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What is Mandelic Acid and why should I be using it?

What is Mandelic Acid and why should I be using it?
Team LF
Writer and expert5 years ago
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Although many of us now include liquid exfoliants in our everyday skincare routines, the thought of using acids on the skin can still seem a little daunting to some.

With so many different AHAs and BHAs on offer which promise to renew, smooth and enhance the natural radiance of your complexion, choosing a gentle acid, designed to smooth delicate, super-sensitive skin, can be a good place to start if you're new to chemical exfoliation.

As one of the most gentle AHAs, Mandelic Acid is the perfect starter ingredient for those who are slightly worried about their skin's sensitivity but want to incorporate acids into their skincare routine.

What is Mandelic Acid?

Derived from bitter almonds, Mandelic Acid is a gentle Alpha-Hydroxyl Acid. With a larger molecular weight than other AHAs such as Glycolic and Lactic Acids, Mandelic Acid penetrates the skin much more slowly making it gentle and kind to even the most sensitive skin.

Working to accelerate cell turnover to promote a fresh, radiant finish, the acid removes dead skin cells from the surface of the skin to revive dull, lack-lustre complexions.

As well as minimising fine lines, Mandelic Acid also works to strengthen the collagen which naturally exists in the skin to plump, smooth and encourage a youthful complexion.

If you feel as though your skin is relatively normal and is not prone to irritation, Mandelic Acid may be too gentle for your skin. If so, try using products infused with Glycolic Acid to achieve a smooth and glowing finish.

3 best Mandelic Acid skincare products

To help you incorporate this gentle yet truly effective acid into your skincare routine, we have carefully selected our three favourite products enriched with Mandelic Acid to promote radiant, ultra-smooth skin.

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10%

Free from alcohol, oil and silicones, The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% provides a very gentle form of superficial dermal peeling to reveal a smooth, radiant complexion. Suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive, the treatment brightens and unifies for a fresh and refined finish.

Simply apply topically or blend with other your skincare products then follow up with your moisturiser.

Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel

Tackling uneven skin tone, congested pores and wrinkles, Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel is loved by beauty editors and facialists alike. The two-step system harnesses the powers of gentle acids, such as Mandelic, to refine the skin and sweep away dead skin cells for an ultra-radiant finish.

Ideal for even the most delicate and sensitive of skin types, the peel sheets also tackle fine lines and firm the skin making them the perfect anti-ageing treatment.

STARSKIN PRO Platinum Peel Mask Pack

Reveal a brighter, more refined complexion in just ten minutes with the STARSKIN PRO Platinum Peel Mask Pack. Made up of two treatments, a leave-on exfoliating swap and a Kale-infused sheet mask, the system melts away dead skin cells to smooth and resurface the skin while also hydrating.

The foil sheet mask is enriched with a Kale-based serum to nourish and calm the skin after the acid treatment to ensure no irritation or redness on even the most sensitive of skin.

Team LF
Writer and expert
View Team LF's profile
Our team of beauty experts cover everything from makeup to skincare, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the LOOKFANTASTIC blog, and find all your essentials in one place.