READER REVIEW: Aqua Peel and IPL for Acne and Acne Scars

Duration:  60 minutes 

Cost:  $180 for Aqua Peel and $250 for IPL

Location: ClearSK

Treatment Review – Review of Aqua Peel and IPL

before IPL treatment

Before treatment

Reader, Ash, suffers from active acne, depressed scars and acne marks. She has tried facials, which left her with even more scars and is using medical skincare to control her acne. When I met her, she was also suffering from a breakout and had red, angry- looking pimples on her cheeks.

Dr Shiau took a look at her skin and recommended the Aqua Peel treatment for her. The Aqua Peel treatment is a unique combination of diamond microdermabrasion, lactic acid peel and vitamin infusion. Microdermbrasion will exfoliate her skin as well as help loosen blackheads and whiteheads, lactic acid to lighten her skin and vitamin infusion to hydrate her skin. Dr Shiau will also do two different IPL treatments – the blue light IPL for acne followed by another photorejuvenation IPL for acne scars.

Treatment process:

diamond microdermabrasion treatment

Diamond Microdermabrasion treatment

lactic acid peel

Lactic acid peel

After cleansing Ash’s face, Eve, the therapist, started the diamond microdermabrasion using a device with a suction effect. This device is slowly rubbed all over Ash’s neck and face. According to Ash, the procedure feels comfortable despite the sucking effect. Eve changed the device to a smaller head to focus on smaller areas like the nose. This was followed by the lactic acid which was sprayed on Ash’s face and massaged into the skin, creating a tingling sensation. Another serum was sprayed and massaged on the face, this time it was a multi-vitamin infusion – containing Vitamin C, A and antioxidants. After pampering the skin, Eve performed a quick extraction to remove some clogged pores but she left the big pimples alone as they were not “ripe” yet.

getting ready for IPL

Ash all ready for her IPL treatment

IPL treatment

The IPL treatment

Eve then applied a cold gel on Ash’s face to get her ready for her IPL. According to Dr Shiau, the IPL process will feel like you are “getting slapped with a wet towel”. However, when I checked with Ash later, she says that it actually feels more like ant bites. First up, the blue light IPL which is 410 wavelength, followed by the photorejuvenation IPL at 560 wavelength. “The shorter the wavelength, the stronger the IPL and the more painful,” explains Dr Shiau. The IPL process took about 10 minutes and consisted mostly of very bright lights and a loud, snapping sound. To finish off Ash’s skin treatment, a soothing tea tree mask is applied, followed by Vitamin C serum to repair skin.


after IPL treatment

Ash after Aqua Peel and IPL treatment

“IPL stimulates collagen within and is more suitable for fairer skin. Young women love doing IPL as it has an immediate brightening and glowing effect,” says Dr Shiau. True enough, Ash’s face did look fairer and felt smoother after the entire treatment. To enjoy better results, five to six treatments are recommended.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between IPL and laser treatments, here’s an easy analogy: If you have a date and want to look good when you leave the clinic, choose an IPL treatment, buts its effects may not last as long as a laser treatment as it is more superficial. If you have pressing issues like scars and can afford downtime, a laser treatment is more suitable. As Ash is a first-timer, Dr Shiau wanted her to feel and look good after the treatment. How thoughtful!

Update: Ash told me that her ex-colleague that she met noticed her brighter skin and asked her what she has done!

ClearSK is at:

177 Toa Payoh Central #01-134/136

Tel: 6478-2910

#01-03 Telepark 5 Tampines Central 6

Tel: 6260-6020

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