1. Health and Wellness

What is Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) and why should you avoid it?

BHA is an organic compound that is commonly known for its exfoliating properties. It is growing in its use and popularity. BHA or its counterpart AHA is included in many cosmetic products today. They are commonly used for acne treatment and as anti-aging formulas. 

BHA is thought to be an active ingredient that helps to improve the texture of the skin. But since it is a chemical, it sure has some negative effects on its users. BHA ingredients include salicylic acid, beta hydroxybutanoic acid, trethocanic acid, and tropic acid. 

Why BHA is bad for you?

Despite the many appraisals given to BHA over many other products including its counterpart AHA, it still has some side effects users need to be aware of. Prolonged use of BHA may cause an adverse effect on the skin.

With prolonged use of BHA comes stinging, itching, burning, redness, and scarring. A big issue with BHA is how it makes the skin hypersensitive to the sun. 

BHA can cause UV damage

UV damage is a terrible condition in which the skin’s DNA is altered. UV damage can also lead to skin cancer and other skin conditions. BHA is capable of making your skin’s sensitivity to sun increase by 50%. Prolonged and continuous use makes you susceptible to photoaging and sunburn. 

As opposed to what many people think, BHA does not protect your skin from the sun, it rather exposes your skin cells more, and you may end up with irritated or blistered skin. Your skin should be treated with much consciousness, and this is a good reason why you shouldn’t use BHA, especially on darker skin. Other sun damage effect includes;

  • Freckles
  • Sallowness
  • Dilation of small blood vessels under the skin
  • Destruction of the skins collagen and elastic tissue. 
  • Mottled pigmentation, etc.

How does BHA end up in products 

BHA is added to cosmetic products with the motive of improving the appearance and condition of the skin. 

Where is BHA found?

BHA is a popular chemical that is widely used in the cosmetic industry. It can be found in body creams, hair creams, facial treatments, anti-wrinkle, and anti-aging treatments. It is mainly used as an exfoliating agent but can also be used as an anti-inflammatory, anti-dandruff, antiseptic, skin conditioning, and hair conditioning agent.

How can you recognize BHA on labels?

Most products containing BHA are often prided, so it is usually not difficult to figure out a product containing BHA. Often times, it is always the most distinct tag on a product. However, these other names can be found on the label as well:

  • tropic acid
  • salicylic acid
  • beta hydroxy acid, the long name for BHA
  • beta hydroxybutanoic acid the even longer name for BHA
  • trethocanic acid

Many products that contain BHA will also have sunscreen to counter the side effect of the sun. Just be careful about what ingredients are used as sunscreens.

The skin is your first appearance, and it speaks of how healthy you are. Your health is judged by your skin, so it is important that you pay close attention to the kind of chemical you rub on it. BHA may help to increase your skin’s appearance, but you should also consider the adverse effect and risk it is putting on your skin. 

Is beta hydroxy damaging your skin