearance of blackheads and whiteheads, and improve the overall texture and tone of the skin. BHA also has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to reduce redness and inflammation associated with acne.

Types of BHA

The most common type of BHA used in skincare products is salicylic acid, which is derived from willow bark. Other types of BHA include citric acid, malic acid, and lactic acid. Each type of BHA has its own unique properties and benefits, and it is important to choose a product that is formulated with the appropriate type of BHA for your skin type and concerns.

Benefits of BHA

  • Exfoliation: BHA helps to remove dead skin cells, which can improve the overall texture and tone of the skin.
  • Pore reduction: BHA helps to unclog pores and reduce the appearance of blackheads and whiteheads.
  • Anti-aging: BHA can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.
  • Acne reduction: BHA has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce redness and inflammation associated with acne.

How to Use BHA

BHA is typically found in leave-on products such as cleansers, toners, serums, and moisturizers. To use BHA, start by cleansing your skin, then apply the BHA product to your face, focusing on areas with clogged pores or signs of aging. Be sure to use a sunscreen during the day if you are using BHA.

apply and effect of BHA cosmetics graph

Precautions

  • Always perform a patch test before using any new skincare product, especially if you have sensitive skin.
  • Avoid using BHA in combination with other exfoliating products, such as scrubs or mechanical brush.
  • Avoid using BHA with other acne treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide or retinoids, as this may increase skin irritation.
  • Avoid using BHA if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is a chemical exfoliant that can improve the appearance of skin by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells and unclogging pores. It can also reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. The most common type of BHA used in skincare products is salicylic acid, but other types include citric acid, malic acid, and lactic acid. It’s important to choose a product that is formulated with the appropriate type of BHA for your skin type and concerns and to use the product as directed. Always perform a patch test before using any new skincare product, especially if you have sensitive skin. Avoid using BHA in combination with other exfoliating products, acne treatments or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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Charlotte Wagner

“After my Bachelor & Master’s degree in Beauty Management at the mAHS (media Akademie Hochschule Stuttgart), I work full-time in consulting for start-ups and medium-sized companies in the cosmetics industry.
I discovered my passion for writing at an early age, so that I pursue it as a as a hobby author.”

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