Mandelic acid peelings

Mandelic peel is a superficial chemical peel. It acts on the upper horny layer of skin without affecting the translucent layer. Its main component is mandelic, 2-hydroxy-2-phenylacetic, or phenylglycolic acid which belongs to AHA acids and is prepared by hydrolysis of bitter almond extract. (almond peel)

This acid diffuses into the skin tissues in significantly smaller amounts than other alpha-hydroxy acids, and this is why mandelic peel is considered one of the most sparing treatments, just like lactic peel. It is suitable for all skin types, including hypersensitive and delicate skin. Moreover, it can be used in summer since the risk of after-treatment hyper pigmentation is minimal.


Indications for mandelic acid:
  1. Acne and rosacea;
  2. Folliculitis;
  3. Post acne and oily seborrhea;
  4. Comedones (blackheads);
  5. Minor expression wrinkles;
  6. Skin cover imperfections;
  7. Low skin tonus and tightness;
  8. Pigment spots, freckles, uneven complexion;
  9. Insufficient microcirculation in skin covering;
  10. Enlarged pores.


This type of peel is also widely used to prepare skin for laser resurfacing and medium chemical peel since it has a bacteriostatic and anti-inflammatory effect.


Contraindications for mandelic acid:
  1. Allergic reactions to any component of mandelic peel;
  2. Open sores, abrasions, inflamed abscess on face;
  3. Recurrence of herpes virus infection;
  4. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays;
  5. Fever;
  6. Pregnancy and lactation.


Properties of Mandelic Acid:
  1. Has a keratolytic (superficial exfoliating) effect. It loosens the upper layers of epidermis and sloughs off unneeded skin cells.
  2. Lifting effect is achieved due to synthesis of collagen and elastin which activate cell regeneration and smoothing of minor wrinkles.
  3. Has a bacteriostatic and anti-inflammatory effect, i.e. suppresses generation of bacteria due to structural similarity to antibiotic macrolides. Thus, the acid reduces the risk of skin cover contamination and inflammation.
  4. Skin-whitening effect is achieved through removal of the horned layer; skin becomes smoother and lighter.
  5. Cytoprotective (antioxidant) effect is achieved due to the blocking of free radicals and the ability to fix heavy metal ions. This means protection of skin cells from the negative influence of the environment.
  6. Comedolytic effect is achieved by means of unblocking the openings of hair follicles and reducing the secretion and the sizes of sebaceous gland excretory ducts. Mandelic acid smoothens pores, treats sore acne with comedones, papulae and pustules, as well as gram-negative folliculitis and blackheads.


Advantages of Mandelic Peel:

Mandelic acid may be perfect for those with glycolic and retinoic acid intolerance, since all procedures with these acids are recommended for similar skin treatment (enlarged pores, acne, oily seborrhea, hyper pigmentation, signs of photo- and biological aging).
In comparison with other fruit acids, mandelic acid is less prone to cause such complication as post inflammatory hyper pigmentation.

In comparison with other alpha-hydroxy acid treatments, peels with phenylglycolic (mandelic) acid are better endured by patients due to lack of discomfort and pains.

Mandelic peel is possible in summertime because it has no photosensitizing effect and actively inhibits melanogenesis. However, you should adhere to therapist’s instructions and use KS shield on a daily basis. So if you are not too keen on precautiousness, it is better to avoid peels in summertime.

Absence of edema and hyperemia is considered a significant advantage of mandelic peel. If after peels with other fruit acids you have to stay at home for a while, mandelic peel allows going out right away. Mandelic acid peel can be applied on hands and decollete.


Complications that may be caused by mandelic acid:
  1. Skin hyperemia (reddening caused by blood flow) during and after the procedure. It subsides after application of moisturizing cream for 30-60 minutes.
  2. Stinging may appear during the procedure and subsides after application of moisturizing cream.
  3. Skin may become too dry and tightened on the next day after the procedure. To remedy this consequence, use post-peel treatment solutions.
  4. Flaking is not regularly observed. It can appear on the 2nd or 3rd day after the procedure and lasts for 1-3 days.
  5. Hyper sensitization is more widespread in people with delicate skin and low regeneration abilities.
  6. Skin rashes are frequent consequences of incorrect post-peel treatment, hormonal disruptions, new makeup usage, gastro-intestinal tract diseases, disregard of contraindications, etc. It is important to determine the reason and then to undertake corresponding measures.
  7. Contamination may be caused by non-observance of aseptics and antiseptics during the procedure or by incorrect post-peel rehabilitation. Treatment includes antibiotic ointments, in serious cases – peroral therapy.
  8. Post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation after mandelic peel course is very rare. It is connected with keratinocytes enhancing the synthesis of melanin-stimulating hormone. Prerequisites comprise: genetic predisposition, endocrine profile changes, UV exposure, inflammatory processes in skin. Treatment and removal of pigment spots should be conducted by a specialist. Cosmeticians use tyrosinase inhibitors, anti-inflammatory solutions, antioxidants, whitening solutions.
  9. Herpetic infection. If you suffer recurrent herpetic infection twice a year or more often, you will need preventive therapy before peel. In case if rashes have already appeared, use Aciclovir or Valtrex once a day during 1-5 days until the rashes subside.
  10. Cutaneous oedema are rarely observed on delicate skin areas (eyelids, neckline). They are treated with hormonal creams.
  11. Allergic reaction can be caused by solution components. To prevent it, a sensitivity test before mandelic peel is a must. To treat the allergy that has already appeared, antihistamines and hormonal creams are used.
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