SeeBeyond Beauty

How to Care for Your Skin After Laser Hair Removal

skin in the process. What steps should you take to protect and baby your skin after laser hair removal? Find out here.

Whether you choose to permanently remove hair from your face or body, light-based laser treatments leave your skin temporarily tender. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations before laser hair removal to ensure the best results. And take extra care of your skin afterward, too. 

Laser hair removal improves the look and feel of your skin both on your body and your face. Popular areas for laser hair removal include:

  • Legs
  • Armpits
  • Mustache area
  • Sideburns
  • Chin
  • Back
  • Chest
  • Abdomen
  • Bikini area

Joon Lee, MD, and our team of aesthetic experts at SeeBeyond Beauty offer laser hair removal using intense pulsed light (IPL) at our offices in Scarsdale, New York. Most women and men benefit from a series of up to six laser hair removal treatments. After each one, take the following steps to protect your skin. 

Cool down

Laser therapy is light therapy, and it heats up your skin. You may notice that directly after your IPL laser hair removal session, your skin is a bit red, tender, and even swollen. 

Cool down the heat by applying cold compresses for the first few hours after treatment. Either wrap an ice pack in a towel or soak a washcloth in cold water and wring it dry. Apply to the tender or swollen areas of your skin for a few minutes at a time. 

Not only do ice packs and other forms of cold compresses turn down the heat on your skin, but they can reduce pain, too. Never apply the ice directly to your skin, however; doing so can harm your skin and worsen your irritation. 

Tackle pain

Not everyone feels uncomfortable after IPL therapy, but if your skin is sensitive, be sure to get the care you need. We can provide you with a steroid cream that reduces pain and swelling. You can also take over-the-counter painkillers to manage any discomfort. 

Stay shady

If you’ve just had your last laser hair removal treatment, you may be eager to rush to the beach to show off your silky smooth legs and body. Resist that urge: More than ever, you must protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. 

If you followed your doctor’s instructions, you already avoided the sun for a month before your first laser hair removal treatment. Be sure to extend your efforts for another month after your last treatment. 

Although everyone needs to limit their sun exposure, when you undergo laser hair removal, “avoid” is a better strategy. Stay indoors during the hours when sunlight is strongest, generally 10am-4pm.  

When you must be outdoors, wear long sleeves and long skirts or pants (depending on which area was treated) as well as a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. And never use a tanning bed. Never. 

After you’ve finished your IPL series and you’ve spent another month in sun avoidance, you can go back to normal skin-protection strategies. It’s still best to avoid peak sunlight hours and wear protective clothing whenever possible. You can use sunscreen again and reapply it every two hours or after swimming or sweating. 

Delay shaving

You wouldn’t shave directly after a sunburn develops; nor should you shave after your IPL hair removal treatment. Your first hair-removal session only targets about 10%-25% of your unwanted hairs, so you may be tempted to reach for the razor to take care of the stragglers.  

However, just be a little patient. Within hours or, at most, a few days, your skin’s irritation and sensitivity subsides. Never shave skin that’s:

  • Red
  • Swollen
  • Irritated
  • Painful

Of course, the same directive extends to plucking and other forms of hair removal. Be gentle with your skin following a laser procedure, and worry about those stray hairs in a few days. 

Baby your skin

Now’s not the time for exfoliating treatments or alcohol-based toners. Do everything you can to protect your skin against potential irritants. Depending on the areas treated, avoid:

  • Perfumes and colognes
  • Skin toners
  • Deodorant 
  • Body scrubs
  • Loofahs and rough washcloths
  • Harsh soaps
  • Scented lotions

While you avoid basking in the sun, you may be tempted to try a tanning cream or lotion. Don’t. Tanning lotions have highly irritating ingredients that may create rashes or bumps.  

Ask us about the right kinds of products to use on your tender skin after laser hair removal. We recommend medical-grade skin care products that help your skin heal and renew itself.  

Take your first step toward silky, smooth, healthy and hair-free skin by booking an IPL hair removal session today. Call our helpful staff during office hours for a free consultation, or request an appointment online at your convenience.

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