Can mandelic acid be used daily?

 It’s easy to understand why the idea of ​​using an acid on your skin can be intimidating. This is exacerbated when the acid in question isn’t as well-known as other acids, such as glycolic and salicylic acid. Mandelic acid isn’t necessarily a new ingredient, but it’s still niche enough that it doesn’t fly under the radar, with only the truly obsessed skincare fans knowing about its benefits and incorporating it into their skincare routines.

Don’t worry, because if you’re wondering what mandelic acid is and what benefits it can have for your skin, the next section is for you.

What is mandelic acid? And what benefits does it have for your skin?

Mandelic acid is a member of the AHA family, also known as alpha hydroxy acids. It’s derived from, among other things, because it’s considered one of the gentlest.

Derived from bitter almonds, it’s formulated into a wide range of skincare product formulas.

Exfoliates the top layer of skin to remove the buildup of dead skin cells, bacteria, dirt, debris, and other impurities.

It also penetrates deep into the pores to remove excess sebum, dirt, and bacteria that can lead to pimples, blackheads, and other blemishes.

Speeds up cell turnover and helps break down the bonds that hold skin cells together. By removing dead skin cells, the complexion appears brighter, more vibrant, and has a healthy glow.

Fine lines and wrinkles are visibly reduced, and skin feels firmer, thanks to the extra boost in collagen production, which helps fight signs of aging.

Reduces the amount of melasma on the skin, lightens areas of hyperpigmentation, and makes skin tone more even.

Has antibacterial properties and the ability to regulate skin sebum production, making it an extremely useful ingredient for acne-prone skin.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of mandelic acid, read our dedicated blog post.

When shouldn’t mandelic acid be used?

Although mandelic acid is considered the gentlest of acids, it can still cause irritation and increase the risk of sensitivity. To avoid this, I recommend not using mandelic acid with retinol, especially if you are new to both ingredients. If you plan to use mandelic acid for a chemical peel, completely avoid retinol for two weeks before and one week after the peel.

You should also not apply mandelic acid to sunburned or tanned skin. This is because the acid is too strong and can cause irritation, dryness, redness, and increased itching. Despite its gentle nature, mandelic acid is best combined with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid or niacinamide to lock in moisture in the skin and keep it healthy, happy, and hydrated.

If you have concerns about using mandelic acid or any other acid, consult a dermatologist or other physician to avoid unwanted side effects.

Can I use mandelic acid twice a day?

Yes, absolutely. In fact, most skin care experts recommend using mandelic acid twice a day. This doesn’t mean you should start using it twice a day right away. Instead, it’s recommended to use it once in the evening. Once your skin develops tolerance, you can use it twice a day.

Due to the antioxidant properties of mandelic acid, when applied to the skin in the morning, it protects the skin from free radical damage caused by things like pollution, UV rays, and other environmental influences. When you reapply mandelic acid in the evening, these same antioxidant properties will work on any pre-existing damage. They are able to repair and rejuvenate, targeting problem areas of aging, loss of firmness, sun damage, dull complexion, and lack of radiance.

Considering that everyone has different skin, and our skincare routines vary widely, it’s important to remember that what works for one person may not work for you. So if you try using mandelic acid twice a day but find it's too much for your skin, there's nothing wrong with cutting back to once a day.

Does mandelic acid cause rashes?

Yes, it can, when you're introducing it into your daily routine. These rashes, also known as sweating, are a common result of using chemical peels, especially if you haven't used them on your skin before. The reason your skin sweats is because the skin cell turnover is accelerated due to the peeling, which then sucks out all the "gunpowder" in the pores and lower layers of the skin. Once these impurities build up to the surface, they show up as spots, such as blackheads, whiteheads, and active acne.

Clear skin can be daunting, but it's only a short-term problem, and many people achieve clear skin after two weeks at the latest. If you have other rashes, it could be an allergic reaction. I recommend that you stop using mandelic acid products and consult your doctor for further advice.

How to use mandelic acid in your daily routine?

A lot depends on the product that mandelic acid is formulated with. In fact, there's a basic skincare rule that requires you to use products in the correct order. Start with the thinnest consistency and work your way up to the thickest formula. For example, start with cleanser or face wash, toner, serum, face oil, moisturizer, and finally your sunscreen for the day. Making sure you apply these products in the correct order prevents active ingredients from competing with the physical barrier created by thicker products on the skin's surface.

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