Here’s What The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% Did to My Skin

I purchased The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA to combat my dark acne scars. This may be the first product I have purchased with the intention of using it for one thing and it ended up being effective for something else. Have a look at some before and after photos, paying close attention the texture of the skin on my cheeks, more specifically, the icepick scars.

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% |
The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% |
The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% |
The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% |
The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% |
The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% |

My skin type

Oily; acne scarring on cheeks and chin; a cluster of little icepick scars I have been trying to get rid of for a while

What it’s supposed to do

From the brandMandelic Acid 10% + HA offers superficial dermal peeling that is gentler than other alpha hydroxy acids.

(It’s a gentle exfoliant)


Propanediol, Aqua (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.

How I use it

My skincare routine while using this acid consisted of:

  1. First and Second Cleanser: varied but generally consisted of a cleansing oil and regular liquid cleanser
  2. Milk Makeup Watermelon Serum
  3. Algenist Recharging Night Pressed Serum
  4. The Ordinary Mandelic Acid
  5. Moisturizer: varied; most times, I did not follow with a moisturizer. At this point, I have enough moisture also because the Mandelic Acid has an oily consistency.

I was using the mandelic acid four to five days on with one or two days of rest in between depending on my skin. Yep, I used it four to five days in a row depending on how I felt. It took about three weeks for my skin to show visible signs of peeling. The peeling was near the perimeter of my cheeks close to my ears, and also near my mouth and chin. I didn’t actually see any peeling on my cheeks where my icepick scars are at all.

Check out my extended skincare routine (VIDEO).

How long I used it

I started using this April 9th.

What I like about it

While it took me a while to realize what had happened, I am pleasantly surprised that the mandelic acid improved my icepick scars. I stared at the photos for a long time, trying to figure out what exactly was different. The ice pick scars are still there but they look flattened, and less pronounced.

As always with The Ordinary products, I like the price as well. It was $6.79! Additionally, it doesn’t sit on top of your skin like some oils can, although it takes about 15 minutes to fully absorb.

What could be better

No complaints here. The improvement was surprise enough for me.

Joy Factor

Where to indulge

The Ordinary | Sephora


P.S. I’ve tried 17 products from The Ordinary. Check out this walkthrough of what’s worth it.

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  1. Kay
    March 28, 2023 / 12:34 pm

    Hello, I see the steps don’t mention SPF. Please add SPF or your dark spots are actually getting darker. No matter what you do you will never rid the “dark” sports that way.

  2. Lisa
    March 10, 2023 / 11:54 pm

    I only tried it one night and it triggered my melanin production like I woke up darker 😂😂 I’m using beauty of jeoson revive serum to try and calm my skin so it can go back to it’s initial state! Sure it worked on my texture I felt like my skin was smoother but compared to waking up 2 shades darker it’s a no for me

  3. Lenell
    May 14, 2022 / 3:55 pm

    Hmmm….seems your skin looked better before.

    I purchased the Mandelic Acid from The Inky List…’s a cream, and I like the results. Also, I purchased the Mandelic Acid from The Ordinary, will try after I finish The Inky List. Hopefully I like it.

  4. mrs diamond
    November 4, 2020 / 4:49 am

    I just started using the ordinary mandelic acid to achieve a peel too. I'm on day two, I hope it works for me. I have Ice pick scars as well as lots of dark spots from acne

  5. Aubrey
    September 26, 2018 / 9:01 am

    Mandelic Acid works great for my skin too. I want to try The Ordinary's Azelaic Acid but I am allergic to silicone.

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