How much would you spend to get healthy, smooth skin? Many of us may be willing to spend a hefty load of money to avail of a good skincare product or service that might help to achieve younger-looking skin. One popular ingredient in beauty products is mandelic acid, and these products can fetch quite a high price. This is a valuable skin agent that may help combat radical skin damage and aging caused by our daily activities. [1]

How Mandelic Acid Can Be Used

Mandelic acid is a powerful ingredient that can help with acne and hyperpigmentation, uneven skin texture, wrinkles, and fine lines. It’s a multipurpose skincare ingredient! Mandelic acid may help with the following:


Is mandelic acid good for acne? Well, this natural ingredient can help with treating acne because of its antibacterial properties. Acne is caused by excess oil production. Oil can clog pores, and oil built up by bacteria can trigger acne. Stress, certain medication, hormonal changes, and diet can also worsen acne. This acid gently exfoliates the skin, and its antibacterial properties may help combat pesky pimples and acne breakouts.


Too much sun exposure can cause damage to the skin, causing it to develop a greyish or dark brown pigmentation, as well as dark spots. It is important to put sunscreen on to prevent skin conditions that the sun may cause. However, if discoloration has already developed, mandelic acid can help you with that. It’s been said in a study that this acid can reduce melasma by 50% in just four weeks. Mandelic acid may give your skin a brighter complexion by slowly fading the dark spots and correcting the skin tone.

Wrinkles and Fine Lines

As we age, we notice that our skin can get a little dull sometimes. Mandelic acid may help reverse the effects of aging as it has an anti-aging ingredient. It dissolves the tiny bonds that hold the skin cells together. The dead skin layer will be removed, and wrinkles and fine lines will be reduced. These actions will result in healthier, smoother, and plumper skin. Additionally, mandelic acid stimulates collagen production to foster skin firmness and tightness while delaying the skin from sagging. [2]

What Does Mandelic Acid Do to Your Skin?

It does a great favor for the skin. It controls sebum production, which helps reduce enlarged pores and inflammation. Mandelic acid also has exfoliating properties that remove dead skin. [3]

Mandelic Acid Is Considered an Alpha-Hydroxy Acid

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Mandelic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) derived from bitter almonds. AHA is an exfoliant fluid that can do something with numerous skin conditions by helping to peel away the dead layer of the skin. With that, the skin will appear healthier and more evenly pigmented skin. After this peeling of the skin, you can feel that the skin is smoother to the touch. [4]

What Are the Benefits You Can Get From Mandelic Acid?

There are many advantages of using it. It’s surprisingly excellent in reversing the effects of aging on the skin as well as the damage done by the sun. it is generally safe for our skin, but some people may be allergic to this natural ingredient.

It may work wonders for your skin, improving the texture and appearance of your skin. This acid treatment can work for combination, dry, and sensitive skin due to its gentle antibacterial and exfoliating properties. [5]

Mandelic Acid After Effects

Before purchasing any product containing mandelic acid, you should consult a dermatologist regarding your skin condition. You can seek the advice of your healthcare professional or dermatologist to find out if it is suitable for your skin and how much is safe to use. Unfortunately, it can cause irritation, redness, peeling, swelling, itching, drying, and flaking of the skin, among other side effects.

Once you have started using the product, ensure you keep a close observation of your skin. If skin irritation develops after days or weeks of usage, you should consult a dermatologist to discuss and address the issue. [6]

How Long Does It Take for Mandelic Acid to Work?

There is no exact amount of time for it to take effect. If you are planning to use it, you should know that the results will depend on your skin’s absorption. You may have heard that it may transform your skin in a span of 28 days, but this may not be the outcome for everyone.

You will not notice significant effects in just a few days, but you can observe that your skin gets smoother over time. In a span of 1-2 weeks, you may observe that your breakouts are reduced, and dark spots may start fading between the 4th to 8th week of use. It is important to consult a doctor should you notice any concerning side effects or skin irritation, especially if this is your first time using it. [7]

Is Mandelic Acid Better Than Glycolic Acid?

mandelic acid vs. glycolic acid

Mandelic acid and glycolic acid are both AHA (alpha-hydroxy acids). In terms of both molecular structures, mandelic acid has larger molecules, and glycolic has smaller molecules. In this case, mandelic acid is better than glycolic acid because the larger the molecule is gentler on the skin. Smaller molecules penetrate deeper into the skin, which could irritate sensitive skin.

Additionally, it has antibacterial properties, while glycolic acid does not. Nonetheless, some people may find that it works better for them, while others find that glycolic acid brings about more benefits for their skin. You’ll have to figure out which is best for your skin type. Either of these two acids can also irritate the skin. [8]

How Should I Apply Mandelic Acid?

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If you are wondering how to apply it, we’ll get right into that. You can use mandelic acid after cleansing and before moisturizing as part of your nighttime skincare routine.

You can apply it using your hands or fingers to lightly pat the product into your skin. Ensure that the skin has absorbed the product before moving on to the next step. You may also use it together with glycolic acid on alternate evenings. Wait until your skin is fully adapted to these products before using another new product to prevent skin irritation. Additionally, you should start slow and use small amounts as overuse can cause irritation. Lastly, avoid too much sun exposure while you’re using it on your skin. Try to protect your skin from strong sunlight whenever you can, such as using sunblock when going outside during hot afternoons. [9]

Bottomline: Mandelic Acid Benefits and Uses

Mandelic acid is derived from bitter almonds and is an antibacterial agent. According to research, this acid is of great help to the skin, but it can also help with urinary tract infections. Mandelic acid has gained popularity because of its capability to treat acne, might that be mild or cystic.

The efficacy of any skincare product will vary depending on your skin type. When first using mandelic acid, ensure you observe how your skin reacts. If any concerning side effects or irritation occurs, seek advice from your dermatologist as soon as you can.

: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.


  • Bianca Segundo

    Bianca is currently pursuing a nursing degree. Despite a busy schedule, she finds writing as one of the things that relieve her from stress. She uses her spare time to learn and explore new things. However, lifting weights is also part of her routine that serves as therapy for her.

  • Kim Monasterial, BSN

    Kim is a Registered Nurse and has been a medical freelance writer for more than six years. Starting off as a writer, Kim moved to proofreading and editing all the articles posted on HealthPlugged. She’s an enthusiast for health and wellness, being one to keep herself fit and adventurous for outdoor activities. LinkedIn


Bianca is currently pursuing a nursing degree. Despite a busy schedule, she finds writing as one of the things that relieve her from stress. She uses her spare time to learn and explore new things. However, lifting weights is also part of her routine that serves as therapy for her.