Ingredient Spotlight: Mandelic Acid

Ingredient Spotlight: Mandelic Acid

Almonds are revered as one of the most nutritious nuts, but their benefits spread beyond aiding our internal health. They also serve a purpose in skin care. In fact, you may already be using almonds in the treatment room and not even know it.

I’m talking about Mandelic Acid, which is derived from almonds. This powerhouse ingredient serves as a gentle exfoliant and works to treat a variety of skin challenges including photo-aging, acne and irregular pigmentation. Read on to learn more about this amazing ingredient…

What It Is

As I mentioned L-Mandelic Acid is found in almonds, and its name is derived from the German word for almond – “Mandel.” A little known fact about the almond – it is actually not a nut. The name refers to both the tree that produces the fruit as well as the fruit itself. And the fruit of the almond (what we know of as a nut) is actually a drupe, which is classified as fruit with an outer fleshy part surrounding an inner shell or pit – like a peach.

Mandelic Acid, considered an AHA, was discovered while heating an extract of bitter almonds called amygdalin. It has a long storied history, first used by the medical community as an antibacterial and antibiotic. Dr. James E. Fulton who also pioneered the use of vitamin A and retinol in the 1960s introduced it as a skincare modality.

How It Works

Today Mandelic Acid is used to treat a variety of skin issues including photo aging, acne, rosacea and other pigmentation disorders. It has a pH of 3.4 and is strong enough to produce a mild exfoliation, but is tolerable by most skin types because of its lighter “prickling” sensation.

Mandelic Acid’s antiseptic and antibacterial activity makes it useful in treating acne in adults and teens, and since it reduces inflammation and redness it is supportive in pre- and post- treatments. It helps prevent the formation of damaging radicals following the cell disruption caused by microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser.

Look for Mandelic Acid in our Mandelic Arginine Serum, Mandelic Arginine Peel, Hibiscus Peel, Flower Acid Paste and the Teen Express facial. 

Question: How are you using Mandelic Acid? 

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