If you’re the type of person who enjoys long walks down the skincare aisles, then you’ve probably heard of and already own products containing BHA. For those of you who are new to that ingredient, it’s a chemical exfoliator. Unlike physical exfoliators which require rougher ingredients like sugar or coffee grounds to work away dead skin cells, chemical exfoliators dissolve dead skin cells with just a wipe of a cotton pad. It’s generally easier and yields better results.
BHA stands for “beta hydroxyl acid." Unlike its sister acid AHA (which works on the skin’s surface), BHA’s work both above and below the skin’s surface. It’s oil soluble, which makes it a better ingredient if you struggle with acne-prone skin. It fights bacteria and penetrates deep into your pores to dissolve the mix of sebum and dead skin. Overtime, this stabilizes the lining of your pores (lowering your chances for more acne to pop up). It’s also gentle enough for sensitive skin or skin prone to redness with its anti-inflammatory properties.
Recently, I decided to compare two BHA skincare products and see how the results differed.
First off, I’m a huge COSRX fan.
Their products are very straightforward, contains honest ingredients, simple packaging, and powerful results. I was excited to test out their BHA product and see how it worked with my skin. It claims to help calm, repair, and moisturize skin with 69.8% Black Bee Propolis, while inhibiting bacterial growth and loosening the bond between your skin and dead skin. Furthermore, it controls excess oil production, clears out impurities, and promises more even, clearer skin. It has no scent and is very watery in texture. I pumped it out onto a cotton pad and wiped it across my face a few times after cleansing and before applying my serums and moisturizers. I found it to be a little stingy when I would apply it, but it wasn’t uncomfortable (honestly, I’ve been conditioned to trust a product a little more if it stings/burns).
I don’t have a lot of experience with Benton and have only tried a few of their products. I was instantly drawn to this one because it was packed with aloe and snail mucin – two ingredients I love and swear by. Furthermore, this toner also contains Salicylic Acid! It felt like a 3-in-1 product: Aloe to soothe and prep the skin, Salicylic Acid to exfoliate and cleanse deep into the pores, and snail mucin to add moisture back in the skin. I didn’t notice a scent in this product. Howver, I did find it to be thicker than COSrx’s version. It wasn’t watery and needed more time to soak into the cotton pad. It left no residue on my skin and felt insanely hydrating after every use. After using this for only a few times, I would start to forget to put moisturizer on afterwards because I didn’t feel dry or tight.
Both of these products do a great job; so, it really comes down to personal preferences in terms of texture and potency. The COSrx toner was stronger and packed more of a punch. I felt the effects faster. However, after my experiment with each was over, I found myself reaching for the Benton toner. It felt so nice on my skin, caused absolutely no irritation, and left me feeling glowy and hydrated. It takes longer to see effects, but it was worth it for me!