What Is BHA, How a BHA Peel Works, and BHA vs AHA

BHA stands for beta hydroxy acid, which is known as salicylic acid. It is commonly used as an exfoliant and is an efficient skincare product. This chemical exfoliant helps remove dull skin by helping break the bond of the dead skin that is present. Before you make this powerful product a part of your skin care routine, it is important to learn about BHA, how it works and how to properly use it. Commonly sold and used as a facial peel mask, BHA could be the your answer to radiant and beautiful skin.

image representing skin peel

How Does BHA Work?

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BHA peels have become a popular skin care method. When used properly with other methods, such as sun protection and moisturizers, this chemical exfoliant can lead to smooth glowing skin. As a type of salicylic acid, BHA produces can be bought in a number of potencies. Depending on the level you choose, this decide the level of skin depth you want the peel to remove. It works by breaking the bond of the dry, dead skin from your healthy skin underneath. Think of it as breaking down the glue that holds it the dead skin on your face.

There are several things that BHA can do to help your skin. It can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, firm skin and help add moisture back to your skin. Several users claim that they can see the results after the very first use. You might not be able to see it, but as you use this powerful product, the dead skin is actually shedding away.

It is very important to use a BHA peel that has been properly formulated within the proper PH range. Do your research before choosing a product.

before and after a BHA peel

Pros and Cons of BHA


Known as one an extremely effective exfoliant, there are several benefits to using BHA as part of your skin routine:

Reduces Wrinkles
This chemical can be a great addition to an anti aging skin regime. Many skin experts claim that BHA peels can help lessen the appearance of wrinkles, especially around the mouth and eyes. Starting with a gentle peel for your first time is the best bet in addressing wrinkles. You should begin to see major results after your sixth use.

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Clears Dead Skin
By shedding the extra dead and dry skin on your face, your skin will instantly look healthier and firmer. The chemicals in the peel will help loosen this dead skin by breaking the “bond”. The dead skin is essentially exfoliated off by the chemicals in the product. After the first use, you will be left behind with substantially smoother and clearer skin.

woman's face skin before and after a chemical peel

Firms and Tightens
BHA peels can also be the answer for tightening and adjusting the texture of your skin. By erasing those fine lines and reducing the appearance of wrinkles, you skin will look tighter and younger.


After BHA is a chemical, there could be some pitfalls to using this product as a part of your routine skin care regime.

Possible Skin Damage
If used improperly or too many times, the chemicals in this product can damage your skin and strip it leaving it vulnerable. One skin expert pointed out that often we see skin that look white and waxy, but is actually damaged from use of BHA peels. This is because of a buildup of scarring in the skin. This damage is more easily seen on darker skin tones. Those with darker skin may notice lighter patches will using this chemical exfoliant.

Skin Irritation and Breakouts
Many have pointed out that their skin becomes more prone to breakouts after use. After your first BHA peel, you might notice clear smooth skin. This is known as the honeymoon phase. After a while, some report seeing a breakout of whiteheads. Known as purging, this is your skins way of getting rid of impurities after the use of the peel.

Skin Sensitivity
When using chemicals on your skin, it will become stripped and more vulnerable. This could lead to more sensitive skin. You might notice irritation when using products and makeup that were never a concern before.

Tips on How to Apply BHA

It is recommended to have a professional apply a BHA peel. However, if you choose to apply at home, there are some tips that you should keep in mind. First, make sure to do a spot test on your skin to check for any irritation or allergic reaction that it could cause. This is will also show you how long you can tolerate to leave the peel on. Wait at least 24 hours after the spot test to see any effects. Before applying the peel, prepare your skin with witch hazel or astringent. Allow it to dry. Once dry, you can begin applying the peel with a Q-tip.

Experts recommend that you do not leave the peel on longer than one minute, especially if this is your first use. When done, you can neutralize the peel with a neutralizing solution. However, you can also use a gentle soap or water. You might notice skin redness and mild peeling. This is normal after a BHA peel. These symptoms should only last a couple of days.


the main characteristics of BHA and AHA peels

Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peels are commonly used in the same manner as BHA. While they have the same properties, they are slightly different. AHA uses glycolic acid to work. AHA peels are often the choice for people who have sun damaged or dry skin. These types of peels are water soluble, unlike BHA. AHA peels are also helpful with diminishing the appearance of acne scarring. Like BHA, AHA peels should be used with caution.

Precautions to Remember Before Trying BHA

This chemical product will cause some mild discomfort and burning. However, if you begin to feel stinging or a frost-like feel, immediately neutralize the peel. Cooling agents, such as Aloe Vera can help with any pain or burning you might experience.

Don’t forget that improper use or overuse can result in scarring or irreversible damage to your skin. To prevent damaging your skin, make sure you are aware of the dangers and proper use of a chemical peel.

BHA peels can be a great addition to your skin care regime. With its wrinkle reducing and skin firming abilities, it can help you achieve smooth and healthy skin. However, you should use with caution and pay attention to the how your skin reacts to its use. Always consult a professional before using. Do your research before using and consider going to a professional to receive your first BHA peel. With the proper knowledge and preparation, this is a great option for healthy and beautiful skin.

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