Best BHA Products – What BHA Products are Good for the Skin?

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

Individuals with oily, acne-prone skin know what a challenge it can be to take care of their skin. Between acne flare-ups, large pores, a generally uneven skin texture, and countless other issues, there is a lot to deal with. BHAs are found in some skincare products designed for users with oily skin. BHAs are an oil-soluble chemical exfoliant that can penetrate deep into the pores to clear up acne, remove dead skin, and leave skin looking much clearer. So, what are the best products with the BHA ingredient? Read on, and we’ll share some of our favorite BHA products.

Table of Contents

Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner (150ml 5.07fl.oz) somebymi

Benefits of BHA

Before we delve into the nitty gritty of BHAs, first we’ll quickly go through what makes BHA so great for the skin.

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Below is a summary of the various benefits of BHAs:

  • Dries up oil and debris
  • Minimizes pores
  • Removes dead skin cells
  • Evens skin texture
  • Clears up acne flare-ups
  • Helps prevent new acne flare-ups
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Evens skin tone

Best BHA Products

We’ll talk about each product in detail in our article, but here’s the best of the best in BHA products to improve your oily and acne prone skin:

Best BHA Skincare Products

Let’s take a look at some of the different types of the best BHA products currently on the market.  If you have oily or combination skin, we think you’ll fall in love with some of these products and want to try them out right away!

Best BHA Serum – Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum


  • Lifts away dead skin cells to resurface skin
  • Improves skin tone
  • Evens complexion
  • Reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Cruelty-free and vegan


When you look through user reviews of the Drunk Elephant BHA serum, it becomes very clear that most individuals see this as a must-have.  The vast majority of users were very impressed with how much this serum helped smooth their skin tone, unclog their pores, and leave their skin looking clear and healthy.  However, some users with sensitive skin said that the serum was too drying for their skin or caused them to break out.

How to Use

Cleanse and dry your face.  Apply the serum to the entire face except for the area around the eyes.  It can also be applied to the back of your hands or your chest.  If desired, mix the serum with marula oil to deliver additional moisture to the skin.

Best BHA Moisturizer – Touch KP Exfoliating Lotion

Touch Keratosis Pilaris Treatment with 12% Glycolic Acid & 2% Salicylic Acid - AHA & BHA Exfoliating Rough & Bumpy Skin Body Lotion - Moisturizing Cream Gets Rid Of Redness, KP, Body Acne - 8 Ounce
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  • Reduces redness and inflammation
  • Exfoliates the skin’s surface and pores
  • pH of 3.5
  • Formulated with glycine soja oil to moisturize skin and aloe vera to serve as an anti-inflammatory


Users with keratosis pilaris are very happy they found this BHA moisturizer from Touch.  Many have shared that after just a few uses, the dry patches and bumps from their KP had become significantly less noticeable.  Some users shared that they didn’t like the overpowering smell of the lotion.

How to Use

Apply a thin layer of this BHA moisturizer to the skin up to twice each day, ideally on clean and dry skin (the manufacturer recommends showering with the Touch KP Exfoliating Wash.

Best BHA Cleanser – Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser - Triple Action Exfoliating Facial Cleanser with Salicylic, Lactic and Glycolic Acid- Skin Smoothing Polish, 6.75 Fl Oz (Packaging May Vary)
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  • Formulated with a proprietary blend of salicylic, lactic, and glycolic acid
  • Exfoliates dry skin
  • Leaves skin smoother
  • Brightens complexion
  • Doesn’t cause irritation
  • Suitable for use with all skin types


Customers who have tried the Murad BHA cleanser love the results they are seeing.  Many have shared how much smoother their skin is and that their pores are much less noticeable.  However, some users don’t think that this BHA cleanser performs that much better than similar products that are less expensive.

How to Use

To use this BHA cleanser, place a small amount on your fingertips and use circular motions to rub it into your skin.  Use warm water to wash the cleanser off, and pat dry your face.

Best BHA Toner – Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner

Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner (150ml 5.07fl.oz) somebymi
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  • Removes dead skin cells
  • Calms skin
  • Formulated with 10,000 ppm tea tree water
  • Controls sebum
  • Soothes skin


Many users agree with the “miracle” in this BHA toner’s name.  They have shared how the Some By Mi toner has helped their acne to clear up and is improving the texture and tone of their skin.  Sadly, some users did not experience the same positive results and found that the toner irritated their skin or caused a burning sensation.

How to Use

Apply toner to a cotton pad and wipe the cotton pad along the skin.  Use the cotton pad to pat the toner left on the skin gently until it is absorbed by the skin.

Best BHA Cream – neutralyze Renewal Complex Maximum Strength Acne Moisturizer Cream

Neutralyze Renewal Complex - Maximum Strength Acne Moisturizer Cream with Time-Released 2% Salicylic Acid + 1% Mandelic Acid + Nitrogen Boost Skincare Technology (3.4 oz)
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  • Formulated with 2% salicylic acid and 1% time-released mandelic acid
  • Exfoliates skin
  • Increases cell turnover
  • Can eliminate pimples, cystic acne, zits, blackheads, whiteheads, and other blemishes
  • Hydrates skin and improves elasticity
  • Evens skin tone
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • May deliver noticeable results within 24 hours


Some users love this neutralyze BHA cream for acne so much they refer to it as a magic potion.  They have described the huge difference they have seen in their skin and how using the cream has helped clear up their acne, keep their skin from looking too oily, and leaves their skin moisturized.  However, some individuals who tried this BHA cream said that they didn’t notice any improvement in their skin.

How to Use

After testing on a small area of your skin for the first three days of use, apply a thin layer to the skin.  Leave the cream on the skin, and do not rinse it off.  It can be applied up to three times a day, but you’ll want to work your way up, and start with one day at a time.

Best BHA Mask – Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial™ AHA + BHA Mask


  • Resurfaces skin
  • Improves tone and texture of skin
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles, pores, fine lines, and dark spots
  • Soothes redness
  • Brightens skin
  • pH of 3.5


The majority of individuals who have tried this Drunk Elephant BHA mask are shocked by how well it performs on their skin.  Users have shared that their skin is much smoother and has a radiant glow since they’ve added the mask into their routine.  Some users feel that it is too strong for weekly use and don’t like how much it tingles on their skin.

How to Use

This mask is designed to be used once a week.  Before applying the mask to your skin, cleanse your skin and let it dry fully.  Apply the mask evenly over the skin and let it sit for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, rinse the mask off using lukewarm water and pat your face dry.  The manufacturer recommends following up with their Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil after removing the mask.

Best BHA Exfoliant – The Ordinary Peeling Solution


  • Formulated with 30% AHA and 2% BHA
  • Exfoliates top layer of skin as well as deep into pores
  • Reduces blemishes
  • Improves skin texture
  • Reduces appearance of fine lines


Users are very pleased with this BHA exfoliant from The Ordinary.  They have shared how much smoother and healthier their skin looks.  Users are also pleased with how inexpensive this exfoliant is.  Unfortunately, some users were not as impressed with their results.

How to Use

Before using the Peeling Solution, cleanse your face and allow your skin to fully dry.  Use your fingertips to apply the solution evenly on your neck and face, taking care to avoid the areas around the eyes.  Let sit for up to 10 minutes, and rinse with lukewarm water.

RELATED: What to Use After The Ordinary Peeling Solution

Best Leave On BHA Exfoliant – Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant

Paulas Choice--SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant--Facial Exfoliant for Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Wrinkles & Fine Lines, 4 oz Bottle
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  • 2% BHA unclogs pores and reduce their size
  • Leave-on formula
  • Improves The texture of skin
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Suitable for all skin types


Individuals who have tried this Paula’s Choice leave-on BHA exfoliant have seen a dramatic improvement in their acne after only a few days of use.  Some customers didn’t think they received enough of the exfoliant for the amount they spent on it.

How to Use

Use a cotton pad or your hands to pat the exfoliant on your face and neck.  Once applied, allow it to stay on the skin; no rinsing is necessary.  This exfoliant can be applied up to twice each day, but you’ll want to start with applying it every other day and work your way up to more frequent application.

Best AHA BHA Exfoliant – Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel


  • Formulated with 2% salicylic acid (BHA) and 10% glycolic acid complex (AHA)
  • Prevents acne breakouts
  • Reduces blemished
  • Evens skin tone
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines
  • Formula includes aloe vera to calm and hydrate skin


Users love getting the benefits of both AHAs and BHAs in the same exfoliant with this Acne Clearing Gel by Peter Thomas Roth.  They have stated that it works very well as a spot treatment for blemishes and clearing up hormonal acne.  However, some users with more stubborn acne said this exfoliant didn’t do anything to clear up their breakouts.

How to Use

After cleansing and drying skin, cover the face/affected area of skin with a thin layer.  This exfoliant can be used up to three times a day, but it is best to start with using it only once a day and working your way up to more frequent use based on how your skin tolerates it.

Drugstore BHA Options

Want to try BHA products, but not ready to drop a fortune on something new right now?  No worries!  There are plenty of BHA products with drugstore-friendly pricing!

Best Drugstore BHA Exfoliant – SOME BY MI Aha.Bha.Pha 30Days Miracle Serum

SOME BY MI Aha.Bha.Pha 30Days Miracle Serum 50ml (1.7oz)
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  • Soothes skin
  • Exfoliates to remove dead skin cell
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Moisturizes skin
  • Formulated with 10,000 ppm tea tree water extra to control sebum
  • pH of 5.5


Reviews for this drugstore BHA exfoliant serum by Some By Mi are very positive.  Users describe their skin as being much clearer and less oily since they have started using the serum.  Other users, however, said that even after waiting the full 30 days they didn’t notice any difference in their skin.

How to Use

Gently shake the bottle and use the included dropper to place four or five drops on your face.  Use your fingers to spread the serum around your face with a circular motion.  Hold the palms of your hands over your face until the serum is completely absorbed.

BHA Cleanser Drugstore – Stridex Single-Step Acne Control Pads

Stridex, Single-Step Acne Control, Maximum, Alcohol Free, 90 Soft Touch Pads
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  • Formulated the 2% salicylic acid
  • Reduces acne pimples
  • Prevents new breakouts
  • Helps skin heal


Users love these Stridex salicylic acid acne control pads and how much clearer and less oily their skin is.  Some even noticed an improvement in their skin after just one use!  Others found that these were too expensive compared to other similar items they’ve found.

How to Use

Cleanse and dry your face.  Remove a pad from the container and use it to cover the face/affected area with a thin layer of the solution.  You can work your way up to using the pads up to three times a day, but it is recommended to start with using them just once a day.

BHA for Skin Types

Depending on your skin type, you may find that some BHA products are better for you than others.  Look at our reviews below for products to try for individuals with sensitive skin, acne prone skin, and dry skin.

Best BHA for Sensitive Skin – COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner

COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner, 5.07 fl.oz / 150ml | Exfoliating Facial Spray | Korean Skin Care, Hydrating, Mild Exfoliation, Vegan, Cruelty Free, Paraben Free
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  • Improves skin texture
  • Controls pores
  • Removes dead skin cells
  • Formulated using natural ingredients
  • Gentle enough for daily use


Ask users what they think of this sensitive skin toner, and you’ll hear words such as ‘amazing,’ ‘great,’ and ‘awesome!’  They have shared how effective this COSRX AHA/BHA toner and exfoliator is at clearing up their skin, yet also gentler than other exfoliants they have tried.  Users love that it doesn’t burn or cause pain when they apply it to their more sensitive skin.  Sadly, some users’ skin was still too sensitive to tolerate this toner, and it caused them to break out.

How to Use for Sensitive Skin

Cleanse your face, and allow it to dry completely.  Use the spray applicator to wet a cotton pad with the toner and wipe it across your face.  Take care to stay away from the area around your eyes and mouth.  You can use the toner up to twice a day.

How Does This Benefit Sensitive Skin?

This toner features a very gentle formula and natural ingredients that won’t irritate more sensitive skin types.  It is hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.

Best BHA for Acne Prone Skin – Paula’s Choice RESIST Advanced Pore Refining Treatment

Paula's Choice RESIST Advanced Pore Refining Treatment 4% BHA Serum, Salicylic Acid & Green Tea, Anti-Aging Exfoliant for Oily Skin, 1 Ounce
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  • Clears pores
  • Removes dull skin
  • Gentle, non-abrasive formula
  • Leave-on exfoliant
  • Suitable for all skin types


Those who have used this Paula’s Choice exfoliant for acne swear by it.  They have said that it has helped decrease their pores, smooth their skin, and decrease redness and irritation on acne prone skin.

How to Use for Acne

This BHA treatment can be used on a daily or weekly basis, depending on your skin and needs.  The manufacturer recommends using it for cleansing and toning the skin, and suggests following up with an SPF 30 sunscreen for daytime use.

How Does This Benefit Acne Prone Skin?

This Advanced Pore Refining Treatment from Paula’s Choice is ideal for acne prone skin.  It is designed to remove dead skin and oil from pores to clear them and reduce acne breakouts.

BHA for Dry Skin – Paula’s Choice Weightless Body Treatment

Paula's Choice Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA, Salicylic Acid & Chamomile Lotion Exfoliant, Moisturizer for Keratosis Pilaris (KP) Prone Skin & Clogged Pores, Fragrance-Free & Paraben-Free, 7 Ounces
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  • Softens and smooths skin
  • Exfoliates dead skin
  • Rich in green tea, chamomile, and other antioxidants
  • Hydrates skin
  • Fragrance-free
  • Suitable for all skin types and keratosis pilaris


Many users with dry skin feel that this is a very moisturizing BHA for their skin.  Users with keratosis pilaris are especially happy with the results they’ve seen from this Paula’s Choice treatment.  Some users, however, did not find that this BHA treatment delivered enough moisture to solve their dry skin problems.

How to Use for Dry Skin

This BHA product can be used as a spot treatment or to exfoliate and smooth the entire face.  Apply the treatment to clean and dry skin daily or as desired.

Why Is It Good for Dry Skin?

This Weightless Body Treatment from Paula’s choice is formulated to exfoliate dry skin and leave it feeling smoother and softer.  This dry skin friendly BHA product is formulated with green tea, chamomile, and other antioxidants to hydrate and nourish dry skin.

How to Use BHA Products

The directions for using BHA products will vary depending on the product type you try.  Although we’ve given you steps on how to use each product mentioned above, always check with the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition, here are a few general tips for each product type below.

  • BHA exfoliants:  Most BHA exfoliants are designed to be gentle enough for daily use.  Experiment to find out if your skin reacts better to using the product once a day or twice a day.
  • BHA masks:  BHA masks feature a greater concentration of BHAs.  This means that they are too strong for daily use.  Most masks can be used about once a week.  The day that you apply a BHA mask, skip your daily BHA exfoliant to prevent over-doing it.

Regardless of the type of BHA product you use, it is important to keep your skin moisturized after use.  This will prevent it from getting too dry after being exfoliated.

Additionally, wearing sunscreen is always important, but even more so after using a BHA.  When your skin is freshly exfoliated, it will be much more sensitive to the skin and more likely to burn, so be vigilant about applying sunscreen before heading outdoors.

About BHA

What is BHA?

BHA, or beta-hydroxy acid, is a chemical exfoliant.  Since it is oil-soluble, it is able to penetrate down into the pores and help clear up issues that lead to acne.  Using products with BHAs can also help remove dead skin cells, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and leave skin with an improved texture.

What Acids Are BHA?

BHA stands for beta-hydroxy acid.  Beta-hydroxy acid is an oil-soluble acid, which makes it a better choice for individuals with oily-prone skin.  Salicylic acid is the most well-known BHA, but there are other acids under the BHA umbrella as well.  These include beta hydroxybutanoic acid, trethocanic acid, and tropic acid.

Is BHA And Salicylic Acid the Same Thing?

Yes, salicylic acid is one type of BHA.  Salicylic acids may also be listed as salicylate, sodium salicylate, or willow extract.

RELATED: Best Salicylic Acid Toner

Is BHA and AHA the Same Thing?

BHA and AHA are not the same thing.  BHA stands for beta-hydroxy acid, and AHA stands for alpha-hydroxy acid.  Both are exfoliants, but they differ in how they work and the skin types they are best for.  When choosing between AHAs and BHAs, you want to think about your goals.

AHAs are a water-soluble acid that can work to exfoliate the surface of the skin.  They can be used to treat surface wrinkles, more mild hyperpigmentation, and an uneven skin tone.

BHAs, on the other hand, are an oil-soluble acid.  Since they are able to penetrate more deeply into the hair follicles and dry out the dead skin and oils clogging your pores, they can work wonders for individuals with acne or sun damage.

What is BHA for Skin?

BHAs can be found in a variety of skincare products  Most often, these product types include cleansers, masks, and serums designed to exfoliate the skin and help clear up acne.  Salicylic acid is the most commonly found BHA ingredient in skincare products.

Is BHA Bad for Your Skin?

In most cases, using BHAs on your skin should not be problematic.  However, everyone’s skin is different, and you’ll want to watch to make sure that you don’t have a negative reaction.

Do I Need to Use BHA?

Whether you need to use BHA is a personal question.  The condition and appearance of your skin can help you decide if a BHA product is right for you.  If you’re constantly fighting acne breakouts, have large pores, or feel that the texture of your skin is very uneven, you may find that you benefit from trying a BHA.

Who is BHA For?

BHAs are typically best for individuals with oily-prone skin or combination skin.  They can help dry up the excess oil in pores and remove dead skin cells to leave the skin smoother and clearer.  Additionally, since BHAs can calm skin due to the hydroxy acids, they can also be used by many individuals with more sensitive skin or those with rosacea or other conditions that make the skin red.

What Does BHA Do for You?

BHA can help dissolve and dry up debris that are clogging the pores on your face.  This can help clear up acne and prevent new acne breakouts from happening.  Another reason BHAs can benefit users is because of their anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.  This makes them more effective at clearing up acne and keeping it from returning.

The Ordinary Peeling Solution 30ml AHA 30% + BHA 2%


What is BHA product?

A BHA product is a skincare product that is formulated with BHAs (beta-hydroxy acid).  Since BHAs are a chemical exfoliant that can penetrate into the pores to dry up excess oil and dead skin, they are often found in products for individuals with oily or combination skin.

What can you use with BHA?

Can you combine other products with BHA products?  BHA products can be used alongside moisturizers, such as lotions or hyaluronic acid.  Adding a moisturizer to your routine can keep your skin from getting too dried out from the BHA.  However, you don’t want to use BHAs with retinol or other products with very active ingredients, as it could irritate the skin.

Can I use BHA every night?

Yes, some BHA products can be used every night.  If you’re not sure whether the BHA product you have can be used each evening, check with the manufacturer’s directions.

How often should you use a BHA product?

Many BHA products are designed for daily use.  However, some with a greater concentration of BHAs, such as BHA masks, may only be designed to be used about once a week.  Consult with the manufacturer’s recommendations for use for the specific product you have.

How long does it take BHA to work?

Everyone’s skin is different, so the time it takes for you to see results can vary from the time it takes someone else to see results.  However, it is likely that you’ll start to notice improvement within a few days to a few weeks of starting to use a BHA product.

BHA Skincare Products

BHA skincare products can help exfoliate your skin and clear oil and debris from your pores.  This makes them especially beneficial for those with oily or combination skin.

As a recap, here are our top recommendations for the best BHA products:

We hope this post was useful to you in rounding up the best BHA products to use for healthier skin!

Learn more about caring for your skin with these related posts on our blog:

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