MYTHS ABOUT LASER HAIR REMOVAL IN SUMMER
Here at Face Forward and The Rose we receive many patients & clients who are worried about doing any form of Laser Hair Removal in the summer months. Their concern comes from the idea that you can’t get laser treatments or laser hair removal during the summer at all. However, the myth has developed from concerns regarding tanning, sun exposure, and their effects on the skin, which may interact with the laser hair removal treatment. Today we’d like to address three misconceptions and expose the facts of each.
URBAN LEGEND 1: YOU CAN’T GET LASER TREATMENTS OR LASER HAIR REMOVAL DURING THE SUMMER
You can get laser and IPL treatments including laser hair removal during the summer. So how did this myth develop? It stems from the advice to stay out of the sun before any laser hair removal treatments. Here’s why:
Laser Hair Removal uses precise wavelengths that can focus on the melanin pigment and then targets those cells. These wavelengths are able to focus on the pigment while avoiding damage to the surrounding skin. When laser hair removal first started, the lasers used did not have a great ability to focus wavelengths and, the darker your skin, the harder it was to remove the hair. Obviously, most people tan in the summer, which would make one assume that it would be harder to pinpoint the melanin within the hair follicle. This is somewhat true. Imagine a clean white piece of paper with a few grey pencil marks on it. It would be pretty easy to point out the marks, right? Now imagine that piece of paper is the same color as the pencil marks. It becomes much harder to distinguish the marks from the paper.
Today our technology has advanced and the newer generation lasers and IPL have been designed to safely bypass the skin and find the melanin pigments to safely remove the hair.
With that said, we always advise that you should never over-expose yourself to the sun anyway, but just apply common sense and LOTS of sunscreen anyway!
URBAN LEGEND 2: YOU CAN’T GET LASER HAIR REMOVAL WITH A TAN
With today’s medical grade machines you can get laser hair removal with a tan. With technology like the device operated by FaceForward, we have settings that allow us to treat darker skin types easier, and it is possible to tan and still receive laser hair removal. However, because the colour of the skin is closer to the colour of the pigment, the laser’s settings cannot be as aggressive as they would be if you didn’t tan. That means you’ll probably need to schedule more sessions to ensure all hair is completely removed.
Our advice is to wait on the tan until you’ve removed any hair that you wish to lose. If you already have tanned, it’s not a big issue, but we would advise to try staying out of the sun the week’s prior to your appointment to prepare for optimal results.
URBAN LEGEND 3: IF YOU’VE BEEN LAYING OUT IN THE SUN 72 HOURS PRIOR TO A LASER TREATMENT, YOU CANNOT RECEIVE TREATMENT
That’s right, this is actually just a regular fact and should be taken with extreme seriousness. If you have been out in the sun 72 hours before laser treatments or laser hair removal, you cannot have the treatment. In fact, it is advised to stay completely out of the sun for 72 hours before the treatment (and even after the treatment). The reason why: you can run the risk of burning, scarring, or even seriously damaging your skin. Whether you look tan or not, you skin does become more sensitive to heat and to light based treatments the more you expose yourself. So please stay out of the sun for 72 hours prior to treatment.
SO ONE LAST LITTLE WORD:
We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to always apply sunscreen, wear hats, and generally cover up during our harsh summer sun filled months. Though we consider having a golden tan may look good today, it can cause dry, wrinkly skin in the years to come, and can lead to skin cancer. Please always use good strong sunscreens and use them often. Using antioxidants as well will help boost their effectiveness.
If you have any questions about sunscreens, or about any light based treatment (laser, IPL, Hair Reduction, etc..) please book in for a consult – 9385 5544.