[unpaid/sample] I have to be much more careful what I put on my skin these days – I am not bullet proof in the way that I used to be when it comes to ingredients. I’m also more thoughtful about what I apply especially when it comes to acids. I’ve only used retinol a handful of times – and liked it I must admit but rarely feel drawn to use it as a standard part of my regime – and I prefer any exfoliation to be ad hoc when I think my skin needs it. However, there is a compelling case to add PHA Plus Serum to any routine. Actually, I am currently testing retinol on my legs where I have some KP to see if it helps (so far – yes).

Garden of Wisdom PHA Plus Serum

PHAs are polyhydroxy acids and are gentler than general acids (AHAs, BHAs) and if you have sensitive skin, you may tolerate them much better than other acids. They have a larger molecule size which makes them gentler and the exfoliation they give less harsh. GOW PHA Plus is a daily serum that keeps the turnover process in good order without drying your complexion and uses gluconolactone, lactobionic and phytic acids, the latter of which comes from seeds and rice. I’d use it on your complexion morning and evening after cleansing and before any other serums or moisturisers. It’s not a particularly big spend at £15.50 so if you’re acid averse but want to dip your toe in the acid waters, it might be worth a try for extra softness and skin clarity. I’m going to give it to Lucy to see how her skin tolerates it because it could be a game changer for her (regular readers will know Lucy is my daughter and has ultra, ultra sensitive skin). I’ll keep you updated but meanwhile you can find it HERE.


Gluconolactone and Lactobionic acid, which have been shown to display significant anti-ageing benefits when applied topically to the skin. Due to their larger molecular size, PHA’s offer gentler exfoliation when compared to AHA’s, making them ideal for all skin types, including sensitive and redness-prone skin.

Polyhydroxy Acids also protect the skin from harmful UV radiation and enhance collagen production to promote firmer skin. They also bring humectant properties, making them ideal for dry, dehydrated skin.

In addition, Phytic Acid derived from the hulls of seeds and rice helps treat ageing skin, hyperpigmentation, loss of skin elasticity and inflammation, while making the skin tone and texture more even overall. Gluconolactone specifically inhibits the enzyme elastase – the cause of sagging skin – to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

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