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Mandelic Acid


We love acids of all kinds at Art of Skin Care and mandelic acid just may be the one we love the most. Just don't tell salicylic acid and azelaic acid, we still love them too. Mandelic acid is the alpha hydroxy acid that's friendlier to sensitive skin and busts breakouts like a champ. Keep on reading if you want to learn why we love it so much and why you may want to add it to your skincare routine!....

What Is Mandelic Acid?

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 acid and lactic acid, both 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 MA with the ability to penetrate the skin more slowly, providing the gradual delivery of skin transforming compounds.

Mandelic acid's primary function is exfoliating dead skin cells gently by breaking up the "intercellular glue" that binds the cells to your skin's surface. This boosting of cell turnover leads to healthy, glowing skin. However, this acid does much more than just exfoliate and renew: it acts as an antibacterial, anti-fungal, addresses hyperpigmentation, is an anti-inflammatory, and can lead to increased collagen production. Talk about an overachiever!

What Does Mandelic Acid Help With?

  • Exfoliation: Mandelic acid is one of the best chemical exfoliants out there. It gently strips away dead skin cells.
  • Regulating Acne-Prone Skin: Since this powerhouse of an acid is antibacterial, that means it can reduce acne-causing bacteria. It's even beneficial for those who suffer from cystic acne.
  • Folliculitis: As an anti-fungal, MA does a great job helping manage skin that is prone to fungal folliculitis or shaving bumps.
  • Blemishes & Hyperpigmentation: By increasing cell turnover, this acid also helps with brightening discoloration.
  • Melasma: For anyone that manages from this skin condition, studies have shown that mandelic acid can reduce hyperpigmentation by as much as 50 percent in about 4 weeks.
  • Fine Lines & Wrinkles: Last but not least, this exfoliator is also an anti-aging ingredient as well. It also boosts collagen production a little, leading to a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Types Of Mandelic Acid

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.  Regular MA, while still effective, is less concentrated and therefore less potent. L-mandelic acid is the chirally correct version of the molecule and creates all of the skin-positive effects we love it for!