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What’s the best BHA exfoliant

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Exfoliating your skin is essential. But now there are so many exfoliants out there. It is challenging to find one that is effective, and that will work with your skin. 

But, today, I’m going to help you find the best BHA exfoliant.

Read on to find out what exfoliants I recommend, and what to look for while buying one.

BHA exfoliants reviews

Keep in mind that I may receive commissions when you click my links and make purchases. However, this does not impact my reviews and comparisons. I try my best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

Paulas Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant

One thing great about Paula’s choice is that they offer different BHA exfoliant, so no matter your skin type or condition, you can find the right one for you.

But today I’m going to talk about one of their best seller, which is Paulas Choice skin perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant

It has BHA, so it definitely can help you reduce large pores, prevent acne, and reduce fines lines. Another ingredient that this exfoliant has and that can benefit your skin is green tea. It is an antioxidant that is known to protect your skin from free radical damage.

Another great thing about this product is that it is cruelty-free, alcohol-free and fragrance-free, so there is a low chance to have irritation from this product.

A lot of people love this product as they did have the results promises by the brand. However, some people recommend not to use it every day, but to start using it once a week and then work your way up to avoid over-exfoliation. Another thing to take note of is that your skin can purge when you start using it.

The only drawback of this product is that it is kind of pricey.


  • Green tea
  • Alcohol-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Cruelty-free


  • Pricey

CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser

If you want an affordable but yet effective product CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser may be the one for you. Not only does this cleanser has salicylic acid, but it also has many other ingredients.

First, it has humectants such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid. This will help to hydrate your skin. It also has niacinamide, which can help with acne, wrinkles, and fine lines. Additionally, it has ceramides. They are known to be able to help with your skin barrier and also keep the moisture into your skin. Thanks to all the ingredients, this cleanser can exfoliate and gently clean your skin.

This cleanser is also fragrance-free and alcohol-free, so there is a low chance of getting irritation.

The majority of people love this product and found that this cleanser is gentle. Some did see results with acne and blackheads. However, some people did experience some dryness.


  • Fragrance-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hyaluronic acid


  • Some people did experience some dryness
  • The brand doesn’t disclose the percentage of salicylic acid

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque

The ordinary is a well-known brand for its affordable and effective products. The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque is one of them. This masque is alcohol-free, oil-free, cruelty-free, and vegan, so this product can be suitable for a lot of people.

This masque has some moisturizing ingredients such as glycerin and squalane. It also has kaolin, which is a type of clay. It can soak up excess of sebum, so this can be an excellent choice for people with oily skin.

A lot of people did find that this masque removes excess oil without drying their skin. They also did find that it did help with blackheads, minimizing pores, and the texture of the skin.


  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Squalane


  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

Cosrx Bha Blackhead Power Liquid

Cosrx is a well known Korean brand. Cosrx Bha Blackhead Power Liquid has BHA, but the one they are using is not salicylic acid, but betaine salicylate.

Betaine salicylate is salicylic acid combined with betaine. There is not a lot of research about this ingredient. But apparently, it is supposed to be more gentle than salicylic acid. Some people like betaine salicylate better because they find that it is more gentle. However, some people find that they have better results with salicylic acid. So, the effectiveness of this ingredient will depend on your skin.

Another great thing about this product is that it has hyaluronic acid, which is a humectant. This will make sure that your skin stays hydrated. It also has niacinamide, which can help you with many things like hyperpigmentation, acne, and many other things. Additionally, it has Salix Alba Bark Water, which is known for its soothing properties. 

Some people did experience purging when first using this product. They also did find that they did get great results with their blackheads and large pores. However, certain people did experience little to no result; this may be because of betaine salicylate seems to not work for everyone.


  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Niacinamide


  • Some people did find that they had little to no results

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Face Scrub Powder

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is a gentle exfoliant. It has some salicylic acid, which can help you unclog your pores.

This product has some antioxidants such as Colloidal Oatmeal, which can also help protect your skin and also has soothing properties. 

Additionally, it has tea tree oil, which can help your skin if you have acne. 

One drawback of this product is that it has some natural fragrances such as limonene, which can cause some irritation for some people. 

A lot of people did see great results in their skin texture and did find that this exfoliant was gentle. A few people did not like the smell and did get some irritation. Additionally, some people find that it was messy to use it. 


  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Antioxidants


  • Expensive
  • Natural fragrances

Why should you use exfoliants?

Exfoliating your skin is an essential thing to do in your routine. It is extremely important to remove the dead skin, so you’re skin looks and feel better. Additionally, regular exfoliation can help with some skin conditions. 

When it comes to exfoliating your skin, there are two types of exfoliants. There are physical or chemical exfoliants. When it comes to your face, physical exfoliants are not recommended as most of them can be to harsh for your skin, and this can damage your skin in the long term.

This is why if you want to exfoliate your skin gently, you should use chemical exfoliants. 

Now, there are two types of chemical exfoliants. One of them is alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), and the other is beta-hydroxy acids (BHA). Both will exfoliate your skin, but they do have some differences.

The most significant difference between BHA and AHAs is that AHAs are water-soluble, so it will work more on the surface of your skin. Whereas BHA is lipid-soluble, so it can penetrate your skin deeper and unclog your pores.

They both have many benefits, the better one will depend on your skin type and skin conditions. It is also possible to incorporate both of them into your routine.

However, be careful not to over-exfoliate as it can be damaging to your skin. You should have someday where you don’t use any exfoliants. Additionally, it is also essential to use sunscreen every single day when you exfoliate your skin.

How can BHA improve your skin?

When it comes to BHA, the most common one is salicylic acid. Besides exfoliating, BHA as other benefits such as being anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, which makes it suitable for people with redness and sensitive skin.

Because of is many benefits, BHA can help you with many skin issues. Here are some of them:

Oily skin

BHA may help you if you have oily skin. It can reduce the excess of oil. But you have to be careful not to use too much otherwise, if you over-exfoliate, this can damage your skin, and your skin can get oilier. So, you must find the right balance.


Clogs pores can result in acne. This is why it is essential to exfoliate your skin. And BHA is oil soluble so it can go deeper into your skin and unclog your pores. This will help clear and prevent breakouts. Another benefit is that BHA is anti-inflammatory, so it can also help calm breakouts.

Large pores

One thing that a lot of people don’t know about pores is that you can not change their size. The size of your pores is genetic. However, if your pores are clog, they will be way more noticeable. So if you want them to be less apparent, it is important to exfoliate to unclog your pores.

Wrinkles and fine lines

BHA can also help you with wrinkles and fine lines. As we get older, our skin produces less collagen and has less elasticity. It has been proven that chemical exfoliants can help with wrinkles, elasticity, and many other things.


Now, there are a lot of BHA exfoliants out there. But not all of them are effective.

I’ve found that the best BHA exfoliant is Paulas Choice skin perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant. Even though it is pricey a lot of people did have great results from it and it has great ingredients. Additionally, it is fragrance-free. 

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