There is a huge range of different exfoliating acids on the market these days, for example, AHAs and BHA, these acids are known to give you a smoother, brighter, and tighter complexion. However, AHAs and BHA can be a little strong for sensitive skin types and will cause irritations very easily. But on the brighter side, there is still a group of acids in the market that can achieve the same beneficial effects of AHAs and BHA, but also have much gentler side effects on your skin. That group of acids is called PHA.
PHA, as known as Polyhydroxy Acid, is a type of chemical exfoliant that works like AHAs, and BHA, the main difference between PHAs and other chemical exfoliants, like AHAs and BHA, is the molecule size. PHAs has a much bigger molecule which makes it harder to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin, which means it will cause less irritations.
The most common examples of PHAs are the market right now is Gluconolactone and Lactobionic Acid. These ingredients are great if you are looking for a gentler substitution of AHAs and BHA, they held a lot of benefits:
1. Great for sensitive skin:
As mentioned above, PHA are great for sensitive skin types, as it tends to stay on the surface on the skin, not penetrating the deeper layers, which will avoid irritations.
As a chemical exfoliant, PHAs remove the uppermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, which is mostly dead skin cells. This reduces hyperpigmentation, increase rate of skin renew and improve skin texture.
PHAs also support the skin barrier, which is essential in locking in the moisture of the skin. This helps in hydrating the skin and reducing appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Glycation is a process when digested sugar in the body weakens the collagen in the skin by attaching and bonding to it, this decreases the collagen level in our skin and reducing its elasticity. PHAs are very rich in antioxidant, which will stimulate skin growth and repair, hence, increasing skin elasticity and collagen levels.
5. Protection against sun damage
Sun exposure and UV rays can increase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by damaging our skin cells. However, as PHA is a strong antioxidant, it can increase skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles and fine lines, making the skin firmer and tighter.