The lesser known, but still brilliant chemical exfoliant: mandelic acid

Written by Jenny Wu
Jenny Wu

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Dina says:

    Do you wear the mandelic acid before or after toner?

    • Jenny says:

      All actives, like mandelic acid, should go before toner. The only exception is if your toner contains actives itself (e.g. glycolic acid in the Pixi Glow Tonic), then the mandelic acid would go after.

  2. ZOE says:

    Hi Jenny,
    I’m really glad I’ve got to know your blog since I had no knowledge of what mandelic acid was before, and I’m always happy to learn more!
    Is there any info about the ph level of the Dr. Wu’s and of Dr. Hsieh’s products you’ve mentioned?
    Also, have you tried Naruko’s already? I saw it was in Fiddy’s (fifty shades of snail) beauty stash….

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Zoe, thank you so much for your comment! So glad you found this post helpful!

      I just did a ph test on my Dr.Wu 18% mandelic acid and it’s about 2.5. The Dr.Hsieh mandelic acids are at 3.8 according to their blog post.

      Unfortunately I’ve yet to try Naruko’s mandelic acid because I prefer something stronger. However, I may try it in the future after I finish my current Dr. Wu bottle :)

  3. Alice B says:

    first off, have i mentioned how much your blog helps in educating readers about skincare? i find myself constantly waiting for new posts on your blog since i’m starting to be a skincare junkie right now :P i always learn new stuff here! before this, i wouldn’t know what’s mandelic acid! i couldn’t even differentiate physical and chemical exfoliator before x__x

    hm, the only AHA BHA product i used is Asian (yayhadalabopfft) so i didn’t know that western ones tend to be sticky? new information there. i can’t wait to see what you hauled from japan tbh! xD

    • Jenny says:

      Seriously, THANK YOU for your comment, you have no idea how much it cheered me up when I read it! And I’m so excited that I’m converting people to becoming skincare junkies, haha! It’s a learning process for all of us and the more that join the journey, the better :D

      Does hada labo have AHA/BHA products? I think one of their cleanser mentions AHA/BHA, but I don’t think the pH level is low enough for the acids to work correctly. But yes, from my experience, Asian exfoliants tend to feel much better on the skin, probably because they need to account for the humid climate in Asia. I shall try to post my Japan haul soon – I’m still trying to organize all my stuff, I think I bought too much? Haha

  4. AHA moment!!! ::slaps knees:: Mandelic acid is definitely one of those things that I’ve been meaning to seriously try because I see it in so many Taiwanese products (and in MUAC peels!). Sounds almost too good to be true, but all those doctors (Wu, Hsieh, etc.) can’t be wrong, right? :*D Have a great time in Asia!

    • Jenny says:

      LOL, I’m glad someone appreciates the pun! XD Honestly after trying random AHAs, BHAs, and even Curology, I think I still love my Dr. Wu mandelic acid the best. I bought a 50ml bottle in Taiwan and am looking forward to using that once I’m done with my current Curology prescription!

  5. Lily says:

    Really great overview of mandelic acid! I feel like it’s one of those totally underrated ingredients. That My Scheming mask is one of my favorites—it absolutely works, and even helped to clear a breakout, sort of. :)

    • Jenny says:

      Thank you Lily! I agree, I wonder why it’s not used more widely. I tried to find that My Scheming mask during my trip back to Taiwan, but I couldn’t :( At least I got a large bottle of the Dr. Wu 18%!

  6. Ongaku says:

    I’m always on the lookout for new skin care products to try. I never had much of an issues (besides occasional acne) but as I get older I notice the strangest things on my face. Like this weird redness that puffs up just slightly from time to time on like the bridge of my nose and my cheeks. I also notice how huge my pores are ): Thanks for the list of things to try for smoothing out and stuff. I will have to look into them soon.

    • Jenny says:

      Ah the woes of getting older :( Mandelic acid (or any other chemical exfoliants) should really help with the pore visibility. Good luck!

  7. I’m waiting for my friend to send me some of her mandelic acid products to try!! I’ve only tried the myscheming mask with mandelic acid so far. But this post has me pumped ^_^

  8. Teti says:

    I am currently using a Mandelic Acid serum and I think my skin doesn’t like it very much. It seems too strong for me and overall my face looks better when I don’t use it than when I do. I will totally keep these My Scheming masks in mind though. I only recently got to try them and now I have 3 boxes at home. xD

    • Jenny says:

      Oh no, sorry to hear that :( Which brand of mandelic acid are you using? If the concentration is really high (25% or greater), there’s a chance it’ll still irritate the skin. I would definitely recommend starting at the lowest possible %, and then working your way up based on your skin’s tolerance. The My Scheming masks should have very low mandelic acid %, so hopefully those work better for you!

follow on instagram for more cats + skincare + lifestyle content
follow jennywlove on Instagram for more skincare reviews!