There is a vast range of different exfoliating acids on the market, for example, AHAs and BHA. These acids give you a smoother, brighter, and tighter complexion. However, AHAs and BHA can be a little intense for sensitive skin types and will cause irritations very easily. But on the brighter side, there is still a chemical exfoliant in the market that can achieve the same beneficial effects of AHAs and BHA without causing intense side effects. That exfoliant is called PHA.
The main difference between PHAs and other chemical exfoliants is the molecule size. PHAs have a much bigger molecule, making it harder to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin, which will cause fewer irritations.
The most common examples of PHAs in the market are Gluconolactone, Lactobionic Acid, and Galactose. These ingredients are great if you are looking for a gentler substitution of AHAs and BHA, which hold a lot of benefits:
- Great for sensitive skin:
As mentioned above, PHA is great for sensitive skin types, as it tends to stay on the skin's surface, not penetrating the deeper layers, which will avoid irritations.
As a chemical exfoliant, PHAs remove the uppermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, which consists of primarily dead skin cells. This reduces hyperpigmentation, increases the rate of skin renewal and improves skin texture.
PHAs also support the skin barrier, essential in locking in the skin's moisture. This helps in hydrating the skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Glycation is a process in which 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 reduces its elasticity. PHAs are rich in antioxidants, stimulating skin growth and repair and increasing skin elasticity and collagen levels.
- 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 an antioxidant, it can improve skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles and fine lines, making the skin firmer and tighter.