Soft Touch AHA 10% Mandelic Acid Gel

1.69 fl. oz. for $ 14.00
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Soft Touch AHA 10% Mandelic Acid Gel is an intriguing exfoliant to consider if you haven't been able to tolerate AHA ingredients like glycolic or lactic acids. The results likely won't be as dramatic as the other Best AHA Exfoliants on our list, but if you are curious to see how mandelic acid will work for you, by all means…

Starting with the aesthetics, this "gel" actually has more of a light, serum texture with an ever-so slightly tacky finish that dissipates, making this easy to layer under other products. The formula works for all skin types. It includes soothing and hydrating ingredients, but not quite as much as some competing AHA exfoliants.

Props to Stratia for the opaque, pump bottle, which helps keep the formula stable and makes for easy, clean dispensing.

As for the mandelic acid, this 10% concentration is formulated at a pH level conducive to exfoliation, so it should help gently dissolve built-up dead skin to some degree. Research shows that mandelic acid doesn't work as dramatically as other common AHAs, so although this is a good product, it's not one we'd recommend trying before other types of AHA ingredients.

  • Gently exfoliates the surface of skin.
  • Slightly hydrating.
  • Fragrance free.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Mandelic acid isn't as researched or effective as glycolic and lactic acids.
References for this information:

Journal of Cosmetic Science, May/June 2010, pages 247-158

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No
Soft Touch AHA is a hyper-gentle, highly effective exfoliant that sloughs off dead skin cells to help reveal smoother, clearer skin.
Water (Aqua), Mandelic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Panthenol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Sodium Hydroxide, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate

With a tagline of Skincare That Works, Stratia (pronounced strah-TEE-uh in reference to the layers of the skin) is a no-frills, boutique-style take on skincare backed by scientific research. The brainchild of blogger and self-professed chemistry nerd and skincare addict Allie Reed from Los Angeles.

The line got its start in 2016 and so far is small, consisting of a handful of formulas. Overall, these formulas are effective and get it right, as they are mostly gentle, effective, and fragrance-free. We say mostly because there is one product containing a potentially-sensitizing plant oil, and another that doesnt contain the most effective form of its key ingredient thats available.

Otherwise, this has some strong offerings, and is at a mid-range price that means its good skincare thats attainable for many (though at this point, you can only buy Stratia products online).

For more information on Stratia, visit https://www.stratiaskin.com/.

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