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The 10 BHA Exfoliants Our Editors Are Loving This Year

CEO Tinh Phung
Are you tired of the same old skincare routine? Unsure of which products and ingredients are right for you? Well, look no further! We have the solution to all your skincare woes - beta-hydroxy acids,...

Are you tired of the same old skincare routine? Unsure of which products and ingredients are right for you? Well, look no further! We have the solution to all your skincare woes - beta-hydroxy acids, or BHAs.

In this article, we will break down everything you need to know about BHAs and why you should consider incorporating them into your skincare routine. We've also rounded up our favorite BHA exfoliants to get you started on your journey to healthier, clearer skin.

What Are Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHA)?

According to NYC-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Carmen Castilla, BHAs are acids derived from plants that have incredible skincare benefits. The most well-known BHA is salicylic acid, which is derived from willow bark. Unlike alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), BHAs have a unique chemical structure that sets them apart.

Salicylic acid, in particular, is widely recognized for its acne-fighting properties. It is oil-soluble, making it effective in clearing excess oil from clogged pores. You'll often find salicylic acid in over-the-counter acne washes as a gentle exfoliator. BHAs are also present in certain shampoos to help exfoliate dandruff and in creams used to treat skin conditions like keratosis pilaris and psoriasis.

The Difference Between Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)

AHAs and BHAs are classified based on their chemical structure. The main difference lies in their reaction to the skin. AHAs need to be neutralized to prevent adverse effects, while BHAs are self-neutralizing. This means that leaving a strong AHA on your skin for too long can result in a deeper peel than intended. On the other hand, salicylic acid, a BHA, self-neutralizes within about three minutes, regardless of water application. Glycolic acid and lactic acid are common examples of AHAs, while BHAs are often preferred for acne-prone skin due to their oil solubility.

How Does a BHA Exfoliant Work?

BHA exfoliants work by penetrating deep into your pores, dissolving excess oils and helping to remove dead skin cells. Dr. Castilla explains that BHAs can break down the connections between cells, resulting in gentle exfoliation. This process helps unclog pores and reveal healthier, smoother skin.

How Often Should You Use a BHA Exfoliant?

The frequency of BHA exfoliant usage depends on the strength and form of the product. People with oily and acne-prone skin are best suited for BHA products, while those with dry or sensitive skin should exercise caution. It's always wise to consult a dermatologist to determine if BHA products are suitable for your skin type.

As a general rule, low-strength washes with a 1-2% salicylic acid concentration can be used daily by individuals with oily skin types. Higher-grade medical peels containing BHAs can be applied every three to four weeks, but only in a medical setting under the supervision of a dermatologist. BHA toners can be used up to twice a week. If you're also using retinol in your skincare routine, consider reducing the frequency of BHA product usage to avoid excessive drying.

Now, let's dive into our top picks for BHA exfoliants!

Our Favorite BHA Exfoliants

Youth to the People Mandelic Acid Superfood Exfoliant

Youth to the People Mandelic Acid Superfood Exfoliant

This leave-on liquid exfoliant from Youth to the People is not only gentle but also extremely convenient. You can save precious time by not having to worry about rinsing this product off. It's a game-changer!

SkinCeuticals LHA Toner

SkinCeuticals LHA Toner

Featuring a blend of glycolic acid and salicylic acids, the SkinCeuticals LHA Toner is perfect for removing excess sebum and dead skin cells. Say goodbye to breakouts with this toner designed for oily skin.

CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser

CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser

If you're worried about BHA exfoliants being drying or irritating, fear not! Try this non-drying formula from CeraVe for effective yet gentle exfoliation. It contains a combination of salicylic acid, ceramides, and hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

Continue reading the article on the Original Source for more incredible BHA exfoliant recommendations!

Remember, finding the right skincare products requires a bit of trial and error. But with the help of BHAs, you're well on your way to achieving healthier, clearer skin.