What’s Polyhydroxy Acid? Everything you need to know about PHA Skincare.

What’s Polyhydroxy Acid? Everything you need to know about PHA Skincare.

What is a PHA Exfoliant?

PHA (otherwise known as Polyhydroxy Acid) works by exfoliating away dulling and clogging dead skin cells on the skin’s surface to reveal a brighter looking and more even skin tone and texture. PHAs help other skincare ingredients to penetrate more effectively into the layers of your skin, therefore boosting the efficacy of products used after them.

As skin cells die, they can often clump together and get stuck on top of the skin. An accumulation of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface leads to dullness, dehydration and enlarged pores. PHA acids gently but effectively dissolve the bonds that hold dead skin cells together and remove impurities, revealing brighter and more refined skin, without causing irritation.

How are PHAs different from BHAs and AHAs? 

The difference between PHAs, AHAs and BHAs lies in the molecular structure. PHAs have a larger molecular weight than AHAs or BHAs, which means that they do not penetrate as deeply into the skin but rather work exclusively on the skin's surface; making them less sensitizing and kind-to-skin as compared to other chemical exfoliants. 

 

Which skin types can use PHAs?  

The unique properties of PHAs (larger molecule size and surface level penetration) make them ideal for basically all skin types, especially if you've experienced sensitivity in the past with an AHA or BHA-based product. They are also the perfect choice for those with dry skin, as they are humectants, meaning that they attract water and therefore possess moisture-boosting properties too. 

How do PHAs work with other products in your skincare routine? 

PHAs help other skincare ingredients to penetrate more effectively into the layers of your skin, therefore boosting the efficacy of products used after them. 

As for mixing acids together? Yes, it can be done, however, if that is a little too strong for your skin sensitive skin, then try slowing things down to using just one acid or use them combined but less frequently. Because they are suitable for sensitive skin types

PHAs can also easily be incorporated into a routine that already includes products containing Vitamin C or Retinol; but again, be sure to start slowly to make sure there is no irritation.