Before investing in laser hair removal, you might have a few questions about aftercare. Or, if you’ve recently had laser hair removal, you might wonder how to take care of your skin to prevent discomfort and ensure the best results. While you should prepare for laser hair removal by having a consultation, it’s also good to do your own research.
Laser hair removal can remove unwanted body and facial hair to enhance your appearance and self-confidence. Your laser hair removal technician will provide you with a few tips after your first session to ensure you do everything possible to take care of your skin while it heals, but it can be easy to forget, so you might need some help in the hours, days, and weeks after treatment.
Knowing how to take care of your skin after laser hair removal is crucial, so let’s look at a few tips to help. Keep reading or use the links below.
What to Expect After Laser Hair Removal
Safe laser hair removal is non-invasive and gentle, but you might experience some irritation and redness in the hours following your treatment. However, for most people, it feels as though nothing was done to their skin at all. Normal side effects may include swelling, redness, and mild discomfort, but it shouldn’t be enough to distract you from your everyday life. For example, many people run errands or return to work right after a session.
After each hair removal session, the hair follicles are more damaged. However, they’re not eliminated, so it takes multiple sessions for some people to see drastic results. Still, at first, the hair will continue to grow, but it should appear thinner over time, especially after each treatment.
Hairs grow in three stages, and it’s only in the first stage, when the hair connects to the follicle, that laser hair removal can be most effective. Luckily, your hair stays in this first stage for a long time, which is why a single hair removal session can remove a significant amount of hair. However, you’ll need multiple treatments to target all the hairs in a treatment area. All that is to say, you’ll likely see some hair still growing even after a few sessions until you’ve finished your treatment series.
How Long Do You Wait Between Hair Removal Sessions?
You should wait anywhere from four to eight weeks between hair removal sessions. The proper interval for you will depend on several factors, and your provider will help you determine the treatment schedule that’s right for you.
Ultimately, you must wait between sessions because the follicle needs to regenerate so the hair can be targeted again for more effective results.
4 Things to Do Skin Care After Laser Hair Removal
Proper skin care after laser treatment is essential for the best experience. Here are a few post-laser-hair-removal skin care tips:
1. Use a Cold Compress
If you experience redness or swelling after laser hair removal, it will go away within a few hours. However, you can speed up recovery and make your skin more comfortable by using a cold compress on the laser hair removal treatment area. Your skin may feel like it’s experiencing a sunburn. This sensation should only last for up to two hours after treatment, but everyone is different.
If the sensitivity continues, you should talk to your laser hair removal specialist for more tips.
2. Wash Gently
You can bathe after a laser hair removal treatment, but you should avoid hot water if possible because the treatment area may be sensitive. Instead, you should use cooler water. You’ll want to wash gently with a mild soap and pat your skin dry the same day as your treatment. Note that you should never scrub or rub the skin if irritated.
3. Wear Sunscreen Daily
You should wear sunscreen on any exposed skin, and this is especially true if you’ve recently had laser hair removal. Sun exposure is harsh on the skin, especially if it’s already irritated. As such, you want to avoid getting sunburned which can also delay your treatment. In addition, the sun can wreak havoc on your skin, resulting in premature aging, sun spots, and other things that might distract from your newly smooth, hair-free skin.
Always wear broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. You should aim for a sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30.
4. Mildly Exfoliate
You should avoid exfoliating for the first 48 hours after laser hair removal, especially if your skin is irritated. However, over the next few weeks, your hair will begin shedding. Exfoliating your skin after treatment can help remove dead hairs. However, you should avoid any harsh irritants; mild scrubs and exfoliants are best because you don’t want to damage the skin, especially if you have an upcoming treatment.
What to Avoid After Laser Hair Removal
While there are many things you should do to care for your skin after laser hair removal, one of the most common mistakes people make is not knowing what to avoid. Remember, your skin may be more sensitive after laser hair removal, especially in the few hours after treatment. So here are a few things to avoid to help your skin heal and prevent discomfort while enhancing your results.
Avoid Irritating Products
Using irritating products, such as harsh exfoliators and products with fragrances, can make your skin more irritated. While some pain after laser hair removal is normal, you shouldn’t exacerbate it with harsh ingredients in your lotion, body wash, or other personal care items. The following products should be avoided following your treatment:
- Tanning lotions
- Body scrubs
Avoid Sun Exposure
Sun exposure can cause further irritation to the skin after laser hair removal. Laser hair removal makes your skin susceptible to damage because it’s vulnerable after treatment, so you should try to avoid sun exposure for at least a few weeks before and after treatment.
If you can’t avoid the sun, you should wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply throughout the day. Of course, you should also avoid tanning beds during this time.
Don’t Pick at Your Skin
Laser hair removal only removes a portion of your hair during each treatment, so you’ll notice the hair start to grow back, even though it should be more minimal. This may cause it to be itchy or irritated. However, you shouldn’t scratch at or pick the treatment area. If you have an itch, apply a cold compress to relieve the sensation instead of scratching it.
Don’t Use Other Hair Removal Methods
You can shave throughout your laser hair removal treatments as long as your skin isn’t irritated or sensitive. However, for the first few days, refrain from any hair removal, including shaving, because it can be painful or cause redness and irritation.
If you want to remove hair in the treatment area once your skin has healed, you can shave. However, you want to avoid waxing and tweezing as it removes the hair follicle and can interfere with treatment.
What Do You Need to Know for Long-Term Care Post Laser Hair Removal?
Skin care after laser treatment is fairly straightforward, but you will have long-term maintenance needs even after your last session to ensure the best possible results. For example, you should continue to protect your skin from harmful UV rays from the sun by either keeping your skin covered or using sunscreen.
In addition, some stray hairs may regrow after your final session. While hair removal can reduce and eliminate unwanted hair, some stray hairs may come back. You may have to schedule touch-up treatments if the hair regrows. However, it is a long-term option for those who don’t want to shave or pluck daily.
Enjoy Smooth, Hair-Free Skin
Knowing how to take care of your skin after laser hair removal is crucial. However, you can always ask your technician if you have concerns. At LivSmooth, our experts are here to help you take care of your skin before, during, and after laser hair removal treatment. We tailor your treatments to meet your needs based on factors like your goals and skin type.
In addition to being committed to exceptional patient care, we offer free touch-ups in our treatments. We can provide you with more information about taking care of your skin after treatment during the consultation. Learn more about LivSmooth and our services by scheduling your complimentary consultation today or reading our laser hair removal FAQs.