15 Best BHA Exfoliants For Chemical Exfoliation At Home – 2022

Cleanse each pore out and get squeaky clean skin free from whiteheads and blackheads.

By Oyendrila Kanjilal, Certified Skin Care Coach
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Scrubbing can remove impurities and leave your skin glowing. The best BHA exfoliant can do all of this and more! Exfoliation involves getting rid of dead skin cells from the topmost skin layer without robbing the skin’s natural oils. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends exfoliating to improve skin tone and appearance. At home, you can use either mechanical or chemical exfoliation. Mechanical exfoliation removes dead skin cells using a brush or sponge. Chemical exfoliation gets rid of dead skin cells with BHA or AHA.

Beta-hydroxy acid is an excellent exfoliator with numerous skin care benefits. It penetrates deeply into the skin, clears clogged pores, and draws out dirt and oil, revealing a healthy glow. In addition, BHA exfoliators hydrate and nourish the skin, diminishing aging signs.

Here is our roundup of the 15 best BHA exfoliants that fight acne and shield the skin from UV radiation. Check it out!

Our Top PicksCheck Price
Best Leave-On Exfoliator: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Facial ExfoliantPrice on Amazon
SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser Price on Amazon
Perfect Image Salicylic Deep Gel Exfoliating Cleanser Price on Amazon
Best Chemical Exfoliant: Murad Age Reform AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser Price on Amazon
Best 4-in-1 Solution: Ursa Major Essential Face Tonic Price on Amazon
QRx Labs BHA Exfoliating LiquidPrice on Amazon
KarmaCeuticles AHA BHA Exfoliating Cleanser Price on Amazon
Best Exfoliating Skin Toner: Benton Aloe BHA Skin TonerPrice on Amazon
Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power LiquidPrice on Amazon
Innate Skin Clear Skin AHA/BHA Exfoliating CleanserPrice on Amazon

15 Best BHA Exfoliants

1. Best Leave-On Exfoliator: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Facial Exfoliant

The Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Facial Exfoliant contains 2% BHA (beta hydroxy acid) that imparts a natural glow to the skin. The key ingredients infused in this liquid exfoliant are salicylic acid and green tea extract. Salicylic acid is a gentle exfoliant that removes dead skin cells by providing gentle exfoliation. It helps unclog pores, removes oil, grime, and impurities, and reduces enlarged pores to tighten the skin. This leave-on skin-perfecting exfoliant reduces acne scars and inflammation. It also removes blackheads. The green tea extract is a popular antioxidant that exhibits anti-aging properties. Use this scrub twice daily for brighter, softer, and younger-looking skin. Watch this YouTuber’s honest review video to get a better idea about the product.

Pros

  • Paraben-free
  • Contains 2% BHA
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • No artificial fragrances
  • Unclogs pores
  • Reduces blackheads
  • Helps fight inflammation
  • Protects the skin

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

2. SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 

 

The SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser elegantly buffs away dead skin cells and improves skin tone and texture. It is made with naturally derived alpha-hydroxy acid and beta-hydroxy acid. It also contains jojoba oil that nourishes, hydrates, and improves skin radiance. The salicylic acid with jojoba spheres gently exfoliate the skin, reduce inflammation and acne breakouts, and accelerate healing.

The alpha-hydroxy acids in the exfoliant may increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunburn. Use a sunscreen after the exfoliant if you are stepping out.

Pros

  • Contains both AHA and BHA
  • Reduces acne breakouts
  • Anti-inflammatory in nature
  • Hydrates the skin

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin
  • Petroleum smell

3. Perfect Image Salicylic Deep Gel Exfoliating Cleanser 

 

The Perfect Image is a powerful, professionally formulated gel exfoliating cleanser. It deeply cleanses your skin, sloughs out dead skin cells, and improves skin tone and appearance. It contains salicylic acid (beta-hydroxy acids) and glycolic acid (alpha-hydroxy acids) that gently exfoliate skin, and remove dirt and impurities by unclogging the pores. Along with AHA and BHA, it also contains green tea, tea tree, chamomile, and comfrey flower extract. Tea tree extract is antibacterial. It kills the acne-producing bacteria and heals acne scars. Green tea extract is rich in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and protects the skin from free radical damage. Chamomile and comfrey extracts heal, soothe, and repair the skin.

Pros

  • Contains both AHA and BHA
  • Anti-inflammatory in nature
  • Antibacterial
  • Heals and soothes the skin
  • Protects the skin from oxidative damage
  • Gentle exfoliator
  • Kills acne-producing bacteria
  • Unclogs pores

Cons

  • Very strong ingredients
  • May cause allergic reactions

4. Best Chemical Exfoliant: Murad Age Reform AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 

 

The Murad Age Reform is a creamy, rich cleanser that provides chemical exfoliation to reveal smoother skin. The active ingredients in the exfoliant are salicylic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid that offer gentle exfoliation to unclog pores, and remove excess oil, dirt, and impurities. Lactic acid is a mild AHA that treats hyperpigmentation and age spots to refine one’s complexion. The jojoba beads manually exfoliate the skin to buff away dead cells. They reveal smoother, younger-looking skin. Watch this YouTuber’s honest review video to get a better idea about the product.

Pros

  • Refines fine lines
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Protects skin from the sun damage
  • Unclogs pores

Cons

  • Unpleasant smell

5. Best 4-in-1 Solution: Ursa Major Essential Face Tonic 

 

The Ursa Major Essential Face Tonic is a 4-in-1 solution that cleanses, exfoliates, soothes, and hydrates the skin. It leaves the skin feeling refreshed, firm, and nourished. It is formulated with natural ingredients like hydrating aloe, toning birch sap, exfoliating AHA/BHA complex, conditioning willow bark, and brightening sugarcane. Sugarcane is a natural source of alpha-hydroxy acid, and willow bark is a natural source of beta-hydroxy acid. The two gently exfoliate the skin and make it smoother. The infused sodium hyaluronic acid retains moisture, and blurs fine lines and wrinkles. The antioxidant-rich green tea extracts protect the skin from oxidative damage.

Pros

  • 100% vegan
  • Clean ingredients
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Silicone-free
  • No artificial fragrances
  • Glycol-free
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Soothing fragrance

Cons

None

6. QRx Labs BHA Exfoliating Liquid

Clean up the dead skin cells with QRx Labs BHA Exfoliating Liquid. It is formulated with a blend of 2% salicylic acid, green tea extract,  and niacinamide that helps to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, make the skin soft, radiant and smoothen out the skin texture. In addition, the anti-aging formula helps to diminish the fine lines and remove wrinkles. Salicylic acid unclogs the pores and exfoliates the skin, while niacinamide efficiently reduces the pore size and evens out your skin tone. Moreover, green tea extract, a powerful antioxidant, calms and soothes any redness or inflammation.

Pros

  • Non-irritating
  • No artificial fragrance
  • Eco-friendly packaging
  • Silicone-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • May not suit sensitive skin

7. KarmaCeuticles AHA BHA Exfoliating Cleanser 

 

The KarmaCeuticles Exfoliating Cleanser is infused with the AHA/BHA complex that gently exfoliates the skin and enhances the regeneration of new skin cells. Beta-hydroxy acids are oil-soluble acids that help peel away the outer skin layer and aid in skin regeneration. They also help unclog pores and remove excess sebum, oil, grime, and impurities. The infused jojoba beads with natural oils and moisturizers gently cleanse the skin. They also restore and rejuvenate the skin for a brighter skin tone.

Pros

  • Contains AHA and BHA
  • Unclogs pores
  • Moisturizes the skin
  • Aids in skin cell renewal
  • Soothes the skin
  • Soothing smell
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Cons

None

8. Best Exfoliating Skin Toner: Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner

 

The Benton Skin Toner is enriched with BHA to clarify the skin tone. It is made of 80% aloe ingredients that are rich in polysaccharides, along with 0.5 % salicylic acid. The emollient aloe extract deeply nourishes the skin, soothes irritated skin, and heals acne scars. A mildly acidic beta-hydroxy acid exfoliates the skin, decongests the pores, and removes excess oil, grime, and impurities. This aloe-enriched BHA skin toner preps the skin for the better absorption of other skin care products.

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • PETA-certified
  • Unclogs the pores
  • Mild exfoliating toner
  • Hydrates and nourishes the skin

Cons

  • BHA could be too mild

9. Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid

The Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid is a customized solution for a brighter looking skin. It is made with 4% betaine salicylic acid, which is the most potent exfoliant that removes the uppermost dead skin layer. It penetrates deep into the skin to decongest the pores, and slough out oil, dirt, impurities. It contains 67.8% willow bark water that provides additional glow and strength to the skin. The liquid contains natural salicylic acid as salicin, which is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial in nature. It helps alleviate acne, scars, and breakouts.

Pros

  • Reduces blackheads
  • Reduces excess sebum formation
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologically-tested
  • Improves skin texture
  • Reduces breakouts
  • Clears pores

Cons

None

10. Innate Skin Clear Skin AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

The Innate Skin Clear Skin AHA/BHA is a deep exfoliating cleanser. It contains jojoba beads that nourish, hydrate, and buff away dead skin for a brighter look. It is specifically formulated with salicylic acid, a powerful BHA, which removes dead cells, unclogs pores, and absorbs excess oil and dirt for a refined look. It also removes blackheads, whiteheads, and soothes breakouts. The lactic acid, glycolic acid, and AHA help renew the skin, clarify the skin tone, and aid in cell renewal. These active ingredients are paired with orange and grapefruit peel oil that nourish the skin. The vitamins A and C help rejuvenate the skin complexion.

Pros

  • Soothes acne-prone skin
  • Accelerates skin renewal process
  • Reduces blackheads, whiteheads
  • Soothes breakouts
  • Blurs signs of aging
  • Brightens the complexion
  • Moisturizes the skin

Cons

None

11. Skincare By Eva Pore Perfection Exfoliating Cleanser

 

Skincare By Eva is a deep pore exfoliating cleanser. It contains jojoba beads that provide a gentle cleansing effect and remove dead skin cells. It contains a blend of AHA and BHA that decongest pores and remove all the dirt and impurities. This deep cleansing gel contains lactic acid, glycolic acid, potent alpha-hydroxy acids, and salicylic acid (which is the most powerful beta-hydroxy acid). These natural acids gently exfoliate the skin, buff away dead skin, absorb oil and grime, and reduce acne breakouts. This gentle face wash with jojoba beads is suitable for sensitive skin too.

Pros

  • Effective for all skin types
  • Gentle exfoliating cleanser
  • Remove old acne scars
  • Blurs signs of aging
  • A delightful aroma of citrus fruits
  • Unclogs pores
  • Provides a youthful glow

Cons

None

12. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting BHA Exfoliant Peel

Enjoy the benefits of both the AHA and BHA benefits with the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting BHA Exfoliant Peel. It is formulated with concentrated 25% AHA and 2% BHA.  Salicylic helps to refine the bumpy texture and clean the clogged pores for a deep cleansing feel. The AHA containing glycolic acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid, malic, and mandelic acid smooths the wrinkles and fine lines. In addition, the presence of butterfly pea extract calms redness and any irritation.

Pros

  • Anti-aging benefits
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Drying

13. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – Exfoliator

Achieve brighter and smoother skin with Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator. It comes in a powder form and forms a creamy texture upon contact with water. It helps remove impurities from the skin, even out your skin tone, polish it for more radiant and smoother skin. Additionally, it also contains papaya enzyme, colloidal oatmeal, rice bran that buffs away dead skin cells and soothes your skin for a healthy, youthful, and naturally glowy appearance.

Pros

  • Developed by the International Dermal Institute
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Artificial fragrance-free
  • Artificial color-free

Cons

None

14. Jenelt Deep Clarifying BHA Liquid

 

The Jenelt Deep Clarifying Exfoliator is gentle on the skin. It is a weightless formula with 2% salicylic acid. It is a potent exfoliator that removes dead cells from the surface of the skin. It also decreases the appearance of large pores and surface wrinkles. It unclogs pores to prevent acne, helps enhance new skin cell turnover, evens out skin tone, and improves overall skin texture. It also contains white tea extract, oat kernel extract, and grape seed oil that heal inflammation and protect the skin from free radical damage. It is suitable for sensitive skin and rosacea-prone skin.

Pros

  • Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties
  • Reduces acne breakouts
  • Reduces blackheads
  • Reduces enlarged pores
  • Weightless formula
  • Improves fine lines and wrinkles
  • 100% fragrance-free
  • Free from artificial colorants

Cons

None

15. Best BHA Exfoliant Serum: LuxeJoie AHA/BHA Lipo Serum

 

The LuxeJoie Lipo Serum gives a youthful glow and a brighter skin texture with just a few uses. It is made with a powerful blend of alpha-hydroxy acid and beta-hydroxy acid that gently exfoliate skin. They also unclog the pores to reveal a radiant glow. An invigorating blend of sodium hyaluronic acid, panthenol, vitamin E, vitamin A, allantoin, and phospholipid provides miraculous solutions for your skin. Allantoin is a non-irritating ingredient that soothes, heals, and protects the skin. It stimulates the growth of new skin tissues for a brighter look. Panthenol is a natural revitalizing ingredient that weakens the bonds of dead cells, and promotes skin cell renewal. Sodium hyaluronate is an intense moisturizer that restores the skin’s hydration, reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and alleviates dry skin.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Reduces fine lines
  • Improves skin tone
  • Tightens and firms the skin
  • Unclogs the pores
  • Made with natural botanical extracts
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

None

These are the fifteen best BHA exfoliators you can buy online. Before you make a purchase, it is better to know how to use a BHA exfoliant for the best results.

How To Apply A BHA Exfoliant? 

  • Prep your skin by picking the right face wash or cleanser. You can choose an exfoliant that acts as a cleanser with infused BHA.
  • Take a dollop of the exfoliant, dilute it, and apply to the skin. Massage gently in a circular motion. Do not rub harshly as it may further irritate the skin. Use lukewarm water to wash your skin.
  • Neutralize skin scrubbing by spraying a soothing toner on your skin.

The next section illustrates why a BHA exfoliant is suitable for you.

Why Is A BHA Exfoliant Good For You?

An AHA exfoliant is sufficient if you only want superficial cleansing, and your main focus is on the skin surface. But a BHA exfoliant deeply penetrates the skin pores, unclogs them, and removes the excess oil, dirt, and impurities. It reduces blemishes, fine lines, and wrinkles.

A BHA exfoliant is good for oily or sensitive skin, as it keeps the skin clean from within.

The following guide may help you pick the right product. Check it out.

How To Find The Ideal BHA Exfoliant 

  • Choose an exfoliant that contains salicylic acid or citric acid that unclog pores and absorb excess oil/impurities.
  • An exfoliator infused with natural willow bark extract contains natural BHA that nourishes, hydrates, and sloughs out skin impurities.
  • Pick an exfoliator that is non-comedogenic, dermatologically-tested, and free from all harmful chemicals.
  • A gentle exfoliating cleanser and toner is a multifunctional solution that hydrates, cleanses, and scrubs out excess impurities. It also preps your skin for an advanced skincare routine.

An exfoliant is among the most important skin care products. It balances skin pH and reduces excess sebum formation. BHA exfoliants are a boon to those with oily or sensitive skin as they heal acne breakouts and inflammation, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. You may pick your favorite product from the list and start using it right away. If you have any concerns with your skin, consult with a dermatologist first.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Oyendrila Kanjilal, is a certified skin care coach and stresses the importance of exfoliating the skin regularly to fight acne and shield the skin from UV radiation. The above list of the best BHA (beta-hydroxy acid) exfoliants is based on extensive and exhaustive research and an in-depth analysis of customer feedback on various trusted online platforms. These BHA exfoliators help clear dead skin cells and nourish and hydrate the skin.

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Oyendrila holds a master's degree in English Literature from the University Of Calcutta, West Bengal, and is a certified skincare... more

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