Laser hair removal is a hair removal method without downtime. This means that you are in and out of a session in no time. It also means that you can resume your daily activities the moment you are out the door. However, it still means that you need to follow a slightly stricter skincare routine.
Like any other hair removal method and cosmetic procedure, laser hair removal has risks and side-effects. Those can be avoided if the proper guidelines are followed. You need to prepare for each session. Plus, you must change your skincare routine a bit after each session.
Do not wax, pluck or tweeze
Laser hair removal is a long-term hair growth reduction method that targets the pigment in the hair. Thus, it only works if there is hair to target. When you shave, you cut the hair at the surface of the skin. There is still a bit of hair in the follicle.
When you wax or pluck, you remove both the hair and the root. Thus, the hair follicle is empty. This means that there is nothing for the light energy to target. The light will just be absorbed by the melanin in the skin. This can potentially damage the skin.
After a wax, the hair needs at least six weeks to fully grow back. The thing is, each hair has a different hair growth cycle. So some hair may not be ready on time for your next session. Plus, each session is six weeks apart.
Waxing between sessions is taking the risk of interfering with your treatments. The laser would indeed have nothing to target. You would have wasted a session and your money all at once.
Hydrate your skin
As a general rule of thumb, you should always hydrate your skin. Drink a lot of water each day to make sure you do not lose fluids. Harsh winter and strong sun can also dry or irritate the skin. Thus it is important to apply a good moisturizer frequently.
Laser hair removal sends light energy onto and into the skin. It is a safe treatment with very few side effects. The energy can have an impact on the skin. You may experience dryness and redness after your treatment. Especially if you have sensitive skin.
Most of the time, redness fades after a few hours. Your certified laser technician may also advise you to apply aloe vera gel to soothe the skin. Hydrating your skin frequently will help keep it healthy all throughout your treatment.
Wait before wearing makeup
Some skincare routine changes only apply if you undergo laser hair removal on some areas of the body. Such is the case for the face or the underarms. Indeed, you are unlikely to wear makeup or deodorant anywhere else on the body.
Before you come in for your session, make sure you remove all makeup from your face. Foundation or other cosmetic products can interfere with how the energy penetrates the skin. Plus, makeup can also potentially enter the skin through an open wound created by laser, leading to inflammation and infection.
As the skin on your face needs to recover after a facial laser hair removal treatment, it is better to avoid wearing makeup for a time. Even organic makeup may contain ingredients that can irritate the skin.
We all have a different skin recovery process. However, we advise our client to wait 48 hours before they apply makeup on their face after a session. You can wear makeup throughout your treatment. Just be mindful of the ingredients and products used.
Avoid scented products
Laser hair removal damages the hair follicle. Those will be irritated after a session. You may experience redness and dryness. Thus, it is important to let the skin recover on its own without drowning it in products.
Ingredients in a product could depose itself in the open hair follicle after a laser session. This can irritate the follicle or even lead to a skin infection. The same goes for deodorant after you have done your laser hair removal.
The alcohol contained in the deodorant can irritate the skin. You can experience redness and discomfort. You will need to use a non-alcoholic deodorant that also ideally is not a spray. Your skincare routine changes are all about giving your skin time to recover and be strong again.
Protect your skin against the sun
One essential thing to do before and after laser hair removal is to avoid direct sunlight. While laser hair removal works on all skin tones, this is only true for natural complexions. If you sunbath or go for a tan, your tanning is superficial.
Tanning puts the skin into an excited state that can interfere with the treatment. That is why you need to avoid the sun before your session. You must stay away from the sun after your session because your skin will be more sensitive.
Thus, your skin will be more vulnerable to sun damage and UV rays. You need to apply a strong physical sunblock, SPF 30 at least. Only then will your skin be fully protected against the potential damages of the sun.
While you may start laser hair removal during summer, it is better to begin your treatment in the fall. Indeed, you are less likely to be in the sun in fall. The sun will also not be as strong.
Exfoliate the area your treated
You need to shave before each laser hair removal session. Each session will treat up to 20% of unwanted body hair in a designated area. Thus, you will still experience hair growth after each session until your very last.
This is because of the hair growth cycle. You will thus need to shave even after two or three sessions. The thing with shaving is that sometimes hair may become ingrown or stay under the skin. Or other thin hair that entered their growth cycle just now may also stay stuck under the skin.
Exfoliating the area you are treating will help remove dead skin cells. It will also help ingrown hair out. Thus, all your hair will be ready to be targeted. Cleaning the skin and removing dead skin cells will help make the treatment more efficient.
It will also reduce the risks of dead skin cells clogging hair follicle and skin pores, which could develop into a skin infection.