Introducing Mandelic Acid to Your Routine
Mandelic Acid’s natural antibacterial qualities will help to eliminate acne causing bacteria. Its exfoliating properties will prevent acne causing congestion. When treating acne, the key to achieving optimum results with Alpha Hydroxy Acid products is to exfoliate the surface layers and stimulate cell renewal in the base layers without causing excessive surface peeling.
It is not necessarily true that a stronger product leads to quicker results. Excessive surface peeling can look and feel bad. It can also cause congestion on the surface of the skin, thereby aggravating acne. It is much better to use little and often, rather than try and use a super strong product occasionally. Regular use of mandelic acid is the better way of treating acne, because the skin can then benefit from the acid’s unique antibiotic action.
Peeling can take 2-3 days to become visible after overuse of AHA products, so it is important to allow time to adjust to the products and see how your skin responds. The first sign of peeling will be a crinkly, coarse skin texture that can be confused for dryness. This is in fact dead surface skin working loose, so extra moisturiser may cause congestion at this stage. Stop using AHA serums for a few days if this occurs. The Ultralase cleanser and Glytone may be continued to be used, along with mechanical exfoliation. Introduce serums again once the signs of peeling have disappeared.
Different skin types will react differently and it is important to adjust the strength and frequency of the product to your own needs, always taking care to avoid excessive peeling. For example, some individuals find that using 10% mandelic acid 2-3 times a week is enough. Others find that they can use 15% daily.
Some minor surface flaking may occur and can be kept at bay with regular use of a facial scrub or exfoliating face cloth/brush. It is important to keep the surface clear of dead skin loosened by the acid, so mechanical exfoliation is recommended. (e.g microdermabrasion, microfibre cloths, scrubs etc.)
Please note that AHA exfoliation is different in process to mechanical exfoliation as it occurs at the base layer of the epidermis and actively renews the skin. Mechanical exfoliation is very important for removing surface debris, but will never achieve the renewal effect of AHA exfoliation.
If you are not accustomed to using Alpha Hydroxy Acid products on your skin you may experience some mild stinging and/ or redness. If this is the case for your skin you may get better results if you introduce AHA products gradually: use only one product at a time and use it every other day for the first couple of weeks before going to an every day regime and introducing your other products. If redness and stinging do not cease, discontinue use. As with all AHA products, use of sunscreen is recommended as clearing away surface debris and dead skin cells mean that more UV rays can get through.
Using AHA’s alongside other products
Alpha Hydroxy Acids are ideal for use with other products since they can enhance the penetration of ingredients into the skin. The one important thing to watch out for and be wary of are signs of irritation. It is recommended to alternate the application of an AHA product and products such as Retin-A, Renova, bleaching therapies, retinol, and acne topicals. It is always better to be careful with your skin and avoid over processing it.