What is mandelic acid?

Mandelic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid that’s extracted from bitter almonds.

Alpha hydroxy acids are also found in other types of food, such as citrus fruits, grapes, and tomato juice. These natural exfoliating agents come in different strengths and produce varied effects when applied to the skin.

Mandelic acid acts as a powerful — yet gentle — exfoliator that breaks up the tiny bonds between dead cells at the skin’s surface, making it an effective component in chemical peels.

Compared to chemical peels containing salicylic, glycolic or lactic acids, mandelic acid is lower in strength but produces longer-lasting effects.

Benefits of mandelic acid peels

Mandelic acid’s gentle peeling effect can be attributed to its molecular structure.

Since its molecules are larger than those found in glycolic acid and other alpha hydroxy acids, mandelic acid takes longer to penetrate the skin’s surface. This makes it less likely to cause irritation.

As a chemical peel, mandelic acid offers a wide range of treatment benefits:

  • Reducing dark spots
  • Improving skin texture
  • Lightening freckles
  • Refining skin tone
  • Unclogging skin pores
  • Reducing acne
  • Lightening skin tone
  • Reducing fine lines
  • Evening out the complexion
  • Being compatible with all skin types

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