Mandelic acid: what is it and what benefits does it have for the skin?

Mandelic acid has gained a lot of ground among cosmetic skin products. It has a rejuvenating effect and is suitable for sensitive skin.

Last update: 09 September, 2022

Mandelic acid is one of those cosmetic products that is causing a stir. It has become a fabulous alternative to the already famous vitamin C and hyaluronic acid treatment. Why? The reason is unquestionable, it is suitable for sensitive skin.

This substance has a large molecule, which allows it to be absorbed more slowly by the skin. Therefore, it is ideal for delicate skin that does not tolerate other products. It even has exfoliating properties and minimizes the appearance of blemishes and wrinkles. Where is it obtained from? How is it used? Let’s see.

What is mandelic acid?

Mandelic acid is part of the family of alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs, which also includes other products such as glycolic acid and lactic acid. Its function is to break the bonds between dead skin cells to promote pore cleansing..

The molecules that make up this substance are larger than those of other similar products. In fact, they are twice the size of those of glycolic acid. For this reason, it does not penetrate the skin barrier with the same intensity as other acids, which reduces the chance of irritation.

Sensitive or acne-prone skin benefits a lot from this acid. In those cases, products are required that are powerful enough to cause an effect, but at the same time are not aggressive.

Mandelic acid is obtained from almonds. It stands out for its exfoliating properties.

Mandelic Acid Benefits

Mandelic acid is a product indicated to treat skin imperfections caused by hyperpigmentation. This includes dark spots on the skin caused by the sun, freckles, melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, among others.

One of the highlights of this product is that it increases firmness and elasticity. This is because It stimulates collagen production. This was established by a study carried out in 2013 and published in US National Library of Medicine.

Other benefits of mandelic acid are the following:

  • it is exfoliating. It removes dead cells and dirt from the skin, as it acts as a chemical exfoliant.
  • clean pores. This product manages to penetrate the pores in depth, which allows to clean the dirt thoroughly. No product closes the pores completely, but mandelic acid helps to hide them very well.
  • Stimulates cell renewal. The removal of dead cells stimulates cell renewal. This, in turn, reduces acne and helps reduce fine lines.
  • illuminate the skin. When the skin is well exfoliated, it regains its balance and looks brighter and fresher.

How to use?

The best thing is to start using it two or three times a week, during the first month. After, It can be used every day or on alternate days. It should be applied at night and can go well with other moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.

It is advisable to wash your face very well with warm water and then wait 20 to 30 minutes before applying mandelic acid. It should be put on the face, except in the line of the eyes, the neck and the chest. Under no circumstances should it be applied with another product from the AHAs family.

In the morning, you need to apply a moisturizer and sunscreen. The latter is essential when using exfoliating acids. If not used on a daily basis, all of the benefits mentioned will most likely be lost.

Contraindications of mandelic acid

Like any cosmetic product, mandelic acid also has contraindications. The most appropriate thing is to do a test before incorporating it into the daily routine. Just apply a little on the arm, in the area near the elbows. Then wait 24 hours; if there is any sign of irritation, it is best not to use it.

This ingredient should not be used during the day and not for very long periods of time., since it can generate a “rebound effect” and cause spots on the face. Its use is not recommended in the following cases:

  • Pregnancy.
  • Lactation.
  • skin lacerations.
  • After waxing.
  • active herpes.
  • In combination with products containing tretinoin.
  • On tanned skin.
Mandelic acid should be applied only at night. In addition, the next day you have to use sunscreen to avoid unwanted effects.

Final recommendations

It is not convenient to use mandelic acid after having undergone a treatment of peeling chemical, as it can be counterproductive. After this type of procedure, it is best to use only moisturizing lotions or creams.

Although mandelic acid is an over-the-counter product and is indicated for all skin types, it is always better to consult with the dermatologist before using it. The doctor may have any suggestions or recommendations that should be followed.

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