Is PHA safe during pregnancy?

Sometimes pregnancy can feel like a constant state of change, from your growing belly to your crazy sense of smell to the whole list of new skincare ingredients you’re no longer allowed to use

In this article, we dive into the exfoliants Polyhydroxy Acids (PHAs). What are the benefits for your skin and most importantly: are polyhydroxy acids safe during pregnancy?

So without any further ado, let's dive in! 

Skin benefits PHAs

Skin benefits PHA 

PHAs functions similarly to other natural chemical exfoliants such as AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids), but without the irritation responses! Sounds good right? That's why it's also safe to use it when you have sensitive skin. But that's not the only good news. These 5 special characteristics also set them apart as coveted skincare darlings:

1 Exfoliates

PHAs are completely non-irritating exfoliators that are gentle enough for everyday application, even by those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and those with sensitive skin, eczema, and rosacea. PHA molecules are larger than AHA and BHA molecules, working exclusively on the surface of the skin without disturbing its delicate integrity. Also, unlike AHAs, PHAs do not run the risk of increasing the skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

2 Hydrates

PHAs are humectants, meaning they attract moisture. They provide additional humectant and moisturization properties compared with AHAs. This translates to bouncy hydration, and a dewy, bright complexion! 

Effect of PHA on the skin

3 Fights Inflammation

Like any other part of your body, your skin can be involved in immune responses. Inflammation in the skin often causes a rash to form or breakouts. PHAs have anti-inflammatory benefits.

4 Protects

PHAs are rich in antioxidants. These are naturally occurring vitamins and minerals that protect your skin against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that come from things like air pollutants, chemicals, and cigarette smoke, and they basically suck the life out of your face.

Antioxidants neutralize those free radicals to protect your skin from damage. This function helps in preventing blemishes, dullness, and enlarged pores.

5 Anti-aging

When used regularly over time, PHAs strengthen the barrier function of the skin, slowing the aging process and fighting against everyday stressors. Especially when you use PHAs daily in combination with Bakuchiol, the safe retinol alternative when you're pregnant, studies exhibited significant antiaging skin benefits such as skin smoothing and plumping skin lightening properties. 

Repair Serum: Pregnancy safe

Is Polyhydroxy Acid safe for pregnancy?

Unlike BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids), PHAs (polyhydroxy acids) are considered to be safe to use when you're pregnant. So get that pregnancy glow on and start adding a PHA to your skincare routine! Since you won't find the term "polyhydroxy acid" on the ingredient lists of skincare products, we'll help you looking for the right ingredients in your search for your favorite products. Read on! 

Which ingredients to look out for?

1 Gluconolactone

Gluconolactone is one of the two most common PHAs out there. It is the white crystalline powder that remains after the water has been removed from gluconic acid. Mostly gluconic acid from corn is being used in skincare products, which is why it's vegan

2 Lactobionic acid

Lactobionic acid is the second most common PHA, and it’s similarly awesome to gluconolactone. It is a sugar acid derived from lactose, the same that you find in milk, no wonder Cleopatra famously loved bathing in it.  


As long as you're pregnant you'll want to look out for polyhydroxy acids (PHA), like Gluconolactone and Lactobionic acid, in your skincare products which are safe to use. You'd also want to stay away from (BHA). These exfoliators are harmful to your unborn child. 

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