Mandelic acid is a naturally-occurring compound extracted from bitter almonds. The word mandelic is actually derived from the German word for almond, "mandel." It’s also a close relative of glycolic and salicylic acids, all members of the same alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) family. The gentle nature of mandelic acid (MA) is due to the fact that the molecular structure of MA is near twice the size of other AHA’s. This larger molecule size provides mandelic acid with the ability to penetrate the skin more slowly, providing the gradual delivery of skin transforming compounds.
Not all mandelic acid products are created equal. If you’re looking for an effective treatment for acne or shaving bumps and folliculitis, make sure you choose a product containing L-mandelic acid. This is the only form that is both antibacterial and antifungal. Read more about mandelic acid and its benefits for your skin.