You started just by looking into it. You don’t really know why – maybe you heard about it from a friend, or maybe you saw an ad for it, or maybe you really just wanted to know more about it. You sat there thinking about the fact that after your set of laser hair removal treatments you will no longer have to shave, you will no longer have to pluck, and you will no longer have to wax the hair away. The thought was appealing at first, and then it became more and more tempting…. And yep, before you know it, you’ve booked in for your first treatment, or bought your first home IPL device.
So you’ve done it – you’ve finally taken the plunge! You’ve decided that you should definitely go for that laser hair removal treatment so you can get those glorious long term results. Your very first appointment is soon, and now you’re trying to find out more about what you’re going to go through and what you should expect. Well, there’s a lot out there about what to expect, but not as much about what to do and how to take care of yourself after the treatment.
So here’s what you should know about laser hair removal aftercare:
Prepare yourself before laser treatment
Before you go to your treatment, ready up and get the things you are going to need. You’ll want some supplies, just to help out with the aftercare. There isn’t really a lot needed. If you need to get anything, you might want to get some sunscreen and an anti-inflammation cream or a calming cream, much like the cream your clinic will apply on the treated area after you get your treatment done. Have this cream handy and apply it at night before bed and in the morning, for 24-48 hours, or more if you feel like you need it.
Ice Ice Baby
If you are feeling pain from irritation due to the treatment (some people with really sensitive skin may experience this), a good way to help with it is to get an ice pack. Just apply the ice pack to the affected area until the pain lessens to a tolerable level, or subsides. Pain is rare however – usually if you feel any pain it is only during the treatment, and not often after. Especially if you chose the right clinic and technician!
Use Sunscreen after Laser treatment
Having sunscreen is a good idea in general. If you aren’t using sunscreen on a day to day basis yet, you may want to start doing so. But more importantly, after your treatment, use sunscreen on exposed treated areas because after you get your skin treated with a laser, it becomes vulnerable to the sun’s UV rays. It can also be prone to darkening, leading to uneven skin tone, as well as some skin damage. Avoid this by using a good sunscreen!
Also do avoid tanning – tanning exposes your body to harmful UV rays, even if you are wearing sunblock. If your skin is already susceptible and vulnerable to damage post treatment, it’s not wise to put yourself right in the sun. Play it smart, avoid tanning for at least a week.
Avoid the Heat
You may want to avoid going for heat treatments for the next 48 hours after you get your laser treatment. So that means no saunas, no steam rooms, no ventosa massages, no hot rock massages, and yes…. The worst part… no hot showers (warm is okay).
If you have gotten a treatment on your face (such as a laser facial or hair removal for your little whiskers), avoid makeup for 48 hours as it may clog the pores and cause irritation. An exception to this is mineral makeup, which is alright to use post-laser. Also, if you are using anti acne medication or topical ointments, you may want to skip them for the next 48 hours as well.
Do Not Touch Your Hair
In between treatments, it is best not to touch your hair because laser hair removal needs an intact follicle to be effective. That means no plucking, epilating or waxing. So what do you do if you need to get the hair out in the meantime? Well – just shave it. Shaving leaves the follicles intact. Yep… you may have to shave in between treatments, but over time the need for it will become less and less.
Space Your Treatments Out
Hair has normal cycles of growth, and you may have to go for a treatment anywhere from every 4-8 weeks, depending on what is needed. Your clinic will let you know.
So there you have it – the right way to take care of your skin and avoid causing irritation and negative effects. Just remember the sunscreen and remember not to pick those hairs out and you should be absolutely fine!