The first advice that any laser hair removal technician will give you is that you must stay away from direct sunlight as much as possible. Both before and after your laser hair removal session. Why? Well, because laser hair removal makes your skin more sensitive to UV rays, which increases the chances of sun damage. We wrote an extensive blog post on why you need to use sunscreen after laser hair removal which gives a thorough explanation of the topic. However, does that meant that because you should not be in the sun, you cannot practice safe laser hair removal in summer?
No. Even though there are better times than summer to undergo laser hair removal, you can still attend your sessions in summer. If you have started laser hair removal during winter, it is likely that they will carry on until at least fall, so you will have to do laser hair removal in summer. Now, what interest us here is how to do safe laser hair removal in summer. The important word here is "safe". The responsibility to making laser hair removal safe in summer partly fall onto you.
5 Expert Tips For Safe Laser Hair Removal In Summer
As a matter of fact, you cannot force a kid to eat spinach if they don't want to. But then, they can't blame anyone but themselves if they are hungry afterwards. The same concept applies here. The laser hair removal technician will discuss the procedure with you and list all the safety and care recommendations you should follow. If you do not follow them, you risks seeing adverse reactions that can lead to permanent skin damage. You can absolutely undergo laser hair removal in summer as long as you follow those 5 expert tips for safe laser hair removal.
1. Stay away from direct sun
If you live in New York City, you know how hot and sunny summer gets here. Thus, the temptation to wear shorts and dresses will be oh so strong and you will expose your legs. The rule applies if you live anywhere else of course. Maybe not in the United Kingdom though. But still, if it is sunny outside, you want to enjoy the sun, show some skin and tan a bit. While we do love to do that too, if you just had laser hair removal, restrain yourself for a bit.
The laser used during the procedure will send light energy to the skin. That energy will target the hair to get to the follicle, but it will still go through the skin. Thus, the skin will be very sensitive to light and UV rays after a session of laser hair removal. Because it is more sensitive, it is more vulnerable to sun damage and burn. Sun damage can go beyond hyperpigmentation and sunburns so whenever you can, avoid direct sun light. Or at least, wait a good fourteen days before exposing yourself to the sun and tanning again.
2. Use A Strong SPF
Some people say that if it is cloudy out there, they do not risk getting a sunburn. They could not be more wrong. Sure, clouds do sort of provide a bit of a shield against the sun but it does not mean UV rays cannot make it to you! If it was the case, it'd be dark outside any time the sky is cloudy. You can still get sun damage even when you don't see the sun.
Now, when it comes to safe laser hair removal, the same applies. Whether you are undergoing your first session laser hair removal in summer or finishing your treatment, you must protect your skin against the sun and potential sun damage. You would use sunscreen when staying in the sun regardless of laser hair removal anyway, so why not use sunblock when you need it the most?
Use a SPF 30 or above. SPF 50 is even better as it provides a very protective layer to your skin. If you naturally have a very sensitive skin, this may be aggravated with laser hair removal so pick a kids sunscreen. They usually are even more powerful and protective. Physical sunblocks act as shield against UV rays. Do not rely on makeup claiming to contain SPF. They will not be strong enough to protect your skin against the sun.
Whether you do laser hair removal or not, whether you intend on staying in the sun and tanning, whether you get out while it's sunny outside, you must always use SPF. A strong sun can do permanent damage to an unprotected skin. It would be a shame to spend time and money on laser hair removal to not being able to display those hairless legs because you did not listen to your technician's recommendations and got permanent sun damage.
3. Avoid Tanning For A While
The main reason why people think that you should not undergo laser hair removal in summer is because of the sun. As a matter of fact, summer is synonym with holiday, sun, exposed skin and fun. There is literally no chance that you would stay inside on those jeans all summer long and miss the fun. Yet, in exposing yourself you take the risk to get sunburnt and interfere with the healing process of your skin after laser hair removal.
Potential damage to your skin is what sun exposure is not recommended after laser hair removal. Another reason why we advise clients to avoid sun exposure is because they will tan. Similarly, we strongly advise against self-tanning and tanning beds. Respecting those recommendations ensure that you get safe laser hair removal.
The laser used during the procedure detects pigments. The laser is programmed to target the pigment in the hair so that it can send energy all the way down to the hair follicle. Yet, with some machines, if the contrast between skin tone and hair color is not shape, the laser could target the skin pigment as well. And burn it. Tanning changes the skin pigments, makes it darker, reduces that contrast between hair and skin colors and increases the chances of adverse reactions.
Thus, when it comes to safe laser hair removal, tanning is a miss. If you really want a tanned look, you may use fake tan lotions. However, make sure that you clean it off your skin before your laser hair removal session.
4. Ask For YAG Laser
Laser hair removal works on all skin complexions and tones. Modern laser hair removal technology and latest improvements allow treatment on all types of skin. Then, you would ask, why discourage exposure to the sun and tanning if laser works for all skin tones? Exposure to the sun is about protecting your skin against sun damage. Tanning is about being safe rather than sorry.
Should you have a dark or tanned skin, ask your technician that she use Nd: YAG laser. It is the only and safest laser hair removal machine for women of color and darker skins in general. Its wavelength is not as highly absorbed by melanin as other wavelengths and bypasses the epidermis, so it’s very safe on dark skins. Even if at Infinity Laser Spa, we do use YAG laser, not all laser hair removal spa do.
Thus, better be safe than sorry and avoid tanning. Because it may still increase the chances of adverse reactions. Especially because light skins tend to have lighter hair than people with dark skins. Thus the contrast would be tanned skin with lighter, which might confuse the laser.
5. Moisturize and hydrate daily
Whether or not you undergo laser hair removal, you should always take care of your skin. You protect your skin in summer and make sure it does not get too dry in winter. Since you would take care of your skin naturally, why not do that too after your laser treatment? Laser hair removal open the pores, leaving them vulnerable to infections. Plus, the energy of the laser will have left the skin very sensitive to UV rays.
Thus, you will need to use strong SPF to protect the treated area against potential sun damage. Furthermore, The combination of UV rays and laser hair removal also make your skin more prone to dehydration. Make sure you use organic and natural fragrance-free moisturizers and that you keep your skin hydrating.
Here you have our five expert tips for safe laser hair removal in summer should you wish to carry on with your sessions. However, we do think that the best time to start laser hair removal is autumn, after you are back from vacation and your tan goes away. Plus, you will minimize the exposure to the sun and contribute to making the procedure even safer.
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