What To Do Before Your Laser Hair Removal Appointment
If you're considering laser hair removal as a way to achieve smooth, hair-free skin, you’re in for a treat! It's a popular and effective method for reducing unwanted body or facial hair. If it’s your first time, you may be wondering what to do before your laser hair removal appointment.
To ensure the best results and minimize any potential risks, there are important steps you should take before laser hair removal appointment scheduling. In this blog post, we will provide you with valuable tips and guidance on what to do before laser hair removal.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure a safe, effective, and successful laser hair removal experience. So let's dive in and learn more about how to prepare for your laser hair removal treatment!
How To Prepare For Your Laser Hair Removal Appointment
1. Avoid Fillers
Fillers can alter the structure and contour of the treated area, which may interfere with the accuracy and effectiveness of the laser treatment. Using lasers and fillers together in the same treatment area may increase the risk of adverse effects, such as burns, blisters, or skin damage.
To ensure the safety and effectiveness of your laser hair removal and filler treatments, avoid receiving natural fillers — hyaluronic acid, Juvederm, Restylane, collagen — four to six weeks before receiving treatments in the area. Clients with synthetic fillers (silicone) cannot be treated in that area.
If you are currently taking Accutane or any other acne medications, it's important to notify your laser hair removal provider before your appointment. Accutane, or isotretinoin, is a potent medication commonly used to treat severe acne. It can significantly affect the condition and sensitivity of your skin, making it more prone to dryness, redness, and increased sensitivity to the laser.
Laser hair removal is not recommended while taking Accutane or other similar medications due to the increased risk of adverse effects on the skin, such as burns, blisters, or scarring. At Simplicity Laser, we recommend waiting six months after your last dose before undergoing laser hair removal.
3. Avoid Sun Exposure
Before your laser hair removal appointment, it's essential to avoid sun exposure. Sun exposure is when you are out in the sun doing anything for more than 30 minutes at a time. If you must be in the sun, wear protective clothing, such as hats and long sleeves, and use zinc-oxide sunscreen.
Sun exposure can make the treatment less effective, as the laser may not be able to distinguish between the pigment in the hair and the pigment in the skin. It's best to avoid sun exposure for at least one week before your laser hair removal appointment. If you are sunburned, or the skin is compromised (peeling), you may have to wait longer than a week before getting treated. The skin will have to be healed and as close to the natural skin color as possible.
4. Avoid Self-Tanning Products
The laser targets the pigment in the hair follicles, and if your skin has self-tanner residue, it can increase the risk of complications, such as burns or hyperpigmentation. It's best to avoid self-tanning products for at least two weeks before your laser hair removal appointment. The sunless tanning product must also be entirely removed from the skin before the appointment.
5. Shave the Treatment Area
Shaving the treatment area before your laser hair removal appointment is important. Unlike waxing or tweezing, which require the hair to be visible, laser hair removal works best when the hair is shaved close to the skin's surface. Shaving the treatment area 12-24 hours before your appointment allows the laser to target the hair follicles directly without singeing the hair on the skin's surface.
6. Cleanse Your Skin
Before your laser hair removal appointment, make sure to cleanse your skin thoroughly. Clean, oil-free skin ensures that the laser can penetrate the hair follicles without dirt, oil, or makeup interference.
Use a gentle cleanser to cleanse the treatment area, and avoid using any harsh or abrasive scrubs, as they can irritate the skin. It's also important to remove any makeup, lotions, creams, or oils from the treatment area, as they can create a barrier that may prevent the laser from effectively targeting the hair follicles and could potentially cause burns, hypopigmentation, or hyperpigmentation.
7. Avoid Certain Products
In the week leading up to your laser hair removal appointment, it's important to avoid certain products and treatments that can affect the effectiveness of the treatment or cause skin irritation. Avoid using any products that contain retinoids/retinols (Retin-A, Tretinoin, Tazorac, Differin, etc.), alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), glycolic acid, salicylic acid, Vitamin C, and hydroquinone, as these can make the skin more sensitive and prone to irritation.
8. Avoid Waxing, Tweezing, and Depilatory Creams
Unlike waxing or tweezing, which require the hair to be visible, laser hair removal works best when the hair is shaved close to the skin's surface. It's vital to avoid methods that remove the hair from the root, which is necessary for the laser to be effective.
You will want to avoid waxing, tweezing, threading, chemical epilation, microneedling, etc., at least three weeks prior to your treatment. It's best to shave the treatment area 12-24 hours before your appointment, allowing the laser to target the hair follicles directly without burning the hair on the skin's surface.
If you take photosensitive antibiotics, it's essential to inform your technician before your appointment. Some antibiotics, such as tetracycline and doxycycline, can increase your skin's sensitivity to sunlight and may cause a reaction when exposed to the laser.
Taking the necessary steps before your laser hair removal appointment ensures the best results and minimizes potential risks. From preparing your skin to avoiding certain products or medications, proper preparation is key to a successful laser hair removal experience.