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Mandelic Acid: Benefits, Side Effects and Precautions

Mandelic Acid: Benefits, Side Effects and Precautions

Mandelic Acid: Benefits, Side Effects and Precautions

Mandelic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and is derived from bitter almonds. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are in use by people as skincare products and are particularly used for exfoliating the top layers of the skin to remove dead skin cells. Mandelic acid is gentle exfoliant is recommended to people with a sensitive skin. Moreover, mandelic acid has a leger molecular size as compared to most AHAs so it penetrates slowly into your skin and causes less irritation.

What are the uses of Mandelic Acid?

  1. Mandelic acid is useful in providing gentle exfoliation to your skin and is best suited to people with sensitive skin.
  2. It is also used to reduce the signs og aging since it increases collagen and elastin production in your skin.
  3. It helps to reduce acne breakouts by clearing up skin pores of debris, dirt and dead skin cells.
  4. Mandelic acid is also used to reduce hyperpigmentation and brighten skin.

Potential benefits of Mandelic Acid

Mandelic acid has a number of potential benefits for your skin. These include:

  1. Gentle exfoliation:

Mandelic acid serve as a good alternative to harsh, mechanical exfoliators. It gently removes the top layers of the skin and increases cell turnover. If the dead skin cells build up, it can make your complexion look dull. Moreover, build-up of dead skin cells can also enhance the underlying skin conditions such as wrinkles, acne and age spots. 

  1. Reduces the signs of aging

Mandelic acid exfoliates the top layers of the skin giving rise to new skin cells and a younger looking skin. Moreover, it increases collagen and elastin production overtime. Increased collagen production results in more plumper and younger looking skin.

  1. Reduces the appearance of acne:

Acne results when your pores get clogged with debris and dead skin cells. Since these acids remove the skin cells in the topmost layers of the skin and clean pores, so they can be added to the skincare routine of people having acne-prone skin. (Surabhi Dayal MD, 2019)

  1. Reduces hyperpigmentation:

Regular use of mandelic acid may help to treat hyperpigmentation or dark marks on the skin, such as melasma or sun tan. (Sarkar, Garg, Bansal, Sethi, & Gupta, 2016)

  1. Brightens skin:

Mandelic acid removes the dead skin cells which increases cell turnover. The new cells that reveal beneath are brighter and more radiant. This results in a brighter and more radiant skin.

The side effects of using mandelic acid

Certain side effects have been reported by the use of alpha-hydroxy acids which are as follows:

  1. Burning
  2. Irritation
  3. Itching
  4. Redness
  5. Tenderness
  6. Skin peeling
  7. Skin tenderness
  8. Increased sensitivity to sunlight
  9. Acne breakouts from over-exfoliation

If you notice any of these side effects, stop using mandelic acid and consult your dermatologist or healthcare provider.

Precautions and warning

Always consult your dermatologist before adding mandelic acid to your everyday skincare regimen. Your dermatologist will guide you whether these acids will suit your skin or not depending on your skin type. Some precautions should always be kept in mind before using mandelic acid in your everyday routine.

  1. Before using mandelic acid, go a skin patch test. Apply to a small area of your skin and wait for a few minutes. If you notice any redness or skin reaction, drop the idea of adding mandelic acid to your skincare routine.
  2. Follow the directions properly that are mentioned on the product packaging.
  3. Avoid contact with eyes, nose, lips and mouth.
  4. Always inform your dermatologist if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or are planning to conceive before seeking advice for using mandelic acid.
  5. Always apply sunscreen before stepping out into the sun after applying mandelic acid.

A Little Apprehension

Mandelic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and provides gentle exfoliaton. In this way, it helps reduce and treat acne breakouts and also reverses the signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines. But it is always advisable to consult your dermatologist before adding mandelic acid to your daily skincare regimen who will guide you whether this active ingredients suits your skin type or not.

Works Cited

See Also
Exploring The Best Natural Remedies For Aging Skin

Higuera, V. (2019, November 07). Benefits and Uses of Mandelic Acid. Retrieved from Healthline:

Palmer, A. (2022, August 14). Mandelic Acid Skincare Treatments. Retrieved from Very Well Health:

Sarkar, R. M., Garg, V. M., Bansal, S. M., Sethi, S. M., & Gupta, C. M. (2016). Comparative Evaluation of Efficacy and Tolerability of Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Mandelic Acid, and Phytic Acid Combination Peels in Melasma. Dermatologic Surgery, 384-391.

Surabhi Dayal MD, K. D. (2019). Comparative study of efficacy and safety of 45% mandelic acid versus 30% salicylic acid peels in mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 393-399.

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