What is BHA and why do I want it in my skincare routine?
If you’re a fan of chemical exfoliators, you’ll know all about alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). They do a fantastic job of ungluing old, dead skin cells in a way that reveals a more radiant complexion. But have you heard of beta hydroxy acid (BHA)?
While you get several different types of AHAs, such as glycolic and lactic acid, there’s only one BHA and that’s salicylic acid. As we said, AHAs are able to exfoliate the surface of your skin, but BHA is able to penetrate the oil that clogs your pores. It’s also got antibacterial properties, making it the ideal choice for anyone who struggles with oily skin, blackheads or acne. Also, unlike AHAs that can irritate sensitive skin, BHA is an anti-inflammatory, so it’s not going to cause redness or agitate rosacea. What’s not to love?
Put it to work
If you step into the beauty aisle in a chemist, you’ll find a myriad of products that contain salicylic acid, particularly face-washes aimed at those with oily or pimple-prone skin. Thing is, these typically contain this superstar ingredient in very small amounts. To truly benefit from BHA’s pore un-blocking benefits, you need to use it in a high concentration. Fortunately, Online Skin Shop stocks several fabulous potent skincare products that contain a much more effective amount of salicylic acid.
One of our favourites is Skinceuticals Blemish + Age Defense serum. As it contains both an AHA (glycolic acid) plus salicylic acid, you really get the best of both worlds. Also, thanks to its ultra-light, water-like texture, you can wear it under any night cream. In fact, you could wear it in the daytime too, provided you applied a good sunscreen afterwards. Alpha hydroxy acids have the ability to make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
Another gem, is Lamelle Clarity Correctives AM, a top pick for adult acne suffers. Aside from salicylic acid, it’s other key ingredient is azelaic acid to help reduce post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, the dark mark that’s often left behind after a pimple clears. It also contains epidermal growth factors to speed up healing and antibacterial anti-inflammatory tea tree oil.
Step into our office
Want even for bang for your BHA buck? Consider an in-office treatment like Skin Renewal’s ‘no downtime’ Beta Hydroxy Peel. It can be applied to patients as young as those in their early teens, which is great as it’s especially beneficial to those struggling with blackheads or acne.
If you have a strong AHA-focused peel you can be left looking red and then have to deal with peeling, but a mild Beta Hydroxy Peel’s after effects are merely smoother-feeling and more refined-looking skin. You can reapply your make-up straight away and head back to the office. If you have a strong Beta Hydroxy Peel, you might experience initial skin reddening that diminishes quick and possible scaling, but this will be subtle and won’t last more than three to five days.
While one Beta Hydroxy peel is always a good thing, a series will deliver the best results. If you repeat the process about six times every one to six weeks, this will go a long way towards reducing acne breakouts, while reducing the appearance of enlarged pores, mild pigmentation and fine lines.
The bottom line
If you want to exfoliate the surface of your skin, AHAs are great. However, if you’re interested in keeping your pores clean and clear, you’ll benefit the most from BHA. Including it in your skincare routine is easy as you’ll find lots of products that contain salicylic acid in Online Skin Shop. You can also reap the rewards via a series of in-office BHA peels. Simply give Skin Renewal a call today to make an appointment and a clearer-looking complexion can be yours to enjoy.