Can Lytera be mixed with Glycolic Acid or Retinol? (Photo)

I've getting IPL treatments for brown spots which are helping. The nurse recommended I use Lytera (I'm allergic to hydroquinone) to aid the process. I use an AHA ( Paula Begoun glycolic/salicylic) on & off before bed, can I mix the two together just to treat the spots?

Doctor Answers 3


Lytera is a great alternative to HQ, and can be used in conjuction with a topical retinoid. I would use caution when mixing any treatment topicals without consulting your dermatologist/provider. Especially when treating pigmentation, an SPF 30+ with zinc oxide should be used daily with regular reapplication.

Sacramento Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Lytera can be used in regimens which combine AHAs and Retinols

Skinmedica Lytera is a great serum that helps eliminate pigment and even skin tone. It can be used in conjunction with other topicals to further that end. I would recommend first either a good cleanser with glycolic acid or a topical glycolic used immediately after cleansing. Then I would use the Lytera in the morning routine (followed by moisturizer and sun block) and the Retinol in the evening. You should avoid retinols before and after IPL however. Consult with your doc about timing of retinols around IPL treatment, but we usually recommend to stop them a week before and restarting a week after.

Katherine Dee, MD
Seattle Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Brown Spot Treatment

You should consult with an expert dermatologist to make sure that combining the two topicals is safe with your skin type and in combination with the IPL treatments. AHA/BHA combined with Lytera should be just fine.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

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.