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The Ordinary's Mandelic Acid 10% + HA Review | Weirdskin

Updated: Jan 9

As someone with flaky skin, exfoliation is something I need to get rid of dead skin on my face. Over the years I have tried several exfoliants mostly physical exfoliants which have left me not completely satisfied. So at the beginning of this year, I started trying out more chemical exfoliants and I found a gem, The Ordinary's Mandelic Acid 10% + HA (hyaluronic acid).

Mandelic Acid 10% + HA from the skin care brand The Ordinary.

I have been using it for over 3 months now and it has considerably contributed to brightening the darker areas of my face it cleared a few dark spots I had from post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) in a week!

This serum is the second-best product I have tried from The Ordinary, and it is one of the best direct acid serums the company offers.

My Experience With The Ordinary's Mandelic Acid 10% + HA

This serum is very light-weight and has a slight oily feel which is okay for me since I have dry skin. But even if you have oily skin, this shouldn't be a problem as the texture is super light and it absorbs into the pores rapidly.

I use it 3 times a week at night leaving one day in between cause I do not want to over-exfoliate. Although there were a few times I used it two days in a row because of how congested my face felt, even so, I didn't feel any discomfort, stinging, redness, or any form of irritation at all.

I loved that this product pairs with hyaluronic acid as it provides instant hydration to the skin. Like you feel your skin breathe and look so moisturized. That's a big plus for me because hydration is at the center of my skincare routine.

I started noticing improvements in the texture of my skin after 2 weeks and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark spots left after an inflamed pimple) disappeared after just 1 week of use.

As for the darker areas of my face (cheekbone area, forehead, around my mouth), I noticed slight improvements after a month. However, it should be noted that at the time I was equally using the Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% to target those hyperpigmented areas so I will say that is what actually helped but the exfoliation from the mandelic acid helped.


  • Gentle and effective exfoliant.

  • Great for sensitive skin and dry skin. Could work for other skin types as well although oily and acne-prone skin will do better with glycolic acid.

  • Affordable serum.

  • Helps with hyperpigmentation.

  • It is oil-free, paraben-free, silicone-free, nut-free, vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free.

  • Contains hyaluronic acid for hydration.


  • Might not be effective enough for some people as it is very mild. If your skin isn't sensitive and you want deeper exfoliation try. The Ordinary 7% Glycolic Toner or The Ordinary's Lactic Acid serum.

  • Causes photosensitivity if not used with sunscreen if applied during the day.

What is Mandelic Acid?

For starters, mandelic acid is the most gentle AHA in the family and is worse to break down dead skin cells and other impurities on the top layer of the skin. This acid is derived from bitter almond nuts. It has a larger molecular structure than most AHAs so is more gentle on the skin less likely to cause any irritations and is effective against hyperpigmentation. If stronger acids like glycolic and lactic acid irritant your skin, I recommend switching to products that contain mandelic acid.

Check out my exfoliation guide for more details on chemical exfoliants.

The Benefits of Mandelic Acid

Targets Hyperpigmentation

like most exfoliating acids, mandelic acid is efficacious in treating melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This acid brightens and evens out the skin tone.

Treats Acne

It has antimicrobial properties that help get rid of acne-causing bacteria, and dead skin cells and regulates the production of sebum.

Stimulates Collagen Production

This 2013 study revealed that chemical peels containing mandelic acid stimulate the production of collagen, and elastin and increase sebum production in aging women.

Improves Skin Texture

Mandelic acid is a superficial exfoliant with anti-inflammatory properties. It leaves the skin soft and smooth after application getting rid of any dead skin present. It equally is less prone to cause side effects as compared to acids like salicylic acid.

How To Use The Ordinary's Mandelic Acid 10% + HA

  • Apply a few drops ideally in your PM routine, before creams and oils.

  • If worn during the day make sure to include sunscreen in your routine as AHAs increase the skin's sun sensitivity.

  • This does not need to be used daily.

  • It pairs well with their Niacinamide serum. It conflicts with other direct Acids, Peptides, Retinoids, Vitamin C (LAA/ELAA), 100% Niacinamide Powder or EUK 134 0.1%

Where to purchase The Ordinary's Mandelic Acid 10% + HA

Final Thoughts

By now you should know this product is a big yes for me. It falls under the small but mighty category of formulations. I love it and recommend it to anyone with sensitive skin or looking for a gentle exfoliant. I will repurchase once my first bottle is finished. By the way, I began using it in February 2021, and in June 2021, it was just about halfway gone. So, money well spent.

I hope this review was helpful and do not hesitate to drop your testimonials if you have tried it or all inquiries in the comment section. I will be glad to answer your questions on anything skincare.


What Does the Ordinary's Mandelic Acid Do?

Mandelic acid is a chemical exfoliant that helps get rid of dead skin cells, excess oil, and impurities found on the skin.

Can I Use the Ordinary's Mandelic Acid Everyday?

Although, the most gentle among AHAs, it is not advisable to use mandolin acid daily. Over-exfoliation can destroy your skin’s barrier and worsen your skin’s condition.

Does Mandelic Acid Lighten Dark Spots?

By shedding dead skin cells on the top layer of the skin, mandelic acid can get rid of dark spots.

How Do I Know If Mandelic Acid Is Working?

After 4 weeks of using mandolin acid, you should notice the following skin improvements; brighter complexion, more even skin tone, less breakouts (white and blackheads), your skin should also feel smoother.

What Should I Not Use After Mandelic Acid?

Do not other exfoliants in the same routine unless they are all formulated in the same product.


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