salicylic acid

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Overall clinical data on a specific ingredient(s) & how they function.

Tranexamic Acid Vs Mandelic Acid - Which Is Right For Your Skin?

When it comes to incorporating various acids into a well-rounded skincare routine, an increasing number of individuals are asking: which is better, tranexamic acid or mandelic acid? Although both tranexamic and mandelic acids have the potential to support the appearance of a brighter, more even complexion, each one may be better-suited to certain skincare goals.

What Type of Acid is Tranexamic Acid?

Tranexamic acid is categorized as a monocarboxylic acid, with a chemical structure that can be compared to the amino acid lysine. Originally used in the medical field, tranexamic acid is now earning a considerable amount of attention as a topical skincare ingredient. Tranexamic is not an exfoliating acid making it gentle enough for all skin types.

What Type of Skin is Tranexamic Acid Best For?

In general, tranexamic acid can be a safe option for individuals with all skin types, including those with particularly sensitive skin. While some skincare acids can lead to increased sensitivity, especially when used with other skin brightening agents, tranexamic acid pairs nicely with vitamin C, retinol, and others.

You may want to consider using tranexamic acid if your skincare priorities include:

  • Helping to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation

  • Improving the visible signs of discoloration caused by sun damage

  • Rebalancing discoloration associated with acne scarring or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

  • Creating a brighter-looking complexion

What Type of Acid is Mandelic Acid?

Mandelic acid is a member of the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family, a category that includes many widely popular skincare acids. One of the most notable characteristics of mandelic acid is its oil solubility, which is relatively high in comparison to other AHAs. Labeled as an “aromatic AHA,” mandelic acid can effectively penetrate pores. At the same time, its large molecular size slows the rate at which it penetrates the skin, reducing the likelihood of irritation.

What Type of Skin is Mandelic Acid Best For?

Even for individuals with sensitive and/or dry skin, mandelic acid can be a helpful addition to a thoughtfully tailored skincare regimen. It is one of the gentlest of AHAs, making it a viable option for individuals with skin that tends to be easily irritated.

If you are considering various skincare acids, mandelic acid may be a good fit if you would like to:

  • Help minimize visible discoloration, including hyperpigmentation related to sun damage, dark spots, and acne scarring

  • Boost the overall appearance of radiant skin

  • Support your skin’s natural protective barrier

  • Unclogs pores

  • Smooths skin texture

Is Tranexamic Acid or Mandelic Acid Better for Hyperpigmentation?

When deciding between mandelic acid and tranexamic acid for skin, both can be highly supportive for the reduced appearance of hyperpigmentation and discoloration caused by acne scarring and sun damage. Both are generally well-tolerated by sensitive skin, but tranexamic acid is the slightly gentler option of the two since tranexamic acid does not exfoliate the skin. If you have experienced irritation or dryness when using mandelic acid, or have highly reactive skin in general, you may want to consider tranexamic acid first. If you want to address both tone and texture, mandelic acid is the best route since it acts as an exfoliant.

DISCLAIMER: Lab Journals are intended to help educate on specific ingredients and skin care topics. Our articles are written to be informative and informational.
Please note any Naturium products with referenced ingredients are formulated for Cosmetic Use Only and NOT intended as replacements for physician pharmaceutical product recommendations.

Tranexamic Topical Acid 5%


30 ML / 1.0 FL OZ Our topical tranexamic acid serum is formulated with a potent level of tranexamic acid, plus kojic acid, niacinamide and licorice...

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Mandelic Topical Acid 12%


30 ML / 1.0 FL OZ Our skin perfecting mandelic serum is formulated with mandelic acid, natural fruit extracts and niacinamide to gently exfoliate ...

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