An Honest Review On The Ordinary Mandelic Acid Serum

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When counting the list of AHAsmandelic acid is the most gentlest and deemed-fit-most suitable for individuals with sensitive skin or new to alpha hydroxy acids. This is because of its large molecular size in weight, which makes it slowly penetrates into the skin therefore makes it mild on the skin — the larger the molecular size, the lesser the irritation.


Unlike glycolic and salicylic acid which penetrates deep into the skin to deliver their anti-aging and pore unclogging potentials, mandelic acid works best on the surface of the skin to get rid of dead skin cells, by exfoliating the skin, brighten minor hyperpigmentation such as melasma, acne scars and also delivers anti-aging benefits by shrinking large pores, smoothing wrinkles and fine lines therefore making them look less visible.

Having heard the applaudable skin benefits of mandelic acid, i decided to put it to the test, to know for sure if it lives upto the hype by using The Ordinary 10% mandelic acid serum for three weeks to ensure a precise review. But before we jump into that, let’s take a quick glimpse of what mandelic acid is.

What Is Mandelic Acid?

Mandelic acid is an AHA, a derivative of bitter almonds. It has a larger molecular weight. The molecular weight of mandelic acid is 152.1 daltons, which is larger than other alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid is 76.0 daltons, for example).
Mandelic acid is considered an AHA for sensitive skin (just like lactic acid), as it’s more gentle on the skin as compared to other AHAs. This is so because of its large molecular structure which makes it not to penetrate the skin as deeply as glycolic acid does.

Mandelic acid offers skin-superficial mild exfoliation and also fades some forms of hyperpigmentation, treats inflammatory acne and minimize skin aging-signs, thereby improving skin texture and complexion.

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA.

The ordinary mandelic acid serum

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The Ordinary mandelic acid formula couples 10% mandelic acid with hyaluronic acid for surface hydration, and tasmannia lanceolata fruit/leaf extract, to calm and sooth irritation associated with acid-use. Irrespective of how mild mandelic acid can be to the skin, The Ordinary brand took no chances, as they made their formula extra gentle by incorporating tasmannia lanceolata fruit/leaf extract to suit irritation.

Ingredients associated with this serum will be briefly explained below.

Hyaluronic Acid.

Hyaluronic acid is an humectant, It holds up to 1000x its own weight in water. Its main function is to retain water and helps keep skin hydrated, soft and plump. It works by pulling moisture from the atmosphere into the skin to supply intense moisture and hydration thereby plumping the skin which reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract.

Soothes the skin and calms irritations associated with acid use. All thanks to its potency in anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anti-microbial properties.


The Ordinary mandelic acid serum

Comes well packaged and well sealed in a UV-protective glass bottle to protect the liquid from the sun, so as to avoid oxidization.


The Ordinary mandelic acid serum

The Ordinary mandelic acid serum has a runny texture which feels lightweight on the skin and absorbs quickly but leaves a slight greasy residue behind.


The Ordinary mandelic acid serum comes in a 30ml bottle size.


Propanediol, Water, Mandelic Acid, Glycerin, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Pentylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

My Honest Review On The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA.

The Ordinary mandelic acid serum

Having a sensitive skin has forced me into being extremely cautious on things I put on my skin to avoid irritations. Although I have been a longtime acid user which had made my skin build tolerance to acids, but ever since I heard about mandelic acid AKA “an AHA for sensitive skin“, I thought to myself “why not give it a shot, and see how it goes“. Here’s my honest review on The Ordinary 10% mandelic acid.

Effect On Skin Texture.

My three weeks experience with this serum had the same effect or result I got from The Ordinary lactic acid serum. My skin texture was greatly improved with enlarged-pores looking much smaller, giving me a much smoother skin. Having a smooth skin, gives your skin a healthy firm look, that was exactly the effect I got from using mandelic acid serum. I just can’t stop running my fingers across my face while taking a long stare at mirror in admiration.

The little bumps on my forehead are now gone for good, my forehead looks as smooth as a sea-stone. I also paired mandelic acid with niacinamide to muscle up the effect and get an even more better result, and I can swear by these two. But individually, mandelic acid tightens large pores, mildly exfoliates and smoothens the skin.

Effect On Skin Tone.

The luminosity mandelic acid gave to my skin is outstanding, my skin looked more brighter and radiant. In fact, 10% mandelic acid gave me the same brightening effect I got from vitamin C  with zero irritations, redness or tingling.

At the time of using The Ordinary mandelic acid serum, I had some minor acne scars on my nose which now looks more lighter ever since using mandelic acid on them. There was indeed a difference on the spots, however the effect was not dramatic, It took about 1 week and 5 days before seeing a satisfactory-change on the acne scars on my nose, but I know with consistent usage they’ll definitely fade for good. All it will take is patience and consistency. So far so good, mandelic acid is working wonders on my scars, but slowly.

In Conclusion.

My personal experience with The Ordinary mandelic acid serum has been very wonderful, and indeed it lived up to the hype. This is an AHA best suitable for individuals with sensitive to very sensitive skin who want to enjoy the potentials of alpha hydroxy acids without arousing skin sensitivity or irritations. Therefore if you’re seeking to tackle texture irregularities and uneven complexion and you have a sensitive skin, then The Ordinary 10% mandelic acid is a good one for you.

What I Like About The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA.

  • Easy to use
  • Pocket-friendly.
  • Well packaged.
  • Comes in a UV-protective packaging.
  • Mildly exfoliates the skin & treats acne. 
  • Target texture irregularities.
  • It’s fragrance-free.

What I Dislike About The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA.

  • It feels slight-greasy on the skin, which will be a dislike for individuals with oily skin (like myself).

Q: While using The Ordinary 10% mandelic acid serum did you feel any tingling or burning sensation?

A: No, I didn’t. There was no sensitivity, tingling or burning sensation experienced while using this AHA, however, as skin differs, so shall result differs too, your experience with this serum maybe otherwise. But nevertheless, mandelic acid is very gentle on the skin and can be used by people who have even super-sensitive skin.

Q: How did you use The Ordinary mandelic acid serum?

A: I wash my face, pat it with a clean towel, use a toner, then apply 2-3 drops of The Ordinary mandelic acid serum, before proceeding with my additional skincare products, then finally seal in with a moisturizer. Never apply this serum on a broken or compromised skin. I used mandelic acid serum every-other-day without problems, and also for the fact that I’m a long-term acid user.

If you’re new to acids, start by using mandelic acid 2-3 times a week. Or you can use 3 days-on and 3 days-off schedule — that is, use 3 days straight and take a break for 3 days while you feed your skin with skin hydrating and nourishing skincare products.

Like any other alpha hydroxy acid, mandelic acid can cause dry skin or peeling in some patients as well as redness or tender skin,”. Just as with any active skincare product, don’t overdo it and watch your skin for any adverse effects. Says Dr board-certified dermatologist Marina I. Peredo.

This serum is an easy addition into your routine. Apply it after cleansing and leave for 20 minutes or so to allow for proper penetration before moisturizing.

Q: Should I apply The Ordinary mandelic acid serum at AMs and PMs?

A: Limit mandelic acid or any other AHA topicals at night-time use only, as these acids (AHAs) can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, which can potentially cause sunburn if no skin-protection is observed. Therefore, use mandelic acid (and other AHAs) at night-time (PMs) only, and don’t forget to use a sunscreen during the day to shield your skin from sun exposure.

Disclaimer: This is a personal experience with The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA Serum, you may have a whole different experience as skin type differs so as result differs too.

UP NEXT: These Are The Best Glycolic Acid Serum To Smoothen & Brighten The Skin.


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