You’ve probably heard of AHAs, but you might not have heard of PHAs (polyhydroxy acids) yet. Just like AHAs, PHAs are chemical exfoliants and they exfoliate dead skin cells to reveal brighter, more evenly toned skin.
But, PHAs are a newer generation of chemical exfoliants that are made from larger molecules than AHAs, so they sit on top of the skin rather than going as deep into the skin layers as AHAs.
This means that PHAs are gentler chemical exfoliants than AHAs, and even BHA. Those with sensitive skin can use this as a way to get the benefits of chemical exfoliation without irritating their skin.
PHAs also have the benefit of hydrating the skin, making them a skincare super-ingredient.
Use PHAs for…
• Evening out skin tone and texture
• Brightening dull skin
• Preventing fine lines
• Exfoliating sensitive skin
Where do I use PHAs in my skincare routine?
There are lots of ways to include a PHA in your routine, and these exfoliants are a lot easier to incorporate into your skincare because of how gentle they are.
For a hydrating option, try a PHA toner that includes extra hydrating ingredients, whilst for a more intense focus on exfoliation, you could try a peeling gel.
What to look for on product labels…
The most common PHAs used in skincare products are gluconolactone, galactose and lactobionic acid. You might find these names listed on products instead of ‘PHA’.
As always, look for products with the acid high up the ingredient list if you want to get all the benefits of the PHA in your routine.
Products will usually be described as having a PHA in them as their active ingredient, so they should be easy to spot.