Azelaic acid and mandelic acid are the two best ingredients to treat acne, but they work in different ways.
If you’ve been dealing with acne for years or just have stubborn pimples on your face, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the products that claim to help clear your skin up once and for all!
So how do you know which one works best?
We’ll break down what makes each ingredient unique so that you can find out whether azelaic or mandelic acid is better for treating your skin type.
Azelaic Acid vs. Mandelic Acid: Which One Is Better for Acne?
1. Azelaic Acid
Azelaic acid is a great choice if you have oily, acne-prone skin.
It’s known to reduce oil production and kill bacteria on the surface of your skin.
Azelaic acid is effective at treating both comedonal and inflammatory forms of acne, which means it can help prevent new pimples from forming while reducing redness and swelling associated with existing blemishes.
2. Mandelic Acid
Mandelic acid works by increasing cell turnover and exfoliating the upper layer of skin — similar to salicylic acid — but without the stinging sensation that sometimes comes with other chemical exfoliants.
This makes mandelic acids better for sensitive skin types than salicylic or glycolic acids (which can cause irritation).
If you’re searching for an ingredient that helps fade hyperpigmentation or dark spots caused by acne scars, mandelic acid might be what you’re looking for!
Azelaic Acid vs. Mandelic Acid: How to Use Them
If you’ve decided to try one of these two acids, it’s important to know how to use them.
Here is a quick guide:
- Apply the product in the morning and evening after cleansing your skin (not before).
- Start with a small amount (think pea-sized) of product and increase as needed based on your skin’s tolerance level.
- Do not apply any other products on top of azelaic acid or mandelic acid as this can irritate the skin and cause more breakouts!
Azelaic Acid vs. Mandelic Acid: The Best Ways to Use Them
The recommended amount of azelaic acid or mandelic acid depends on the strength of the product.
The higher the concentration, the less you’ll need to apply.
For example, if you’re using a 10% azelaic acid or mandelic acid serum, it’s safe to use up to 0.1 ml (that’s 1/30th of a teaspoon) daily for your entire face and neck—but if you’re using a 20% product that contains 2% azelaic acid (or 2%, respectively), then it’s safe for you to use about half that amount in each area of your face and neck every day.
If you want more precise recommendations from your dermatologist or other medical professional who specializes in treating acne with topical AHA/BHA products, he or she will likely provide them based on what treatment plan is right for you.
Azelaic Acid vs. Mandelic Acid: What You Need to Know About Their Side Effects
Azelaic acid and mandelic acid are both acids that can be used to treat acne.
They work in different ways, but they’re both effective at killing the bacteria that cause pimples, reducing inflammation, and preventing pores from becoming clogged with oil.
Many people prefer azelaic acid over mandelic acid because it causes less irritation than mandelic acid and has a higher success rate for treating acne.
However, some people prefer using mandelic acid for its gentler skin-softening properties or because it doesn’t cause any burning sensation on their face when applied directly to the skin.
Azelaic Acid vs. Mandelic Acid: How Effective Are They for Your Skin Type?
Here’s a quick look at the benefits of each.
- Mandelic acid is suitable for oily skin types, as it can help reduce oil and sebum production, which are common causes of breakouts. It also works as a resurfacing treatment for dull, uneven complexions. Mandelic acid has antibacterial properties that help to fight acne-causing bacteria without irritating your skin or causing dryness.
- Azelaic acid is recommended for dry or normal skin types because it helps regulate sebum production while preventing clogged pores from forming blackheads and whiteheads. Azelaic acid also prevents abnormal keratin build-up that contributes to acne formation by exfoliating the surface layer of your skin every time you use it—a process known as desquamation—which helps control pore size over time so they don’t become clogged with dead skin cells (keratin).
Azelaic Acid vs. Mandelic Acid: When Should You Use Them?
If you want to use either azelaic acid or mandelic acid, they should be applied at night.
This is because they can cause photosensitivity and the sun’s rays can make your skin red, itchy, and inflamed.
You’ll also want to apply these products on dry skin so that they absorb better (and then leave them on overnight).
Just like with any other product, when using either of these acids for the first time, it’s important to patch test them on a small portion of your face first.
This will give you an idea of whether or not there are any allergic reactions before applying all over.
If your skin is sensitive or if you have rosacea, ask your dermatologist if it would be better for you to avoid either of these two options altogether.
Azelaic Acid vs. Mandelic Acid: Which One Is Better for Treating Hyperpigmentation?
If you’re looking for a chemical peel that will reduce hyperpigmentation, the answer is azelaic acid.
Both products are effective at treating acne, but azelaic acid is significantly more effective at helping with hyperpigmentation.
That said, if you’re just looking to treat acne and don’t care about any side effects or other issues it can cause (such as dryness), mandelic acid might be better suited for you than azelaic acid.
Mandelic acid is less irritating than many other AHA’s but still has the same effect of removing dead skin cells and preventing new ones from forming.
It also helps prevent bacteria buildup on your skin—which can cause inflammation and breakouts—so it’s good to use as an alternative when you don’t want something too harsh on your face but still need something strong enough to combat acne-causing bacteria.
In the end, it’s all about finding what works best for your skin type and needs.
If you have acne-prone skin and are looking for an ingredient that can fight both acne and hyperpigmentation, then azelaic acid may be a good option for you.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to treat dryness or dark spots on your face without breaking out any more than usual (or at all), mandelic acid may be a better choice.