What are AHAs and how do they work?

Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water is an AHA. But what are AHAs?
Alpha Hydroxy Acids – are chemical compounds which may be naturally occurring or synthetic. You may have heard of glycolic acid (found in sugar cane), lactic acid (found in sour milk), malic acid (found in apples) and citric acid (found in citrus fruits).
AHAs act to “unglue” the bonds and lift off the build up of dead skin cells. Can be found in toners, serums, creams etc. They are water soluble so they cannot penetrate the skin as deep as BHAs ( Beta Hydroxy Acids ).

Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water – What is it

Description: The By Wishtrend Mandelic 5% Skin Prep Water is a hydrating and non-irritating exfoliant that can be used daily. Formulated with Mandelic Acid, it acts as an exfoliating treatment that improves the skin tone and texture while boosting the effectiveness of other products.

Mandelic acid is derived from bitter almonds. It has a larger molecular weight than glycolic and lactic acid and penetrates the skin slower and not so deep like other acids. For this reason it is very gentle and suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin.

Application – How to use it

Directions: After cleansing, apply adequate amount of product to the skin and pat lightly to absorb. If more effective exfoliating is desired, saturate a cotton pad with product and use it to wipe the skin.

It’s very watery, so I personally always soak a cotton pad and gently wipe my face after cleansing (or after the toner has been fully absorbed). Helps to achieve a more even distribution of the product and exfoliation. My favorite cotton pads to apply it are the sponge pads from Klairs (Toner Mate 2 in 1 Cotton Pad). The compressed ones are also good, but with the sponge pads I feel like you use up way less product. I like to use them to apply essences as well since they’re typically very watery.

*Do not use acids on your eyelids or very close to the eyes.

* Let the AHA absorb completely before following up with other products in your routine such as serum, moisturizer, sunscreen etc.

Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water


-I’ve only experienced a little tingling the first 5-6 times that I’ve used it. Which is not a bad thing, as long as your skin isn’t burning! But this is a very gentle exfoliator so I doubt there would be any intense tingling. I would advise doing a patch test before usage. (*No matter what products you’re using, but especially with actives, it is advised that you perform a patch test beforehand!)

-Exfoliates the skin pretty well and leaves it very smooth. You’ll notice the effect almost immediately. Improves skin tone and texture.
-Makeup looks and feels so much better on the skin; goodbye flakiness and rough skin!
-Heals any acne spots much faster. I have noticed acne fading faster than usual whenever I have used it.

Things to be aware of when using AHAs:

On days you want to use your AHA, avoid using other actives right after it such as Vitamin C, retinol or other AHAs/BHAs.
Let your skin work with a single active ingredient at a time avoiding this way overstimulating it.

AHAs can make your skin sun-sensitive. Ise them only at night time and always use sunscreen (daily)! Even if it’s been a week that you have exfoliated your skin, you must use sun protection.

There is such thing as overexfoliating the skin which can make it thin out, feel dry and photosensitive risking irritating it, pigmentation and premature aging.

How often should you use it?

Although low concentrations of acids like 5-10% make possible for daily application, I wouldn’t suggest it because of the reasons I explained above.

I personally like to use the mandelic acid 2 times a week and sometimes during the summer time even once a week. Experiment and see what works best for your skin, but try not to overdo it.


In addition to mandelic acid, it contains hydrating ( butylene-glycol ) and skin soothing agents like beta-glutcan for sensitive skin. Licorice root extract which also helps with soothing irritated skin and brightning. Centella Asiatica for boosting antioxidant activity and strengthening the skin barrier.

Water, mandelic acid, butylene-glycol, beta-glutcan, panthenol, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) fruit extract, sodium hyaluronate, sorbitan sesquioleate, centella asiatica extract, houttuynia cordata extract, sorbitol, di methyl sulfone, chlorphenesin, sodium citrate, arginine, peg-60 hydrogenated castor oil, ethylhexylglycerin, natto gum carbomer.

Final Verdict


  • Exfoliates and removes the dead skin cells well
  • Gentle
  • Improves skin tone and the overall texture
  • Fades acne scars faster
  • Suitable for all skin types


  • Can dry out and irritate the skin if used frequently, so especially those with sensistive skin should be careful.

Since I have incorporated the Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water in my skincare routine, I have noticed improvement especially in my skin texture and acne scars fading faster. I really enjoy applying makeup after my skin becomes so smooth. Those of you who experience a lot of dead skin build up would understand (oily skin types like myself). And considering that this is a very gentle acid it can be a good choice for those who have never used AHAs, before jumping to more potent exfoliators like glycolic and lactic acid. As well as for sensitive skin types if you think you need some exfoliation but are intimidated by the stronger and higher concentration AHAs out there.
I would repurchase it.

What AHA product are you currently using in your routine? Please share <3