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Can Mandelic Acid Be Used With Vitamin C?

Everyone will benefit from a skincare routine that contains AHAs in some way. Whether it’s PHA, lactic acid, or glycolic acid, you’ll find one that works best for your skin type. In the case of Vitamin C, this ingredient may need a little more time to introduce its active ingredients into your routine. Can the combination of these powerful forces improve your results, or will it lead to disaster?




That’s exactly what we’ll explore in today’s blog post. Before we get into the details, let’s briefly cover what each ingredient does for your skin and what benefits you can expect.


What is Mandelic Acid?


An acid that belongs to the AHA chemical peel class, also known as alpha hydroxy acid.


Extracted from bitter almonds and synthesized before being added to skincare formulas.


Known as one of the gentlest acids, it’s suitable for people with sensitive skin.

Effectively removes dead skin cells, dirt, bacteria, debris, and other impurities from the skin.

Exfoliation reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, allowing newer skin cells to appear on the surface and tightening the skin.

Although it’s a gentle acid, it can also penetrate the skin and reach the pores to remove excess sebum, dirt, and other forms of bacteria.

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

What is Vitamin C?


Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid or ascorbic acid.

Rich in antioxidants, it protects the skin from overexposure to free radicals, such as pollution, UV rays, central heating and other environmental aggressors.

Targets areas of hyperpigmentation, dark spots, sun damage and acne scars.

Helps to rejuvenate the complexion, restore radiance and glow.

Stimulates collagen production for firmer skin with youthful elasticity.

Contains anti-inflammatory properties, which helps reduce skin redness and similar issues.

Learn more about Vitamin C in The Beauty Insiders.

What not to mix with Mandelic Acid?

Even though I mentioned that Mandelic Acid is very gentle, it still exfoliates the skin and can cause some side effects if used with the wrong active ingredients.


Ingredients that should be avoided when mixed with Mandelic Acid include other AHAs (like glycolic acid), BHAs (like salicylic acid), and retinol (especially when found in chemical peels).


Can AHAs and Vitamin C be used together?


Yes, but make sure you use them correctly to avoid unwanted side effects. There are multiple ways to effectively combine AHAs and Vitamin C.


Option 1-


First, apply the AHA with a face wash or exfoliating toner, wait for about 10 minutes, and then apply a Vitamin C-rich serum. Allow enough time between applications to avoid the risk of irritation, as the skin's natural pH will be restored to balance and the skin will be ready for further use.


Option 2-


Apply your AHA-rich product and your Vitamin C product at different times of the day. Many people prefer to use Vitamin C in the morning because of its antioxidant properties and the glow it gives to the skin. Then, in the evening, use an AHA product, whether a toner or a serum, to clear the skin of impurities and other debris.


If you are new to both ingredients and plan to introduce new products into your routine, I recommend doing a 24-hour patch test before applying any product to your face.


Do I need to use a moisturizer after using Mandelic Acid?

Yes, absolutely. In fact, applying a moisturizer after using mandelic acid will help to counteract any possible dryness and irritation from a chemical peel. You will also notice that moisturizer creates a physical barrier on the surface of the skin. This barrier keeps the applied active ingredients from interfering with free radicals, such as: B, environmental pollution. You will also find that a layer of moisturizer helps to lock in moisture on the surface, keeping the lipid barrier healthy and functional.


Which toner should I use before applying a vitamin C serum?


You can use any facial toner before applying a vitamin C serum. It is important to allow enough time between applications. Keeping this time will also bring the pH back into balance, preventing skin irritation, redness, and itching.


You will also find that using a toner with exfoliating acids will remove the buildup of dead skin cells and flaky skin, both of which usually act as a barrier and prevent other ingredients from penetrating.


Can mandelic acid be used daily?


Yes, it can, as long as you have established your skin's tolerance to it, especially if you have a dry and sensitive skin type. You can do a patch test first to establish skin tolerance, as this will help you determine what effect the ingredient has on you and your skin.


The very large molecular size of mandelic acid means that it cannot penetrate very deeply into the skin compared to other acids such as salicylic acid or glycolic acid. This allows mandelic acid to work on the outer layer of the skin, bringing new skin cells to the surface for a radiant, healthy and happy complexion.

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