Almond As Superfood
Studies show that eating almonds decreases your risk of heart disease, helps you feel full faster, and helps with weight loss and diabetes prevention. Other studies suggest benefits for arthritis, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Packed with antioxidants, eating them is great for your skin, too.
What About On Skin?
Don’t go rubbing almonds on yourself. Do check out mandelic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid derived from almonds.
What’s So Great About Mandelic Acid?
Like the almond, from which it is derived, mandelic acid is a powerful health multi-tasker, addressing:
- Photo-aging (wrinkles, loss of elasticity),
- Acne, and
- Dark spots.
It’s also far less irritating than many other effective actives out there.
On AHAs and Irritation
But isn’t the holy grail of efficacy how well an active penetrates the skin? Like lots of things skin, it’s more complicated than simply: penetrating deeper is good, more superficially is bad.
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) mostly work by keratolytic action or “pKa”…basically microscropic peeling — forcing old, dead cells to the surface and encouraging bright, healthier, newer cells to the surface. This process is highly effective but is generally irritating, which is why relatively few cosmetics use actives in effective concentrations or in unbuffered (undiluted) form.
If an effective active is highly irritating, it becomes difficult to use and could cause other problems such as reactions, redness and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark splotches after a skin trauma like a pimple or rash).
And while a smaller molecular size does mean faster penetration into the skin (allowing the active to micro-peel at a deeper level), the general rule is: the smaller the molecular size of an ingredient, the higher the risk of an irritant or allergic reaction. For many actives, a tiny molecular size means they can penetrate the skin more readily, but they do so unevenly and increase the risk for irritation.
Mandelic acid pulls off a neat trick in that it remains highly effective even if it penetrates the skin less.
In clinical studies (our own and others), mandelic acid is the least irritating when compared to other actives such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, retinoic acid, and hydroquinone. All are effective micro-exfoliants, but mandelic acid is better tolerated even by compromised skin. This makes it ideal for drier, more sensitive skin, younger skin (Superskin can be started at age 9 for prophylactic care), skin that is prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or people who want the most benefits with the least amount of product.
Inside and out, the almond is a quintessential superfood.
Superfood in Superskin: Get your almond goodness in you…and on you!
Allergic to tree nuts? You might still be able to use mandelic acid. Food and skin allergies do not always correlate. A prick test or blood test is specific to food. Make sure to get a patch test to confirm your skin allergies.