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Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHA)

Beta Hydroxy acids are part of the family of aromatic acids.  That means that this acid is foreign to the body and has an immediate effect on the skin. 

The most common BHA is salicylic acid.  This acid is highly keratolytic, which means that it will dissolve or break down the outer stratum corneum, the top layer of skin that is constantly regenerating.  It can only go one layer at a time, so repeated applications are necessary to achieve the maximum results. 

Flaking of the skin is often associated after the use of some Salicylic acid applications.  The acid has broken the bond of the outer most parts of the stratum corneum and the dead skin cells are falling away.  This acid works particularly well for individuals who suffer from acne.  As the stratum corneum sloughs off dead skin cells, these cells get stuck in hair follicles and plug the opening.  Bacteria begin to grow in the follicle and causes inflammation in the surrounding tissue.  Salicylic acid helps to clear off the dead skin cells before they can get stuck. 

Salicylic acid is also soluble by lipids, the natural fats on the skin.  This is especially helpful for the individual with acne, who tends to have more oil production.  Salicylic acid will help dissolve and remove excess oils from pores and off of the surface of the skin. 

How you can use Salicylic Acid to benefit your skin

Professional application of salicylic acid will speed up the natural process of skin regeneration by removing the outer layers of dead cells.  We recommend an in office chemical exfoliation with our Esthetician.  Our Sal-Ex 20% peel will do the trick! 

Continue the exfoliation at home with quality skin care product from Dermalogica and Glymed.  For adult acne, we recommend the MediBac line from Dermalogica.   For teen and young adult acne, we recommend CleanStart from Dermalogica. Both lines include a wash and overnight treatment that contain salicylic acid.  Glymed offers Sal-Ex Exfoliating cleanser, which contains salicylic acid.

All services and products are available in our office.

Go to the Alpha-Hydroxy Acid page

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