Topical polyphenolic antioxidants reduce the adverse effects of intense pulsed light therapy

J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2009 Sep;11(3):142-5. doi: 10.1080/14764170902984887.


Background: Intense pulsed light therapy (IPL) has been associated with erythema and increased lipid peroxidation. Polyphenolic antioxidants have been shown to decrease inflammation and reduce oxidative stress in irradiated skin.

Objective: To determine whether the topical application of polyphenolic antioxidants to IPL-treated skin reduced the adverse effects of IPL exposure.

Methods: In a split-face study, 10 volunteers underwent three full-face IPL treatments (16 J/cm(2), 10 ms, 560 nm filter) spaced 3 weeks apart. A polyphenolic antioxidant solution was pneumatically applied to the left side of the face, beginning immediately before the first IPL treatment then weekly for six treatments. The lipid peroxide concentration, skin antioxidant level and skin moisture content were obtained before and after the study.

Results: Skin treated with IPL alone contained a significantly higher concentration of lipid peroxides when compared to skin treated with IPL plus polyphenolic antioxidants (p<0.05). Skin treated with IPL alone contained a significantly lower level of polyphenolic antioxidants and had a significantly lower moisture content (p<0.05).

Conclusions: In this study, the concurrent pneumatic topical application of polyphenolic antioxidants reduced lipid peroxidation and skin dehydration in IPL-treated skin. Polyphenolic antioxidants may confer a protective effect on facial skin and enhance the effects of IPL therapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Body Water / metabolism
  • Erythema / drug therapy*
  • Erythema / etiology
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Lipid Peroxides / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenols / therapeutic use*
  • Photochemotherapy / adverse effects*
  • Polyphenols
  • Prospective Studies
  • Skin / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Lipid Peroxides
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols