Have you ever wondered how laser hair removal treatments eliminate unwanted body hair? The light — lasers are a type of light — is absorbed by the pigment in each hair. The laser light generates heat, and it’s the heat that damages the hair follicle in order to inhibit the growth.
The most common side effects include swelling around the hair follicle and temporary irritation, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Dr. Afia Naqvi at Rénove Medical Spa and our skilled team of providers created this guide to help you care for your skin after laser treatments, reduce mild swelling around the hair follicle, and help you achieve your dream of oh-so-smooth skin.
Give your skin a little TLC
Laser hair removal is safe and effective, but remember that your skin is your largest organ, so it needs a little pampering after a laser hair removal session. Follow these six tips to keep your skin in tip-top shape:
1. Avoid sun exposure
After your session, your skin may be a little more sensitive to UV exposure. To reduce UV exposure:
- Avoid going out during peak hours (10 am - 4 pm)
- Wear sunscreen with at least 30 SPF if you can’t avoid going outside
- Wear long-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, or pants to cover your treated area
You can expect to follow these guidelines for six weeks after your procedure, according to Mayo Clinic.
Tip: While avoiding sun exposure is essential for your aftercare, it’s also essential for your pre-session care too. Avoiding sunbathing, both on the beach and in the tanning salon, before and after your treatment.
2. Try cold compresses
Most people describe a laser session as a rubber band snapping against the skin, but most tolerate this well. You can use a topical numbing gel for added comfort. After your session, you might find that your skin is a little irritated. Cold compresses or ice packs can help ease any discomfort.
3. Resist the urge to wax and pluck!
Lasers only target hair while it’s in the growth phase. This is why the ideal laser hair treatment plan consists of sessions spaced out in specific intervals to make sure that — throughout your treatment — each hair is targeted while it’s in the growth phase.
This means that one session alone won’t eliminate all of your hair, but there’s good news. You don’t have let your hair grow out between sessions. You can shave (up to 24 hours before your appointment).
You should, however, avoid waxing. Not only can waxing irritate your skin after a laser session, but it can interfere with your results. Lasers need the hair root in place in order to work. Since waxing takes out the root, it’s a no-go.
4. Skip these toiletries
After your laser session, your skin may be sensitive or a little red. As your skin heals, you’ll want to avoid topical beauty products on the treated area. This includes:
- Deodorant on your underarms
- Scented body washes and scented lotions
You don’t have to skip the topical beauty products for long. About 24 hours after your appointment, you’re good to go.
5. Skip the hot shower
A hot shower might be soothing, but hot water can dry out the skin. Hot water can also further irritate your skin after laser hair removal. To reduce the risk of further irritation:
- Take cool (not hot) showers for 48 hours
- Skip hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms until your skin heals
- Avoid heating pads and electric blankets during this time
Instead of a hot shower, try a cool shower.
6. Exfoliate your skin
While exfoliation isn’t a good idea immediately after your session (it will irritate your skin), exfoliation will be helpful in the weeks after your laser hair removal. It can remove the shedding hair as well as dead skin cells. Regular exfoliation also helps to reduce the risk of ingrown hairs and dull, dry skin.
Say goodbye to shaving and waxing
Although you’ll need to prepare for laser sessions and pamper your skin afterward, laser hair treatments help give you smooth, hair-free skin! At Rénove Medical Spa, we want to help you say goodbye to waxing forever.
To learn more about laser hair removal, call our Kingwood, Texas spa at 346-200-8481. You can also visit us online to request an appointment.