Acid? To exfoliate my sensitive skin? Yes! Only if it’s mandelic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid derived from bitter almonds.
In fact, there are many different alpha hydroxy acids that exfoliate, and each produces slightly different results. The miracle about mandelic acid is that is does the work of many of the other alpha hydroxy acids combined, whether it’s for treating sensitive skin, acne-prone skin, dull skin, or aging skin.
What exactly are AHAs?
Alpha hydroxy acids are water soluble acids, usually naturally derived from foods or plants. Some of the AHAs used in skincare are mandelic acid (derived from bitter almonds), azelaic acid (derived from wheat), glycolic acid (derived from sugar cane), malic acid (derived from apples), citric acid (derived from citrus fruit), and lactic acid (derived from milk).
How do AHAs work?
Alpha hydroxy acids weaken the "cellular glue" that makes dead skin cells stick together. As the bonds between dead skin cells dissolve, those upper layers of dead skin cells can then get sloughed off in the process of exfoliation. And what’s left behind? ‒Smooth, healthy, younger-looking skin.
What do AHAs do?
Alpha hydroxy acids have different functions. They can promote cell turnover, or stimulate fibroblasts to produce collagen and elastin, smooth lines and wrinkles, improve sun-damaged skin, or suppress melanin synthesis that leads to dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Each alpha hydroxy acid produces slightly different results.
Mild But Mighty
Mandelic Acid provides many different benefits and does the work of many of the other alpha hydroxy acids combined. Here are 5 reasons mandelic acid is a multi-tasking, gentle giant that works for all skin types, even sensitive skin:
1. LOWER RISK OF IRRITATION
Mandelic acid has the largest molecular size of all alpha hydroxy acids. This means that its absorption into the skin is slowed down, so compared to other acids, mandelic acid is gentle and has a much lower risk of causing irritation, redness, or flakiness.
2. TARGETS CLOGGED PORES & EXCESS OIL
Mandelic acid contains anti-bacterial properties that improve blemish-prone skin by targeting clogged pores, inflammatory noncystic acne, and acne rosacea. Mandelic acid can also be used to treat acne not only on the face, but also acne on the shoulders and the back, which is nicknamed "backne."
3. FADES AWAY DARK SPOTS
Mandelic acid has visible brightening benefits that help reverse the effects of UV exposure. It also helps reduce and prevent abnormal pigmentation, like spots caused by sun and by skin aging. Mandelic acid can even be used to help improve the appearance of melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
4. SOFTENS LINES & WRINKLES
Mandelic acid also provides anti-aging benefits by encouraging collagen production, which tends to decrease with age. Fine lines and wrinkles look more smoothed out. Skin tone and texture improve. Skin appears stronger and firmer, behaving more like youthful skin.
5. GETS ALONG WITH EVERYONE
Mandelic acid is well-tolerated by all skin types, even sensitive skin and skin conditions like melasma and rosacea. Darker skin tones can also use it, since mandelic acid has a very low risk of causing skin discoloration, compared to glycolic acid for example.
Overall, mandelic acid provides multiple anti-aging effects in just one acid: smooths out wrinkles, brightens skin, reduces hyperpigmentation, improves tone and texture, targets acne and congested pores, and best of all, even sensitive skin can benefit from it, without irritation.
TOP 3 PRODUCTS with mandelic acid:
These exfoliating pads with 10% mandelic acid, moisturizing hyaluronic acid, and brightening licorice root extract target congested pores, clear excess oil, and enhance texture and radiance.
This bubby gel cleanser with 2% mandelic acid and papaya enzymes washes away surface impurities and amps up radiance, as aromas of grapefruit, bergamot, and orange blossom brighten any mood.
This illuminating elixir with 2% mandelic acid, vitamin C, and brightening botanicals deeply hydrates, helps fade dark spots, and boosts a radiant glow, while balancing uneven tone and texture.