Mandelic Acid Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, Products & FAQs

mandelic acid benefits uses side effects products & faqs

Mandelic acid is a very popular alpha hydroxy acid(AHA). It is found in the form of white crystalline solid and is highly soluble in water and organic solvents that are polar in nature. It is an organic compound, synthesized from an extract of bitter almonds by the process of hydrolysis. However, there are various other methods that can be used for the production of mandelic acid such as the heating of phenylglyoxal with alkalis.

Structure of Mandelic Acid:

The structure of mandelic acid is chiral i.e. the molecule when divided, forms a mirror image. The chemical formula of mandelic acid is C6H5CH(OH)CO2H with a molar mass of 152.15g·mol−1. It has a density of 1.30g/cm3.

structure of mandelic acid

Benefits and uses of Mandelic acid:

Skin Care:

  • It has a wide application in skincare industry and is majorly used as a constituent of chemical skin peels just like other alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). Mandalic acid peels are generally the best for the person who is using the chemical facial peels for the first time.
  • The molecules of mandelic acid are generally bigger in size as compared to glycolic acid or lactic acid molecules and feel less irritating to the skin.
  • However, the working process of mandelic acid products is slow as compared to other alpha hydroxy acid products but they rejuvenate your skin by nourishing the photoaged skin and supports the anti-aging treatment of skin.
  • They also help in the treatment of acne and scars.
    Mandelic acid is oil soluble which makes it different from the other members of alpha hydroxy acids family. Being oil soluble allows mandelic acid to reach down the skin pores and nourish it deeply.
  • It is also used for the treatment of melasma, a skin condition caused by the exposure of skin to the sunlight and causes tanning and dark patches on the skin. It is highly effective for hyperpigmentation.

skin care

Medication and Drugs:

  • Mandelic acid is utilized in the healthcare industry for various purposes. It is used as an antibacterial for the treatment of urinary infections and it is also used widely in the form of oral antibiotic.
  • Esterification of mandelic acid produces widely used drugs like cyclandelate and homatropine.

Mandelic Acid Vs. Glycolic Acid:

Glycolic Acid is a widely used alpha hydroxy acid in the skin care industry for the production of anti-aging and skin care products but the thing that makes mandelic acid different from glycolic acid is the size of the molecule.
Glycolic acids have bigger molecules which makes it easy for the skin to accept it and decreases the irritation caused by the penetration of molecular particles.


Side-effects and Precautions:

Utilization of mandelic acids doesn’t cause major side effects to skin but mandelic acid being an alpha hydroxy acid can make your skin highly sensitive to sunlight. But getting proper SPF sunscreen treatments to avoid harmful exposure can help in protecting your skin from the ultraviolet radiation from the sun.


  • Mandelic acid is used as a constituent of anti-aging skin care products and is generally available in the market in the form of creams, serums, toners, peels and gels.
  • Kaya cosmetics make acne treatment kits and skin toners that contain mandelic acid.
  • Sesderma makes skin care gels and serums containing mandelic acid.
  • Cosmoderm, Rejsol and Dr. WU are some other brands that make products containing mandelic acid and that are available for commercial use.
  • However, pure mandelic acid peels and serums containing mandelic acid in various concentrations are also available in the market and can be bought for personal use.

FAQs: What People Normally want to know about Mandelic Acid?

1.How long does it take to observe the effects of mandelic acid?

It takes about 2-3 weeks for mandelic acid to show its effect on your skin.

2.Is it necessary to use SPF sunscreen treatments with the use of mandelic acid products?

Mandelic acid products don’t cause too many side effects but being the member of the family of alpha hydroxy acids it is advised to use SPF treatments along with the use of mandelic acid products to avoid sun-related problems.

3.Is there any age limit for using products containing mandelic acid?

No, there is no age limit for using mandelic acid products.

4.Can I use mandelic acid peels for acne treatment?

Mandelic acid peels generally work only on cystic acne and barely helps in the treatment of another kind of acne.