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Mandelic Acid in Cosmetology. Pluses & Minuses of the Mandelic Peel

The popularity of mandelic acid in cosmetology is growing. Still, it’s time we said a few bitter words about it. How does mandelic acid work? Who is it recommended for? What are the pluses and minuses of using it for beauty treatments?

mandelic-acid-for-acne-skin.jpgAs the mechanical scrubs are fading, the acid treatments are getting more and more searched for. They are much less irritative. Thanks to the milder action, acids are a common choice for eliminating pigmentation spots, removing post-acne scars, smoothing and rejuvenating the skin.

Among AHA (the mildest) acids, mandelic acid is the most popular. It is recommended for the problematic skin which needs intensified care. Unfortunately, we must warn you that they won’t work in all cases.

Who can’t take advantage of the mandelic acid benefits?

Mandelic acid exfoliation isn’t suitable for people struggling with atopic dermatitis, cold sore or skin lesions accompanied by serious inflammation. Pregnant women, whose skin is much more sensitive, are advised against the acid as well. Of course, these are the indications that many women consciously ignore, tempted by the gentleness of this ingredient.

Who is mandelic acid recommended for?

You should give it a go if you:

  • have oily or combination skin,
  • have comedones,
  • are bothered by common acne,
  • want to get rid of post-acne spots,
  • see your skin looks tired and sallow,
  • need to smooth the skin,
  • desire to stop ageing processes,
  • try to upgrade the skin tone.

Thanks to the properties and affecting skin in a gentle way, mandelic acid can be used for all skin types and phototypes.

If you feel like giving it a shot, check:


Mandelic acid belongs to the group of AHA acids. You can hear this name at beauty salons because this type of acids is commonly used for professional treatments, including exfoliation.

There’s an interesting property of mandelic acid – thanks to slightly bigger molecules (in comparison to other acids), it works more slowly and gently. It slowly penetrates deeper layers of the epidermis so it’s safer and doesn’t cause irritations. Moreover, it doesn’t sensitize skin to the sun therefore you can use it in summer, too.

The worth-knowing thing is that in most cases acid peels are mixed with conditioning treatments so they work even more gently.

Where does mandelic acid actually come from? Obviously, it comes from almonds (Amygdalus Communis var Amara). It is extracted during the process of hydrolysis of the bitter almond extract.


  • It speeds up the exfoliation of dead skin cells through relaxing the inter-cellular bonds and stimulating micro-exfoliation.
  • Thanks to exfoliating the outermost layer of the skin, it makes skin look better – illuminates, reduces discoloration, evens out the skin tone.
  • It unblocks the outlets of sebaceous glands and enhances their work thus blocks skin oiliness and reduces comedones.
  • It has anti-bacterial and antiseptic effect so it alleviates e.g. acne-related irritations and inflammation.
  • It also stimulates the synthesis of collagen and elastin responsible for firmness and hyaluronic acid delivering moisture.
  • It slows down the process of skin ageing, even the one that’s caused by the UV radiation, on the condition that you use it regularly and in suitable amounts.

Few people know that:

The action of mandelic acid depends on the concentration and the pH – the higher the concentration of the acid and lower the pH of the skin, the stronger the action. Thanks to that, we can easily regulate the way mandelic acid works and tailor the treatment to our own needs.

Mandelic acid can be applied to skin in two ways

  1. Having a professional mandelic acid exfoliation done by an aesthetician.
  2. Applying mandelic acid dermo-cosmetics at the privacy of your own house.

What are the bad sides of mandelic acid?

It appears to be a flawless substance – works gently, removes pigmentation spots, rejuvenates and boost moisture, suitable for summer use, available in skin products. However, when you take a closer look at it, you’ll spot the downsides of mandelic acid:

  • You cannot use it if you have atopic dermatitis, psoriasis or serious skin diseases.
  • It doesn’t work strongly enough to smooth deep wrinkles ad remove post-sun spots.
  • It isn’t cheap enough to be affordable for everyone.
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