What is PHA? A Guide to Polyhydroxy Acid.

Do you know your A, B, P's? Skincare definitely has its share of buzzwords and lingo, but these three are actually ingredients that should be in your self-care vocabulary. Alphahydroxy acid (AHA) is a water-soluable liquid exfoliant and you've probably used it whether you realize it or not. Betahydroxy acid (BHA) is oil-based and is used to deep clean pores and fight acne. Salycilic acid is a popular one. The new kid on the block is Polyhydroxy acid (PHA). This amazing skincare product is a chemical exfoliant, ideal for those sensitive to glycolic acid or vitamin C treatments. PHA smooths, brightens, and exfoliates, revealing healthier more radiant skin with each application. However, there are a few things you need to be careful of when using it, so watch until the end so you know how and when to best use it!

This is the fourth and final video in my skincare serum series and I reveal which of the 4 I would choose if I had to choose only 1. Any guesses?

Watch previous episodes below:

Week 1: Hyaluronic Acid

Week 2: Resveratrol

Week 3: Niacinamide


PHA. A Guide to Polyhydroxyacid - Episode #31

The A, B, P's of skincare -
alpha-, beta,- & polyhydroxy acid

I'd love to give you my Skincare Ingredient Guide as a helpful reference when shopping for skincare products. Just click the yellow button to claim your FREE copy!

AHA, BHA, and PHA

How are these hydroxy acids different?

As women age, taking care of their skin becomes more important than ever. One skincare ingredient that is gaining popularity among women over 40 is Polyhydroxyacid (PHA). In this blog post, we will discuss what it is and how it differs from other popular skincare acids like AHA and BHA.

What is PHA?

PHA, short for Polyhydroxy acid, is a type of exfoliating acid that is derived from lactobionic acid or gluconolactone. It's a gentle acid that is perfect for women over 40 as it exfoliates the skin without causing any irritation or inflammation. PHA is also known for its moisturizing properties, making it a great choice for women with dry and sensitive skin.

How does PHA differ from AHA & BHA?

All three are exfoliating acids used to get rid of dead skin cells, unclog pores, and reveal smoother and brighter-looking skin. However, each acid works differently and is better suited for different skin types and concerns.

PHA v. AHA

AHA, short for Alpha Hydroxy Acid, is a popular skincare ingredient that is derived from fruit acids such as glycolic acid and lactic acid. AHA is a great exfoliating acid for women with normal to dry skin types. AHA exfoliates the surface of the skin and can penetrate deeper into the skin's layers, stimulating collagen production and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

PHA, on the other hand, is a gentler exfoliating acid that is perfect for women with sensitive and dry skin types. It works by exfoliating the surface of the skin without causing any irritation or inflammation and also has moisturizing properties, making it a great choice for women with dry skin.

PHA v. BHA

BHA, short for Beta Hydroxy Acid, is another popular exfoliating acid that is perfect for women with oily and acne-prone skin. BHA is derived from salicylic acid, which penetrates deep into the pores to unclog them and prevent the formation of acne.

PHA, however, is not as effective as BHA when it comes to unclogging pores. It works by exfoliating the surface of the skin and does not penetrate deep into the pores like BHA. However, PHA is still a great choice for women with oily skin as it can help to gently exfoliate the skin without causing any irritation.

Benefits of using PHA

Gentle exfoliation
Moisturizing properties
Anti-aging benefits
Even skin tone

How to use PHA

Here are some tips for using PHA:

Start with a low concentration of PHA and gradually work your way up to a higher concentration.
Use PHA once or twice a week to avoid over-exfoliating the skin.
PHA can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it is best to use it in the evening.
After using PHA, make sure to follow with a moisturizer to hydrate and nourish the skin.
PHA can make the skin more sensitive to the sun, so it is important to use sunscreen when going outside.
Avoid using PHA with other exfoliants such as AHA and BHA to prevent over-exfoliation.
Before using PHA, do a patch test to make sure your skin does not have any adverse reactions to the acid.

Final Thoughts...

Overall, PHA is a great exfoliating acid for women over 40. It is gentle and moisturizing, making it perfect for women with dry and sensitive skin. However, it is important to start with a low concentration and use it once or twice a week to avoid over-exfoliating the skin. If you have any concerns or questions about using PHA, consult with a skincare professional.

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Michelle Fox
Michelle Fox

I hope you enjoyed this post. I love sharing new tips and thoughts on "all things beauty", specifically designed to help women over 40 look and feel their beautiful best. Please share any content ideas that you have for this blog in the comments. I appreciate you!