What is Mandelic Acid?

Zara Kassam BSc (Hons), MRes, PhD researcher
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What is Mandelic acid?

Mandelic acid is a mild acid that is one of the many acids known as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s).[1] It is derived from Almonds.

 

What does it do?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids like Mandelic Acid are often used in skin care as exfoliants – chemicals that work to loosen and remove the top layers of dead skin cells.

It is an alternative to glycolic acid and has anti-bacterial properties making it a good option for acne prone skin. AHA’s are not only useful in exfoliating the skin but they also encourage collagen production. It can also be useful in treating areas of hyperpigmentation.[2]

 

Safety?

Mandelic acid is diluted for skin care and in these concentrations is considered safe for use. It may cause irritation for some people and should be kept out of eye. If it gets in eyes flush with water.

 

Shoppers tip: Mandelic acid is light sensitive and will oxidize unless it’s stored in opaque or amber (light proof) containers.

 

Other names

α-Hydroxyphenylacetic acid[3], 2-Hydroxy-2-phenylacetic acid, Phenylglycolic acid

 

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[1] Bjerrum, J., et al. Stability Constants, Chemical Society, London, 1958.

[2]  Edwin Ritzer and Rudolf Sundermann “Hydroxycarboxylic Acids, Aromatic” in Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2002, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim.

[3]http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/aldrich/m2101?lang=en&region=GB&gclid=Cj0KEQiAv4jDBRCC1IvzqqDnkYYBEiQA89utokjfRCqXLEgrUG1_8ye3mEpl79Fnp7H9w_gN6_FmD2kaAj9F8P8HA

[4] Link text here