Adult Acne and Melasma

Mandelic acid may be a good choice of chemical peels for adult acne, hyperpigmentation, and/or melasma  if glycolic acid isn't working.

Mandelic is an alpha hydroxy acid made from the extract of bitter almonds; it has strong antibacterial properties and the ability to lighten skin, which makes it perfect for treating acne (not just for adults) that is present along with discoloration.

Mandelic acid penetrates the skin more slowly than glycolic acid because its molecular size is larger, thereby staying active on the surface longer, which makes it ideal for treating acne and discoloration.

Mandelic acid has a longer neutralization period and it's not irritating, so it will stay active on the face longer, which also contributes to its ability to fight acne and discoloration effectively.

There are several studies touting the power of mandelic acid for adult acne, melasma, and hyperpigmentation—even wrinkles; here are a couple: Mandelic-salicylic acid combo peel vs. glycolic acid and
Mandelic acid for melasma and adult acne

Mandelic acid products are available in different forms, and a couple of the most popular are M2 Skin Care HP Skin Refinish 20% and NuCelle Mandelic Serum 15%. There’s also a cleanser form that gets good reviews: M2 Skin Technologies Exfoliating Cleanser. I like these because they have good reviews by people who have used them, but there are many others.

I have never used mandelic acid, but I wish I would have known about it ten years ago when my adult acne started. I also had malasma when I took BCPs, so it would have been the perfect product for me!

Mandelic acid has long been used in the medical community as an antibacterial, particularly in the treatment of urinary tract infections, as well as an oral antibiotic. Its use as a skincare was pioneered by James E. Fulton, M.D., who developed tretinoin (Retin A). On the basis of this research, dermatologists now suggest mandelic acid for a wide variety of skin concerns, but especially melasma, acne, and hyperpigmentation.

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