Mandelic Acid: What is it and what can it do?

After my initial consultation at sk:n clinic, I was recommended a series of Mandelic Peels. These were said to be appropriate for my sensitive skin type and to help with my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and acne. Now please note, that my face showed no signs of eczema when it was analysed and I would highly recommend you do not use acids of this sort if skin is inflamed! I used a consultation (which is free FYI at sk:n if you’re in the UK!) to find out what is suitable for my current skin type. I cheekily had the consultation and now I’m trying to see if this treatment can still be done without the extortionate costs of a salon….however, I am using the advice given to me by the specialist as they know more about it than i do! ….This has made me aware of what is appropriate for acne/eczema prone skin which is great as I didn’t want to use anything which may make my skin worse.


I would really recommend you visit a specialist before undergoing such at home treatments too.



So what is Mandelic acid?

Now I had never heard of this acid before, however it is a alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) like glycolic acid and lactic acid but is supposedly one of the gentler acids of its kind (glycolic acid leaves me red and can sting!). it derives from bitter almonds.


Because mandelic acid molecules are larger than other AHAs, they are less penetrating on the skin and lessirritating and therefore ideal for treating more sensitive skin types.  Their antibacterial/anti-inflammatory qualities also make them good for people with acne (my skin exactly!). It is also safer for darker skin tones.

If your skin is sensitive to other AHAs like glycolic then mandelic acid can be a safer alternative to use without the side effects, however, it is still an AHA and should be used with caution.


What does Mandelic acid do?


  • Exfoliates skin surface and improves texture
  • Evens out skin tone – brightens
  • Fades dark marks
  • Suppresses skin pigmentation by inhibiting melanin. Excessive melanin production is what causes uneven skin tone, dark spots and hyperpigmentation hence why its suppresion is a benefit!
  • treats acne
  • treats stubborn blackheads (wahay!)
  • improves photoaged skin and reduces sun damage
  • cleans and refines pores


How can you use it?


Mandelic acid peels are the most common way of using this AHA  for quicker results (though it will still take months really), but it can also be used in cleansers, toners, creams etc. to aid the process.

I have been looking at It appeared that the mandelic range has been well received and I am really tempted to try it out! My only worry is that a peel is well a peel….now I feel better knowing that I was recommended this from a skin specialist however my thought now: is this something I should do that home? I have asked fellow bloggers for their thoughts who have recommended it and said the toner is gentle as a starter if I do not want to go straight for the peel….


What do you think? Should I try it?

One Response to “Mandelic Acid: What is it and what can it do?”
  1. Jodie from Michigan says:

    No eczema? Sounds like my post to your blog not to long ago. Did you get my pics and products pics? And an answer to your question…. never screw around with your facial skin and acid at home…. have at least the first therapy done in an office environment. You never want to try something on your face that could permanently mar you…..

    Having a peel done in the office with an esthetician will allow you to ask questions, see what kind of application they use and what follow up creams they recommend. You would also want to know if there is a physician on call in case something goes wrong.

    Sometimes peels shed like reptiles over a few days. Always schedule on a Thursday so you can go in red to work on Friday and then slough off on Sat and Sun when you can hole up at home…. from my personal experience. Usually by Monday small little dry patches and Tuesday much better.


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