We’ve all heard of AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) and BHA’s (Beta Hydroxy Acid), but have you heard of PHA’s? PHA stands for Polyhydroxy Acid and it’s been trending on social media like crazy. But I’m sure you’re wondering “What the heck is a PHA?”
What are PHA’s anyway?
PHA’s or polyhydroxy acid are the second generation of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s) which are chemical exfoliants.
Gluconolactone is the most common PHA. It’s used in cosmetics for its anti-acne properties. It’s also known to help enhance skin hydration given it water-binding power. Other PHA’s are galactose and lactobionic.
Very similar to AHA’s, PHA’s work to exfoliate and remove the dead skin cells on the surface which enable your skin to appear smoother and with an even tone. When you use a PHA it allows all of your skin care ingredients to penetrate deeper into the layers of your skin, boosting the efficiency of the ingredients.
If you’re looking for more hydration than PHA’s might be right up your alley. Polyhydroxy Acid molecules also attract water, which will give your skin some added moisture.
As we get older a natural chemical process that weakens the skin’s collagen and elastin over time occurs, called glycation or (Sugar Face), PHA’s help too slow down the process.
What’s the difference in all these acids?
PHA’s exfoliate in a more mild manner, than AHA’s and BHA’s. Because the PHA’s molecules are much larger they do not penetrate the layers of the skin as deeply, exclusively working on the surface of the skin. They offer less irritation than AHA’s and BHA’s.
Unlike AHA’s, PHA’s don’t increase the skin’s sensitivity to sun damage, so you will not burn or have irritation as easily. We still highly recommend sunscreen, even with a PHA.
Is a PHA right for me?
Yes, it’s right for everyone, including people with sensitive skin, eczema, or rosacea. This is also good for those with dry skin since PHA’s are also a humectant, which means they attract water and very moisturizing.
In conclusion, PHA’s a wonderful option for every skin type. If you are looking for skin that looks smoother, plumper and more moisturized then you should definitely try a PHA. Speaking of trying a PHA, click the link below to see my recent video using the Ole Henriksen PHAT Glow Facial!
Have you tried a PHA? Share your thoughts in the comments below!