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So you’ve finished up your first laser hair removal session, and you may be wondering if there is any additional aftercare that you might need to know about. While you’re right to be concerned, there really isn’t much to it. After all, we all know that laser hair removal is minimally invasive, and requires little to no downtime. All that good stuff aside, there are some common best practices… some do’s and don’ts if you will, that will help you get the best results. Remember, the skin is the biggest organ on your body, so it’s best to take care of it.
You’ve probably heard of a hot compress before. When you have a zit or an ingrown hair, you apply a hot, soft cloth to the affected area, and let the heat work its magic. Since you’re coming off from heat after your laser hair removal, you’re going to want to apply a cool compress to the affected area. If you don’t feel like getting damp, you can also switch gears and go for the classic “ice pack wrapped in a paper towel or t-shirt” method. However you get your cool sensation is up to you. You’ll be on your way to comfort in no time.
Since you’re exposing your skin to heat with laser hair removal, it’s a common best practice to avoid direct sun exposure from two weeks before to two weeks afterward for best results.We’re not saying that you have to wear a cloak and robe, or live indoors or in the shade, but just to be mindful of how much sun exposure you’re getting. At the end of the day, the best practice is still to wear sun protective clothing and at least SPF 30 throughout the entire treatment process. If you can’t resist a day of tanning at the beach, then laser hair removal might just be a winter endeavor for you, and that’s just fine. Just be mindful that it takes up to a year to obtain full results, so you will need to be cautious of sunlight, even if it’s for a couple appointments. The cooler darker months will let you come and go with minimal sun exposure..
Every coin has two sides, so we need to talk about what not to do if you’re having laser hair removal sessions.
This goes without saying that if you didn’t get treatment on your underarms, then you can use your deodorant like normal. Business as usual for you! But if your underarms have been treated, it’s best to stay away from anything that might irritate your skin. This even includes natural deodorants. As for how long, everybody has a different reaction, but a 3 day window without any potential irritants is the general rule of thumb. If you’re looking for a quick way to feel fresh without your trusty speed stick, corn starch based substances such as baby powder will provide relief and a fresh scent you could get behind.
Just like deodorant, body scrubs are capable of irritating the treated area. An extension to body scrubs will be anything that exfoliates. This can include certain soaps and body washes that are abrasive against the skin. And this includes both physical and chemical exfoliants– alpha hydroxy acids, and beta hydroxy acids. Yes, exfoliating should be part of any solid skin care routine, but you need to be in line with the proper aftercare for laser hair removal. You will also want to stay away from retinoids as part of your skincare routine where you are getting laser hair removal. Think of it as a short term sacrifice for a long term gain. Your skin will thank you for it. And think about how much easier it’s going to be to exfoliate when you don’t have recurring hair growth to get in the way of your glow.
Since we mentioned that a best practice is avoiding UV rays with your sensitive skin, it goes without saying that tanning of any kind will be considered a worst practice. One of the biggest things to get in the way of the success of your treatment is tanning of any kind. This includes indoor tanning, outdoor tanning, and even spray tans. It’s worth repeating that you need to avoid getting your tan on from two weeks before to two weeks after treatment for the best results. LHR treatment is only as safe as your aftercare routine. Think of the lifetime of comfort you’ll have from the absence of unwanted hair by skipping the tanning bed for a short period of time. Consider it a brief recess. You’ll be back to the beach with a vengeance when all is said and done.
At the end of the day, self care is the most important thing. To treat your skin gently is just part of the equation. You’re on your way to being your best self, but don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep, drink plenty of water, and get your steps in as well. With your self care, our sessions, and your aftercare, you’re going to love the way you look and feel.
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9350 University Ave #132, West Des Moines, IA 50266