Why is beta-hydroxy acid used for acne-prone skin?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Beta-hydroxy acid, or BHA, is different from other exfoliants in that it's oil-soluble. Since it can dissolve in oil, it can get inside oil-clogged pores (clogged pores are a cause of acne and blackheads) and remove dead skin cells to help unclog them.

Beta hydroxy acid (BHA) gets rid of acne by penetrating more deeply into pores to break the bonds keeping dead skin cells glued within. It’s lipophilic, which means it can get through acne-producing oil build-up. One of the most familiar acne-fighters, salicylic acid is one type of beta hydroxy. It is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, hitting zits on multiple fronts, as well we preventing future breakouts if used regularly.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.