Topical Vitamin C Before and After Photofacial - Recommended?

Doctor Answers 7

Topical Vitamin C and skin care treatments

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 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.

Individualized protocol best

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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.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Topical vitamin C absolutely not necessary before or after Photofacial

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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.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

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Topical Vitamin C before photofacial

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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.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

IPL treatment does not require Vitamin C

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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.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

No need for topical Vitamin C before Photofacial

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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.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

Skin treatment for photofacial

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It is not necessary to do anything special for an IPL photofacial.  You should just continue with your medical grade skin regimen prescribed by your doctor. 

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.