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Of all the alpha hydroxy acids, mandelic acid is the one that seems to always get an honorable mention but is otherwise not talked about much. I am starting this thread out of curiosity mainly. Who uses skincare products with mandelic acid, why, and what are your results with it? How widespread is the use of mandelic acid in skincare as opposed to other AHAs?

What about side effects of using it? For instance salicylic acid will make my skin fairly red and irritated. How does mandelic acid fare in comparison?

Thanks!

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From what I know it's mainly used in chemical peels and especially suitable unlike some other alpha hydroxy acids for people with darker skin tones. Those are more prone to pigmentation mess ups from chemical peels and mandelic acid apparently comes with reduced risks in that area. I don't doubt mind you that it's also used in plenty of exfoliant and perhaps cleansing products for skin. Just a matter of what's best for your personal skin type and issues you may have. Plenty to choose from and if mandelic acid is right for you, you're likely to have darker skin and apparently it really, really does a good job at banishing blackheads as well which sounds good to me.

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Mandelic acid fights signs of aging, can reduce hyper-pigmentation, and helps get rid of acne. It is becoming more and more popular now, not just in chemical peels but also as exfoliators and cleansers. You can go for a 25 percent mandelic acid peel for instance, the consistency is more watery than other AHAs but its effect is better with less downtime as well. Definitely an under considered alpha hydroxy acid though gaining following now.
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Mandelic acid is almond-derived, and works very well for acne and signs of aging. Interestingly, having read about its effects, it seems that mandelic acid is much better tolerated by people with sensitive, easily irritated skin than other alpha hydroxy acids, and even when compared to retin A. It can also be used to reduce hyperpigmentation. As one of the AHAs that came into use only more recently, it can still seem obscure at times but is certainly one of those things that people with sensitive skin but with acne, wrinkles they'd prefer not to have, and hyperpigmentation should consider incorporating in their skincare regime.

Rosie

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I have personally had excellent results with mandelic acid peels. I had 40% percent peels myself and they did my skin the world of good. I am mixed race and I wanted to say that mandelic acid is one of the safer peels for people with darker skin, which so far hadn't come up here yet. It is also excellent for sun damage in light skin tones. All in all, I would say that mandelic acid peels are an underutilized choice in skincare, and you are right to think that such peels can benefit you.
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Compared to glycolic acid, mandelic acid is more powerful because it effectively unclogs the pores by going straight for the blackheads and whiteheads. However, as it is gentler, you may need a little more time to see the benefits of using mandelic acid. The upside of this is that you are much less likely to experience skin irritation and related side effects as well.

Though most popular as a mild peel and in exfoliators, you can also get mandelic acid serums, which will help you fight acne.

Hope that helps.
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