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Betahydroxy Acids - Uses of Betahydroxy Acids

Beta hydroxy acid works mainly as an exfoliant. It is used to improve wrinkles, roughness and mottled pigmentation of photodamaged skin after at least 6 months of daily application. Beta hydroxy acid, works best in a concentration of 1% to 2% and at a pH of 3 to 4. Beta hydroxy acid is found in a variety of skin care products including moisturizers, cleansers, eye cream, sunscreen, and foundations.

Tips of Betahydroxy acids:

These includes:-

  • Beta hydroxy acid is used as your exfoliant, and then choose other skin care products or cosmetics that don't contain hydroxy acids to reduce the likelihood of skin irritation.
  • Using beta hydroxy acid in a moisturizer base may be the best combination of products.
  • Unfortunately, cosmetic manufacturers are not required to pH information on the label. The only way to know for sure the pH of a product is to test with a pH strip.


The beta hydroxy acids are derived from apples, ginger, oranges, grapefruit, sugarcane or willow bark, and will gradually peel off the top layers of dead skin and minimize wrinkles.

It has been claimed that BHAs are effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improving overall skin texture, without the occasional irritation associated with the use of AHAs.

BHA ingredients may be listed as -

  • Salicylic acid or related substances, such as salicylate, sodium salicylate, and willow extract.
  • Beta hydroxybutanoic acid
  • Tropic acid
  • Trethocanic acid

The beta hydroxy acid most commonly used in cosmetics is salicylic acid. On rare occasions, citric acid is also cited as a BHA in cosmetic formulations.

The main difference between alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acid is their lipid solubility. Alpha hydroxy acids are water soluble only, while beta hydroxy acid is lipid soluble. This means that beta hydroxy acid is able to penetrate into the pore which contains sebum and exfoliate the dead skin cells that are built up inside the pore.

Uses of betahydroxy acids:

These includes:-

  • Skin cleansing: One of the main application of beta hydroxy acid, is that it is used as skin cleansers. BHAs are effective because they help remove excess oil from the face. They can, however, remove oil only on the surface and cannot affect oil production under the skin.
  • Wrinkles and age spots: Wrinkles are signs of the normal aging process. To improve the appearance of the skin and to correct minor blemishes and uneveness, some people have chemical peels with hydroxy acids.
  • Acne therapy: Acne is a skin disorder caused by excessive production of oil under the uppermost layers of skin. With the application of betahydroxy acids, acne can be treated.
  • Warts: Salicylic acid is also an effective and mild treatment for warts and plantar warts. Patients should wash and dry the area around the wart thoroughly before applying the product. Then they should apply a thin film of salicylic acid over each wart and allow it to dry. The product should be applied once or twice a day.