BHAs stand for beta hydroxy acid. They are oil-soluble, and can go deeper into the skin in dead skin cell and excess sebum eradication. They are usually used for acne skin and sun damage. The skin type, which is treated, is usually oily or combination skin as BHAs unclog pores and dry out excess oiliness. You can use BHAs as treatments to particular areas, such as the T-zone, if you have combination skin. Start-off with a bi-weekly usage, and work your way to alternate days as your skin adapts to the usage.
The same rule applies with regard to sun exposure as with AHAs, wear a sunscreen when treating your skin, even if they do not make your skin as sensitive to the sun in comparison. Also, you will want to avoid any further sun damage.
Here is the list of active ingredients to search for (with our API and soon on the Cosmethics app), when seeking BHAs:
- Salicylic acid, is the most common BHA, and widely used to combat inflammation, and as an anti-acne treatment.
- Citric acid, while this ingredient is primarily an AHA, some formulations of citric acid are BHAs as well. The usage here is to dry out excess sebum and get rid of dead skin cells.
- Malic acid, a type of AHA-BHA crossover, which is derived from apple acids. This will increase efficacy of other acids, while milder in solo-effect.