❓Mandelic Acid: Is it Worth Buying?

Jun. 10, 2020
Have you heard someone talk about Mandelic acid and wondered what it actually does? It can sound strange to put acid on your skin on purpose, but this is definitely one acid you want to have as a part of your skincare routine!  
When we think about dark circles, wrinkles, and acne, we often think that expensive treatments and facials are the only way to see any improvement. Fortunately, you don’t need to set up a weekly appointment at the beauty salon or invest in expensive 7-step Korean skincare routines to get brighter, more youthful skin with a more even skin tone. (Unless you really want to!) 
Mandelic acid is one of the ingredients you can choose to buy for your skin online or in drugstores to help you get the skin you deserve. 
But What is Mandelic Acid?
If you’re asking, “what is Mandelic acid?” and wondering if it will actually have an acidic effect on your skin, the answer is yes. At least, sort of. Mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), which is often used in professional peels, so it is used to help lift dead layers of skin. 
However, you don’t need to worry. Mandelic acid is actually derived from bitter almonds and is much more gentle than some other AHAs such as glycolic acid and lactic acid (that’s what builds up in your muscles and makes them burn). AHAs are (generally) derived from natural sources, such as sugar, fruit, and milk. 
Other types of AHAs found in skincare lines are glycolic acid and citric acid. Peels and scrubs containing Mandelic acid are becoming increasingly popular among a wide range of people: those with darker skin tones use it to inhibit overproduction of melanin, those looking to reduce the appearance of wrinkles use it to increase sebum production, and those with acne use it for its antibacterial properties. 
The Uses and Benefits of Mandelic Acid
It’s Gentle on Your Skin 
One of the most attractive elements of Mandelic acid is that it may be gentler on the skin compared to other AHAs, but still has the benefits necessary for home scrubs and peels. This makes it a great choice for people with sensitive skin – it’s less irritating because the molecules in the Mandelic acid are larger, and so penetrates the skin at a slower rate.
It’s Good for Oily Skin 
Mandelic acid is attracted to oil, so it both exfoliates and dissolves the build-up of oils, bacteria, and dead skin cells in pores. It can also help to regulate the skin’s sebum production, which if overproduced, as in the case of those with acne, can result in clogged pores, angry blemishes, and pimples. 
It Helps Reduce Hyperpigmentation  
Hyperpigmentation comes in several forms: melasma (which is caused by hormonal changes), sunspots (caused by UV damage), and post-inflammatory (caused through injury or acne scarring). 
Mandelic acid is effective for all types of skin tones but has been seen to be particularly beneficial for those with darker skin. For those with dark tones, the risk of hyperpigmentation is greater due to a higher amount of melanin in the skin. The more melanin, the more melanocytes there are to react to skin injury, infection, or irritation, which can all trigger excess pigmentation when the skin repairs itself. 
For this reason, those with darker skin or uneven skin tone benefit from less aggressive treatments, which Mandelic acid offers thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and brightening qualities. 
It Reduces the Appearance of Wrinkles and Fine Lines  
A 2013 study showed that peels containing Mandelic acid can significantly reduce the effects of aging, especially in the dryness that can cause more wrinkles. It does this by regulating (and in this case increasing) the sebum production in the skin, which keeps skin moisturized. It can also increase collagen production, which helps keep your skin looking full and youthful. 
It Brightens Dull Skin 
For some, dead skin cells accumulate on the surface on the skin if not often exfoliated, and clog pores. While this can cause acne, it can simply cause the surface of the skin to appear dull and grey. Mandelic acid dissolves the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together, which means the skin cells can be more easily cleaned away, allowing new skin to look brighter. 
It’s Not Just for Peels 
While Mandelic acid is a key ingredient in many peels and scrubs, which can be used once or twice a week, you’ll also find it in serums, cleansers, and toners that are suitable for daily use. 
Are There Any Risks to Using Mandelic Acid? 
While Mandelic acid is the most gentle of the AHAs, it is worth noting that any product or treatment that contains AHAs can cause side effects. The most common side effects include irritation, sensitivity, tender skin, redness, dry skin, cold sores (if you’re already prone to them), and peeling. If you have naturally sensitive skin, it’s a good idea to start with a product with a low percentage of Mandelic acid and increase slowly so you can monitor how your skin reacts. 
Best Reviews
this isn't a lipstick 👀💋
this isn't a lipstick 👀💋
I did a little video with some of my favorite reds a little while ago, but I feel like NYX - Intense Butter Gloss in Apple Crisp deserves its own post! It's glossy, pigmented, AND affordable... we love to see it! 🙌🏾
Trying to find the culprit... HELP!
Trying to find the culprit... HELP!
Ever since I’ve added these two new products, I’ve noticed a couple new breakouts in places i’ve never experienced!!! They are red painful pimples too. Two on my forehead (I never get them there) , one on the outside of my nostril (i never get them there either), and the weirdest singular pimple on my NECK! Both of these products I have used on my face and neck, however, I’m not sure what product or ingredient is causing the sudden breakout!! Or is it just purging??? Help!!!!!! Did anyone else experience this with these products??? COSRX - Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence Murad - Nutrient-Charged Water Gel
👀 Share your 🏷 Derm Tips on Cherie
👀 Share your 🏷 Derm Tips on Cherie
While innovation is a great thing and there’s always a new ingredient or technique on the scene with many skincare tips to go along with it, we all want to know the very best practices for achieving radiant skin! 💗Now, let’s take a deeper look into all the advice and time-tested information we’ve learned from skincare experts. Share the rules and tips you’ve learned and recommended throughout your skincare journey in 🏷 Derm Tips on Cherie. For example, when and where to wear sunscreen, how to save period skin, or the best anti-aging trick you learned.
resolve to rock a red lip and worry less 💋
resolve to rock a red lip and worry less 💋
💋😘 These are some of my absolute favorites! What’s your favorite red lipstick? In order of appearance PAT McGRATH LABS - MatteTrance Lipstick Elson 2 Pat McGrath Venom MAKE UP FOR EVER - Rouge Artist Lipstick Mat, M402 ciaté - Liquid Velvet , Diva SEPHORA COLLECTION - Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick , Always Red NARS - Powermatte Lip Pigment , Starwoman NYX - Intense Butter Gloss , Apple Crisp
My well-loved drugstore makeup essentials
My well-loved drugstore makeup essentials
These are the drugstore makeup picks I ACTUALLY use! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Tarte Shapetape Concealer. Even the latest launches from Rare Beauty have me swooning. But drugstore makeup holds a special place in my heart. Walking through the aisles of Target or CVS gets me giddy. Quite honestly, I count those trips as my therapy sessions. Plus, these are the places were I started getting essentials to experiment with when I was younger! My favorite brands to score from are no doubt Pixi, NYX, Essence Cosmetics, Sonia Kashuk, Maybelline and Covergirl. They’re just my go-to’s! They’re the brands constantly putting out dupes for cult favorites. Everything in this picture, I use on a daily basis. I’ve been going through Maybelline Lifter Glosses like they’re going out of style. I actually was responsible for my local Target running out of stock once...oops. Another new essential that’s crawled its way into my everyday routine is the Covergirl Cooling Glow Stick. It’s part of their new Clean Fresh line and I use it on my WHOLE face. Top tip: try it under your eyes over your concealer 👀 I’m still in search for the perfect drugstore CC cream, does anyone have any good recommendations?