I came across mandelic acid whilst researching lip plumpers. This was unexpected because mandelic acid is for countering hyperpigmentation and acne. Still, the labyrinths of the internet can lead down all sorts avenues and, sometimes, dead ends. I had stumbled onto the web site of Vivant Pharmaceuticals and this proved to be no dead end, but the opening to a couple of interesting pathways.

Vivant has a range of products for treating hyperpigmentation and acne that use high concentrations of mandelic acid. I recently came across mandelic acid in a potion by Vivant was about to move on. What caused me to linger was the discovery that the scientific brains behind Vivant is one James E Fulton PhD, MD, a biochemist who invented Retin A.

Given that Retin A, the prescription anti-acne and anti-wrinkle cream, is one of the few things that have been demonstrated to really work, it struck me that I should take more interest in mandelic acid. Perhaps this could be just the thing for age spots.

Mandelic acid is an almond extract. I haven't been able to find any independent evidence, but according to the good Doctor, mandelic acid does three things: it interferes with the production of melanin (this will stop new age spots forming); reduces sebaceous gland oil production (that will help out with acne); and increases the amount of new collagen and elastin formed. All this without irritation.

There are various levels of concentrations of mandelic acid in the Vivant range, including one patent-pending product, the 3-in-1 Serum ($66 for 1oz) that has a 15% dose.  Other key ingredients in 3-in1 Serum include sodium lactate, sodium PCA, glycine, fructose, urea, niacinamide, inositol (vitamin Bh) and lactic acid.

I was also intrigued to discover that Vivant also has a range of products with retinyl propionate, a new retinol that does the job without causing the kind of inflammation that is common with use of Retin A. I shall explore that further in an upcoming post.