Is Mandelic Acid Good For The Skin? What is it exactly, and what does it do?
Guys, mandelic acid is AMAZING for the skin! Let's talk about what it does, why it's awesome, and why i recommend it for most adults who need aging and acne support at the same time.
What Is Mandelic Acid anyways?
Mandelic acid is a natural alpha-hydroxy acid that is derived from bitter almonds. It has a larger molecule and is more stable than other alpha-hydroxy acids which means it can have better results and benefits in the skin for certain things over lactic and glycolic acid.
For example, a larger molecule is better for penetrating into pores rather than just over all the skin, to help break up clogs in them which is the same reason why salicylic acid is so good for acne over glycolic and lactic too. Well mandelic helps clear clogged pores in a similar way, but with more skin benefits.
So it's good for clearing pores, what else does mandelic acid do?
Mandelic acid has been also shown to be beneficial for evening out skin tone (hyperpigmentation), stimulating collagen production which helps with wrinkles and scarring, and has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties which make it great for rosacea as well.
What are the different types of mandelic?
So like other acids, mandelic acid comes in varying strengths. Higher percentages are good for body skin issues and or as an in office chemical peel treatment. For home use, I always start clients at 8%, and some will get bumped up to 11% later on for certain inflamed acne cases. 15% i reserve exclusively for body acne and sun damage. But otherwise most people can start at 8% on their face. Next, not all mandelic products are created equal. We have the issue of something called chirality.
Chirality is where our cells molecules naturally spin in one way or the other. Chiral products are designed to match this spin so the cell utilizes it better, also decreasing the chances of irritation and side effects from the product. The chiral forms of mandelic are L-mandelic and DL-mandelic. The non chiral form is just "mandelic". L-mandelic is the most utilizable form by the cell, yet it is also the most expensive to make, and you will usually find the cheapest mandelic serums to be the non-chiral version, just "mandelic". But research has shown out of all the forms, the best results in the skin for acne and aging come from the form best used by the cells which is L-mandelic. That is why I use this form in Meta Skincare.
So is mandelic better than the other acids then?
It is for certain things. I still recommend glycolic for non-inflamed acne (little hardened bumps kind) since it's a smaller molecule seems to break up the hardened keratinized tiny bumps better, but that's about it. Glycolic also has a notoriously unstable molecule which can make it unpredictable in the skin as soon as it's above 5-10% strength. But for inflamed acne, scarring, hyperpigmentation and aging....Mandelic is so much more advanced, stable and gives stronger results making it one of my favorite ingredients for adults who need acne/rosacea support but also anti-aging.