Beta hydroxy acids ( BHAs) are simple organic fruit acids that can be natural or synthesized. BHA are nearly related to alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) but little different in their molecular structure and manner of action.
BHA peels ingredients may include:
1. Salicylic acid
3. Sodium salicylate
4. Willow extract
5. Beta hydroxybutanoic acid
6. Tropic acid
7. Trethocanic acid
Salicylic acid is a common beta hydroxy acid, which has been used for treating acne for decades. At the matter of fact, acne treatment remains the primary use for BHA. The effect on the epidermis and upper dermis are similar to those of Retin-A, but it cause less irritation. Even within oil-rich pores it can be dissolved in oil and can flake oily skin areas. Consequently, it has a salubrious effect on acne, pigment disturbances, and sun damaged skin. It has recently been added to formulations for chemical skin peel(s) because it really laminates.
AHA’s have been appearing as a chemical skin peel during the last few decades. Chemical skin peels are considered to be solutions which are applied to skin to expose the underlying newer skin by removing the external damage skin cells. As a result uncovered newer skin is smooth and constant in texture, due to this appearance is improved and revitalized. Both BHA’s and AHA’s are considered to be mild chemical peels.
BHA’s, or a combination of AHA’s and BHA’s, have recently appeared as ingredients in skin care products consisting of them. While either AHA’s or BHA’s act as exfoliates, it has been proclaimed that BHA’s have more effect in relieving the appearance and decreasing the fine lines and wrinkles. Improving general skin condition, with no accidental irritation connected with the use of AHA’s, BHA’s penetrates the skin more deeply than AHA’s, and in more gentle way.
Which is preferable (BHA or AHA)?
People whom BHA chemical peels are more suitable for are similar to those for whom AHA peels are recommended and entail those with skin disorders such as:
1. Obvious wrinkles on the face, neck, upper chest, arms, etc.
2. Unexpected pigmentation problems
3. Enlarged facial pores
4. Superficial acne scars of the face
5. Age (liver) faults
Beta chemical peels can really change the texture of the skin, returning the splendor of the youth. To be sure one needs to consult with a doctor or dermatologist to determine if there is appropriate possibility to apply BHA chemical peel. It will help to get the most from the treatment and decrease problems down the road.
Sometimes if there is need to research the subject extensively it’s worse to do. In such way there will be possible to decide what peeling agent the best is. Beta Hydroxyl Acids (BHA’s) are believed to be synthetic, unlike Alpha Hydroxyl Acids, which are natural.
The most common BHA’s are:
1. Salicylic Acid
2. Beta Hydroxybutanoic Acid
3. Tropic Acid
4. Trethocanic Acid
Salicylic acid is the Beta Hydroxy Acid most commonly used in cosmetics. It is received in the labs from willow tree bark. The name “Salicylic” may be familiar to everyone from the scientific name of aspirin: acetylsalicylic acid.
Salicylic acid has no color, smell and is diaphanous acid used as a food preservative (in cooking aspirin is put in pickle jars, for instance), in a toothpaste as an antiseptic, effective skin exfoliant and anti-acne ingredient. Food and Drug Administration considers it “safe as used when formulated to avoid irritation”.
To know more about how salicylic acid works in the beauty industry, it’s better to visit any dermatology clinic to talk to one of the nurses. She will give an explanation that salicylic acid has two uses in cosmetic industry: as an ingredient in anti-acne and exfoliating creams (concentration is lower than 5%) and as a chemical peeling agent ( concentration is from 20 to 30%).
There is also well-known that most patients who have BHA peels regularly are satisfied with how salicylic acid removes comedos and whiteheads, diminishes fine lines and wrinkles, and improves blemished and unevenly toned skin.
Beta Hydroxy Acid Action
As well as AHA’s, beta hydroxy acids work by separating dead cells from the upper layers, allowing new skin cells to grow instead. The main advantage of salicylic acid is that it is similar to aspirin, and it prevents post-treatment irritations. It’s exactly that the anti-inflammatory qualities of salicylic acid make BHA peels safer and more effective than an AHA skin peel.
Another thing is that while glycolic acid can be dissolved only in water, salicylic acid is also lipid soluble. The meaning is that BHA’s are more effective than AHA’s on oily complexions, because they penetrate directly into the skin, cleaning the pores of immoderation of sebum and dirt.
Specialists advise not to use salicylic acid without proper medical supervision, because BHA’s are toxic when breathed in or ingested.
BHA peels with their anti-inflammatory action are better than AHA peels,
for people with sensitive skin. However, redness and pain are also possible after a salicylic acid skin peel.
What Happens During Salicylic Peel
If never having had a BHA peel, one may talk to a few people who have it on regular basis and may read many articles about BHAs. It will be all clear, that BHA chemical peels are alike to AHA peels: they can be applied in doctor offices or beauty salons, on any part of the body but for the eyes area. The acid solution is left on pure skin surface for 10-20 minutes. Those who have salicylic acid say the procedure doesn’t hurt but it will be necessary to perform several courses for achieving good results.
Salicylic Acid in Skincare Routine
Chemical peels are just one of the many ways when salicylic acid is used in the beauty industry. BHA’s are also used in cleansers, liquid foundations, moisturizers, anti-aging hydrating creams, eye gels, sun screens. To determine the best acid concentration for the skin condition, it’s essential to visit the doctor.
To prevent excessive skin exfoliation and unwanted negative effects one should choose a single salicylic acid-based product for routine use. After treatment the skin will be shiny and red during few hours. Itchiness and flaking are also possible in the first few days. It’s useful to apply high SPF creams over the skin every time while going out, because of sun sensitivity increasing after BHA peels.
Repeated use of products consisting of salicylic acid may cause permanent hypo pigmentation and scarring, which is important to know black and dark-skinned patients.