Oxybenzone and BHA (Salicylic Acid)

What means BHA in skin care products? Can Tea Tree Oil remove pimples effectively? And is Oxybenzone a good sunscreen ingredient in skin care?

Author Mads Timmermann

Mads has 14+ years of experience as a skin expert and has written/read this article.

Home / Blog / Guides / Oxybenzone and BHA (Salicylic Acid)

Question: “Oxybenzone and BHA (Salicylic Acid)”

Hi Mads :-)

First of all, I want to say that I’m very happy to have found your site, because I within the past 6 months have experienced a skin disorder (bumps, small spots and especially whiteheads) for the first time in my life in a really bad way (I’m 27 now!).

But after having read on your site and seen your little videos, I’m fairly sure that it’s because I use the wrong products. At least, I hope so… So now I’m reading about the different products you recommend on your list.

But it can be so confusing regarding what to choose – for example, I’ve found the crème from Paula’s Choice and I think it sounds pretty good, but then it says Warning: Contains Oxybenzone, which I looked up and I found this:


What’s your opinion about that??

So I want to hear what exactly must be listed under contents, if I want to find a créme with BHA? Is it salicylic acid or what??

And one last thing: Is it too harsh on the skin to use Tea Tree Oil for blemishes/acne…?

Thanks in advance! :-)


Answer to: “Oxybenzone and BHA (Salicylic Acid)”

Dear Anita,

Thank you so much for your praise of my web site. I am really happy to be able to help you!

Oxybenzone is a chemical sunscreen. That means that it “hides” in your skin and “catches” the rays from the sun, which it then “kills”.

Some people are sensitive to chemical sunscreen (like oxybenzone), while other people’s skin will react negatively towards physical sunscreen.

Unfortunately, you have to experiment out a little. If you have acne, a physical sunscreen which lies on top of the skin might be clogging the pores, but on the other hand a chemical sunscreen can be irritating.
But, oxybenzone as an ingredient in itself should not be a concern for you. Of course you need to test it on your skin to see if the ingredient will irritate your skin, but often an irritation is caused by other ingredients contained in the product.

To find BHA you must look for salicylic acid. But unfortunately, many products contain BHA/salicylic acid as an ingredient, but if the product does not have the correct acidic PH value, then the BHA will not have the optimal effect.

If you can find a BHA with a PH value of 3 or 4, that would be really good. For example, try Perfect Skin Power Treat.

Tea Tree Oil is actually one of the very few ingredients that has a documented effect on blemishes. BUT…For Tea Tree Oil to have a real effect on the blemishes, you need to use a lot of it. And since Tea Tree Oil does not have the best scent, it is not used often (and in the required quantities) in skincare products.

I wish you a great future with nice, beautiful skin!

Product recommendations


0 replies

Write a comment