Active Ingredients: Mandelic Acid

Chloe Song Beauty Expert
Active Ingredients: Mandelic Acid

Move over Glycolic Acid, there's another AHA catching up

The use of other types of AHA that isn’t Glycolic Acid Is on the rise with more variety and formulations popping up. We are all quite aware of the benefits of AHAs and the amazing benefits they do for the skin. However, if you are new to AHAs, don’t worry, here’s a simple breakdown.

AHAs are chemical exfoliants that help to remove the top layer of the skin, including dead skin, impurities and dirt, which promotes cell regeneration for healthier, newer skin.

Using a chemical exfoliant is great for alleviating skin concerns like acne, hyperpigmentation and even the feeling of dull and congested skin. Although AHAs like glycolic acid and lactic acid are widely raved about and seen on the market, there’s one that’s been relatively hidden away from the public eye and that is Mandelic Acid.

Mandelic Acid is an AHA derived from bitter almonds and its stand-out characteristic is its larger molecular size in comparison to other AHAs. This makes them gentler and friendlier to the skin. A larger molecular size means that it won’t penetrate too deep into the skin and work more to treat problems on the surface of the skin.


Suitable for sensitive skin

  • More popular acids like glycolic acid are known to cause irritations and other side effects for dry and sensitive skin. The small molecules of mandelic acid makes them more suitable for those with dry and/or sensitive skin, or even those who are first trying out any type of acid. It is important to allow the skin to build a tolerance against direct acids, so starting large is recommended.

Exfoliates the skin

  • Being an AHA, mandelic acid removes the top layer of debris by loosening the bonds of skin cells on the surface, allowing them to shed and revealing a brighter and more even complexion. 

Stimulates cell turnover

  • With all acids, in dissolving the dead skin cells and grime, this prompts the skin to regenerate new cells which helps reduce the appearance of pigmentation, acne and even wrinkles.


  • The exfoliating and cell regeneration benefits of mandelic acid makes it a go-to-choice for anti-aging products as it strengthens collagen, brightens dull complexions and improves skin elasticity.

Detoxes pores

  • By clearing the debris on the surface, this allows better cleansing of the pores, preventing breakouts from occurring as there will be less buildup in the pores. This also helps minimize and tighten enlarged pores. 

Treats acne

  • Mandelic acid also possesses antibacterial properties that help to treat acne when coupled with its exfoliating effects. It also works regulate sebum production.

What to note?

  • As with all acids, use of them makes the skin more sensitive to the sun, thus, more susceptible to sun damage. Hence, it is imperative to apply sunscreen when using any type of acids in the AM.
  • Although mandelic acid is considered one of the gentlest acids on the market, there is still a chance of it irritating your skin, this can appear in the form of redness, itchiness and a stinging sensation. Though the chances are very low.
  • Mandelic acid should be avoided in using in conjunction with other acids, chemical peels, retinol and retinoids. It is best combined with hydrating and nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid.


Products we recommend 

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA

the ordinary mandelic acid 10% + ha

As we said, mandelic acid is still relatively new in the skincare market and not many brands have started to use them but we all know that The Ordinary has got our back. This mandelic acid is further supported with hyaluronic acid to give that hydration boost for plumper skin with less fine lines and wrinkles.


I hope this article has helped you gain an insight and better understand Mandelic Acid. If you have anything to add or ask, feel free to join in conversation below! We’ll gladly answer all questions to the best of our ability and help you in any way we can! 

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