home blog Hydroxyacids : AHA vs BHA vs PHA

    Hydroxyacids : AHA vs BHA vs PHA

    Lately, the skincare industry has been buzzing with the benefits of using acids in products. But personally, we might feel hesitant and nervous at the thought of putting acid on our skin.

    Truthfully though, a small amount of certain acids actually help restore our skin’s optimal health. When formulated properly, many acids are safe to use on a regular basis and help keep your skin looking great!

    AHA, BHA, PHA? What do these mean? Because the acronyms sound like a mumble jumble to us, we don’t really know which one is what and how it addresses the skin problems. In this article, we’ll give you a quick comparison of the leading acids in skincare currently.

    PHA- Poly-Hydroxy Acid

    The Poly hydroxyl acid or PHA family features acids, such as maltobionic acid, lactobionic acid and gluconolactone acid. While this acid family does not enjoy as much popularity as the AHA and BHA family, they do have several skin benefits of their own. PHA is one of the most GENTLE exfoliating acids used in skincare.

    The PHA acid family excellent for those who have sensitive skins, but has benefits for everyone! People with sensitive specifically usually suffer from problems like eczema, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation. The reason why PHA acids are so effective in this instance is because of their larger molecular structure. This structure means that they work slowly and do not penetrate the skin as deeply. PHAs work primarily on the outer layers of the skin, and this is exactly why they’re so beneficial for the sensitive skin. PHA skin products gently exfoliate sensitive skin, without disturbing the moisture levels.

    For several reasons, Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) are less irritating and more gentle than AHAs. They also have humectant properties which help retain moisture reserves in the skin and leave skin with a healthy glow after usage! 

    Some of the lesser known benefits of PHAs are its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties!! PHAs can help reduce glycation of collagen, which is the major process in aging skin! While an AHA does not offer or restoration against sun damage, PHA does and can visibly restore skin damages. PHA also does not make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. There are not many known side-effects currently to using PHAs.

    AHA- Alpha Hydroxy Acid

    Alpha Hydroxy acids or AHA as most call it refers to a group of many acids. These include mandelic acid, malic acid, citric acid, tartaric acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid. AHAs are more commonly suited for normal or dry skin. And because they penetrate the skin more deeply, they can leave your skin sensitive to sun exposure. Some people with more sensitive skin could also find that using AHAs leaves their skin irritated.

    But overall, Alpha-hydroxy acids work in a remarkable manner! They trigger skin cells into apoptosis, meaning a self-destructing process. They help to exfoliate the dead skin cells to reveal the healthier and more supple skin cells beneath. Using AHAs correctly can help to enhance collagen production in the skin fibroblasts, and are shown to reduce skin discoloration, reduce the signs of aging, and lower your chance of having a breakout.

    BHA- Beta Hydroxy Acid

    Beta Hydroxy acids or BHAs refers to another family of acids, which treat different skin problems than AHA. Beta-hydroxy acids are more useful in people with oily skin and generally suffer from conditions like milia, blackheads, or acne.

    The most popular BHA acid one can find in skincare products is Salicylic acid. BHAs are different from AHA acids in many ways, primarily in solubility. The BHA family is oil soluble, unlike their water soluble counterparts. They also make the perfect skincare products for users with T-zones, featuring slick, shiny oil.

    BHA acids can each get under the oil that clogs your skin and treat it with their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. If you’re on the lookout for clearing dull cells off your skin without damaging the essential oils, you may want to consider BHA acids. Beta-hydroxy acids also are relatively gentle. 

    PHA vs AHA vs BHA

    Polyhydroxy acids, Alpha-hydroxy acids, and Beta-hydroxy acids all have excellent benefits to the skin. Exfoliating is a natural process that our skin undergoes, and the appropriate use of acids can hasten and help that process to give you more supple and healthier, glowing skin!

    Here at Hale Cosmeceuticals, we carry many products containing AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs. Our Triple Fusion Pumpkin Mask uses THREE (3) different AHAs to bring exfoliating and anti-aging benefits to the skin! Our Dermist GSL Cleanser also uses AHAs to help exfoliate and as you cleanse your skin. Our ORAC Lifting Complex is a great moisturizer which uses AHAs to reduce pore size, while hydrating the skin

    Be sure to contact us for more information on our amazing skin care products. You can also visit the website to learn more about what makes our company so unique.


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