This information about mandelic serum helps explain why, as a Certified Acne Specialist, I use the L Mandelic to help clear acne and folliculitis. The cheaper DL side of mandelic is not nearly as effective and this is what you will find when ordering online. I will be a waste of money. This article was written by an amazing Acne Specialist who is so good at explaining the difference. It is a little technical but so worth the read.
L-Mandelic vs DL-Mandelic Sugar molecules are naturally occurring DL molecules. All Alpha Hydroxy Acids are made of DL sugar molecules in a 50/50 ratio. Half of the molecule is a D isomer and the other half is an L isomer. The D and L designation tell us their configuration in space. They are mirror images of each other like your left and right hand pressed together. They mirror each other, but their positions are not identical. The cells in the human body are made of L Amino Acids and therefore prefer L isomers. When applying Mandelic serum in the DL form, your skin cells can only absorb the L- Molecule (isomer). The D-Molecule in a product is just taking up space. Imagine a protein cell with a keyhole lock shaped like your left hand and you try to unlock it by placing your right hand into the keyhole. It won’t fit. The L isomer is a perfect fit and accepted by your skin’s cells. Suppose you have a serum that is 8% DL mandelic serum. As I stated above, this means your serum is 50% D isomer and 50% L isomer. To be clear, your clients are purchasing 4% L Mandelic Acid, hence the difference in wholesale pricing. Also, it’s time-consuming and labor-intensive to isolate the L molecule in the lab, but it’s done for good reasons. DL Mandelic may seem like a better deal but in this instance, you’re getting what you pay for. Now, let’s talk value rather than dollars and cents because this is what it’s all about it. A true 8% L-Mandelic Acid is going to be more effective and work faster at neutralizing fungal bacteria, reducing Tyrosinase expression, and reducing bacteria at the pore opening. Thank you, Shannon.
In my acne program, I only use L Mandelic because it is so effective. It is also great for anti-aging. I always say mandelic does so much, it is easier to say what it DOESN’T do.