You’ve probably heard of AHAs and BHAs before, but how about PHAs? If you have sensitive skin, eczema or rosacea, this is the exfoliant you’ve been waiting for… *dramatic music*
What is PHA?
Polyhydroxy acids (or PHAs for short) are chemical exfoliants, very much like your good ol’ AHAs or BHAs. However, due to their larger molecular structure (which limits how deeply they can penetrate your skin), they are much more gentler and less irritating, especially for sensitive skin types. These acids are also known by other names, such as gluconolactone, lactobionic and gluconic acid.
So, what are PHAs supposed to do for my skin?
PHAs, just like its AHA predecessors, help gently remove dead skin cells at the top layers of your skin in order to smooth and even out your skin tone (au revoir, dullness and dark spots!).
*Yawns* Boooring, heard it all before!
But that’s not all. They are also rich in antioxidants and have inflammatory properties, which can help heal, repair and fight off acne or signs of skin ageing. If you have dry skin, the better! PHAs are also humectants, which means that they can attract water molecules to help moisturise dry or dehydrated skin. Sounds almost too good to be true right?
Alright, so what’s the catch?
Nothing, actually! Just remember that whenever you’re using exfoliating acids in your routine, you have to give them time to work (they’re not fairy godmothers after all). Also, if you're using any chemical exfoliators that help boost cell turnover, it's important to apply sunscreen afterwards, or the morning after.
What are some of the best PHAs products I should try?
- COSRX PHA Moisture Renewal Power Cream aka the Multitasking Moisturiser: Where else can you find a moisturiser that can exfoliate AND hydrate?
- The Super-Strength Toner: Got acne? Pore problems? Dull skin? Try out the Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner that’s been supercharged with three different types of acids to fight breakouts and clear out your complexion.
- The Super-Strength Serum: The Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Serum is basically the 2.0 version of the toner, with the added calming and soothing benefits.
- The Everyday, Lazy-Girl Mist: Not into the high maintenance life? Just spritz the COSRX Low pH PHA Barrier Mist liberally throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated and trouble-free.
Have you tried any PHA products yet? Any favourites? Let us know your experience in the comments below!