Can I Get a Chemical Peel After IPL?

How soon after I get an IPL Photofacial can I get a peel done? And what kind of peel would you recommend? I just got an IPL done 2 days ago and am wondering if I can get a mild peel to assist in the process in the same week?

Doctor Answers 5

IPL treatment 2 weeks after Chemical Peel

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I would recommend to wait at lest two weeks, to give enough time for your skin to recover after the IPL. Try to be safe and choose a mild chemical peel, such as 15-20% glycolic or salicylic acid peels. Having a Chemical Peel 1-2 weeks before the IPL will be a good idea as well. When the skin is exfoliated, the light from the IPL will penetrate better and you will have a more beneficial treatment.

Give yourself about 2 week to heal after photofacial

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Thank you for your question.

I think it would be in your best interest to wait approximately 2 weeks before pursuing a chemical peel. Granted, IPL is not an invasive procedure and the downtime is minimal, but it does involve a degree of inflammation, and potentially crusting for freckles/lentigos.

Adding to this inflammation with a chemical peel could theoretically result in much worse inflammation and potential hyperpigmentation (darkening) of the skin.

The effects of your IPL will show their results within the 2 weeks following the procedure, and waiting for your chemical peel is well worth the wait. Doing it earlier would not add too many more benefits, but may in fact add to the risk.

Best of luck!

Don Mehrabi, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist

Chemical Peel after IPL

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The reason the other practitioners are suggesting a 2 week wait is that your skin has undergone some trauma during the IPL treatment. A chemical peel also causes some trauma by exfoliating the skin aggressively. Using two treatments very close together may cause too much irritation and some unintended side effects like raw skin or itching. Give yourself some time to heal from the IPL and then after 2 weeks feel free to get a chemical peel.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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I recommend that you wait at least 2 weeks after IPL treatment that you get a chemical peel.  Your skin will need some time to recover. 

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

I would wait 2 weeks

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I would wait until the skin has fully healed from your IPL procedure and there is no residual inflammation, the reason being that doing another procedure that causes the skin to become inflamed soon places you at greater risk for pigmentary problems. This may be as early as 1 week, depending on how your skin recovers from the IPL treatment.

I would start with a light chemical peel such as Jessner, glycolic acid, 10% TCA, or salicylic acid.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.