An AHA I can actually use!!
After disastrous attempts with glycolic acid--even at a 5% concentration--I used some Google-fu to see if there was an AHA I could use. My concerns: Uneven tone/texture, closed comedones, enlarged pores on nose and inner cheeks (thanks for that, Biore pore strips), combination skin. I'd been using a 2% salicylic acid BHA for my acne and closed comedones, and while it worked it left my dry cheeks and chin REALLY dry. I learned that mandelic acid A) is similar to a BHA in that it can cut through oil, but B) isn't drying. After even more extensive Google-fu, I found MUAC's 5% mandelic toner. Since mandelic is the gentlest of the Big Three of AHAs (glycolic and lactic being the other two), I figured it was worth a good shot.
First impressions: Holy alcohol, Batman! The alcohol in this toner is damn near overwhelming. I used it for a couple of weeks and saw minor improvement in my skin, but I knew that mandelic works very slowly due to its large molecule structure, so I kept using it. But it was also drying me out a bit, and I suspected the alcohol content to be a culprit.
I contacted MUAC and asked about an alcohol-free option. The rep I spoke to explained that mandelic acid dissolves best in alcohol and has a better delivery because of it, and they recommended their hyaluronic acid serum to use after the AHA has set in. I ordered a sample, tried it three nights in a row...and voila! No more issues with the dryness from the alcohol!
Now that I've been using this toner for, oh, over a month now (and alternating with the 10% serum, which homygod holy grail), I am massively in love with this combination. My skin is free from closed comedones for the first time in years (I always had at least ONE on my forehead), and my skin is slowly but surely improving in tone, and the texture is now soft and supple. I'm going to start using the toner in the morning and the serum at night (I have a fabulous sunscreen, don't worry!), and I expect to have even greater results from it. Soon, I'll feel comfortable moving up to chemical peels, and I am REALLY EXCITED FOR THAT.
Highly recommended!! I will never be without my MUAC mandelic toner and serum. <3
Reviewed by: Jennifer M from Spokane, WA on 3/29/2015