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Mandelic Acid and Sebum Production: A Beneficial Ingredient for Dry Skin?

Mandelic Acid and Sebum Production: A Beneficial Ingredient for Dry Skin?

Over time, the skin loses elasticity, the epidermis dries out and becomes thin, and wrinkles become clearly visible. This phenomenon results from a decrease in estrogen levels causing skin aging. The overall effect is skin that lacks hydration, becoming dry and rough. Mandelic acid would offer various benefits for dry skin.

What is Mandelic Acid?

Mandelic acid is a second-generation alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) derived from bitter almonds. This aromatic extract is from the same family as glycolic acid and lactic acid. It is used in skincare in the form of serums, creams, or facial masks.

Mandelic acid exhibits a large molecule that is capable of penetrating the epidermis deeply and gently to perform its exfoliating work. Apart from sensitive skin, this active ingredient is also suitable for individuals with dry skin lacking suppleness and experiencing tightness.

What causes dry skin?

Dry skin produces little oil due to a disruption in sebum production caused by low activity of the sebaceous glands. As a result, it lacks sufficient hydrolipidic film, the barrier that should protect the epidermis from external aggressions (sun, cold, wind, pollution...).

If the protective barrier is faulty or damaged, the skin becomes dehydrated. It will also tend to thicken in defense, leading to feelings of tightness, flaking in certain areas, and a sensation of discomfort.

Due to lack of hydration, wrinkles become pronounced. To compensate for the lack of sebum and water, and to help the skin regain its radiance, there are suitable skincare treatments. Good daily hydration is also essential.

Does mandelic acid boost sebum production?

For dry skin, it is wise to adapt the care products used. Favor rich and gentle formulas that do not further weaken the skin. A study has shown the influence of azelaic acid and mandelic acid on sebum secretion in women aged 49 to 71 years. 28 individuals with phototypes II and III participated in this trial: 11 were treated with a 20% azelaic acid care product and 17 with a 40% mandelic acid care product.

Measurements were taken on the facial skin, specifically the forehead, cheeks, and chin using a diagnostic device. To assess the level of sebum, researchers used a parchment strip pressed onto the relevant areas. They observed an increase in sebum secretion on the left cheek in participants with mandelic acid, starting from the first session. This result was confirmed during the final measurement.

Due to its exfoliating power, mandelic acid also helps the skin rid itself of impurities while aiding in maintaining hydration. Apart from dry skin, this ingredient is suitable for individuals with sensitive and even dark skin, as it does not cause hyperpigmentation. Being an AHA, certain precautions should be taken when using it.


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