Chapter 71: A Beginner’s Guide to Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) – THE YESSTYLIST – Asian Fashion Blog

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Beauty Book

The previous chapter of Beauty Book was all about Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs). In this chapter, we cover everything you need to know about Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs).

How do BHAs work? Which skin type is best suited for this ingredient? Which product containing this exfoliant do you recommend? Ahead are all the answers to those questions:

What are BHAs?

Unlike AHAs, which are water-soluble acids that exfoliate the top layer of skin, BHAs are oil-soluble acids that exfoliate the skin’s surface and also penetrate beneath it to get rid of dead skin cells and excess sebum. The most common types of BHA found in skin care products are salicylic acid and willow bark extract, which are sourced from naturally derived salicin. 

What are the benefits of using BHAs?

BHAs are suitable for all skin types, but this ingredient is especially beneficial for those with oily or acne-prone skin. As an oil-soluble acid, BHAs can get deep within your pores to break down excess oil and slough away dead skin cells that could clog pores. In addition to preventing clogged pores, the exfoliant can improve the appearance of enlarged pores.

BHAs are very beneficial for blemish-prone skin. They work well in reducing new breakouts and inflammation. If you have acne that appears red, angry or inflamed, use a BHA product to calm skin down.

If you find yourself blotting your face with oil blotting paper a lot throughout the day, then you need to add BHAs to your skin care routine. This ingredient is perfect for oily skin as it regulates sebum production so you won’t have to worry about shiny or greasy-looking skin, especially when it’s only midday.

How to use BHAs in your skin care routine

Use BHAs two or a maximum of three times a week to avoid over-exfoliating your skin and damaging your skin barrier. If you’re using BHA alongside other exfoliants in your routine, then it’s safer to use it once a week. 

This ingredient may not cause sun sensitivity, unlike AHAs, but that doesn’t mean you should skip sunscreen! Make sure to always apply sunscreen when using BHA products.

The best BHA products to try 


BHA Blackhead Power Liquid

COSRX’s BHA Blackhead Power Liquid contains 4% betaine salicylate and willow bark water to purge dead skin cells deep inside your pores. If you have stubborn blackheads and you don’t know how to get rid of them, this product can help.


Aloe BHA Skin Toner

The Aloe BHA Skin Toner from Benton contains a low concentration of BHA (0.5%) but it’s effective enough to clear away dead skin cells. It’s a great option for those who are new to this ingredient. The toner is also formulated with hyaluronic acid, aloe leaf water and snail filtrate to keep your skin hydrated, improve skin elasticity and brighten your complexion.


BHA Dead Skin Moisture Gel

For those who are used to BHA, try PURITO’s BHA Dead Skin Moisture Gel that is formulated with 2% BHA to remove impurities. The moisture gel is also rich in tree leaf extract for its anti-inflammatory properties and aloe leaf extract to soothe skin. Use it as your nighttime moisturizer a few times a week for better results.


AHA BHA Daily Clean Toner

For a daily-use toner that won’t irritate skin, check out MIZON’s AHA BHA Daily Clean Toner. The formula combines the power of AHA and BHA to gently exfoliate skin, leaving it bright, smooth and healthy with continued use. When using it in the morning, be sure to finish your routine with sunscreen.


Charcoal BHA Pore Clay Bubble Mask

Do you prefer using exfoliants that you can wash off? If so, then you’ll enjoy one of SOME BY MI’s newest products. The Charcoal BHA Pore Clay Bubble Mask is a wash-off mask packed with charcoal, kaolin clay and BHA to draw out impurities and improve the appearance of enlarged pores. While most masks need to be left on for around five to ten minutes, this version can be washed off in just three minutes!


AHA BHA Balancing Mask Pack Set

If you prefer sheet masks, Nacific’s AHA BHA Balancing Mask Pack is worth trying. Each sheet mask is drenched in essence containing AHA and BHA to get rid of dead skin cells and control excess sebum production. This mask will leave your skin feeling balanced and refreshed.


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