Skincare Tips Before and After Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a popular treatment for men and women who want to get rid of unwanted body hair. It has recently become one of the most widely performed cosmetic procedures in beauty spas and clinics.
Advancements in laser-based technology have made laser treatment for hair removal a safer and better option for waxing, tweezing, shaving, and even electrolysis. While it comes with potential side effects, following pre-and post-laser hair removal skin care helps maximize its benefits and allows the treated area to heal quickly.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser hair removal is a safe way to remove unwanted hair on your face and body. During the procedure, the waves of laser energy (converted to heat) are absorbed deep by the pigment (melanin) in the hair, damaging your hair follicles and impacting their natural growth cycle. It may take a few weeks for the targeted hairs to eventually shed away on their own.
Laser treatment for hair removal is not a permanent solution for getting rid of unwanted hairs, but with proper preparation, it can yield result that lasts for years. With each subsequent treatment, it can drastically reduce hair growth in targeted areas, including your face, back, neck, legs, arms, underarms, and stomach.
To optimize results and minimize side effects, we have rounded up a few helpful tips on what to do before and after getting a laser hair removal service.
How to Prepare for a Full Body or Facial Laser Hair Removal
Before you book a laser hair removal in Oakville, consult a certified dermatologist or a cosmetic surgery specialist with experience in laser hair removal to determine if you are a good candidate for the treatment. Be sure to discuss with the dermatologist the medications you are currently taking. Some medications can put you at risk of photosensitivity, which can result in burns.
While laser hair removal is most effective to light-skinned and dark-haired people, it does not necessarily mean that blond-haired and dark-skinned people cannot receive treatment. The dermatologist will assess your skin and hair type to weigh the benefits and risks that come with laser hair removal.
Here are some helpful pre-laser hair removal skin care tips:
- Avoid using skin care products that contain harsh ingredients, such as salicylic acid, retinoids, hydroxy acid, and benzoyl peroxide.
- Get treatment during fall or winter when your legs are pale. Avoid direct sun or all forms of tanning for 6 weeks before booking your treatment. Use sunscreens to protect your skin from the heat.
- Never pluck, wax, or bleach your hair 6 weeks before your scheduled appointment as they can reduce the effectiveness of your laser treatment.
- Be sure to shave your body or facial hair before the treatment. Shaving stimulates the hair follicle to grow, making it ideal for laser targeting. For instance, if you book an underarm laser hair removal session, save your underarms within 24 hours of your appointment. Unlike waxing or plucking, shaving only removes the hair on the skin’s surface while keeping the root intact. Laser treatment works best if it is able to target hair roots.
- Do take a shower and clean the treatment area to get rid of dirt and oil from the skin. Avoid using any skin moisturizers and other skincare products.
- Do not apply lotions, moisturizers, oils, and deodorants to the targeted area before the treatment. These products can prevent the laser from penetrating the hair roots. Make sure your skin is clean and dry when you are at your appointment.
- Follow the doctor’s pre-treatment instructions. Discontinue the use of medications, such as blood thinners, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotics prior to your appointment. Inform your doctor if you have new medications since your consultation.
- Avoid Botox or dermal fillers, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and other skin care treatments that can cause photosensitivity at least 2 weeks before your scheduled treatment to prevent irritation of the skin.
How to Care for Skin After Laser Hair Removal
Swelling and redness in the treatment area are among the most common yet temporary side effects of laser hair removal. You might experience a mild sunburn on the treatment area during the first few hours after the session. You can use topical cooling creams or aloe vera to relieve discomfort. These mild side effects will subside within 1 to 3 days.
Your hair will not fall out right away during the procedure, but the result will take place after a few weeks. Since hair follicles have separate growth cycles, you might notice some patchy regrowth. However, it can be eliminated by getting treatment during follow-up visits.
Make sure to follow these helpful skin care after laser hair removal to prevent unpleasant side effects:
- Attend your scheduled follow-up visits or maintenance treatments as recommended by your dermatologist in a timely manner.
- Avoid direct sunlight or using tanning beds. Use high-quality sunscreen to prevent potential skin irritation and other forms of complications.
- For the first 24 hours following your treatment, avoid exercising and exposing your skin to any types of heat, such as hot showers, steam rooms, and saunas as it can cause discolouration or infection in the treated area. While you can return to the gym after 24 hours, your dermatologist will recommend you avoid the sun for up to 2 weeks. Harmful UV lights and tanning beds can put you at risk of scarring or permanent pigmentation.
- While spray tans and other “sun-less” tanning options are safe to use between treatment sessions, be sure to discontinue their use 2 weeks before your next scheduled appointment.
- Continue to shave but avoid other hair removal methods, such as plucking, tweezing, or waxing, between treatments.
- Use a loofah or washcloth to gently exfoliate your treated skin 2 to 3 times a week to reduce the risk of ingrown hairs.
- Avoid using hydroxy acids and retinoids for a week after laser hair removal treatment. However, you can safely use a gentle skin cleanser and soothing moisturizing lotion. Avoid microdermabrasion, dermal fillers like Botox, and chemical peels for at least 2 weeks.
- Shower with lukewarm water for the first week following your treatment.
- Avoid using deodorants and perfumes for 48 hours after the laser hair removal procedure.
If you are looking for an advanced laser clinic in Oakville, call Monterella Boutique & Spa at (905) 844-4343 to book an appointment or a free personalized consultation with one of our trusted dermatologists. You can submit our contact form and leave us a message.