This might cause you to be more sensitive to certain things than you normally are, making it essential to protect your skin. Going out of your way to perform these tasks after each laser treatment is especially important for those with sensitive skin, as it will ensure the treated area heals properly and in time for your next session.
Side effects that people commonly experience are often mild and include itching, redness, slight swelling, tingling, and a burning sensation similar to a slight sunburn. While these will all fade within a few days, if the proper steps aren’t taken to protect the skin, the side effects can be much worse. These include severe burns, blisters, scabbing, scarring, and extreme irritation. Furthermore, if the treated area isn’t healing properly, it could push back your next laser session extending the overall hair removal process. Instead of putting your skin at risk, follow these useful skin protection tips after every laser hair removal treatment.
1. Avoid Sun Exposure
After a laser treatment, the outer layer of the skin will be extremely sensitive to UV rays. Depending on what area of the body you’re having hair removed, you will want to keep it covered up when you go outside. If this isn’t possible, then you’ll need to slather on the sunscreen. Likely you’ll be told not to sunbathe or tan the skin for two weeks prior to your laser appointment, but you’ll also want to follow this practice for two weeks after as well. This includes using tanning beds and tanning oils as the skin will be far too sensitive to handle the UV rays, and you’ll end up with severe burns. It’s not recommended to use sunless tanning creams or sprays for this duration either, as the chemicals can irritate the area being treated. Avoid the sun and use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher to be safe.
2. Skip Other Hair Removal Methods
While shaving is okay, you shouldn’t wax, pluck, or thread the hairs in the treated area throughout the entire hair removal process. One reason for this is because the hair root needs to be intact for the laser to be able to target the hairs and permanently destroy them. Since the hair growth cycle is an essential part of the success of using lasers for hair removal, it could ruin your results if you pluck, wax, or thread in between your laser treatments. Shaving is okay since it doesn’t remove the hair by the root. Most laser clinics will actually ask you to shave the treated area within 24 hours of each appointment. Another reason you want to skip these hair removal methods is that your skin will be sensitive. Waxing especially will leave the area tender and raw, delaying the healing process.
3. Avoid Topical Beauty Products
During the first few days after your laser hair removal treatment, you’ll want to avoid most topical beauty products. The skin can be sensitive during the healing process, and you don’t want to irritate the area with the harsh ingredients found in some cosmetics. Try your best to avoid using deodorant, lotion, makeup, facial or body washes with acne fighting ingredients, acne creams, and any topical medications. Often the use of these products can resume after just 24 hours, but you should be able to tell if your skin still feels sensitive. Use your best judgment.
4. Take Cool Showers
Hot water can cause the skin around the treated area to burn and blister if you’re not careful. For this reason, it’s important that you avoid taking hot showers for 24 to 48 hours after each laser hair removal treatment. You’ll also need to pass up the opportunity to hop in any hot tubs or saunas as they will have the same effects. Even a heating pad can leave your skin red and irritated. It’s best to keep the treated area away from anything heated to avoid this.
5. Exfoliate The Area
Part of the laser hair removal process is the shedding of hair. It typically occurs between two and four weeks after your treatment, as the destroyed hair follicles begin to fall out. You can help this process move along by exfoliating the treated area. Using a washcloth or mild scrub wash, you can gently go over the area in small circular motions. Doing this several times a week will speed up the shedding and ensure your skin is ready for your next laser hair removal treatment.
By following these skin protection tips, you can be sure to experience fewer side effects and less irritation after each of your laser treatments. Before you know it, your skin in the treated area will be smooth and hair-free. The only thing you’ll have to worry about is which area to have laser hair removal on next!