The INKEY List Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) Ingredients Explained

Last updated on July 18, 2023.

Overview

What it is

Serum with 13 ingredients that contains BHA and hyaluronic acid

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, fungal acne (malassezia) safe, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, dry skin, brightening skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, reducing pores and scar healing

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

The INKEY List is from United Kingdom. This product is used in 131 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

BHA
Hyaluronic Acid

Benefits

Hydrating
Good For Oily Skin
Redness Reducing
Reduces Irritation
Reduces Large Pores
Scar Healing (2)
Acne Fighting (2)
Brightening

Concerns

Drying
Irritating
Rosacea
Eczema

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Solvent
3
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
4
Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconGood for Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
5
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Hyaluronic Acid Icon
6
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Good for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne Icon
7
Preservative
Preservative Icon
8
Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising
9
Absorbent, Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning
10
Buffering
11
Skin Conditioning
12
Skin Conditioning
13

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 13 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
2
What it does: Solvent
Community Rating: Liked

Propanediol helps absorb ingredients into your skin, boosting their benefits. It can act as an emollient, making your skin softer. Propanediol can help products last longer by boosting the properties of preservatives within the formulation.

Propanediol is not likely to cause sensitivity and considered safe to use.

It is derived from corn or petroleum with a clear color and no scent.

Learn more about Propanediol
3
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Betaine is a common humectant (a substance that promotes retention of moisture). It's known to be gentle on the skin and can help balance hydration.

Betaine is best for improving hydration and soothing irritated skin. Studies show betaine may help with uneven skin tones.

Betaine is naturally created in the skin and body. The form found within cosmetic products can be either plant-dervied or synthetic.

Learn more about Betaine
4
What it does: Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

This multitasking property makes it a great ingredient for cleaning out pores, controlling oil production, and reducing inflammation.

Unlike AHAs which are water soluble, Salicylic Acid is oil soluble. This means that it's able to exfoliate the inside of pores and reduce blackheads.

Concentrations of 0.5-2% are recognized by the U.S. FDA as an over-the-counter topical acne product.

It can cause irritation and/or dryness if one's skin already has a compromised moisture barrier, so it's best to focus on repairing that before introducing a Salicylic Acid into your routine.

In general, Salicylic Acid is a great ingredient for oily acne-prone skin.

While salicylic acid does not increase sun-sensitivity, we still recommend wearing SPF.

If you are looking for the ingredient called BHA or Butylated Hydroxyanisole, click here.

Learn more about Salicylic Acid
5
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Sodium Hyaluronate is hyaluronic acid's salt form. It is commonly derived from the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

Like hyaluronic acid, it is great at holding water and acts as a humectant. This makes it a great skin hydrating ingredient.

Sodium Hyaluronate is naturally occurring in our bodies and is mostly found in eye fluid and joints.

These are some other common types of Hyaluronic Acid:

Learn more about Sodium Hyaluronate
6
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Zinc PCA (or "zinc salt") differs slightly from zinc itself. PCA stands for pyrrolidone carboxylic acid. However, Zinc PCA comes from zinc.

It can help reduce redness, regulate sebum, and promote the general healing process of the skin.

Zinc PCA tends to be especially useful for those with oily, acne-prone skin. It's certainly an ingredient worth trying out!

Learn more about Zinc PCA
7
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

8
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising
Community Rating: Mixed

Hydroxyethylcellulose is used to improve the texture of products. It is created from a chemical reaction involving ethylene oxide and alkali-cellulose. Cellulose is a sugar found in plant cell walls and help give plants structure.

Hydroxyethylcellulose helps stabilize products by preventing ingredients from separating. It can also help thicken the texture of a product.

This ingredient can also be found in pill medicines to help our bodies digest other ingredients.

Learn more about Hydroxyethylcellulose
9
What it does: Absorbent, Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide. It is derived from starch such as rice, corn, wheat, or potato starch.

In food, Maltodextrin is used to improve the texture and thicken a product. Due to its structure, it can help create a gel texture. As an emulsion stabilizer, it helps keep the ingredients in a product together.

As a polysaccharide, Maltodextrin has moisturizing properties. Polysaccharides are a type of carbohydrate. The top layer of skin uses polysaccharides to retain water, keeping the skin hydrated.

Maltodextrin is water soluble and has a sweet taste.

Learn more about Maltodextrin
10
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: Mixed

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

In small amounts, sodium hydroxide is considered safe to use. However, large amounts may cause chemical burns due to its high alkaline.

Your skin has a natural pH and acid mantle. This acid mantle helps prevent harmful bacteria from breaking through. The acid mantle also helps keep your skin hydrated.

"Alkaline" refers to a high pH level. A low pH level would be considered acidic.

Learn more about Sodium Hydroxide
11
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Ethylhexylglycerin (we can't pronounce this either) is commonly used as a preservative and skin softener. It is derived from glyceryl.

You might see Ethylhexylglycerin often paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol. Ethylhexylglycerin has been found to increase the effectiveness of these other preservatives.

12
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Biosaccharide Gum-1 is a sugar created from fermented sorbitol. Most sorbitol is made from potato starch.

This ingredient is a a skin conditioning ingredient and helps moisturize the skin.

It is also naturally found in fruits such as apples and pears.

Learn more about Biosaccharide Gum-1
13
What it does:
Community Rating: Liked

Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate is used to help stabilize a product.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it helps prevent metal ions from binding to other ingredients. This prevents unwanted reactions in products. Metal ions can come into a product via the water ingredient. They are found in trace amounts and are not known to be harmful.

Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 13 ingredients in this product ✨

69% are loved or liked
23% have mixed ratings
8% are disliked or very disliked
0% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use The INKEY List Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA). We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) ->
Verified by SkinSort

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The data we've presented on this page has been verified by a member of the SkinSort Team.

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Latest Reviews

View all 5
CentellaAddict's Avatar'
Sep 10, 2023

Very good for acne
Saw an immediate overnight change in my inflammation overnight after using for the first time, haven't had any inflammatory whiteheads since I finished purging (which lasted 2 weeks) and my skin is slightly less oily....

Very good for acne
Saw an immediate overnight change in my inflammation overnight after using for the first time, haven't had any inflammatory whiteheads since I finished purging (which lasted 2 weeks) and my skin is slightly less oily. However it did nothing really for my sebaceous filaments.

bloss's Avatar'
Jul 14, 2023

It’s like the only product that actually seemed to do anything.

It’s like the only product that actually seemed to do anything.

Read more reviews ->

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