Page 1Group 8Group 7Group 7
Beauty Style Fitness Wellness Living #RealTalk #EmbraceYourAge
Stay up to date

Get on the List

Unlock our weekly newsletter packed with tips on living authentically, healthfully, and stylishly at every age.Get on the List: The best beauty, fashion, wellness and fitness tips straight to your inbox

Beauty Buzzwords: Beta Hydroxy Acids

When you were younger, your skin functioned more nimbly. It produced loads of collagen. It gave you ample elastin. It shed on cue when skin cells died. But as time passes, skin loses that ability. And that skin shedding? It slows to a standstill in later life, allowing dead skin cells to accumulate on your skin’s surface.

To knock these skin-dulling cells from your complexion, you can turn to beta hydroxy acid (BHA), an organic acid derived from plants (salicylic acid is a common one). Like its skin care sister, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), BHA weakens the bond that causes dead skin cells to stick, allowing skin to naturally shed them. Unlike AHAs (which are water soluble), BHA is oil soluble, allowing it to not only tackle the skin’s surface, but also penetrate deeper into pores and help unclog them.

The Benefits

The fact that BHA exfoliants can cut through the oil in your pores and get down to the nitty-gritty makes them a top choice for people suffering from acne, enlarged pores, and excessive oil. A big bonus of BHAs: They’re naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which gives them the double whammy of being able to treat acne and calm the skin at the same time. In fact, BHAs are so gentle that people who have rosacea or skin sensitivity can use them. But BHAs aren’t perfect: They contain no humectant properties, which makes them drying to skin (a reason those with oily skin types flock to them). And, like AHAs, BHAs increase skin’s photosensitivity, which means slathering on an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen is a must.

The Best Bets

Search the skin care aisle of your favorite brick-and-mortar or online stores: Products containing salicylic abound. Over-the-counter cleansers, scrubs, serums, pads, and lotions containing 2 or 3 percent salicylic acid work tremendously well on skin that suffers from acne or an abundance of oil, but be forewarned: Even at this low concentration, these products can parch skin and cause flaking. Higher concentrations warrant a trip to a skin care professional, who can prescribe the dosage needed. If you are treating skin with certain topical medications for acne or aging that contain benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin, sulfur, and/or resorcinol, you may want skip salicylic acid, as the combination can cause serious skin irritation.

Photo: Leandro Crespi

You Might Also Like

5 Exfoliators for 5 Aging-Skin Problems
Beauty

5 Exfoliators for 5 Aging-Skin Problems

It seems that with age comes a more complicated skin care routine....

read
I Feel OK About My Neck
#RealTalk

I Feel OK About My Neck

The late Nora Ephron’s essay “I Feel Bad About My Neck” is...

read
Every Wrinkle Tells a Story
#RealTalk

Every Wrinkle Tells a Story

As I approach 50 and beyond, I look at myself differently. Whereas...

read
Shave Your Face: Yay or Nay?
Beauty

Shave Your Face: Yay or Nay?

Hair removal has long been an integral part of beauty routines. As...

read
The Science-Based Solution for Aging Hair
Beauty

The Science-Based Solution for Aging Hair

There’s no question that our hair changes as we get older. It...

read
6 Questions With... Skin Care Pioneer Jane Iredale
Beauty

6 Questions With... Skin Care Pioneer Jane Iredale

Jane Iredale began her eponymous brand in New York in 1994. As a casting...

read
Women Who Inspire: Actress and Author Lisa Oz
Living

Women Who Inspire: Actress and Author Lisa Oz

Lisa Oz is the wife of Dr. Oz, but she’s never languished...

read
10 Real Women Who Endlessly Inspire Us
Living

10 Real Women Who Endlessly Inspire Us

They’re not celebrities. They don’t have a ton of money. But they...

read
5 Standing Yoga Poses for Lower-Back Pain
Yoga

5 Standing Yoga Poses for Lower-Back Pain

If you have lower-back pain, you are not alone. According to the...

read
Has the Carbohydrate Conundrum Been Solved?
Wellness

Has the Carbohydrate Conundrum Been Solved?

New research studying carb intake in relation to mortality confirms that contrary...

read
Office Hours: How Can I Get Back Into the Workforce?
Living

Office Hours: How Can I Get Back Into the Workforce?

Welcome to Office Hours, where a Fairygodboss expert answers a question from one of...

read
5 Recipes for an Unforgettable Holiday Cookie Party
Wellness

5 Recipes for an Unforgettable Holiday Cookie Party

’Tis the season for a cookie party. Legendary cookie baker Dorie Greenspan...

read
7 Lessons for My Younger Self
#RealTalk

7 Lessons for My Younger Self

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards,” said...

read
Is Sitting Ruining Your Posture?
Wellness

Is Sitting Ruining Your Posture?

Back pain, leg pain, shoulder pain, headaches. We tend to attribute inconvenient...

read
Put an End to Your Perfectionism
Wellness

Put an End to Your Perfectionism

Earlier this year I had an epiphany: The never-ending feeling that I needed...

read
Women Who Inspire: Model Gillean McLeod
Living

Women Who Inspire: Model Gillean McLeod

Gillean McLeod, 62, admits being “late to the game” has been somewhat...

read
The Fine Line Holiday Gift Guide
Living

The Fine Line Holiday Gift Guide

From hard-to-shop-for men to the gal who likes it all, the people...

read
Fitness Gifts You Won’t Have to Sweat Over
Fitness

Fitness Gifts You Won’t Have to Sweat Over

If even thinking about shopping gives you a hot flash, you’re not...

read
Perfect Presents Under $150
Living

Perfect Presents Under $150

Holiday gift giving shouldn’t break the bank. We found 13 presents under...

read
Great Gifts for Good Guys
Living

Great Gifts for Good Guys

Why are guys so hard to buy for? We don’t have the...

read
The Tastiest Holiday Gifts for Foodies
Living

The Tastiest Holiday Gifts for Foodies

We got hungry just thinking about wrapping up these tasty holiday gifts...

read
Hostess Gifts to Show Your Gratitude
Living

Hostess Gifts to Show Your Gratitude

Whether you’re just popping over for dinner or staying a few days,...

read
Holiday Gifts for Women Who Love Wellness
Wellness

Holiday Gifts for Women Who Love Wellness

Don’t stress over holiday gifts for your gals who walk the wellness...

read
Eat This Now: Ultimate Cleansing Foods
Wellness

Eat This Now: Ultimate Cleansing Foods

If you’re among the millions of Americans suffering from obesity, diabetes, high...

read
Need to Know: Heavy Metals
Wellness

Need to Know: Heavy Metals

Heavy metals are odorless, invisible, and virtually undetectable — but they’re of increasing...

read
Problem/Solution: Teensy Bladder Leaks
Style

Problem/Solution: Teensy Bladder Leaks

You laugh. You sneeze. You cough. You do 13,791 burpees at the...

read
How to Get Started With Exercise at 75
Fitness

How to Get Started With Exercise at 75

When you hit your mid-70s, you may feel like your daily routine...

read
5 Hormone-Balancing Foods
Wellness

5 Hormone-Balancing Foods

Are your hormones out of whack? Often the best place to start...

read
37 Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
Wellness

37 Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Hormones play an enormous role in how we look, think, and feel....

read
7 Reasons to Embrace Cardio
Fitness

7 Reasons to Embrace Cardio

Cardio is any form of exercise that raises your pulse and conditions...

read
Load More
share
To Top