While some of us were only learning about exfoliating acids like alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids, a new three-letter acronym: PHAs entered the market. What do you know about PHAs? Are they different from AHAs and BHAs?
What Are PHAs?
Polyhydroxy acids – aka – PHAs are chemical exfoliants that fall in the AHA family but are larger in size than more common AHAs like glycolic acid and lactic acid. Due to their large size, PHAs do not penetrate deeply into the skin, rather exfoliate the outer layer of the skin. They are comparatively more gentle than other chemical exfoliating acids. Some common PHAs are gluconolactone, galactose, and lactobionic acid.
Benefits of PHA
Perfect for sensitive skin: PHAs are a lot gentler than other acids due to their large size. PHAs are less likely to irritate the skin.
Retains moisture: PHAs are humectants that maintain hydration in the skin. It does strip away the moisture like other exfoliants.
Inflammatory and Antioxidant properties: Apart from exfoliating, PHAs are also packed with inflammatory and antioxidants properties that nourish and protect the skin.
How to Use
PHAs can be found in a bunch of products. One of the best uses of PHAs is in products that are left on the skin for a long time. They can be used in any type of – liquid exfoliant, toner, mask, etc. You can use the 3% Pha Face Lush Toner to gently exfoliate and prep the skin.
AHA solutions are often formulated with PHAs to clean up the other surface of the skin. You can find this formulation in AHA 25% + PHA 5% + BHA 2% Face Serum Shots. This is a peeling solution that can be used once or twice in the week to exfoliate your skin chemically.
Side effects of PHA
Well, the best thing about PHAs is that there are no side effects of using them. In fact, PHAs are the most versatile acids, making them perfect to combine with other treatments.