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What is Mandelic Acid?

Mandelic acid is an increasingly popular alpha hydroxy acid treatment known for its unique anti-aging and antibacterial properties. Know chemically as alpha-hydroxybenzeneacetic acid, Mandelic acid is derived from bitter almond; its name, too, is derived from the German word for almond, mandel.

Mandelic acid is larger than Glycolic acid, the most popular alpha hydroxy acid, which makes it better tolerated on the skin. Mandelic acid belongs to a group of AHAs known as aromatic alpha hydroxy acids, and is the smallest aromatic AHA.

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. Lately, Mandelic acid has been receiving greater attention as a topical skin care treatment. Dermatologists now suggest Mandelic acid as an appropriate treatment for a wide variety of skin concerns, from acne to wrinkles; it is especially good in the treatment of adult acne as it addresses both of these concerns. Mandelic acid is also recommended is a pre- and post-laser treatment, reducing the amount and length of irritation caused by laser resurfacing.