ILP/Laser hair removal at home : The complete list of do’s and dont’s

Are you thinking of getting IPL/ laser hair removal treatment anytime soon? There are a few things you need to consider, in order to be safe and your treatment to be effective.

Dermatologist dr. A. Reita states:

It is very important, prior to any laser or IPL hair removal session, to get the skin and hair, ready for the treatment.

So how do you get ready for a IPL/laser hair removal session at home? What are the post laser hair removal instructions? What cooling gel should you use after laser hair removal? How often can I use my at- home IPL device? Let’s dive into it and find the answers.

Do’s and Don’ts Before IPL/ Laser hair removal treatment
  • DO NOT USE your IPL device every day! It will not be efficient in removing the hair faster as some might think, but instead will be efficient in irritating your skin.
  • No plucking or waxing for a month before the IPL or laser treatment. This doesn’t mean you’re not allowed at all to remove your hair( that will be a nightmare for any woman). You can remove your hair ONLY by SHAVING.
  • Stay away from the sun at least 2 weeks before the treatment so your skin won’t get tanned. The darker the skin, the less efficient is the treatment. The whiter the skin, the better.
  • Do not bleach your hair before the procedure, again it will lower the efficiency of the device.
  • Before any laser or IPL session, I shaved my hair the night before or 2 days before. So don’t forget to shave! It is recommended the hair has a growth of 1 to 2mm.
  • Please use sensitive shavers for your face. The skin on your face is sensitive, especially around the mouth area.
  • Clean the area you want to treat and make sure you have no lotion or cosmetics on your hair or skin. You can wash it or clean it with a antiseptic wipe, it’s your choice.
  • Do use a numbing cream if you have a lower tolerance for pain ( some people use it, some don’t ).
  • No chemical peels for a 2 weeks period, prior to any laser/IPL treatment.
  • If you are on antibiotics, postpone your treatment. Because they are a photosensitive medication, they have an effect on your skin, by making it more sensitive to light. As laser is a light-based procedure, there’s a risk you’ll get burned or hyperpigmented.
  • You should wear protective glasses for laser hair removal. Even tough some people disapprove I would say they are a must. They protect your eyes and if the googles are used it in a salon clinic then for sure I’ll use it at home. They are not expensive at all.
Do’s and Don’ts After IPL/ Laser hair removal treatment
  • Do clean your skin with a fragrance free, noncomedogenic wash. Moisturize the skin as well, after the procedure.
  • Very important to stay away from the gym, sauna and to not take hot showers in the first 24-48 hours. After your laser/IPL session, the skin stays heated for hours and if you go in a hot environment, like a sauna, you’ll be creating a lovely warm environment for bacteria, where they can grow and multiply and give you spots.
  • Do use a cooling gel after the treatment. It will reduce the heat applied on the skin from the laser hair removal sessions. I use Tria Smoothstart and my sister uses a gel, based on aloe vera. It helps moisturise and sooth irritated skin. Due to its anti-inflammatory proprieties, the aloe vera prevents infection as well, so I highly recommend you use one after each session. Especially if you have a rash after laser hair removal.
  • Don’t apply perfumed products on the treated area at least for 24 hours.
  • Don’t wear make up or harsh products (like anti-acne lotions). After the redness is gone, usually in 24 hrs, you can apply it.
  • Do not use retinol products after laser hair removal.
  • Don’t wear clothing that will irritate your skin. Let your skin breathe, by avoiding synthetic and tight clothes, including pantyhose.
  • Again, no waxing or plucking between treatments. You don’t want to remove the hair from the follicle. The hair needs to fall out naturally.
  • Don’t use deodorant after laser hair removal, it will sting.
  • Avoid the sun at least 2 weeks after you had a hair removal session. Same goes for the fake tan.
  • Use a sunscreen with high SPF at ( least 30) for protection, to avoid the skin getting burned or pigmented. Make sure to reapply it as often as you can, especially if your skin gets wet or you sweat.