As you make your way through your beauty-product laden shelves, give some thought to the effective BHAs on there. Beta Hydroxy Acids or BHAs are often clubbed in the same group as AHAs, but differ in what they offer. One of the most effective ingredients for clogged pores and breakouts, you’ve probably used BHAs during your teenage years or in your fight against acne.
What are BHAs?
Beta Hydroxy Acids are chemical exfoliants like AHAs, and dissolve dead, dull skin to reveal smoothened-out, brighter complexions. BHAs are chemical exfoliators without rough particles, so they work by gently exfoliating the top layer of your skin. Unlike physical exfoliators, BHAs won’t cause micro-tears and when used correctly, can improve the health and appearance of your skin dramatically. BHAs are oil soluble which gives them the ability to go deep into the oil glands on your skin. This makes BHAs ideal for unclogging pores and as a result decreasing blackheads, acne and oily skin.
Types of BHAs
Seen Salicylic Acid on your skincare product? You’ve been using one of the most time-tested Beta Hydroxy Acids around! The most popular form of BHA we find in skincare (and haircare) products is salicylic acid. There are other derivatives of salicylic acid like salicylate, betaine salicylate, and sodium salicylate that you may notice in your product ingredient list. Other less common forms of BHAs include willow bark extract, beta hydroxybutanoic acid and tropic acid.
Benefits of Beta Hydroxy Acids
While BHAs are found in a number of acne spot correction treatments, they can help our skin in plenty of other ways too. BHAs should be on your #shelfies if you want to clear mild to moderate acne without drying your skin. But, they are also good tools to use for de-oiling and effective cleaning. BHAs can reduce pigmentation and are anti-inflammatory, so they soothe angry, irritated skin.
How to use BHAs?
How often you should exfoliate depends on your skin type and skin concerns. Try to use BHAs into your routine as a targeted blemish gel, cleanser or in the form of a serum. Always remember that overuse can lead to dryness and irritation – so slow introduction is best!
If you want to improve the texture of your skin and reduce fine lines, using an AHA is more beneficial. If you have these issues, but also have acne and clogged pores then try a mix of both AHAs and BHAs. Instead of using them together try alternating AHAs in the morning and BHAs in your night time routine. Make sure you slather on some broad spectrum sunscreen during the day to help with your (now sensitive) exfoliated skin!
What to use?
Use them as spot treatments, serums or acid peels, incorporating BHAs in your skincare routine will give you plenty of clog-free pore moments.
SW1 Clear Tonic is a pre-serum mist that contains Salicylic Acid that works to eliminate acne, clear clogged pores (blackheads included) and boost skin’s resilience to future breakouts. Spray on a cotton pad and apply to your nose for a more intense application.
For spot correction try My Clarins CLEAR-OUT that dries up and visibly reduces blemishes. You’ll find that your skin is clean and relieved with this non-greasy, effective formula. Apply directly to blemishes and watch them clear away.
A personal favourite the Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum is a natural daily serum that works like a peel to resurface, brighten, refine and give you a daily dose of glow. Using natural sources of lactic acid, glycolic acid, citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid to exfoliate and get rid of dead skin cells that hide your glow. And BHA from white willow bark and meadowsweet help clear clogged pores and minimise the look of pores.