5 ways mandelic acid will improve your skin

Updated: May 7, 2020

Mandelic acid in skincare is huge, right now. Esthetician’s have been using mandelic acid for the last few years because of its brightening properties, but now, thanks to brands like The Ordinary using this ingredient in their top-of-the-line products, mandelic acid has become part of a larger discussion over social media (with over 5000 hashtags on Instagram.) Mandelic acid is considered a alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and derived from bitter almonds. The acid has a larger molecular structure compared to other AHAs, so it is not able to penetrate the skin as deeply as other AHAs like glycolic acid, making it a popular choice amongst sensitive skin types. So how can mandelic acid benefit you, in your skincare routine?

It prevents ageing Mandelic acid causes the skin to shed itself, revealing fresh, regenerated skin underneath. This process is called desquamation and happens naturally, every 28-40 days. However as we get older, the skin’s desquamation process slows down leading to a duller appearance and an increase in fine lines and wrinkles. By using mandelic acid, we can reactivate this process again, which will lead to an improvement of existing fine lines, promote healthier-looking skin, and also reduce any further signs of ageing.

face mask gif

GIF: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVI96AbB1yw


It improves hyperpigmentation Recent studies have proven that mandelic acid can reduce the appearance of melasma by 50%. Treating hyperpigmentation with active acids is notoriously difficult as most AHA/BHAs can cause skin irritation and stimulate further pigmentation. Mandelic acid is an gentle skincare ingredient, which is why it is so preferable to use when treating hyperpigmentation.

A study into the effect of mandelic acid on melasma

Screenshot: www.nucelle.com/pdfs/article.pdf


It helps skincare work more effectively Because this AHA causes the skin to slough off dead skin cells, the skincare products we use will be able to penetrate deeper into the skin, therefore working more effectively.

facial gif

GIF: www.giphy.com


It helps with rosacea Mandelic acid is gentle enough to treat skins with rosacea. Other acids tend to to aggravate the condition, whereas mandelic has the ability to strengthen the skin with regular use, increase collagen without causing sensitivity. If you suffer with redness or have rosacea, alternate mandelic acid with salicylic to improve the appearance.

It reduces acne Mandelic acid is antibacterial which effectively treats blackheads, general congestion and cystic acne. The exfoliation process successfully unblocks bores and helps clear up inflamed breakouts.

Acne skins

Mandelic acid successfully treats acne


Mandelic acid is one of the gentlest acids, are a perfect first-choice if you want to start introducing them into your routine. Like other alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic, this ingredient will increase cellular turnover in the skin, thus strengthening it with regular use. Mandelic acid signficantly improve hyperpigmentation, acne and fine lines and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive. Remember when using active acids in your routine, to always use physical SPF.

Try mandelic acid for under £20, with these amazing products…

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA This breakthrough product has 9.3 star rating out of 10 on The Ordinary’s website. Apply this once in the evening after cleansing.

Mandelic Acid 10% The Ordinary

Image: www.theordinary.com


Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Extra Strength Formula This easy-to-use, at-home-peel system is available to buy per packet, or in a bundle. It dramatically reduces enlarged pores, dark spots, blemishes and yes, is even suitable for sensitive skin types. Dr Dennis Gross’s two part treatment not only uses mandelic acid, but also glycolic, citric and lactic acid to treat the skin. Use 1-2 times a week for best results.

dr dennis gross alpha beta peel

Image: www.drdennisgross.com


Medik 8 Surface Radiance Cleanse This product uses a multitude of AHA and BHAs to cleanse, exfoliate and decongest the skin. The best way to use this product is on your second cleanse, morning and night.

medik8 surface radiance cleanse

Image: www.medik8.com


Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water This product has been massively popular recently amongst beauty Youtubers’ and bloggers’. Containing a whopping 5% mandelic acid, this toner uses beta-glucan, panthenol and hualuronate to restore hydration, and exfoliate and brighten the skin.

Mandelic Acid 5 Skin Prep Water

Image: www.ohmystellar.com



Active skincare ingredients explained

Want to learn more about active skincare ingredients? Then take a look at this great post exploring other AHAs, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and many more.

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