Acne/Bumps/Folliculitis, Aging, Hyperpigmentation, Melasma, Men, Microdermabrasion, Photoaging, Skin Health, Teens
Mandelic Acid: Your Skin’s Superfood?
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Almond As Superfood

Multiple published studies show that eating almonds decreases your risk of heart disease, helps you feel full faster, and helps with weight loss and diabetes prevention. Other studies suggest benefits for arthritis, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Packed with antioxidants, eating them is great for your skin, too.

On Alpha-Hydroxy Acids

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) mostly work by a keratolytic action or “pKa” (basically, microscropic peeling). This micro-exfoliation is highly effective but is generally irritating, which is why relatively few cosmetics use actives in effective concentrations or in unbuffered (undiluted) form.

In a formulation, efficacy and safety are dependent on several factors, such as:

  • The AHA’s pKa, concentration, molecular size and penetration of the skin;
  • the pH of the solution; as well as
  • the presence or absence of allergens or irritants in the rest of the formulation.

Several keratolytics have a small molecular size, allowing them to penetrate more readily. But this tiny size means they penetrate unevenly and can be more irritating. The general rule is: the smaller the molecular size of an ingredient, the higher the risk of an irritant or allergic reaction.

Mandelic Acid: Almond-Derived Alpha-Hydroxy Acid

Mandelic acid, in VMV Hypoallergenics Superskin Toners, has a larger molecular size which makes it penetrate the skin less…but more evenly, performing excellently as a keratolytic.

Like the almond, from which it is derived, mandelic acid is a powerful health multi-tasker, addressing photo-aging, acne and dark spots. In clinical studies (our own and others), mandelic acid is the least irritating when compared to other actives such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, retinoic acid, and hydroquinone. All are effective micro-exfoliants, but mandelic acid is better tolerated even by compromised skin. This makes it ideal for drier, more sensitive skin, younger skin (Superskin can be started at age 9 for prophylactic care), skin that is prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (darkening after a skin trauma, such as an irritation), or people who want the most benefits with the least amount of product. Inside and out, the almond is a quintessential superfood.

Allergy Info

If you’re allergic to tree nuts, this does not automatically rule out mandelic acid. Food and skin allergies do not always correlate. A prick test or blood test is specific to food. Make sure to get a patch test to confirm your skin allergies.