Can Mandelic Acid Be Used Every Night?

Can Mandelic Acid Be Used Every Night?

Mandelic acid, just like the other members of the alpha hydroxy acid family, deliver several skin results. With so many acids to choose from, you can bet your money there is one to suit your needs. Having said that, being so spoilt for choice can result in finding the right acid is certainly a challenge.

You’ll find that most of the time AHAs, such as glycolic acid and lactic acid are more commonly known, which can often lead to lesser-known acid, such as mandelic acid to be left on the side lines.

Having said that, mandelic acid is an underdog and provides impressive results leaving you with an all-over improved complexion and glowing skin.

What is Mandelic acid?

  • Mandelic acid is derived from bitter almonds and formulated into several skincare products that are available over the counter and used in professional skin peels.
  • Mandelic acid helps to exfoliate the top layer of skin, ridding it of the build-up of dead skin cells and other debris.
  • By sloughing away this barrier, the skin will look luminous, and will help absorb other actives rapidly.
  • Mandelic acid is known for being gentle on the skin, compared to other AHAs it’s well tolerated by sensitive skin types. This is due to its larger molecular size meaning it is unable to penetrate too far and cause irritation.
  • Helps to boost collagen production leaving you with firmer, plumper looking skin.
  • Can combat signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles giving the complexion a smoother finish.
  • Often used as a gentle alternative for treating acne, by reducing inflammations, regulating sebum production, and removing bacteria resulting in fewer blemishes.
  • Also known for its ability to target signs of hyperpigmentation, dark spots, acne scarring, and sun damage.
  • Find out more about mandelic acid over on the Skin School.

Now, let’s explore today’s blog post and find out whether you can use mandelic acid every night?

Can you use mandelic acid every night?

Yes, you can if your skin can tolerate an acid every night. As I have already mentioned, its molecular size is quite large meaning it works on the outer surface of the skin. Unlike its potent cousin, such as glycolic acid, it doesn’t penetrate too far into the lower layers or deep into the pores helping to limit the risk of causing irritation.

Many find they prefer to use mandelic acid in the evening as it allows the acids to work effectively on the skin, undisturbed from exposure to free radicals, such as UV light, pollution, and harsh climates. You’ll also find that your skin naturally repairs itself whilst you sleep (it’s called beauty sleep for a reason after all) this boosts the results of mandelic acid leaving you with rejuvenated, vibrant, repaired, glowing skin once the morning comes.

How often should you use mandelic acid?

It is often considered more effective when you apply mandelic acid in the evening. You’ll also find that many users enjoy teaming the acid with other hydrating acids, such as hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide. This not only helps mandelic acid absorb into the skin rapidly but will counteract any dryness to the skin.

If you are new to using mandelic acid, or you are introducing a new formula into your routine, I would suggest performing a patch test for 24 hours before applying any of the product to your skin. 

We have a fully dedicated blog post about when to use mandelic acid, so don’t forget to take a look at that for more information.

How is mandelic acid used in routine?

This is dependent on the product mandelic acis is formulated in. Mandelic acid is found in all manner of products, from cleanser, toners, serums, and moisturisers. When you use them in your routine will be determined from the formula. What I mean by this, is to reap the rewards of your skincare products, you must apply them in an order from thinnest to thickest, this will prevent any products with thinner consistencies having to combat a barrier created by thicker consistencies.

What should I not mix mandelic acid with?

It is best to avoid using mandelic acid with other potent ingredient such as, retinol, salicylic acid, and other exfoliating acids. This is because mixing these powerhouses together will be too much for the skin and will result in redness, breakouts, irritation, dry patches of skin and general discomfort.

If you ever have any concerns with incorporating mandelic acid in your routine, consult with a doctor or dermatologist to find out the most successful way of using your skincare products and gaining the best results.

Is mandelic acid good for acne scars?

Yes, absolutely, mandelic acid is great for combating acne scars as it can improve the pigmentation of post acne scarring. These are a result of deep tissue damage and an overproduction of melanin to the surface of the skin. Over time and with constant exposure to UV rays, these scars can look darker. With the exfoliating benefits of mandelic acid, you’ll find the pigment is reduced and less noticeable to the naked eye. Don’t forget to combat any potential dryness, try teaming mandelic acid with hyaluronic acid to help maintain the skin barrier and keep the skin hydrated and healthy. Be mindful however, that is pigmentation can return if you do not apply a daily SPF of 30 and above daily.

What are the side effects of mandelic acid?

Much like all acids, if you overuse mandelic acid, you are likely to cause irritation to the skin, the most common side effects are.

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Discomfort
  • Tenderness
  • Increase sensitivity

If you find yourself suffering from any of these, stop using your product and seek the advice from your doctor or dermatologist.

There you have a little more information about using mandelic acid, and whether you can apply it every night. If you have any further questions, come, and find us on Instagram, one of our skin experts will be happy to help you.


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