Can I Have Laser Hair Removal While Using Retin-A?

Brian Lett
By Brian Lett
10 Min Read

Can I Have Laser Hair Removal While Using RetinA

Retinol is an amazing skincare powerhouse, but with such strength comes some rules. Retinol should never be mixed with certain acids and should always be worn with SPF protection; in addition, laser hair removal shouldn’t be performed while using Retinol!

Years ago, we advised clients to discontinue taking retinol prior and during laser treatments for safety purposes. But recent studies have demonstrated that both treatments may actually complement each other quite nicely!

Do Not Apply Retin-A

As a rule of thumb, using any form of retinol product prior to laser hair removal should generally be avoided as these products can make skin vulnerable and lead to complications during and post treatment with laser.

Therefore, most doctors advise clients to discontinue using retinol at least several weeks prior to undergoing laser hair removal treatment in order to allow their skin to heal completely and reduce chances of an adverse reaction.

Additionally to retinol, it may also be wise to discontinue the use of products containing acids, benzoyl peroxide, or other retinol-like substances like Differin. Such products can increase skin sensitivity while simultaneously making you more vulnerable to laser treatment side effects such as redness, swelling and scabbing.

Before laser hair removal, other skincare products that should be stopped before treatment include anti-ageing serums, facial moisturizers and lip balms as they may clog your pores and decrease effectiveness of laser treatment. It is also wise to forgo tanning beds and self-tanners within three to six months before your laser appointment as tanning can make skin darker, thus potentially hindering results of laser treatment.

Laser hair removal uses pulses of light that deliver powerful beams to target individual follicles, eventually leading to their cessation from producing hair production and eventually leading to their destruction. While safe and effective for eliminating unwanted hair growth, some individuals may find the procedure uncomfortable; you may experience tenderness in the treated area that lasts only for a short period of time after treatment has taken place.

Before laser hair removal, it is crucial that all forms of hair removal be stopped, including waxing, tweezing and shaving; creams that pull hair out at its root such as sugaring or epilating; as well as any treatments designed to exfoliate such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion.

Do Not Apply Sunscreen

Retinol can make your skin extremely sensitive. Therefore, it’s essential to abide by certain rules when using it, such as not mixing it with acids and vitamins and using only at nighttime. Furthermore, hot wax or laser hair removal treatments must also be avoided to keep skin looking its best.

Unfortunately, when taking retinol it’s also important to limit sun exposure as its UV rays can lead to skin burn and potentially increase hyper-pigmentation or darkening after laser hair removal treatments. Always wear sunscreen whenever in direct sunlight and reapply frequently; especially after laser hair removal as your skin may be more susceptible.

Before attending a laser hair removal session, failing to apply sunscreen can leave your skin dry and flaky, making it harder for the laser beam to penetrate it and destroy hair follicles. Therefore, before any laser hair removal treatment session it is wise to apply a good-quality physical sunscreen rather than one containing chemicals, as physical sunscreens tend to be better for skin health.

Attenuate tanning as this will negatively impact the results of laser hair removal treatment, as the laser light will have difficulty penetrating your skin if any pigment exists; this could result in uneven results or even burn marks afterward.

After laser hair removal, it is also wise to avoid other forms of heat treatments like hot showers, baths or steam rooms as these may further open your pores and worsen any potential discomfort after treatment.

Do Not Apply Moisturizer

Laser treatment is an excellent way to rid yourself of unwanted hair safely and effectively, but you should keep in mind that there may still be new growth after your session, typically caused by hormonal fluctuations. If this occurs, please schedule an appointment with our team for a touch-up visit immediately.

As your laser hair removal treatments are complete, it is recommended that you refrain from shaving, waxing, tweezing and other hair removal methods until they have taken full effect. Doing so increases the chances of adverse reactions due to laser beams. In addition, beauty products like makeup, lotions and oils as they may irritate and burn more easily on skin than others; hot showers/baths/saunas should be avoided in the first 24 hours after laser treatment as too much heat could cause blistering or burnage of skin cells.

After your laser treatment, continue your regular skin care routine as normal – just remember to put on sunscreen regularly when out in the sun and moisturize with moisturizer containing no alpha hydroxy acids to the area around it for softness and smoothness.

Starting two days before your laser hair removal appointment is generally advised; however, the exact duration will depend on how sensitive your skin is and which areas you are treating. If having facial treatments done, then applying zinc-based sunscreen daily and postponing any further retinol use until after they have completed their procedures.

Laser hair removal treatments typically cause mild discomfort similar to rubber bands snapping against your skin, though the pain typically fades within a few minutes. While redness, swelling, and small bumps in the treatment area may occur occasionally – however these symptoms can usually be alleviated with cold compresses or taking an anti-inflammatory drug like Tylenol.

Do Not Apply Lip Balm

Retinol is an extremely potent skincare ingredient that helps treat acne, wrinkles and other signs of aging. But because it increases skin sensitivity, its use should be undertaken with care – for instance before having your eyebrows waxed or laser hair removal performed.

Laser hair removal works by dissolving the melanin pigment found in unwanted hair follicles using heat, which prevents them from producing new hair growth in that area. If you use retinol before attending your laser session, however, the use may make skin vulnerable to its heat, leading to burns, scarring or other forms of damage from laser heating resulting in burns or scarring damage from laser heating of skin cells containing melanin pigmentation resulting in burns, scarring or other forms of damage due to laser heating of melanin pigmented melanin cells containing pigment (melanin).

For optimal results, wait at least two weeks after applying retinol before having laser hair removal done. Also avoid other methods that involve the same area such as plucking, waxing, bleaching or depilatories such as Nair. Also shave this area two-12 hours prior to your appointment and don’t wear makeup, perfume, lotions oils sunless tanning products or deodorants on that day.

And while retinol and laser treatments may both provide benefits, you should never combine them. Otherwise, you could experience an intense burning sensation during treatment that requires postponing it further, or cancelling altogether.

Retinol works to resurface skin by stimulating its natural exfoliation process, leading to more sensitive skin that’s susceptible to external forces such as heat from skincare products, hot wax and laser treatments.

Therefore, it’s recommended that retinol users temporarily stop taking it before having laser treatments performed on the face, including microneedling or any peels which increase skin sensitivity. If these types of procedures must still be conducted while using retinol, consider switching up your approach by choosing to use hydrating serum instead of lip balm during your appointment to soothe skin discomfort and avoid burning during treatment.

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