14 Best PHA Products For Less Irritating Exfoliation

In previous posts Aged Skin Is Less Acidic – Hydroxyacids Can Help and Exfoliation – PHA, I talked about some benefits of PHAs. You might be wondering which products have effective PHAs. So in this post, I would like to list some good PHA products. They contain one or combination of gluconolactone, glucoheptonolactone, lactobionic acid, and maltobionic acid. They all provide antioxidant and hydrating benefits. If they are formulated at certain pH, they can also exfoliate skin. Lactobionic acid and maltobionic acid are more hydrating and suitable for dry skin. Lactobionic acid can form a gel on skin so a product containing lactobionic acid may feel sticky.

NeoStrata and Exuviance often have similar products. The only difference is that the NeoStrata version is usually fragrance free, which is better for skin.

PHA exfoliants and treatments

BeautiControl 30s, Acne-prone and Sensitive Skin – Regeneration Gold® Rejuvenating Face and Neck Lotion has glucanolactone for exfoliation. There are not many noticeable skin-beneficial ingredients in this lotion but it is a choice for the skin that does not tolerate AHAs. The lotion is for normal to dry skin. It has some ingredients that are not suitable for acne-prone skin and contains fragrance that is not good for sensitive skin. So the name of this product is not that appropriate. Beauticontrol also has a gel version of this product. The gel version contains lactobionic acid in stead of glucanolactone. The gel version omits the comedogenic ingredients and fragrance.

BeautiControl 50+ Skin – Regeneration® Platinum Plus Face Serum has a combination of glucanolactone and lactobionic acid. This serum has the most skin-beneficial ingredients among all three BeautiControl products mentioned here. I think that there is no problem for this to be used for younger people as well. Just keep in mind that it is really designed for dry skin. It contains several proteins, antioxidants (including white tea), vitamins (including retinyl palmitate and niacinamide) and anti-inflammatory ingredients. This serum is fragrance free.

The above BeautiControl Products are at pH 3.5 to 4.0.

Exuviance Evening Restorative Complex is a night moisturizer for dry skin that can also exfoliate. It contains 8% PHA, combination of gluconolactone and lactobionic acid. Lactobionic acid might make it a little bit sticky. Other than PHA, it contains a lot of skin-beneficial ingredients, including vitamin E, vitamin C, retinyl palmitate, licorice extract, chamomile extract, algea extract, calendula extract (anti-inflammatory), coneflower extract (soothing), beta-glucan (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory) and lecithin — a long list. Among them, licorice extract is one of the most gentle skin lightening ingredients. Exuviance Evening Restorative Complex is not suitable for acne-prone skin because it contains some comedogenic ingredients. Exuviance Evening Restorative Complex does have fragrance.

Please take note that this moisturizer has calendula, which is anti-inflammatory to skin. But unfortunately, a few people are allergic to calendula. So if your skin happens to flare up, don’t continue with it thinking that it is caused by PHA. PHA usually does not cause such reactions. It might be an allergic reaction and you need to stop using the product.

Exuviance Rejuvenating Complex has 12% gluconolactone and is effective to exfoliate. The formulation is suitable for dry skin. Exuviance Rejuvenating Complex also has retinyl (vitamin A) acetate but I do not consider it to be a retinoid product because I don’t think this will convert to enough retinoid with direct effects on the skin. Exuviance Rejuvenating Complex does contain fragrance.

Exuviance Ultra Restorative Creme has 12% PHA. It contains more lactobionic acid than Exuviance Rejuvenating Complex so it is more hydrating. It has less antioxidants than Exuviance Rejuvenating Complex but includes more ingredients that help moisturize dry skin. It does contain fragrance.

NeoStrata Bionic Face Cream is the same as Exuviance Ultra Restorative Creme, except that NeoStrata Bionic Face Cream omits fragrance and coloring agents.

NeoStrata Bionic Lotion has 12% gluconolactone and 3% lactobionic acid in addition to multiple skin conditioners and vitamin E. Fragrance free. For dry skin.

NeoStrata Bio-Hydrating Cream is formulated with 15% PHA (gluconolactone) for individuals who are unable to use glycolic acid but desire the benefits of a high strength AHA cream. Fragrance free.

Exuviance Matte Perfection is a PHA exfoliation product for oily skin, which is rare. It not only includes PHA in the form of gluconolactone but also has mandelic acid, which is a less-researched form of AHA that can absorb into oil glands. The formulation is fragrance-free and does not have a big variety of skin-beneficial ingredients. The simple formula is actually pleasant on oily skin. Nothing is very effective to control oil but Exuviance Matte Perfection is at least a gentle and effective exfoliant for oily skin.

NeoStrata Renewal Cream, PHA 12 is identical to Exuviance Rejuvenating Complex.

NeoStrata Ultra Moisturizing Face Cream has 10% gluconolactone. It is moisturizing and suitable for normal to dry skin. It also has evening primrose oil (anti-inflammatory) and vitamin E (in the form of tocopheryl acetate). NeoStrata Ultra Moisturizing Face Cream is fragrance free.

NeoStrata Bionic Face Serum has 10% lactobionic acid. The gel formed by lactobionic acid can feel sticky, a texture loved by some while hated by others. It is not a strong exfoliant but it is a good serum combining lactobionic acid with vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C. NeoStrata Bionic Face Serum is fragrance free.


Concealer with PHA

CoverBlend by Exuviance Multi-Function Concealer SPF 15 has an impressive picture, on its package, about how it can fully cover dark circles. I do not have dark circles. From what I can tell, this is the best concealer to cover and treat blemishes. This concealer has PHA and mineral sunscreens. After a day of use, the spot with acne will turn much better. The PHA can treat the skin and the sunscreens provide protection. After the acne heals, there is no noticeable scar. The first time I used this concealer, I was not impressed because it did not look natural upon application. But the difference between this concealer and other concealers is that this concealer looks more and more natural throughout the day while other concealers look more and more unnatural.

Foundation with PHA

Exuviance Skin Caring Foundation SPF 15 is not the best foundation. But if every foundation breaks you out, then this is probably the last foundation you can use. The PHA it includes really helps. It is for all skin types except dry skin. It does have fragrance.

2 Responses to “14 Best PHA Products For Less Irritating Exfoliation”

  1. Chelsea says:

    Thank you. The link for each product on this page will lead you to the website for purchase. And you can also search for them in Google.

  2. michelle says:

    great site! Where can i purchase these products? Please advise.

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