Can I have laser hair removal with a sun tan?
As the weather gets warmer and we start to see more of the sun, the team at Mayfair Aesthetics Laser & Skin Clinics are seeing more and more clients who are concerned about laser hair removal during the summer months. A widely held concern is that you cannot get laser hair removal during the summer at all. 20 years ago and even 10 years ago, this was certainly the case. In 2017 however, laser technology, in line with pretty much all technology has improved to the extent that with some cautions, Soprano Ice Platinum laser hair removal is indeed safe during summer months and can even be performed when skin is tanned. In this post, I’d like to address two of the misconceptions around laser hair removal and sun tanning and expose the facts of each.
Myth 1: You can’t get laser hair removal during the summer
This myth is false. You can certainly get laser hair removal treatments during the summer. In the early days of laser hair removal, the technology used was unable to effectively target the melanin (pigmentation) of hair without also targeting to a greater or lesser extent the pigmentation present in the skin. At that time, only those with pale skin and dark hair could safely have treatment and if the skin had a tan, could expect to end up with burns. Many traditional ‘shots’ based laser systems still use this technology and require that you wait 6 weeks after sun exposure before having a laser treatment which, while it doesn’t prevent you from having treatment, can present difficulties in summer months!!
The Soprano Ice Platinum system that we exclusively use at Mayfair Aesthetics Laser & Skin Clinics, bypasses the pigmentation in your skin and uses precise laser wavelengths to only target the pigmentation in the hair follicles while avoiding damage to the surrounding skin, so can safely be used from as little as 1 week after sun exposure. This system is CE and FDA approved so you are guaranteed a safe, effective treatment.
Myth 2: You can’t get laser hair removal if you have a tan
This myth isn’t entirely false. You can get laser hair removal with a tan if the laser system you will be receiving treatment with is designed to do this. The Soprano Ice Platinum System is safe and effective for tanned skin as it has settings that allow laser specialists to treat tanned and darker skin types.
HOWEVER – after tanning, for a few days you will have ‘sun induced inflammation.’ This is the redness that you experience in your skin after sun tanning. It is not possible to introduce any more heat to your skin (ie. laser treatments) until this has completely faded and the normal tanned skin developed. We require at least 7 days to pass after significant sun exposure before we will carry out a laser treatment and will not treat you if we can see any sun induced inflammation or evidence of sunburn. If you have managed to get sun burned, you will have to wait until the skin has completely healed with no redness or peeling before going ahead with laser treatments.
This Soprano Ice Platinum system works by emitting 10 low energy pulses per second that cause heat to gradually and gently build up in the skin, without the pain and skin trauma sometimes associated with traditional high energy ‘shots’ based systems. As mentioned previously, many ‘shots’ based laser systems require that you forgo sun exposure completely for 6 weeks prior to treatment so if you are being treated with one of these systems then you would certainly be unable to have laser treatment with a tan which can throw your treatment schedule badly out of sync during summer months.
In conclusion, we don’t encourage you to sit in the sun, unprotected, all day every day during a course of Soprano Ice Platinum laser hair removal. You will be more likely to experience sunburn, even if you don’t normally and will be more likely to develop hyperpigmentation on areas treated. Going on holiday to hot climates is absolutely fine and sitting in the sun in the UK (if it ever shows it’s face) is also fine but you should follow the points below to make sure you look after your skin, while you get rid of unwanted hair.
Soprano Ice Platinum – Do’s and don’ts in the summer months
- Avoid sun exposure for 1 week before and after a laser hair removal treatment
- Wear a good quality factor 30-50spf sunscreen on any areas exposed to daylight, re-apply regularly, especially after swimming and toweling off
- Monitor your skin closely, get into the shade and / or cover up with a shirt / blouse / sarong if you see or feel your skin beginning to redden or burn
- Don’t fall asleep in the sun!!
- Do not use any sort of fake tan, spray tan or gradual tanning cream in the 2 weeks before a laser hair removal session
- Do not use any sort of sun bed during your laser hair removal course
- Make sure you use a good quality Aloe Vera Gel every day to soothe and cool your skin, keep it in the fridge for even more effectiveness.
If you have any questions regarding sun exposure during your course of laser hair removal, please speak to our reception or laser specialists, call 02073544000 or email info@mayfair-aesthetics.