Exfoliating After Laser Hair Removal: When and How to Do It Safely

Exfoliating After Laser Hair Removal When and How to Do It Safely

Like other skincare and beauty enthusiasts, you might recognize exfoliation as an essential step in your routine. However, you might think you should avoid it for a while following a laser hair removal treatment. Skin Tight MedSpa dispels this myth below by discussing exfoliation’s purpose in the aftercare process.

How Laser Hair Removal Treatments Might Affect Your Skin

You likely chose laser hair removal technology over other hair removal methods to:

  • Avoid ingrown hairs.
  • Enjoy hair-free skin for longer.
  • Slow hair growth and lighten hair color over time.
  • Reduce the time you spend waxing, shaving, and plucking.

Laser hair removal achieves these benefits because your aesthetician doesn’t just laser hair; they also target the hair follicles. The lasers damage the sacs responsible for producing hair, slowing growth as a result.

While laser hair removal methods tempt you with these advantages, they can also increase the likelihood of sensitive skin around the treated area. Thus, some clients avoid hot baths, potent skincare products, and exfoliants during the following days. However, gently exfoliating your skin can aid the healing process.

How Exfoliation Benefits Your Skin

How Exfoliation Benefits Your Skin

Exfoliation is essential to almost any complete skincare routine. You use exfoliant products to remove dead skin cells, which keeps skin hydrated. The thin layer of debris, dead cells, and skin oil can prevent the skin from soaking up water, causing:

  • Dry skin
  • Dull skin tone
  • Rough skin

Exfoliating your skin post-treatment aids the shedding process and prevents the debris from entering the already sensitive hair follicles. You’ll find two primary exfoliants available on the market: physical and chemical.

Opting for Physical Exfoliants

You use a physical exfoliant to scrub dead cells away. Washrags, sponges, and scrubbers are reusable physical exfoliants. Many people prefer products with tiny, rough beads to scrub and keep their skin healthy. If you have normal, nonreactive skin, you might benefit from these options. However, take care not to use too much pressure, as this can cause tiny micro-abrasions and injure your skin post-laser procedure.

Using a Chemical Exfoliant

Chemical exfoliants contain ingredients that break down dead cells and other debris. Their active ingredients might include alpha or beta hydroxy acids. A skincare professional might recommend them to people with sensitive skin that negatively reacts to scrubbing. However, they can also cause skin irritation if you use high active concentrations.

When to Exfoliate After Undergoing Laser Hair Removal Treatment

Determining when to exfoliate after your laser hair removal appointment can be tricky. Talk with your aesthetician about what they recommend. While many clients have no side effects following their laser hair removal sessions, everyone will have different experiences.

Our General Recommendations

Clients with normal, nonreactive skin can exfoliate as early as 48 hours after their laser hair removal appointments. However, your needs may vary. Qualified aestheticians, like those at Skin Tight MedSpa, will likely suggest paying close attention to how the treated area heals following the laser hair removal session.

Factoring the Treatment Intensity

Some laser treatment services are more intense than others. If you rely on high-intensity treatments to remove unwanted hair, you should probably wait a day or two longer. A low-intensity laser treatment causes fewer side effects, and you might be able to exfoliate sooner.

Consider Your Skin’s Needs

Last but not least, carefully gauge your healing skin for discomfort that resembles a mild sunburn. Wait to exfoliate until the treated area and surrounding skin fully recover from each session.

How to Exfoliate Following Laser Hair Removal Treatment

If you feel confident about exfoliating your skin, follow the steps below to reveal smooth skin without causing excessive irritation.

  1. Wait and soothe. If you aren’t sure whether the treated hair follicles can handle the exfoliant, it never hurts to wait. Continue avoiding direct sunlight and applying soothing products with aloe vera gel to soothe the treatment area.
  2. Choose your exfoliant. Next, determine which exfoliant might work best for the skin type. Your aesthetician can help you choose.
  3. Test the product. Never fully commit to any skincare routine without testing it first! Patch-test the exfoliant on a portion of the skin.
  4. Gently cleanse. Apply a gentle cleanser to the area and lather it up. Avoid cleansers with harsh chemicals.
  5. Gently exfoliate. Follow the instructions on the gentle exfoliation product. Your aesthetician can provide additional advice.
  6. Rinse and moisturize. After thoroughly rinsing the exfoliator off, apply an unfragranced moisturizer to your skin.


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