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    Science of Skincare: Polyhydroxy Acids (PHA)

    Polyhydroxy Acids(PHA) - Why You Should Be Looking for Them in Your Skincare Products

    There’s no shortage of skincare ingredients on the market, and for skincare enthusiasts, there’s nothing more exciting than trying something new. But for those of us with sensitive skin, it’s always a gamble when we try a new ingredient—will it or won’t it cause irritation? But there’s a new ingredient on the skincare scene—PHAs—and they’re worth learning about, especially if you have sensitive skin.

    PHAs, or polyhydroxy acids, are a type of chemical exfoliant making a name for themselves. Arguably the most well-known ingredient in skincare, hydroxyacids slough off the top layer of the skin, shedding dead skin cells and boosting new cell turnover to improve skin texture, help even-out skin discoloration, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

    Until recently, the most widely-used chemical exfoliants in skincare products were AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids). PHAs, however, are gaining popularity for their ability to do everything that AHAs and BHAs do, but with one major difference: they don’t cause as much irritation as their more famous counterparts. This makes them excellent for ALL types of skin, especially Sensitive skin.

    What’s the difference between AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs?

    AHAs and PHAs are both water-soluble, making them ideal for gently shedding the top layer of the skin and in turn revealing a brighter, clearer complexion. In fact, there’s very little difference in the chemical makeup between PHAs and AHAs; the only one being that the molecules of PHAs are much larger. This means they are absorbed more slowly and don't penetrate as deeply, so they cause less irritation.

    BHAs are oil-soluble, which makes them a good skincare ingredient for acne since they can cut through oil and buildup to fight cystic acne and clear out clogged pores. PHAs aren’t as powerful as BHAs, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be used to fight breakouts and help congested skin. For those who suffer from light to moderate acne, PHAs can work wonders for pesky little pimples, whiteheads, and any of the superficial skin discoloration and uneven texture that they may cause.

    The benefits of PHAs

    Poly-Hydroxyacids are unique in that besides being a chemical exfoliant, they also function as a humectant. Common humectants are hyaluronic acid, polyglutamic acid, aloe vera, and glycerin, and they’re known for their ability to hydrate and bind water to the skin to help restore elasticity and fill in fine lines. This means that PHAs simultaneously exfoliate while moisturizing and plumping the skin, leaving it supple, and smooth for an overall healthy glow. One study has even shown that PHAs are gentle enough to help rosacea!

    Thanks to their humectant properties, PHAs make great additions to hydrating serums and moisturizers. They’re also popular in face cleansers since, unlike AHAs and BHAs, they’re gentle enough for everyday use. The most common PHAs are gluconolactone, galactose, and lactobionic acid, and they can be combined with other ingredients such as AHAs as they can help offset the irritation.

    PHAs basically give you all of the rewards without the risks. If you’re feeling stuck in a rut with your skin but you’re nervous to incorporate a new ingredient into your skincare routine, give PHAs a try—you have nothing to lose!

    Hale Cosmeceuticals Inc- Your Skin Health Company

    We have developed an amazing new PHA Toner which contains 10% PHA, polyhydroxy acids! This PHA toner is great to use on a daily basis to help gently exfoliate and moisturize the skin. It will leave your skin feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and soft!!

    At Hale Cosmeceuticals all of our products are based on SCIENCE and aimed to deliver RESULTS!! We have been used and recommended by Skincare professionals like Estheticians and Dermatologists for over 30 years! We have products which can be used by persons of ALL ages and ALL skin types!! Check out our website for information about Vitamin C, Peptides, Retinol, and more!!

    1.Grimes PE, Green BA, Wildnauer RH, Edison BL. The use of polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) in photoaged skin. Cutis. 2004 Feb;73(2 Suppl):3-13

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