8 Ways to Care for Your Skin After Laser Hair Removal
Write Up on how to care for your skin after making use of a laser hair removal machine. If you’ve ever experienced a laser hair removal treatment before, then you know that the following days can be a bit uncomfortable if you have sensitive skin.
Some people describe the sensation to being akin to a light sunburn; not a fun time at all. Luckily, there are a few ways to minimize this discomfort and get you back on the fast track to having smooth, beautiful skin.
Eight ways you can care for your skin after laser hair removal.
1. Avoid the Sun
Right after a treatment you might be experiencing some redness or irritation; this is normal. To keep it in the milder stages, it is highly suggested that you stay out of the sun as much as possible for the first week post-treatment. Your skin is in a sensitive state after being subjected to laser hair removal, and, much like an actual sunburn, UV rays will only do it further damage. Similarly, tanning in a booth or even spray tans are also not recommended. Keep indoors and out of direct sunlight as much as possible.
2. Get Some Pain Relievers
After laser treatment, some people experience some pain. It’s a good idea to grab some over-the-counter pain relievers. paracetamol, or a similar off-brand, is going to be your friend for a stretch of time. Your skin is going to be very tender for the next few days and continue to be irritable for a week or two after that, so it’s best to be prepared. Take a dose as the label directs at your earliest point of convenience to help minimize irritation, continuing to take further doses when needed.
3. Take a Lukewarm Shower
When you do finally arrive home the first thing you should do is take a cool or lukewarm shower. It is important that the temperature of the water isn’t too hot as this can cause further harm to the skin. Keep it as low as you can comfortably allow and wash the treated areas with mild, scent-free soap. Be sure not to scrub or apply too much direct pressure when washing as this could also create otherwise preventable damage. When you are done, dry the treated skin with gentle, dabbing motions of a towel or rag.
4. Hold Off on the Lotion
It might be tempting to go for your typical lotion and deodorant of choice after showering, but it’s important that you hold off. You should keep the treated and surrounding areas of your skin free of any artificial creams and sprays until at least 24 hours have passed; even then, be sure to keep topical application to a minimal. If you need to freshen up, simply wash the skin gently as you did before with non-scented soap. It may feel odd for those set in a routine of applying a lot of products after a shower, but this is for the best. Unsanctioned gels, creams, sprays, and washes will only cause irritation and in some cases pain to treated skin.
5. Apply Restorative Gel
If available to you, it is recommended to apply restorative aloe gel as often as allowed on the label. These specialized products are made to help expedite the healing of cells within the skin. They also make a great substitute for lotion in hydrating the skin, so feel free to use it while still within the 24-hour wait period. Since these products are designed specifically for use by those who go through laser hair removal, you can be sure that any money you spend obtaining this gel isn’t going to waste. Restorative gel can also be used pre-treatment, so the next time you schedule an appointment be sure to apply some before heading out the door.
6. Apply Lots of Sunscreen
In the next few days, you should be getting back to feeling like your normal self. This doesn’t mean that the threat of damage is gone, though. Anytime you plan to go outside, sunny or not, you should always apply some sunscreen. This sunscreen should be at least 30 SPF if not more and provide protection from both UVA and UVB. It is crucial that it is applied if there is even the slightest chance that you’re going to get into contact with UV rays; slather it on even if you’re simply sitting in front of a window in your house. Over the next couple of weeks, you can gradually wean yourself back to your typical use or disuse of sunscreen.
7. No Forced Hair Removal
During this time, you should also be careful not to pluck, wax, or otherwise remove stray hairs in an artificial way. It is safe to shave, but any other form of removal is strongly discouraged. After treatment your hair may take some time to shed; it is important that you give it that time instead of risking further damage to your skin. If you must shave, then it is recommended you do so with your sharpest razor and only with the aid of water as opposed to shaving creams.
Finally, once your skin is feeling healthy and lost its red or irritated appearance, you should begin exfoliating. Natural scrubs or those with less artificial scents are the best to use when exfoliating your body after laser hair removal. This process helps in aiding the rest of the remaining hairs to shed from their follicles more easily. It is also a great way to clear away any dead skin cells left behind and leaves the area feeling much smoother afterward. A good practice to keep at the end of every shower or bath in these last few weeks.
In the End
This entire treatment should be repeated every month following a laser hair removal session. With this guide you’ll soon find the healing process flash by in no time. Taking these steps also minimize your possibility for irritation and blistering from future sessions as well as promotes an overall smoother and healthier skin. So next time you go out for laser hair removal, be sure to remember these tips for the quickest road to recovery!
Medically reviewed by: Dr. Robert Walters MD (Dermatologist)