The Gentler Acids | The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% vs Lactic Acid 10%

You probably know I have sensitive skin and if you don’t well, my skin is like a spoilt baby. It needs pampering and a whole lot of babying. Over the past few years, just by paying attention, I noticed my skin doesn’t really enjoy Glycolic Acid. After trying and trying to get my skin to at least accept it, I recently gave up and decided to explore the more gentle AHAs (Alpha Hydroxyl Acids). In this case, being Lactic & Mandelic Acid. I love the Ordinary skin care brand and I thought it would be a very good idea to compare both since they come in the same percentage. I had already reviewed their Mandelic acid exfoliating serum before in this post so this is strictly comparing it to Lactic Acid with reference to my skin.

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% vs Lactic Acid 10%

Both Acids are generally gentler than the almighty Glycolic Acid as they do not penetrate as deeply. Some unique features of Mandelic Acid include;

  • softens fine lines, wrinkles & pigmentation left from acne & post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • treats acne & blackheads due to its anti-inflammatory & anti-bacterial properties.
  • regulates oil production.

Some of the unique features of Lactic acid include;

  • smoothens fine lines wrinkles & rough skin texture.
  • lightly hydrates & plumps skin.

Both products as said by Deciem can be used daily.

Comparing the products…

First, I prefer the consistency of the Ordinary Mandelic acid serum to that of the Lactic Acid serum. The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA (Hyaluronic Acid) has an oil-like consistency which eventually dries down without any film. Almost works like a hydrating oil which is always a delight to have in any serum in my routines. On the other hand, the Lactic acid 10% + HA has a water-like consistency which I’m not necessarily a fan of. My preference leans towards serums that are more on the oily side than watery if anything.  I prefer this because most of my skin-prepping products (toners & essences) are already hydrating and I really just prefer something more oily to balance my already hydrated skin. The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA mimics that and my skin just really enjoys and prefers that texture.

I usually like to apply my serums directly from the dropper unto my face. Interestingly, I find the texture of mandelic acid serum easier to apply to hydrated skin because of its oil-like texture. It glides on super easily saving me the stress of applying the product multiple times to cover my entire face. I feel it’s worth mentioning if you’re some like me that prefer to apply serums directly to face with a dropper. However, if you like to pat products in with your hands, you may really not mind their textures.

The Mandelic Acid exfoliating serum does a better job at brightening my skin tone and giving me such a beautiful glow. Because it’s quite gentle as well, I find that I can use it with their Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% without experiencing irritations. I prefer to stick with one active at a time but when I do use them together, I wake up with my skin glowing and looking more even. I get such a good result from using both and I’m quite happy about that.

Comparing the actives unique properties…

Because of how sensitive my skin is (I believe), I would feel slight stinging when I use this which disappears fast though. I really do think that at the same percentage, Lactic acid is definitely more potent than Mandelic acid and if you are sensitive or starting out with Acids, the latter may be the way to go.

Another and probably the most distinguishing reason I would forever gravitate towards The Ordinary Mandelic acid 10% + HA over The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA is Mandelic Acid’s unique properties of treating acne and being anti-inflammatory. It’s really good to know a product that exfoliates my skin also has the ability to treat my breakouts. Note though that you won’t wake up with acne free skin if you use it a night before. Like other actives, it takes time to work and consistent use does the trick. You would DEFINITELY notice improvement with your acne as you consistently use.

Okay guys, there you have it. You already know which acid I prefer. I’d like to know your experience using either. Also, if you’ve used them both, which do you prefer?

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This Article Has 8 Comments
  1. Paul says:

    How often did you use it? every night? twice a day? thank you

  2. Jessica says:

    Yes! I’ve been trying to decide between these two. This post is really helpful

  3. plantifuleating says:

    I was deciding between these two products but went with mandelic acid. Very excited and hopeful it helps out my skin! Do you moisturize after using these? Thanks so much for this review x

    • Ifeoluwa says:

      Yes I moisturize after using these. I hope they work out well for you. Thanks for stopping by. x

  4. Trinity says:

    Thank you for taking your time to write this out and share your experience! I’ve been stuck choosing between these two AHAs and you helped me a lot. Going with Mandelic acid.

  5. Allie says:

    Om thank you so much for this post. I ordered a big haul of The Ordinary, and when it came I was not sure why I ordered these two products, the info online made them seem so similar. This post helped me so much!

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