The Regimen

Clinical Mandelic Acid: 14 Days to Change Your Skin Texture

Vivant's 8% Mandelic Acid Serum. Studio shot

Meet clinical mandelic acid, the gentle resurfacer of your skin’s dreams. Developed by Vivant Skin Care founding formulator, Dr. James E. Fulton, MD, PhD, this multi-tasking molecule targets all your skin’s trouble spots—aging, acne, pigmentation—starting with smoother texture just two weeks. And it does it all without the irritation that other acids can bring.


How does mandelic acid improve texture?

Mandelic acid dissolves the “cellular glue” that binds dead skin cells, clearing surface debris and encouraging new cells to emerge. It delivers a micropeel minus the irritation to smooth fine lines and banish bumps. Lipophilic properties dissolve oil to unplug pores and lift blackheads, giving skin a refined, polished appearance. In addition to decongesting pores, clinical mandelic acid kills acne bacteria and calms inflammation to keep skin clear and smooth.

This unique texture perfecter is also an even tone promoter. It suppresses the enzyme that triggers reactive pigment while dispersing excess pigment from the skin’s surface, making it the best AHA for combating hyperpigmentation and melasma. (It’s safe for reactive skin and for use during pregnancy.) 

Like other AHAs, clinical mandelic acid is a chemical exfoliant. But clinical mandelic is the gentlest of the AHAs because it has the largest molecular structure.

Why does that matter? Because the size of the molecule controls the rate of absorption. Larger molecules are absorbed by the skin more slowly, which means less chance of irritation. This gentle activity makes clinical mandelic acid ideal for dark skin tones prone to hyperpigmentation and for skin too sensitive for glycolic acid.

Despite its larger molecular size, mandelic acid’s lipophilic (oil-soluble) profile allows it to reach the deeper layers of the skin to control excess pigment and encourage cell renewal, so you give up nothing but irritation. And it’s slower absorption doesn’t translate to slower activity. Use clinical mandelic acid and see smoother texture in just two weeks.


How does clinical mandelic acid stack up against glycolic acid?

Mandelic acid vs Glycolic/Salicylic Acid Chart 

New to clinical mandelic acid?

Start with these best-selling products:

 Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Wash

Gentle antioxidant, antibacterial, and brightening gel cleanser for smooth, radiant skin.

3% Mandelic acid 3-In-1 Toner

This gentle, radiance-boosting clarifier prevents breakouts, promotes a bright, even tone, and enhances serum absorption.

8% Mandelic Acid Serum

Gently resurfaces and targets acne, aging, and discoloration to reveal clear, even-toned skin.

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