Friday, December 8, 2006

Mandelic acid is amazing against blackheads ..., Exfoliates and tightens pores; antibacterial; anti-inflammatory

After 4 months on retinoids (Green Cream, Diacneal, Retin A), I have managed to get rid of all of my old bumps and inflamed acne ... but the pores in my T-zone were still getting badly congested every couple of weeks, resulting in blackheads and microzits. Since I'm a habitual picker, and my skin is currently very fragile from the retinoids, these clogged pores were creating a real problem for me.

As soon as I started reading about mandelic acid, I knew I had to try it. The trouble was, the first MA product I tried really does not work well with Green Cream -- and I LOVE Green Cream and will not give it up! I could see that the MA was zapping the blackheads and tightening my pores, but unfortunately it was also burning my skin -- which is not supposed to happen. Mandelic is a very mild AHA.

Anyway, I finally found a new MA product that I can use with retinoids, and I am just loving it. My pores are tighter and clearer than I ever thought possible and my blackheads are almost entirely extinct.

So here are my product recommendations:

If you have oily skin and are NOT using retinoids, you should be able to use the Vivant mandelic acid serum sold on the Diana Yvonne site. I suggest buying a sample first to try it out. This is probably the purest, most powerful and effective mandelic product out there.

If you have dry or sensitive skin, are using retinoids or other anti-acne products, or just find that you can't tolerate the Vivant mandelic, you are probably better off going with the alcohol-free mandelic acid serum made and sold by Garden of Wisdom. They make a 10% version and a 15% version. Sample sizes are available. I use the 10% if I'm layering it under retinoids and 15% if I'm using it by itself.

Mandelic acid needs about 30 minutes to absorb into the skin and "do its thing" -- so you should apply it to clean dry skin, and not apply anything else for at least 30 minutes.

A little more info about mandelic acid: here's a quote from Deb, the Forum Host at the Diana Yvonne SkinCare Board:

It works in the same manner as salicylic acid, except it cannot penetrate as deep into the pore as salicylic acid. Thus, it increases cell turnover within the pore, causing the release of comedones. As soon as you stop using it faithfully, just like salicylic acid, back they come!

I think the reason people rave about mandelic acid is that it is an AHA with some BHA properties. As well as being antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and lipid permeable (thus the pore exfoliation), it is a gentle 15% AHA at a low pH. AHAs exfoliate the epidermis much better than with salicylic acid, which cannot penetrate very deeply into the epidermal layers. So, the skin is smoother, tighter and more even in tone. Thus, the AHA activity combined with the lipid permeability aids in the appearance of smaller pores.

By LionQueen


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acne free in 3 days said...

In my knowledge Mandelic acid has a long history of use in the medical community as an antibacterial, I was thinking it maybe good in acne treatment but I think too that it might irritate skin more or burn skin. Maybe if it will apply only at the amount that the skin can tolerate it will damage the skin, acne is such an annoying thing and can make your face horrible if not be treated properly.

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Betty said...

Hi there, Great article, you might also want to check a product called epHiderm, it features mandelic and salcylic acids along with a synergizer, and the results are absolutely amazing, just google ephiderm.

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Anonymous said...

Great post, if you want to try something else that's effective against acne as well, then try ephiderm, it is also a mandelic acid product and the results are amazing, i use it once a day and almost all pimples are gone.

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