Instructions for Using Mandelic Acid

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Mandelic acid is derived from bitter almonds.
Mandelic acid is derived from bitter almonds. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Mandelic acid is a type of AHA, or alpha-hydroxy acid. It is derived from bitter almonds, and is in many respects similar to glycolic acid, a more commonly known AHA. AHAs work by loosening or dissolving dead and damaged skin cells to reveal fresher skin. Mandelic acid -- which also has antibiotic properties and has been used medically as a urinary antiseptic -- has recently gained favor, not only for its anti-aging effects, but also for the improvement of acneic and hyper-pigmented conditions. Used as a chemical peel, it can kill bacteria, purify pores, decrease hyper-pigmentation, and soften fine lines.

Things You'll Need

  • Facial cleanser
  • Facial moisturizer

Cleanse your face thoroughly. Gently pat it dry. Do not rub, as this can increase irritation from the peel.

Thorough cleansing allows the acid to work more effectively.
Thorough cleansing allows the acid to work more effectively. (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Saturate a piece of gauze or large cotton swab with the mandelic acid solution. Apply evenly over your face. Leave the solution on your face for about five minutes.

Application with gauze is preferable, since it won't absorb and waste too much product.
Application with gauze is preferable, since it won't absorb and waste too much product. (Image: Siri Stafford/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Rinse the mandelic acid solution from your face using plenty of water and, if necessary, facial cleanser.

It is important to make sure you remove all of the acid solution from your face.
It is important to make sure you remove all of the acid solution from your face. (Image: Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Dry face gently and apply moisturizer liberally.

Moisturizing after the peel helps prevent redness, irritation, and dryness.
Moisturizing after the peel helps prevent redness, irritation, and dryness. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Repeat at least once and up to three times a week.

Repeating the peel over time should promote fresh, younger-looking skin.
Repeating the peel over time should promote fresh, younger-looking skin. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

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