PHA are the next generation of superficial chemical peels. Gluconolactone is an active ingredient that treats skin very gently without affecting deeper layers.
The effect is very similar to that of AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids or fruit acids like glycolic or lactic acid), but as a type of polyhydroxy acid gluconolactone is more beneficial. Containing five hydroxyl groups, it has more hydrating properties compared to alpha hydroxy acid with only one hydroxyl group. Since it is a larger molecule, gluconolactone penetrates the skin slowly without burning it like the other chemical peels with alternative active ingredients do. That`s why non-irritating gluconolactone is perfect even for dry and hypersensitive skin peel.
Indications for gluconolactone:
- Epidermal dehydration (dry, thirsty, flaky skin)
- Acne (comedones, blackheads, whiteheads, acne, post-acne)
- Epidermal hyperpigmentation (pigmentation spots on the outer layer of skin)
- Hyperkeratosis (rough and thickened horny layer of skin)
- Seborrhea (excessive oil secretion caused by a violation of the sebaceous glands)
- Hypersensitive allergy-prone skin
- Enlarged pores
- Loose, sagging skin
- Dull uneven skin tone
- Photo-aging (skin aging caused by excessive UV-radiation)
Contraindications for gluconolactone:
- Gluconolactone intolerance or hypersensitivity to any component of the formulation
- Active phase of skin disease (hyperkeratosis, acne etc.)
- Acute viral infections (herpes, papilloma)
- Violation of skin integrity (open wounds, scratches)
- Pregnancy and lactation
- Sunburned skin
Chemical peels should be performed in a cosmetology licensed space and only by experienced and skilled professionals. Violation of any hygiene or safety rules may lead to severe skin burns, unmanageable allergies, scarring, and hyperpigmentation.
Diabetes, HIV are relative contraindications for this kind of treatment; possibility of a chemical peel should be considered on a strictly individual basis. In some cases, such cosmetological treatments are prohibited due to pathologically low level of immunity and bad skin regeneration.
In case of herpes infection, no matter active or not, one should receive preventive treatment before a peel. People who have been taking isotretinoin should wait six months after the last use of a drug, because such medications slow down lymph circulation and disrupt blood flow, which may decelerate cell regeneration in a post-peel period.
In patients with psoriasis, chemical peels may cause exacerbation of pre-existing disease and wider spread of psoriatic plaques on skin.
Properties of gluconolactone:
- Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, boost of skin`s immune system. Gluconolactone is a natural antioxidant which is as effective as vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and vitamin E (tocopherol). It is contained in the skin maintaining optimal moisture content. Gluconolactone blocks the synthesis of pro-interleukin-1 which is responsible for the regulation of immune and which high concentration in the horny layer of the skin can cause increased inflammation.
- Restoring pH balance. The interaction of gluconolactone with skin begins once it was applied, affecting the acid mantle. The enzyme activity depends on the pH balance that may be disrupted by hostile environment, make-up, skin care or pathology. The gentle influence of gluconolactone helps to achieve proper pH level restoring pH balance and a proper skin renewal process.
- Recovery of skin barrier properties, collagen fibres strengthening. Skin barrier integrity is dependent on serine protease activity – an enzyme that cleaves peptide bones in proteins. Skin cells are connected with protein fibres. That means that reduction of serine protease activity caused by lower pH level in the acid mantle can help to maintain cell junctions. Gluconolactone also activates lipid synthesis in keratinocytes providing moisture into horny layer of skin.
- Moisturizing effect. The ability of gluconolactone to transfer water molecules plays a central role in skin moisturizing. Getting in the granular layer of skin, water causes calcium ions concentration decline sending signal to the body to stimulate lipid synthesis in keratinocytes.
- Hyperpigmentation removal and photo-aging protection effect. As a chelating agent, gluconolactone has the ability to bind and remove free radicals from the body. The oxidation process, caused by overabundance of iron and UV-rays influence, occurs in skin pigmentation that is a typical sign of photo ageing. Gluconolactone helps to bind free iron ions preventing the oxidation process and consequences of UV-radiation.
- Lifting and firming effect, skin surface smoothing. Gluconolactone initiates processes that precede the production of hyaluronic acid in keratinocytes and fibroblasts, as well as synthesis in matrix metalloproteinase (necessary for tissue regeneration) and collagen.
- Skin tone smoothing effect is provided by keratolytic action of gluconolactone – superficial dead skin cells exfoliation.
Advantages of PHA:
It is believed that PHA are less effective than retinoic acid or glycolic peel and therefore more expensive, what means more treatment sessions are required to achieve desired results. However, this peeling is very gentle and can be used even by patients with acids allergy or hypersensitivity to any components, because indications for use of AHA and PHA peels are generally the same.
PHA don´t require a basic neutralizer application after the treatment and can be washed off with water only. It is a very delicate skin treatment that can be used as often as you wish to achieve desired result. The mild effect of the peel makes it suitable for people with low pain threshold, causing no burning on skin or any other discomfort feelings. In addition, the risk of post-peel symptoms such as redness and swelling is significantly reduced avoiding post-inflammatory pigmentation.
Gluconolactone doesn`t accumulate in the cells and is easily excreted from the body. But even in relatively high concentrations it doesn`t have a mutagenic, toxic or teratogenic effect.