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What exactly are Poly Hydroxy Acids?

If you're a regular AHA and BHA exfoliant user, you probably heard the whispering of the new sensation in skincare: The PHAs, or Poly Hydroxy Acids!

Poly Hydroxy Acids are the next generation of AHAs (Alpha-hydroxy Acids). Both acids work as chemical exfoliants. The difference between the two is their delivery system and how they penetrate the skin.

PHAs have a larger molecular structure than AHAs, so they penetrate the skin at a slower rate and not as deeply. Whereas the AHAs, due to a smaller molecular structure, penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and at a faster rate.

This gentle approach of the PHAs is precisely the reason why it is such a popular ingredient. Sensitive skin types, who normally can not handle a chemical exfoliant on their skins, can fully benefit from the chemical exfoliation of the Poly Hydroxy Acids. They are suitable for very sensitive skins like rosacea, eczema and very dry skin. It does not irritate the skin and it enhances hydration levels.

What are all the benefits of using a PHA?

  • PHAs are gentle enough for every day use
  • PHAs are humectants, which means they bind and attract water, aiding in hydration
  • PHAs are antioxidant
  • They help with fine lines and wrinkles
  • Strengthen the barrier function of the skin
  • Safe to use while pregnant and lactating
  • PHAs do NOT irritate sensitive skin types
  • PHAs do NOT increase the risk of causing sensitivity to the sun like AHAs do

If you would like to know how to incorporate Poly Hydroxy Acids into your skincare routine, book a Complimentary Skin Consultation with one of our Skin Experts here. We'll be happy to help you!

My top pick containing PHAs:



Experience the power of next generation exfoliating poly hydroxy acids (PHAs) with Press & Glow; the hydrating acid toner that helps to exfoliate the surface of the complexion for noticeable everyday glow.


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About The Author


My name is Sari Pols,

I have been in the skin care industry for over 15 years. My passion lies in ‘Health’. Health for the skin and body. My philosophy is if we have a good well being on the inside, then it shows our vitality on the outside.

I have furthered my knowledge in Skin Anatomy, Skin Concerns and Fitness. I am a true believer in how to make my clients feel their best both inside and out. My emphasis is on guiding my clients through their personal journey of skin concerns and conditions. I do not like to bandaid a concern or condition but want to get down to the root of the cause. I aim to give personalised consultations with treatment and correct prescribed skin products.

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