Best BHA Exfoliants
BHA (salicylic acid) is a superstar ingredient for exfoliating skin and reducing inflammation. In order to make the Best Products list, a BHA product must:
- Have the right pH range essential for efficacy
- Contain an amount of BHA research has shown to be effective
- Not contain any needless irritants
- Include antioxidants and other skin-beneficial ingredients
- Not be packaged in a jar
As a general rule for all forms of breakouts (including blackheads), BHA is preferred over AHA because BHA is better at cutting through the oil inside the pore (Source: Cosmetic Dermatology, October 2001, pages 65-72). Penetrating the pore is necessary to exfoliate the pore lining. However, some people (including those allergic to aspirin) can't use BHA, so an AHA is the next option to consider. If that describes you, please refer to the list of Best Alpha Hydroxy Acid Products on this site.
An added benefit of salicylic acid for those struggling with acne is that it is naturally anti-inflammatory and also has a mid antibacterial action. Its anti-inflammatory action can be helpful for those struggling with the skin disorder rosacea. BHA is also best for those struggling with white bumps on the skin.
Like AHAs, BHA has anti-aging benefits. Ongoing use of a well formulated BHA exfoliant helps smooth skin texture, improve uneven skin tone, and stimulates collagen production for firmer skin.