Skincare can feel confusing at the best of times, but this is often magnified when trying to find the best routine if you have a darker skin tone. The main difference for darker skin tones is the fact they are more prone to hyperpigmentation as there is more melanin in the skin. The way this works is with more melanocytes there is in the skin, the higher chances of it causing areas of hyperpigmentation, especially after there is a mild surface injury to the skin.
So, with this in mind, we are left wondering what the best step forward is for treating black skin and helping it to maintain its overall health and appearance. This and similar questions will be answered in today’s blog post, so stick around if you want to find out more. This next part will be a brief explanation of mandelic acid and the benefits it delivers to the skin.
What is mandelic acid?
- Derived from bitter almonds and formulated into an array of skincare products
- Known for being gentle on the skin and can be used by all skin types
- Sloughs away the layer of dead skin cells, dirt, bacteria, and debris that build-up on the surface of the skin
- By ridding the skin of this build-up, you will find the signs of premature ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles
- Helps to clear the skin from acne by unclogging the pores. It can do this with its antibacterial properties helping to dissolve the comedones, also known as whiteheads and blackheads whilst helping to remove any excess sebum
- Known for delivering chemical exfoliation that is more tolerable for those with sensitive skin and darker skin tones
- If you wanted to find out more about mandelic acid and how it works on the skin, check out our dedicated blog post.
Which acid is good for black skin?
I have already briefly discussed the best ways to treat black skin. Due to the increased risk of developing hyperpigmentation and areas of melasma you must treat it gently. In fact, it is considered that lighter skin types can endure a more abrasive exfoliation, which will cause an array of issues for those with a dark or black skin type.
The best acids to use for black skin are those thought to be the mildest of the AHA collection, such as lactic acid and mandelic acid. Both acids have larger molecular sizes meaning they work mainly on the outer surface of the skin and rarely cause irritation, redness, or flare-ups. This doesn’t mean they are unable to treat the skin effectively and rid any signs of dryness, flaky patches of skin, and a dull, lack lustre appearance.
Find out more about how these AHAs work on the skin by checking out The Beauty Insiders.
How do you use mandelic acid for dark skin?
Mandelic acid is found in a few product formulations. These can vary from cleansers, toners, serums, moisturisers, and treatment face masks. Depending on the product you choose will determine when in your routine it should be applied to the skin. To reap the rewards from your skincare products, you should apply them starting with the thinnest consistency, to the thickest. This will ensure the active ingredients are able to absorb into the skin without having to encounter the physical barrier formed on the skin by other thicker formulas.
You can also supercharge the benefits of mandelic acid by teaming it with other potent actives, such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide. These are all packed with antioxidant properties ensuring the lipid barrier of the skin is strengthened and able to ward off any exposure to free radical damage, such as pollution, UV rays, central heating, and other environmental aggressors.
It is important to remain mindful of the fact that its chemical exfoliation, even the mildest kind, can increase the photosensitivity of the skin. Therefore, it is important to apply a daily SPF to ward off any sun damage that can cause further hyperpigmentation and melasma on the skin.
Is mandelic acid good for skin of colour?
Yes, mandelic acid is highly effective for all skin tones, especially for those with a darker tone as its gentle approach benefits the skin without being too abrasive. As I have already mentioned, dark skin tends to suffer from hyperpigmentation more than lighter tones. Therefore, it is important to take some time to find the most effective routine containing effective ingredients that enable the skin to remain in its healthiest state.
Mandelic acid contains a couple of unique qualities compared to other AHAs, such as its ability to micro-exfoliate. This means mandelic acid can lift away excess pigment on the skin surface helping to brighten the skin tone resulting in an even complexion. Although it is a gentle exfoliant, it is also able to work further down into the skin inhibiting the production of melanin. This then leads to the areas of hyperpigmentation are prevented from getting darker when exposed to UV rays.
As effective as mandelic acid is at combating discolouration of the skin, it is also able to combat signs of ageing, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity. With the light exfoliation you’ll find over time the complexion is renewed leaving you with a plumper, firmer, vibrant, and healthy-looking skin. The question of whether mandelic acid will lighten the skin is not possible. This is because mandelic acid is unable to exfoliate the skin so much it has an impact on the skin pigment. With continued use you’ll find the complexion becomes more even and existing signs of sunspots, melasma, acne scarring, and age spots are all notably reversed, and the acid can ward off any further damage caused to the skin.
Although I have described mandelic acid to be one of the mildest alpha hydroxy acids, you’ll find it is still an acid, and everyone has a different skin. Therefore, it is important to consult with a doctor or dermatologist to ensure you are introducing the best and most effective ingredient into your daily skincare routine. If you have any further skincare questions, you can come and find one of our experts over on our Instagram.