pHformula and a little bit of skincare 101

Hey guys,

About three months ago I attended the launch of a new skincare line called pHformula which hails from a skin academy in Barcelona, owned by Petru van Zyl and her family. PHformula’s ethos is to provide instant results by using the best of medical dermapharmacuticals in place of chemicals that lead to inflammation, which according to Petru, is the leading cause of aging. The brand is a pharma-cosmeceutical company, this is the hardcore stuff that you use as an alternative to hitting the doctor’s offices to go under the knife. PHformula tries to encourage the rebuilding of skin rather than treating skin issues with chemical peels which burn the skin and can cause hyper pigmentation.

Here’s a little fun fact I learnt on the day:

Lighter skin is actually less sensitive than darker skin. Lighter skin has a higher build up of skin cells which makes for higher levels of tolerance. Lighter skin is constantly having to grow and shed skin to protect itself from the sun because there is little melanin in the skin, where as darker skin has a lower skin cell turnover rate making it more sensitive. Interesting neh?

While I was at the launch I received the ABC line from pHformula which according to the brand contain the 3 essential skin vitamins.


Vitamin B3 (5% Niacinamide)

  • Moisturise, protect and reduce the appearance of redness

Vitamin B3 is responsible for increasing the skin’s fatty acid levels that helps to keep skin from losing water content which can lead to improved elasticity.

What I thought: I enjoyed this product for it’s fast absorption rate. It’s pretty odorless and my skin seemed to enjoy it but it’s definitely not the most hydrating cream I’ve ever used.

Vitamin C (2% Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate)

  • Moisturise, protect and reduce the appearance of dark spots

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that has multiple benefits; mainly the increase in collagen production, reduce skin discoloration, enhance skin’s repair process and reduce inflammation.

What I thought: Again same scent and texture as the Vit B3 cream except with a little more tackiness, the only issue I have with this cream is that if I use it at night and have a shower the next morning I can feel it being washed off the next day.

Vitamin A (2% Retinol)

  • Moisturise, protect and reduce the appearance of redness

Retinol is the Vitamin A molecule. It helps to promote healthier skin as it is a cell-communicating ingredient. Basically it is the Vitamin with superpowers and if you want any of these 3 vitamins on your face you want this one. It has been shown to increase skin’s collagen production, reduce lines and winkles and decrease skin pigmentation. I feel particularly indebted to retintol as I ingested high amounts of Vit A when I took roaccutane and that shit is a miracle worker.

What I thought: Okay so this is the real winner from the range. It has 2% retinol so it’s petty potent. Be warned, if your skin is not used to retinol it’s going to make it super sensitive. I actually find it a bit much for my skin so I use it on my décalotage where I have raised acne scars. I’m a big fan of Vit A so out of the entire range this is the one I believe that would improve your skin the most.


Left: Feb 2012  / Right: August 2015 – equally shitting photos. Sorry!

Okay guys, I want to briefly talk about how over 4.5 years I have treated my hyper pigmentation. If someone had asked me if I thought the retinol in my moisturiser had done anything to improve my skin I would have been like “um… yeah… sure?” it was only until a month ago that I found a photograph of my face from 2012 and I was like holly shitballs where have all my freckles gone? Well I switched to the Environ debut range of moisturisers back in 2012 and that range gradually increases it’s amount of retinol in about 4 stages of creams. I don’t own any AHAs or BHAs, no masks or fancy serums. It is just good old Vit A doing it’s thang on my face. And I’ve only been using the strongest amount for about 5 months now so imagine what my skin will look like this time next year! Some of the freckles under my lips and forehead have completely gone. The ones on my checks will probably never go as I actually enjoy being outside and the sun will get me from there. But I’m okay with that :)

Hope you found this informative!

If you’re looking for more information on pHformula you can visit




  1. Christelle le Roux · · Reply

    How has your skin changed since 2015 in terms of the freckles and what would you recommend ?

  2. […] Beth reviewed some phformula skin products, and shared an awesome before and after photo thanks to vitamin A – check it out here. […]

  3. The results are incredible! Definitely need to try this brand

    1. Hi Abby :) Just to be clear, I got those results from the Environ Debut Moisturiser range and not from pHformula xx

  4. Vivella · · Reply

    Great article, thanks! The photos speak for themselves, nice to know one doesnt have to use the strongest potency to get results over time.

    1. Thanks Vivella! Yes it’s definitely possible and for a pretty affordable price too :)

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