Last year, I started playing around with a new ingredient, mandelic acid. I first heard about it during a skin-care formulation course that I took a few years back. I remember one of my fellow classmates was raving about the benefits of mandelic acid for acneic skin.

The best part of my work is the feeling I get when someone tells me that a product we have developed has positively changed her skin. I absolutely love hearing those stories—it inspires me to keep on researching and developing more great products to help people look and feel fabulous. Sometimes those compliments come from unexpected places. I’m used to hearing from women I know or customers at the spas, but lately I’m hearing from the men in my life. For example, my nephew said that all the guys at army boot camp fought over his vitamin A serum that he used to combat the acne stemming from daily sweating and grimy conditions. These unexpected stories are affirmation that we are creating effective products.

mandelic acid

I’ve been doing some research on new ingredients to treat melasma (which causes brown to gray-brown patches on the face) and other pigmentation issues, and mandelic acid keeps popping up. I learned that mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that comes from bitter almonds. One of the qualities that makes it unique is that it has a larger molecule size than other acids such as glycolic and lactic, so it penetrates the skin much more slowly and not as deeply. What this means for pigmentation is that it has more time to “attack” the pigment at the surface layer of the skin where it lives. This quality makes it really great for both sensitive skin types and those with darker skin tones who can’t use glycolic acid.

mandelic acid

As I researched more, I found that mandelic acid is an antimicrobial agent, which is what makes it work so well in acne management. It offers skin-texture benefits because it increases skin cell turnover, which smoothes the skin. When you put all that together you have an ingredient that lightens pigmentation, smoothes the skin and minimizes acne! That’s a powerful ingredient.

This stuff is magic!

Back to that positive feedback story—a few weeks ago, I was at a family function and my sister’s husband, Tom (a big football player type guy), came up to me and said, “Ginge, I don’t know what’s in that magic voodoo potion you just made, but it’s amazing! I used to have a big brown spot on my face, and now it’s gone. Plus, I don’t have any more razor bumps under my chin. That stuff is magic!” I wish you could have seen the smile on my face. I love my work because I get to make people feel great about themselves.

Why not try mandelic acid in your skin-care routine to see what benefits you might enjoy. I hope you get to experience some of that voodoo magic at work in your skin. Please share your feedback if you do—it will bring a big smile to my face.

mandelic acid

Click here to read Ginger Hodulik Downey’s book The Esthetician’s Guide to Outstanding Esthetics.