Mandelic Acid and Its Benefits: Is It Worth the Hype?
Updated: May 14
Until the early 2000s Mandelic Acid was still hiding in the shadows but all hell broke loose when the entire world discovered it 3 years back!
The year was 2019, and Taylor Swift had just released her 7th album 'Lover' about her yet another ex! And following a series of articles about Mandelic Acid, this AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) became the buzziest word in town. In less than a year, Google searches for Mandelic Acid doubled. And thus began the era of this skincare active.
But what is Mandelic Acid, and should you really care? This article will answer both of these questions.
What is Mandelic Acid?
Mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is derived from bitter almonds. In fact, the name "Mandelic" has its roots in the German word "Mandel" which also means "almond".
Just like all the other acids from this family (AHA) Mandelic Acid also acts by breaking the bonds between cells present in the most superficial layers of skin, and causes skin peeling. But its action doesn't end just there.
Mandelic Acid is a lot more than being just a garden variety chemical peel.
Are Mandelic Acid and Glycolic Acid the same?
No! Unlike its much more popular sibling, Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid is significantly milder on the skin. Since Mandelic Acid has a larger molecular size than other AHAs, it doesn't penetrate the skin too deeply, thereby causing less irritation.
Basically, Mandelic Acid does everything that Glycolic Acid can do, but in a gentle way. However, this also means that Mandelic Acid takes longer to show the same degree of results as Glycolic Acid. But when it comes to skincare, patience, perseverance, and persistence are the 3 Ps, I mean keys!
What are the benefits of Mandelic Acid?
1. Goodbye to dull skin
Mandelic Acid is one of the kindest AHAs for your skin. It causes micro-exfoliation and accentuates your skin's natural glow.
2. Sayonara to the bane of acne
However, our over-achiever doesn't stop just there! Mandelic Acid also helps in combating acne and its unsightly marks. The drug is popularly used as a spot treatment for acne on sensitive skin.
3. Hello to our newest anti-ageing buddy
Mandelic acid can boost cell turnover by clearing the layer of dead skin and amping up the renewal of new cells. The process reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and crinkles. Mandelic Acid serum applied at night is an ideal substitute for Retinol in sensitive skin types.
4. No more hyperpigmentation
Mandelic acid has a dual mechanism of action against hyperpigmentation. Firstly, it suppresses the melanin-producing enzyme tyrosinase. This blocks the production of pigment in a spot of hyperpigmentation. Secondly, by the virtue of its exfoliant effect, it clears the superficial layers of skin, thereby lifting up the existing pigmentation. Over the course of time, the pigment-laden cells get shed. Despite its complex activity against hyperpigmentation, Mandelic Acid doesn't cause any paradoxical hyperpigmentation because of its non-irritating property.
Mandelic Acid serum at night combined with vitamin C serum and sunscreen in the morning could be your next best arsenal against those pesky marks of hyperpigmentation.
5. All this and a lot more!
This multifaceted wonder drug is also an antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory agent.
In short, Mandelic Acid is worth the hype and it rightfully deserves all the accolades. It fights dull skin, acne, and wrinkles all at once! I would recommend it to everyone with sensitive skin. My top pick is The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA serum.