Most people don’t think of their skin as an organ, but the truth is that your skin is the largest organ in your body. It’s your body’s natural armor, separating you from the world. But at the same time, it’s also your body’s first connection to the world around you. An organ that important deserves only the best and most quality care. When it comes to removing unwanted hair from your skin, laser hair removal is one such method that truly treats your skin with the delicate care it deserves.
You should too. While everyone ought to have a skincare regimen, there are a few special tips for properly caring for your skin before and after your laser hair removal treatments.
Preparing for Your Laser Hair Removal Appointment
Before you see your esthetician for your laser treatments, here are a tips to maximize the efficacy of your treatments.
- Do not wax, tweeze, or thread the area for at least four weeks.
- At least two weeks before the appointment, do not have Botox or dermal filler injections. There may be swelling after laser hair removal that could potentially move the fillers out of position. The same 14-day warning applies to chemical peels or dermabrasion, which can make your skin too sensitive prior to the laser treatment.
- Avoid products like hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids for three days before your appointment. These products contain photoreactive compounds that might cause damage to your skin when exposed to the laser’s UV light.
- Some medications may also be photoreactive, such as antidepressants and antihistamines. Other medications like blood thinners may also be problematic. Contact your esthetician before the appointment to find out which of your medications may react with the laser.
- Avoid direct sunlight for three days prior to the treatment. If you must spend time outdoors, wear a sunscreen of SPF30 or higher.
- Do not drink more than two alcoholic beverages within two days of your appointment.
- Shave the area you want treated 24 hours before your appointment. Aim for a close shave, but if it’s your first time, leave behind a small patch of hair so that the esthetician can examine it.
- Do not apply any lotion, deodorant, or makeup on the day of your appointment.
“Shave the area you want treated 24 hours before your appointment.”
Caring for Your Skin After Laser Hair Removal
Discomfort, Bumps, or Redness
Caring for your skin immediately after your treatment or treatments is going to look different than your usual skin care once you’ve completed your sessions altogether. Some mild irritation can occur immediately after your session, which should last only for a short time period, but there are simple ways to help alleviate the discomfort and take care of your skin:
● Wrap an ice pack in a towel and hold it against your skin for up to 10 minutes at a time. You don’t want to apply the ice pack for too long or it may restrict blood flow and extend your healing time. Do not apply the ice pack directly to your skin.
● Use over-the-counter medications as directed, but you’ll probably not need to use them after 24 hours. Do not take aspirin because it can thin your blood and increase the time it takes for your skin to heal.
● Aloe vera gel can also help for redness and swelling. Let the gel absorb into your skin, and when it begins to dry, you can remove any excess with a soft, slightly damp cloth. It’s also okay to just leave the aloe vera gel on your skin.
● It is perfectly normal to experience no irritation, but notice some minor discoloring or bumps. This will fade on it’s own.
Skincare Regimen After Laser Hair Removal
● Treat the area very gently for the first 48 hours after the procedure. Use cool or lukewarm water to shower or bathe and a mild cleanser. After you’ve finished bathing, pat the area dry - do not rub it. If the treated area is exposed to too much heat, it can cause skin irritation, so avoid saunas and steam rooms as well as hot water.
● Do not use lotions, moisturizers, deodorant, antiperspirant, or makeup on the treated area for the first 24 hours after treatment. It’s best to just keep your skin clean and dry and let it breath on its own.
● Exfoliation will help increase the speed at which your dead hairs shed. These dead hairs typically begin to shed between 5-30 days after your treatment, but to move things along, you can push these hairs out of their follicles by using a regular washcloth or an exfoliating cloth. Shaving will also help to exfoliate.
● To avoid the appearance of dark or light spots on your skin, avoid sun exposure for two months. Always use a sunscreen with an SPF30 or higher.
● Do not tweeze, wax, thread, pick, or scratch the treated area. The only hair removal method you should use is shaving because any other method may interfere with your future laser hair removal sessions.
Activity After Laser Hair Removal
● Mild or Moderate activity is okay, but strenuous exercise can raise your body temperature and irritate the treated area. Avoid any kind of activity that will lead to excessive body temperatures for 48 hours.
Men’s and Women’s Laser Hair Removal in Manhattan
Self-care before and after laser hair removal will produce the best results, keeping your skin healthy, strong and beautiful. But it’s also important to choose a skilled esthetician who uses a state-of-the-art laser, and can provide safe and effective laser hair removal for all skin types and colors. Find your Manhattan laser hair removal specialist today!