BHA (beta-hydroxy acid): powerful and gentle

The Cherokee and other Native Americans used an infusion of the willow bark for fever and other medicinal purposes for centuries.  The medicinal part of the plant is the inner bark and was used as a pain reliever for a variety of ailments. In 2014, archaeologists identified traces of salicylic acid on 7th century pottery fragments found in east central Colorado.  The active extract of the bark, called salicin, after the Latin name for the white willow (Salix alba), was isolated and named by the German chemist Johann Andreas Buchner in 1828.

Just as AHAs, BHA is a simple organic acid found in nature or synthesized in the laboratory. LOTUS AROMA’s BHA at 9.5% concentration is authentically natural, and originated from the bark of a willow tree. It has less irritation potential than synthetic salicylic acid, which is also BHA. Coupled with AHAs, it increases efficacy in treating anti-aging and mature skins.

BHA is somewhat different from alpha-hydroxy acids in structure and mode of action. Although beta-hydroxy acid is now often portrayed as the latest skincare breakthrough, it has been around for quite a while.

Unlike alpha-hydroxy acids, which are water soluble, beta-hydroxy acid is lipid (oil) soluble and hence, is capable of penetrating and breaking down fats and lipids. This means that it exfoliates not only the upper layer of skin, but also penetrates deep through the epidermis to exfoliate the dead skin cells and excess oil built up in the pores. For this reason, BHA is frequently used to treat blackheads, whiteheads and acne, and anti-aging and mature skins.