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WTF Are PHAs?

Skin Care
Photo Courtesy of Glow Recipe.

And should you be using them?

I have a confession to make, but you can't spread it around. Here it goes: I don't think I like acids.

Or maybe it's that my skin doesn't like them, because almost every time I try to incorporate them into my routine, I break out—and viciously. I've tried them in face masks, wipes, and cleansers. It's likely I'm doing something wrong (I'm more than likely doing something wrong), but I was ready to accept that BHAs and AHAs wouldn't be a part of my skin-care alphabet until I was introduced to a newish three-letter ingredient: PHA.

PHAs are acids, but for those of us with sensitive skin. As Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, explains, "Polyhydroxy acids are structurally much larger than alpha or beta hydroxy acid. Because of this, they have a much gentler exfoliating effect on skin."

I hadn't heard of the ingredient until Glow Recipe introduced its new Avocado Sleeping Mask to the world last week. Co-founder Sarah Lee explains that she's seen the ingredient in Korean skin care before, but not too often Stateside. (Though, Glossier's Solution has it, it's still not as prevalent as AHAs and BHAs.) Lee tells us that she saw full shelves dedicated to PHA serums and moisturizers in Korea, but that she chose to feature the ingredient in a sleeping mask because overnight treatments are an effective way to treat the skin and that it was "the best way to introduce a gentle yet effective exfoliating mask to our customers."

Unlike other acids, PHAs can be used across a wide variety of skins types, including those with dry and rosacea-prone skin, Dr. Zeichner explains. It also won't leave your skin parched like other acids tend to do. "Polyhydroxy acids at the same time exfoliate, regenerate, and even hydrate the skin," he says.

It's not a perfect ingredient, though, and some things you should keep in mind is that it works slower than other acids, "so you have to stay with the routine," he explains. Depending on the product, he also doesn't recommend combining PHAs with temperamental ingredients like retinol and vitamin C. "If the product is used as a mask and fully removed, it certainly can be layered alongside these ingredients," he says. "However, in mixing them, they interfere with stability of other temperamental ingredients." You should always be doing this (and you should know to always do this if you've read anything on this site), but make sure to wear sunscreen in the morning when using any kind of acid.

For Glow Recipe's mask, the other ingredients that make up the product were selected with care. Avocado is the star ingredient (it makes up 74 percent of the formula), but it also includes kaolin clay, "to balance the texture and prevent the formula from feeling heavy or pore-clogging," co-founder Christine Chang explains. Manuka honey rounds out the list "for its antibacterial properties and its ability to heal and firm the skin."

Now, I've only used the mask a handful of times, so I can't label it a favorite just yet, but I haven't noticed a crop of inflamed pimples pop up either, so things are looking promising. And so if you, like me, find yourself bowing out of conversations about the wonders of AHAs or BHAs, try this out. You can think of PHAs as the Drake of the acid game: sensitive, yet impactful.

Photos by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

This photo proves that they are the chillest onscreen family

Sophie Turner just posted a photo of herself, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright—aka the Stark siblings—to her Instagram, showing just what the three used to get up to when the Game of Thrones cameras weren't rolling.

The photo shows Wright looking quite pleased with himself while sitting on a makeshift throne, wearing no pants. As he should be, seeing as (spoiler) his character, Bran, won the Iron Throne this weekend. Williams, meanwhile, is looking way too cool to be involved in the shenanigans, wearing a pair of black sunglasses and staring absently off-camera. As for Turner, she's looking away from her onscreen brother, too, nervously smoking a Juul.

"The pack survived," Turner captioned the photo.

This photo just goes to prove that the Stark siblings are the chillest onscreen family. (It also proves, yet again, that Turner's social media is an absolute delight.)

We're actually a little sad that this footage didn't make it into the final season, considering how many modern-day objects have been spotted in the show's last few episodes.

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Photo via @mileycyrus on Twitter

Meet Ashley

Miley Cyrus shared the trailer for her forthcoming Black Mirror episode, and it's basically Hannah Montana set in a dystopian future. Cyrus is a pink wig-wearing pop star named Ashley who is rolling out an in-home virtual assistant, named Ashley Too, that looks like her and shares her voice. But, as is the case with every Black Mirror episode, this technology is not as cute and fun as it's advertised to be.

In the trailer, we get the idea that Ashley is all about wanting fans to "believe" in themselves—but underneath that pink wig, maybe she doesn't feel that same self-love. After Ashley Too introduces herself to fan and new owner Rachel, promising to be her friend, we get a look at Ashley's darker side. She's depressed and tired of the pop star life. A record label executive says to several people in the room, "She doesn't understand how fragile all this is." As they consider upping her dose of medication, Ashley's life is on a downward slope. "It's getting so hard to keep doing this," she voices over glimpses of a police car chase, performances, and breakdowns backstage.

But back to the technology: Does Ashley's breakdown also mean the breakdown of Ashley Too? Looks like it. We see Rachel's virtual assistant screaming, "Get that cable out of my ass! Holy shit! Pull it out," breathing a sigh of relief as soon as they pull it out. A title card then reveals the episode name, "Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too."

Watch the full trailer and get a full view of Cyrus' cyborg-esque pop star look, below. Black Mirror returns to Netflix on June 5.


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Photo by Paras Griffin / Stringer / Getty Images.

Several actresses allegedly had "issues" with him

Lena Waithe's Showtime series, The Chi, just lost one of its main characters. Jason Mitchell, who was also set to appear in the Netflix film Desperados, has been dropped from both projects following multiple allegations of misconduct. He has also been dropped by his agent and manager.

Hollywood Reporter heard from a source "with knowledge" of The Chi, who says that Tiffany Boone, the actress who plays Mitchell's girlfriend on the show, is just one of several actresses who had "issues" with him. She eventually told producers at Fox21 that she could no longer work with him after filing several sexual harassment complaints. Apparently, her fiancé, Dear White People co-star Marque Richardson, would join her on set when she would shoot with Mitchell.

While news of Mitchell's alleged misconduct is just now beginning to surface, it looks like the ball started rolling on the fallout weeks ago. He was dropped from Desperados and replaced by Lamorne Morris before filming began. A source from the production team said that the producers received "specific information" that they reviewed and acted on quickly. Similarly, a source familiar with Mitchell's former agent, UTA, said the decision to drop him a few weeks ago was very quick following the allegations.

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Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Prior to the college admissions scandal, she said she doesn't "care about school"

Apparently, Olivia Jade wants to go back to school despite all those YouTube videos that suggested otherwise. Back in March, it was revealed that her mom, Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin, and dad, Mossimo Giannulli, had scammed Jade's way into the University of Southern California. Now, Loughlin faces jail time, and Jade lost out on plenty of lucrative ad partnerships.

According to Us Weekly, "Olivia Jade wants to go back to USC," per a source. "She didn't get officially kicked out and she is begging the school to let her back in." Another source though ousted Jade's real motivation to the publication. "She knows they won't let her in, so she's hoping this info gets out," they shared. "She wants to come out looking like she's changed, learned life lessons and is growing as a person, so she for sure wants people to think she is interested in her education."

Jade previously shared in a YouTube video she's in college for the "experience of like game days, partying" rather than the education. She also said, "I don't know how much of school I'm going to attend... I don't really care about school, as you guys all know." Though these statements were made prior to the scandal coming to light, her brand partnerships didn't come into question until her parents were indicted.

Right now, despite previous reports that Jade and her sister would both be dropping out of USC, Jade's enrollment has been placed on hold—meaning she cannot register for classes, or even withdraw from the school—until her parents' court case comes to a close. Then, the school will make its own decision as to how Jade will be affected. I think, either way, she should have to pay off a few of her classmates' loans for all the BS she pulled.

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Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

He'd previously said he wanted to punch Jackson's 'Leaving Neverland' accusers in the face

Aaron Carter has been one of Michael Jackson's fiercest celebrity advocates in the aftermath of the Leaving Neverland documentary in which two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, alleged that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children. In a new clip from People, however, he seems to walk back his defense.

People reveals that Carter will be joining the upcoming season of reality TV show Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars Family Edition with his mother. It's noted that he will be revealing more thoughts regarding Jackson following the documentary and the sneak peek specifically sees him alluding to a negative experience with the singer.

Carter, who has previously said that Jackson was never inappropriate toward him, says that Jackson "was a really good guy," though he does note that this is only true "as far as I know." "He never did anything that was inappropriate," he continues before stopping himself, as though remembering something. "Except for one time. There was one thing that he did that was a little bit inappropriate."

Carter does not provide any more detail after this statement. He has previously said that he would stay at Jackson's Neverland estate and sleep in the same bed as the much older star when he was 15 years old, though he hasn't seemed to understand then just how creepy that is. He also said earlier this year, in a clip from TMZ, that he would be telling a story of something that happened between them in an upcoming book about his life.

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