I have been recommending the use of Vitamin C cream for almost 20 years and have been so impressed! I always recommend sunblock and Vitamin C. I have had fabulous results with all of my patients for both redness, inflammation, hyper pigmentation, and sun damage. In fact, Solta just did a study with their Clear and Brilliant laser showing that the healing is aided by topical Vitamin C! It is an easy and inexpensive addition to your facial protocol.
Topical Vitamin C Before and After Photofacial - Recommended?
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Individualized protocol best
There is not one size fits all IPL setting, nor one size fits all for pre and post care. I strongly recommend a good pre and post protocol to get and keep best results, but each patient needs something a bit different. In general, I do like sunscreens and antioxidants for all IPL patients, but choices are varied.
Topical vitamin C absolutely not necessary before or after Photofacial
Dear In Need
Light chemical peels are synergistic with photofacials. The use of vitamin C serum has nothing to do with its legendary but disappointing role as an antioxidant vitamin. On the skin surface, these products work as a mildly acidic skin irritant that modestly helps stimulate the turn over of the outer skin surface. Some of these products can actually be surprisingly irritating to the point were it is possible to burn the skin if product is applied too thickly. Clinicians performing photofacial could incorportate this type of product to enhance the effect of the fotofacial. However, there is nothing inherently special to the vitamin C as the peeling agent. I prefer to combine photofacial with lower concentration trichloracetic acid peels which are more effective and predictable than the vitamin C serum products.
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Topical Vitamin C before photofacial
The use of various topicals various tremendously among practitioners. Some prefer the use of retinoids as well to prepare the face. Clearly the use of sunscreens before and after is nearly universal.
IPL treatment does not require Vitamin C
There is no evidence to suggest that topical Vitamin C before or after IPL will enhance your result. The only thing I would encourage you to avoid is excess sun exposure immediately before or after IPL treatment.
No need for topical Vitamin C before Photofacial
There is no need to apply Vitamin C before your photofacial. In fact one could argue that the Vitamin C might be wasted. Vitamin C is not the most stable compound and light would most likely inactive it.
Vitamin C after your photofacial would be helpful for its antioxidant effect. In fact, one of the areas dermatologists are investigating is the production of ROS (reactive oxygen species) after light (and injury) and the means to quash them.