Mandelic Acid: An Essential and Gentle Skincare Ingredient

People use various over-the-counter skin care products to treat and combat dark spots, acne, wrinkles, dullness, and other skin care problems. While OTC products can include many ingredients, manufacturers use several core ingredients, including mandelic acid.

While experts agree that mandelic acid is beneficial, there is not much research supporting the specific advantages of this particular alpha hydroxy acid. Still, researchers tend to agree that the compound is gentle on the skin and is promising in treating skin texture, acne, hyperpigmentation, and premature aging.

Understanding the Origins of Mandelic Acid

Derived from almonds, specifically bitter almonds, mandelic acid is an AHA used primarily in treating acne. It differentiates itself from other AHAs by being gentle on the skin, limiting occurrences of irritation. As a gentler AHA, mandelic acid is an ideal ingredient for people with sensitive skin.

The acid is so gentle on the skin because it is among the most extensive AHA compounds. The size means mandelic acid has a slower penetration rate, resulting in less irritation.

Benefits of Mandelic Acid

Like other AHAs, mandelic acid is good for accelerated cellular turnover. The compound effectively exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells. By removing dead cells and exfoliating the skin, the compound helps speed up the body's natural turnover processes, meaning users end up with younger skin cells and a more youthful appearance.

Additionally, the helpful acid promotes collagen production. Collagen is the primary protein found in connective tissue and skin. The increase in collagen can help balance complexion and appearance; however, evidence of such changes is anecdotal.

Potential Uses of Mandelic Acid

While there are many potential uses for mandelic acid, it is primarily used for acne treatment. The AHA helps regulate sebum production, reduce inflammation, and unclog pores, all contributing factors to breakouts. In one study, researchers found that a chemical peel containing 45% mandelic acid was as effective as one using 30% salicylic acid. The study also found that mandelic acid had fewer side effects and was more effective in treating inflammatory acne.

For some, mandelic acid may also play a role in improving skin texture, reducing hyperpigmentation, and lessening fine lines and wrinkles. However, more conclusive research is needed in these particular areas.

Mandelic Acid Side Effects

Despite being gentle on the skin, mandelic acid can affect people in different ways. Many consumers using products containing mandelic acid will have no problems, but others might experience adverse side effects, such as:

  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Redness

Sometimes, the appearance of symptoms, especially after several days or weeks of use, results from overuse. Most side effects subside when you limit your use of the product. However, you should stop using the product and talk to your dermatologist if problems persist.

Mandelic acid is a promising and popular skincare ingredient. It is among the largest AHAs molecularly, slowing penetration and making it gentler on the skin. It is known to be effective in treating inflammatory acne and shows promise in treating hyperpigmentation, sun spots, and aging. While used in several OTC skincare treatments, consumers should consult their dermatologists before starting any new therapy.

4 International Skin Care Trends Worth Trying

Skin health has and continues to be essential to beauty standards. People with clear and vibrant skin are often admired as beautiful and inundated with questions about getting the natural glow they have.

From milk baths to Korea's modern skincare dominance, women and men continue to search for the products and treatments that will give them the appearance they wish to have. However, while people do not often shy away from spending hundreds on a month's supply of "miracle treatments" or "cures," the solution to healthy skin can usually be found in various societies worldwide.

The best part about healthy skincare is it doesn't typically require a great expense. Sure, you can spend thousands on spa treatments and home therapies, but you can also spend a fraction of that and find things equally beneficial.

1. Rose Water

Ecuador, primarily known for the export of roses, is also home to a homeopathic treatment for removing excess oil on the skin: rose water. Rose water is made from glycerin and rose petals. The glycerin helps lock in moisture, but not before the compound from the petals dry out acne.

While many home skincare remedies take a lot of work to make, rose water is easy. You want to add a half cup of petals to a pot of water. Allow the petals and water to boil. Pour the rose water through a strainer to remove the petals, and then add the glycerin to the water, a fourth of a  cup, mixing thoroughly.

2. Peppermint Scalp Massage

One holistic remedy for skin and hair health is peppermint oil. The peppermint plant is indigenous to Europe, and it has been a popular ingredient in shampoos and conditioners for centuries. 

If you want to treat your scalp and hair to a massage, you will need to mix two to four drops of peppermint oil with a few drops of almond or olive oil. Massage the oil mixture into your hair and scalp for five minutes. According to experts, the oil can help relieve skin irritation and provide necessary moisture to hair follicles.

3.  Lemon Juice

Used primarily in Asia and Central America to lighten the skin around the elbows and knees, lemon juice is a popular skin care treatment. Because lemon juice has a high concentration of citric acid, it can brighten dark spots on the body.

To use lemon juice, you only need to rub half a lemon over the area you wish to lighten. Additionally, you can apply some lemon juice to a Q-tip and apply it to areas on the face for greater control. Some experts also suggest adding some sugar to the lemon juice to act as an exfoliator.

4. Brown Rice Wash

Used by geishas and as a continued practice in Asian beauty culture, rice is used as an exfoliator and tightener. A favorite brown rice wash recipe comes from Japanese culture, and it includes equal parts brown rice, preferably organic, and water. You want to stir the mixture until a white cloud rises to the top of the bowl. Pour the water into a jar to use as a face wash and drain the rice.

There are many skin care treatments specific to cultures around the world. While many companies might try to repackage treatments as exotic or new, most skincare ingredients have not changed for centuries.

Do you think you will try one of the above skin treatments? Leave a comment below.

Celebrity Skincare Products: Worth the Hype or Not

From Carmen Electra's GoGo Skincare to Pharrell's Humanrace, celebrities are now branching away from makeup and trying to convince you — the consumer — they know a thing or two about skincare. While some stars might understand the science behind healthy skin, there is a sneaking suspicion that most only want to pad their pocketbooks. 

There is nothing wrong with building your brand and starting a business; the problem comes when celebrities attempt to act like they are above the science — Gwyneth Paltrow, anyone? From Goop's nonsensical approach to wellness to Pharrell's claims of microtears, how much any celebrity knows about the formulations or properties of their brands or the efficacy of the products is questionable. 

Before you spend your hard-earned money on celebrity experiments, consider the ingredients, cost, and expertise of the person you purchase from. In most cases, celebrity lines are not worth the price you pay.

Perceived Value Versus Actual Value

Name recognition is the game. Celebrities want to capitalize on their star power while they can, and who can blame them. Unfortunately, in a rush to make money, many stars make significant mistakes in product design — consider Kylie Jenner's unwearable bathing suits.  

While skincare products do undergo some testing and regulation, it is not as much as prescription medications or treatments, meaning there is a loophole for making startling claims with no real evidence. For instance, there is a continuing trend of calling a product all-natural to encourage trust in a product. Unfortunately, even if a product is all-natural, which some are not, it doesn't mean you should use it on your skin. Sand or silica is natural, but it is a mistake to scrub it over your skin.  

When you go to purchase a product, look past the name, endorsements, and fancy marketing. Investigate the ingredients. Learn as much as you can about the science of skincare. 

By understanding the ingredients, you can better understand fair pricing. Most celebrity products are not worth the price tag. In many instances, they charge significantly over average prices for similar products, attempting to price them into the luxury market when they aren't luxury.

Dermatologist Versus Celebrity Opinion

When selecting skin care products, you want to avoid items with an overbearing smell because they often contain artificial colors and ingredients that can irritate the skin. Strong odors often point to chemical additives which can trigger certain skin conditions, like dermatitis, rashes, and other issues.  

A dermatologist is the only person you should trust when it comes to skincare recommendations. These professionals understand the science and medicine and understand when a product is not worth the packaging it's in.

Loyalty Versus Smart Purchasing Decisions

Many fans love and respect famous people. However, not all celebrities have the same appreciation towards their fans. Integrity and trust are hard things to come by in business, especially when it comes to many celebrity products. Unfortunately, without stricter regulations and an absence of blind loyalty, little can be done.  

The best thing anyone can do is educate themselves. Please do not take a celebrity's word for skincare products, especially when they lack the expertise to have a sound opinion. Talk to your dermatologist or doctor instead.

What do you think about celebrity skincare products? Are they worth the hype? Comment below.

5 DIY Face Mask Recipes From Your Pantry

While going to the salon or spa for a facial is a nice luxury, it is slightly pricey. Thankfully, there is no need to spend extravagantly to make your skin glow, shrink your pores, or reduce inflammation or oiliness. You can accomplish the same outcomes as a professional facial by combining and applying some items from your pantry.

With the following DIY face mask recipes, you will find treatment for oily and irritated skin as well as cosmetic approaches to enhance your complexion without irritating your sensitive skin. However, follow the recipes exactly and use fresh ingredients.

1. Glamorous Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a nutrient-dense food containing antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E. This recipe can help you reduce the appearance of fine lines, dark spots, and wrinkles while softening your skin. For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1 organic egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons organic, raw pumpkin puree

You will need to thoroughly mix the ingredients before applying them to the face and under the eyes. Leave the mixture on for 15 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.

2. Honey-Coconut Cleanse

Coconut oil provides deep hydration for the skin, and honey offers a collection of antioxidants to cleanse the face. The honey-coconut cleanse recipe also calls for lavender oil, which, aside from being soothing to smell, helps soothe sensitive and irritated skin. For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 drops lavender oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey.

You will mix the ingredients thoroughly. Once mixed, apply the formula to your face using a brush. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off.

3. Egg and Lemon Pore Reduction

While there is no way to close your pores, lemon and egg have astringent properties, which can tighten the skin, making pores less noticeable. This particular face mask recipe also calls for honey to moisturize the face, allowing for supple feeling skin. For this mask, you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 egg white
  • Lemon juice

As usual, you will need to mix all ingredients before applying them to the face. After mixing the recipe, apply it to the face, avoiding the eyes.

4. Yogurt Hydrating Mask

Do you deal with dry, itchy skin? Using the combination of ingredients in this recipe, you will give your face a hydrating and replenishing bath. The olive oil and avocado will nourish your skin cells, while the honey and yogurt soften those dry areas. For this recipe, you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 avocado

Mix all the ingredients and apply the mask. Wait a minimum of 10 minutes before rinsing with water.

5. Avocado-Cucumber Tango

For people with oily skin, finding the right face masks and skin treatments is a challenge. Thankfully, avocado can help adjust oil production and reduce inflammation, and cucumber helps moisturize while reducing acne and breakouts because it is a rich source of vitamin C. For this mask, you will need:

  • Mixed cucumber
  • Half an avocado

Combine the ingredients into a paste. Apply to the skin, let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse.

You do not have to spend money to look beautiful. The above recipes and corresponding ingredients can likely all be found in your pantry. Do you know of any other homemade face mask recipes? Leave a comment.

What Is a Jade Roller and Do They Actually Work?

Have you ever seen someone roll a green, elongated roller across their face and wondered what in the world they were doing? I have! So I decided to look up the practice and discovered that the person was using a jade roller. This is one of the newer beauty trends circulating, and my first reaction was to laugh at it.

But then I remembered that I used to laugh at micro-needling too, until I found out it’s an effective way to improve skin tone, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and improve acne scars. Now I utilize this skin treatment every month or so to improve the appearance of my skin.

So I decided to look more into jade rollers and how they work. Here’s what I found out about the surprising skin benefits of this weird-looking beauty tool.

What a Jade Roller Is and Its Purported Benefits

A jade roller is a hand-held device that’s made with a jade (stone) roller that’s usually elongated in shape. The jade roller is cold and hard and is intended to roll gently across the face. Jade has roots in ancient Eastern and Chinese civilizations, when the people believed the stone itself had healing properties. Modern jade-rolling isn’t based on the idea that the stone itself can heal (which is why you sometimes see rose quartz rollers instead of jade). Instead, the idea behind jade rolling is to use certain massage rolling techniques to improve the skin.

The claimed benefits of jade rolling include:

  • Reduction of inflammation and puffiness

  • Improved lymphatic drainage

  • Boosted blood circulation to the skin

These benefits may in turn lead to improved skin tightness and overall health. But to get maximum benefits from this product, it’s important to use it correctly.

How To Use a Jade Roller

Simply rolling a jade roller randomly on your face probably won’t give you the benefits you want. Instead, you need to follow a pattern of rolling to improve lymph node drainage and reduce inflammation. Here’s a step-by-step guide for using a jade roller the right way.


  1. Consider cooling your jade roller in the refrigerator overnight to get maximum anti-inflammatory benefits from its use.

  2. Cleanse your face first. You don’t want to use your jade roller on a dirty face (gross!)

  3. Moisturize with a gentle hydrating moisturizer.

  4. Place the larger end of your jade roller on your chin, then gently roll it towards your ear across your jawline. Repeat this process in the same spot up to six times.

  5. Move the larger end of your jade roller up from your jaw to your lower cheek and roll gently towards your ear. Roll in the same spot up to six times.

  6. Next, move the large roller to the middle of your forehead. Pressing gently, roll toward the side of your head, repeating six times before moving to the other side of the forehead.

  7. Flip the roller over and use the smaller end to very carefully roll from the inner corner of the undereye to the outer corner. Repeat up to 10 times then follow the same pattern on the other undereye.

  8. Repeat the undereye process with the brows.

Follow these steps regularly to get the best results from your jade roller sessions. You’ll probably notice that not only will your skin start to look less puffy, but you’ll also look forward to how relaxed you feel after each jade rolling session. To see your progress over time, you may want to take a photo before you start jade rolling, then take another photo after you’ve used a jade roller for a few weeks. You may be surprised by the results!