I always find it so interesting to see when certain ingredients have their moment in the spotlight. Mandelic acid is certainly having its time to shine, yet it’s an ingredient that has always been around. Coined as the new hyaluronic acid, mandelic acid is one ingredient we are all obsessing over, but with this interest comes questions. That is exactly what we plan to answer in today’s blog post, so stick around as we discover how often you can use mandelic acid, and the results you can expect to see on your skin.
Don’t worry if you find yourself still not fully understanding mandelic acid and how it works on the skin as I will have a brief recap, if you are clued up with this trending powerhouse, you can skip this part.
What is Mandelic Acid?
- Derived from bitter almonds mandelic acid is a member of the alpha hydroxy acid, also known as AHA, family. These are a collection of exfoliating acid that come in a variety of strengths and mainly work on the outer surface of the skin.
- Mandelic acid can work help improve skin problems, such as acne, hyperpigmentation, improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin texture.
- Known for being very gentle on the skin, more so than lactic acid which has gained a reputation for being a suitable acid for those with dry and sensitive skin types.
- Mandelic acid can be used by all skin types, even sensitive due to the way it works on the skin, penetrating the skin at a slower rate making it less irritated.
- Contains antimicrobrial properties meaning it can target acne and regulate the sebum production. This results in the pores being unclogged and inflammations are reduced leading to less breakouts.
- By working on stimulating the skin’s collagen, mandelic acid can help treat melasma, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and dark spots caused by sun damage.
- Removing the outer layer of dead skin cells and build-up of impurities lead to the skin texture becoming smoother and skin feel firmer.
You can find out more about mandelic acid over in our Skin School. Now that we have had a quick refresher, let’s investigate this clever AHA more.
Can mandelic acid be used daily?
Yes, you can, but only if your skin is happy for you applying it. As gentle as mandelic acid for the skin, everyone is different and it really is dependent on how your skin reacts to AHAs, and other exfoliating skin ingredients. If you find you have a sensitive skin type, the best way to introduce mandelic acid into your routine is by starting slowly. Try using it once a day in the evening, remembering to perform a patch test for 24 hours before applying it onto the face. This will help you understand how your skin reacts and build its tolerance over time without the worry of causing irritation.
Don’t forget that mandelic acid works at exfoliating the skin, this can lead to it becoming increasingly sensitive to exposure to the sun. It is vital to your skin’s health that you apply a daily sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and above to keep ward of free radicals and further skin damage.
How often should I use mandelic acid on my face?
As I have already suggested this is very much dependant on how your skin reacts to acids. If you have introduced mandelic acid properly into your skincare routine, you will find there is no issue or need for concern about using the acid twice a day.
I would, however, suggest keeping an eye on how your skin is feeling and reacting to any new product or formula. If there is an increase in redness, irritation, flaky, dry patches of skin, and itching it is a clear sign you must stop using the product. Negative reactions to mandelic acid are rare, so there’s no need to worry too much.
I have already mentioned this, but ensuring you apply sunscreen on a daily basis. Even on days that are drizzly and overcast, you must always apply your SPF. This will keep the skin protected from UV rays, in particular UVA. This ray, unlike UVB, is constantly present and can penetrate through clouds, water, and glass.
Alternatively, many tend to leave mandelic acid application for their evening routine. This not only leaves the acid to work on the skin undisturbed whilst you catch some beauty sleep. But you will also find it removes the worry or risk of overexposure to harmful UV rays.
How long do you leave mandelic acid on?
Ideally, you want to keep your mandelic acid product on the skin for about 20 minutes before applying anything else. These may seem like a long time, but due to mandelic acid penetrates the skin at a slower rate it requires longer to reach the areas it’s needed.
This can be altered slightly due to the formula you use that contains mandelic acid. The most popular products used are usually exfoliating toners, and serums. Both products remain on the skin for different times which will determine how long you will have to wait until you can continue applying your skincare routine. It is also useful to remember this to find the best product formula that will best suit your skin type. Exfoliating toners for example are best for those with dry skin that is prone to sensitivity as toners don’t remain on the skin for too long.
What should I not mix with mandelic acid?
You should avoid using mandelic acid with other alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, and the popular anti-ageing ingredient retinoids. This doesn’t however mean you are unable to use mandelic acid with other actives, here are a couple of examples of how the acid works on the skin.
Firstly, you will find that mandelic acid is able to tackle a number of skin concerns single-handily so the need to combine it with other exfoliating actives is unneeded. Secondly, you’ll find there is some products available that do have a blend of acids combined. These formulas are highly potent and effective on the skin and if used correctly will deliver impressive results.
What to do after applying mandelic acid?
Once you have applied mandelic acid and waited for the active to penetrate the skin, you can then follow it with a serum formula rich in hyaluronic acid and other hydrating ingredients. Using a humectant ingredient will help draw moisture into the skin and lock it into place keeping the skin plumped, hydrated, and healthy. You can then top this with a moisture to create a protective layer on the skin surface allowing the active ingredients to work on the skin will limited contact with free radicals and other environmental aggressors.
There you have a little more information about mandelic acid and how it works on the skin, don’t forget you can come and follow our Instagram and if you have any further questions, you’ll find one of our skincare experts in the direct messages.