May 23, 2024
Skincare Ingredient Deep Dive: Mandelic Acid
Skincare ingredient deep dive mandelic acid
Exfoliants Mandelic Acid

Skincare Ingredient Deep Dive: Mandelic Acid

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

Skincare ingredient deep dive mandelic acid

Mandelic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid with anti-bacterial properties commonly used in skincare to exfoliate skin. Mandelic acid has grown in popularity over the years for its gentle exfoliating and skin-renewing properties. Let’s take a deep dive into mandelic acid so you can learn more about its properties, benefits, and some helpful studies to decide if you want to add this exfoliant to your skincare routine.


Mandelic acid is large in molecule size, which means it does not penetrate as deeply but still exfoliates the surface of the skin without causing as much irritation as other alpha-hydroxy acids. Mandelic acid is  Mandelic acid is formulated with a typical pH range of 3–4. While mandelic acid is originally derived from bitter almonds, it is primarily formulated synthetically.


  • Gentle exfoliation
  • Acne treatment
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Anti-aging effects

How to use

  • Serum: Mandelic acid serums typically range from 5 to 15%. Most mandelic acid serums are formulated with additional ingredients to enhance efficacy or to provide additional skincare benefits, such as hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, or antioxidants.
  • Peel: Mandelic acid peels are more concentrated and potent and are typically administered by a skincare professional. At-home peels are available but contain lower percentages of mandelic acid. Peels that contain mandelic acid address a myriad of skincare issues, such as hyperpigmentation, acne, uneven skin tone, and uneven texture.
  • Deodorant: Mandelic acid has antibacterial properties that have been found to solve the root cause of body odor. In addition, mandelic acid’s exfoliating properties remove dead skin that builds up and traps odors. Mandelic acid as a deodorant also keeps the armpit area free of ingrown hairs and shaving bumps. Most deodorants that contain mandelic acid are marketed as ‘whole body deodorants’.

Side Effects

  • Sun sensitivity: Sunscreen is crucial when using any exfoliating acid. Mandelic acid can increase skin sensitivity to UV radiation

Study notes

  1. Mandelic acid stimulates collagen production
  2. A 45% mandelic acid peel is as effective for acne as a 30% salicylic acid peel with better safety and tolerability results
  3. Mandelic acid treats acne vulgaris 
  4. Mandelic acid improves elasticity and firmness

Shop Mandelic Acid

Author: routineskin