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BHA-The Latest For Improving Sun Damaged Skin


BHA stands for beta-hydroxy acids and is a compound following in the footsteps of the more familiar alpha-hydroxy acids and retinoic acids (Retin-A). This is the latest product in that branch of pharmacology called cosmaceuticals (products that straddle the line between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals).

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While alpha-hydroxy acids and retinoic acids are still very useful, this new product has some benefits that might be worth looking into. For one thing, the most common beta-hydroxy acid is salicylic acid, which naturally occurs in wintergreen leaves, and other plants and has been an FDA approved medication for many, many years (mostly as anti-acne medications).

It seems to be as effective as some of the alpha-hydroxy products available and less irritating than Retin-A. While the research has been minimal at present, the researcher, Dr. Albert Kligman who has been extolling its virtues is none other than the person who did most of the early work on Retin-A.

Since most of the anti-acne products that have salicylic acid are made for young people and are somewhat drying, the new use of it in adults with sun damage must be carefully monitored. One of the most popular uses recently has been a series of in-office light peels (sometimes called "lunchtime" peels), which usually show results after the first three or four sessions.

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