Everything You Need to Know About PHAs, the Most Underrated Skin Exfoliant
Sometimes figuring out your skincare routine feels can feel like taking the SATs all-over again. I mean, between all the acronyms like AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid), BHA (beta-hydroxy acid) and most recently, PHA (polyhydroxy acid), even sometimes veteran beauty editors can get a bit confused. But believe me, you don’t need a glossary to discover the coveted benefits within the world of acids: popular options include glycolic, citric, lactic, mandelic, and acne-prone favorite, salicylic, versions. They all serve very special and unique purposes depending on your personal skincare concerns.
PHAs (classically referred to as polyhydroxy acid) are a class of chemical exfoliants that offer everything from hydration to anti-aging, and antioxidant benefits. In the skincare world—primarily by derms — they are often dubbed as second-generation AHAs. The recent boom can be contributed to advances in skincare, particularly thanks to an increased awareness in the sensitive skin arena. Another reason? Access.
Remember, slow and steady wins the race people! Like you would with any product, incorporate one product at a time to gauge your skin’s reaction and avoid an unwanted reaction. And as always, make sure to keep a daily sunscreen in the mix. “It is important to use sunscreen when exfoliating,” advises Michele Farber, MD, FAAD, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group. “PHAs generally pair with other ingredients and help the penetration of other active ingredients in serums as well as moisturizers. Just be careful combining with other drying ingredients like retinol, to avoid excess irritation.”
Source: STYLECASTER – Everything You Need to Know About PHAs, the Most Underrated Skin Exfoliant By, Janell M. Hickman