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Professional AHA Applications: Mandelic Acid Peel

Mandelic Acid Peel
Healthy radiant skin at Hale Cosmeceuticals.

Exfoliation is one of the keys to healthy radiant skin. There are two basic ways to exfoliate:

    1. Mechanically by sloughing away dead skin cells with a gentle abrasive (never fruit pits!)
    2. Chemically by encouraging cell turnover with a chemical peel

For some people, the chemical exfoliation of common chemical peels is a bit too effective, leaving their skin red and irritated…but not anymore. Mandelic acid, derived from bitter almonds, is proving effective but gentler than its alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) relatives.

How AHAs Work

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) have been used in skin care products for years because of their exfoliation effects. AHAs work by weakening the bonds between (dead) cells in the stratum corneum—the uppermost layer of skin. The weakened bonds make natural shedding easier and reveal new cells at the surface, which:

    • Improves texture
    • Unclogs pores
    • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

AHAs may also stimulate collagen and elastin production, which makes skin firmer and more elastic.

Benefits of Mandelic Acid Peel

To date, the most common AHA peels used glycolic acid or lactic acid (or a combination of both). However, these two AHAs have very small molecules that are quickly absorbed into the skin. For some, that rapid absorption means aggressive exfoliation…and the redness and irritation to show it. Mandelic acid, on the other hand, has larger molecules that are more slowly absorbed into the skin. The slower absorption rate translates into gentler exfoliation. People with sensitive skin, even those with rosacea, have been able to use mandelic acid peels without adverse effects.

The gentleness of mandelic acid as a chemical exfoliant is also good for those with darker skin tones. The irritation that glycolic and/or lactic acid may cause can stimulate melanin production, resulting in hyperpigmentation. The same reaction is not observed with the use of mandelic acid peels.

As a chemical exfoliant, mandelic acid has other benefits beyond its gentleness. Unlike other AHAs, mandelic acid has antibacterial and bactericidal properties. That makes this AHA an excellent choice for those with an oily skin type who are more likely or already battling acne.

Professional Application

Although the client makes the decision, we recommend our mandelic acid peel for those with hyperpigmentation, Melasma, age spots and Fitzpatrick skin types 4-6. To use the peel, cleanse the face first, then apply mandelic acid with a gauge pad or fan brush in the treatment areas and let sit for 30 seconds (or longer if needed). To remove the peel, apply DMAE neutralizer 5% to neutralize the acid. Apply Dermist DM3HA immediately post-treatment to reduce redness and hydrate skin.

Our mandelic acid peel is available in different concentrations—20%, 35% and 50% at 2.0 pH. All peels require professional application and may be done every three to four weeks. For enhanced results, pair our mandelic acid peel with our other skin brightening products for a radiant glow.


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