Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) are gentle chemical acids that are related to AHAs. Common types of PHAs include gluconolactone and lactobionic acid. Similar to AHAs, PHAs are water soluble and do not penetrate the skin’s oils, meaning they exfoliate on the skin’s outer surface. However, PHAs are unique in that they offer a more gradual exfoliation which makes this acid non-irritating, even for sensitive skin types. There are no risks of harsh side effects like dryness or sensitivity.
PHAs also exhibit a strong ability to protect from environmental stressors that cause dryness as well as visible signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. PHAs help with hydration and smooth the skin, making it a suitable ingredient for dry skin types too.