BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids)


Salicylic Acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) and is commonly used for congested/acne prone skin concerns. It clears p.acnes infection by unclogging pores, neutralising the bacteria, increasing cell turnover and reducing inflammation. It is a lipophilic compound which means it is oil soluble and removes intercellular lipids that link the surface layer skin cells.

Different Forms:

Originally derived from the same substance used in aspirin or Willow Bark.

Percentage in Skincare:

0.5-2% is common in over the counter products.

Professional peels are available at 10%-30% with pH levels ranging from 2.1-2.3.


Avoid during pregnancy.


The EU’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) has published an opinion on the safety of salicylic acid (CAS 69-72-7) in cosmetics.