Dry skin, irritations and breakouts are all often a result of clogged pores. The number one mistake many of us make is skipping exfoliation when it comes to our skin care routine. Your skin craves exfoliation to achieve its healthiest, most vibrant state but some tend to stray away due to the misconceptions that exfoliating is irritating on your skin. Meet mandelic acid. Mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid derived from almonds. Mandelic acid is a chemical exfoliant that tends to be gentler on the skin than other AHAs like glycolic acid, because of its larger molecular weight. While it still effectively penetrates the skin, it does it much slower making it perfect for those with a more sensitive skin type. So, what does mandelic acid do and why should you use it on your skin? Read all about alpha and beta hydroxy acids first, to get more information on hydroxy acid benefits and their popularization in skin care.
1. Clarifies pores. This is the perfect ingredient to combat breakouts due to its deep clarifying abilities. Mandelic acid works to regulate excess oil production, unclog pores and remove bacteria and dead skin buildup that results in blemishes. The ingredient is also great for breakout-prone skin because it reduces inflammation rather than exacerbates it. A recent 2020 study found that mandelic acid may also be more effective than salicylic acid when treating inflammatory acne and breakouts because of its gentle properties.
2. Combats skin aging. Through its exfoliating abilities, mandelic acid promotes cell turnover meaning it works to remove damaged, dull skin and increase production of brighter, younger-looking skin. Dead skin buildup is often one of the main reasons that skin appears to be aging, through removing dead skin you can instantly notice a difference. A 2013 study actually found that mandelic acid may also help stimulate collagen production, which is often lost as we age.
3. Exfoliates to combat texture. Mandelic acid works to penetrate the skin in a manner that removes layers of debris through reaction with the skin. This gives you smooth results without the abrasive effects of exfoliating scrubs that can leave your skin red and irritated. The exfoliating benefits of this ingredient means it works well to retexturize your skin, removing dead skin and revealing a smooth and vibrant complexion. It also works to strengthen your skin’s surface layers so that your skin remains bright and is protected from environmental aggressors that may dull it over time.
4. Combats hyperpigmentation. Dark spots, circles and skin discoloration is often inevitable as environmental aggressors and aging affect our skin. Mandelic acid’s ability to increase cell turnover means that it may also reduce the appearance of skin discoloration and dark spots. A study conducted in 1999 found that mandelic acid could reduce hyperpigmentation in melasma by 50 percent in just around 4 weeks. This means brighter, lighter skin!
How can you use mandelic acid?
Due to mandelic acid’s gentle nature, sensitive skin types can enjoy the benefits without irritation and redness. This ingredient works best if you experience discoloration, hyperpigmentation or inflammatory acne. To start incorporating mandelic acid into your routine, start slow with once or twice a week and see how your skin reacts to it. FYAB Health’s Blemish Control Serum is a great product to try if you are looking to start incorporating mandelic acid into your skincare routine. It works to combat blemishes with effective ingredients like mandelic acid, grapefruit extract, sodium hyaluronate and more.
Dayal, S, Kalra, KD, Sahu, P. Comparative study of efficacy and safety of 45% mandelic acid versus 30% salicylic acid peels in mild‐to‐moderate acne vulgaris. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2019; 19: 393–399. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.13168 –READ MORE
Sharad J. Glycolic acid peel therapy – a current review. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2013;6:281-288. https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S34029 –READ MORE
Wójcik, A., Kubiak, M., & Rotsztejn, H. (2013). Original paper Influence of azelaic and mandelic acid peels on sebum secretion in ageing women. Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postępy Dermatologii i Alergologii, 30(3), 140-145. https://doi.org/10.5114/pdia.2013.35614 –READ MORE
Barbara A. Green, Ruey J. Yu, Eugene J. Van Scott, Clinical and cosmeceutical uses of hydroxyacids, Clinics in Dermatology, Volume 27, Issue 5, 2009, Pages 495-501,ISSN 0738-081X. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clindermatol.2009.06.023. –READ MORE