Research Proven Mandelic Acid Reduces Acne

Research Proven Mandelic Acid Reduces Acne

Summary Of Facts

Ingredient: Mandelic Acid

Category: Exfoliant

Benefits: Refines skin texture, treats acne and pigmentation, regulates sebum production

Suitable For: All skin types, especially for those dealing with acne

Mandelic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is derived from almonds. AHAs are water-soluble chemicals that work to stimulate cellular turnover and slough off dead skin cells. They also help detach desmosomes, which are glue-like substances that are found between cells. [1]

Benefits Of Mandelic Acid:

  • Suitable Exfoliant For Sensitive Skin

Mandelic acid has a larger molecular weight (152.15 Daltons) as compared to other AHAs such as glycolic acid (76.05 Daltons) and lactic acid (90.08 Daltons). [2] [3] [4] This makes it more suitable for sensitive skin as it is able to penetrate less deeply as compared to other AHAs. Although it works slower than its counterparts, it is still an effective exfoliant and helps smoothen out the skin’s texture.


  • Treatment Of Acne

Research has also shown that mandelic acid can be a viable option for the treatment of acne vulgaris. Patients who used products with 5% or 10% mandelic acid for 2 months reported a reduction in the number of pustules, inflammatory nodules and comedones. [5] Another study reported that a 45% mandelic acid peel was equally effective at treating mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris as a 30% salicylic acid peel. However, the mandelic acid peel was marked as a safer and more tolerable option as there were lesser side effects. [6]

  • Brightens The Skin

Mandelic acid has also been proven to lighten melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and lentigines (or liver spots). Adverse effects such as redness and blistering were far less with the use of this acid as compared to glycolic acid. [7]

  • Anti-Aging Benefits

In addition to the above, this alpha hydroxy acid can also be used to counteract the effect of aging. A 2013 study has shown that a mandelic acid peel can regulate sebum production in perimenopausal women and thus helps reduce the symptoms such as dryness and burning of the skin. [8] Since AHAs are also humectants, mandelic acid hydrates the skin by attracting and binding water. [9]

Side Effects:

AHAs can irritate your skin and cause redness, flaking and swelling. However, mandelic acid is one of the most well tolerated acids in this category and has a very low potential for irritation. [7]

How To Use It:

Products containing mandelic acid should be used once a day, ideally at night. Since it is an AHA, you should wear sunscreen and limit your sun exposure as these acids increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. [10]

Mandelic acid is safe to use with most skincare ingredients. In fact, a combination of salicylic acid and mandelic acid was proven to be more effective at treating acne and hyperpigmentation than a glycolic acid peel. [11]

Storage Instructions:

Mandelic acid is light sensitive, which means that products containing it usually come in amber bottles. Store it in a cool, dry place. [12]














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