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The Truth About Laser Hair Removal and Your Skin

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Can Removing Hair with Lasers Actually Lighten Your Skin?

While hairs on our heads provide warmth and allow self-expression, excessive hair growth in unwanted areas can cause embarrassment, discomfort and low self-esteem.

Shaving and waxing only offer temporary relief. But what if we told you laser hair removal could permanently reduce unwanted hair and reveal brighter, smoother skin?

At Ethos Aesthetics & Wellness, our precision lasers target and disable hair follicles so they stop producing hair. Many clients are surprised to see their skin tone improve after treatments.

Is this myth or fact? Read on as we answer the top questions about how laser hair removal can lighten and even out your complexion.

Laser Hair Removal on Skin Tone and Hair Color

laser hair removal treatment on legs

One of the most frequently asked questions is whether laser hair removal can alter your natural skin color. The answer is that it generally does not affect or lighten your inherent skin tone.

Laser hair removal devices work by targeting melanin – the pigment that gives hair its color. The laser light is attracted to the melanin in the follicle while avoiding the surrounding skin. So it damages the hair itself, not your skin.

For optimal results, laser hair removal works best when your skin tone is lighter than the color of the unwanted hair being treated. This higher contrast allows the laser to pinpoint follicle pigment while sparing delicate skin.

Those with darker skin tones have a slightly higher risk of the laser impacting skin melanin as well. However, with advanced modern devices this risk is very low in experienced hands.

Benefits of Laser Hair Removal for Skin

In addition to silencing stubborn hairs, laser hair removal can benefit your skin in multiple ways:

Prevent in-grown hairs

Laser hair removal targets the entire hair follicle, preventing the tip of the hair from becoming trapped underneath the skin, which can lead to painful ingrown hairs

Reduce acne and breakouts

By permanently removing unwanted hair, laser hair removal can help improve acne-prone skin by eliminating a major contributing factor.

Softer, smoother skin

Laser hair removal avoids the inflammation and damage caused by ripping hair out from the root with waxing or plucking, resulting in softer, smoother skin free of irritation.

More youthful appearance

Permanently eliminating unwanted hair can reveal glowing, younger-looking skin free of shadowing, irritation, and ingrown hairs.

Avoid bumps and itching

Laser hair removal prevents red, irritated bumps and itching in the treated areas, allowing the skin to heal and restore a smoother texture.

Precision targeting

The laser light is tuned to be preferentially absorbed by the pigment in coarse, dark hairs, allowing the energy to selectively disable the hair follicles without damaging the surrounding delicate skin cells.

How Often Should You Get It?

For optimal results, we recommend scheduling laser hair removal appointments every 4-8 weeks for most areas of the body. Treatment frequency varies based on your goals:

AreaRecommended Frequency
Facial hairEvery 4 weeks
Bikini line and/or underarmsEvery 6-8 weeks
Back and/or legsAround every 6 weeks

Most patients require 4-6 sessions in total to achieve significant hair reduction. More sessions provide better long term results. 

Allow enough time between sessions for hairs to enter the re-growth phase so they can be effectively disabled. After completing a full treatment series, results typically last for several months or even years with only occasional touch-ups needed.

Get A Customized Schedule from the Experts of Ethos Aesthetics & Wellness

Is Laser Hair Removal Suitable For All Skin Types?

Laser hair removal can effectively treat most skin tones and types. It works best on fair skin with dark coarse hairs. But new technologies expand its range.

Laser TypeWavelengthSkin Tone Suitability
Alexandrite755 nmLighter skin pigmentation
Diode805 nmLighter skin pigmentation
Near infrared1060 – 1064 nmDarker skin without risk of burns
Diode808 nmAll skin tones from very fair to very dark
Broad spectrum deep penetrating diodeSafe for Fitzpatrick skin types I-VI
Cynosure Elite+Multi-wavelengthAll except very light blonde/white hair

Treatment parameters and technique must be adjusted by an expert based on your individual skin color.

Laser Hair Removal on Reducing Skin Pigmentation

In some cases, laser hair removal may aid in reducing the look of skin pigmentation issues like dark spots, melasma and photoaging. Certain laser wavelengths like Nd:YAG have been shown to impact hyperpigmentation.

A Multicenter Study has tested a Q-Switched Nd:YAG Laser treatment for melasma in 31 Asian patients. After the laser treatments, the patients’ melasma was almost completely resolved, with an average improvement score of 7 out of 10 on the visual analog scale

This suggests the laser was highly effective at removing the unwanted melasma pigmentation in this patient population.

By precisely targeting only the hair follicles, laser hair removal can avoid trauma to the surrounding skin. This prevents potential flare-ups of pigmentary disorders that can occur with hair removal methods like waxing or plucking.

Laser treatments may also help correct existing pigmentation problems by promoting new collagen production and skin renewal. However, improper use also carries a risk of worsening dark spots on darker skin tones.

Results vary based on the specific laser technology used, treatment parameters, number of sessions, and your individual skin type. 

Does Skin Sensitivity Affect Laser Hair Removal?

Those with sensitive skin may experience increased side effects from laser hair removal treatments such as redness, irritation, swelling or skin tenderness.

We take extra precautions to make the procedure comfortable for sensitive skin. Shaving the area prior to treatment allows the laser to penetrate closer to the follicle without having to pass through long hairs above the surface. This enhances results.

Use cooling methods immediately before and after the laser pulse to minimize discomfort. Specialized tools can blow extremely cold air onto the skin to reduce sensitivity.

We also adjust treatment parameters like lowering the laser’s power output and applying less heat on delicate areas. This reduces side effects like swelling and redness that sensitive skin may react to.

Topical numbing creams containing lidocaine can be applied 30-60 minutes prior to provide a temporary numbing effect on the skin’s surface. This is washed off before proceeding.

With proper precautions, those with easily irritated skin can still achieve successful hair removal results with minimal discomfort.

Laser Hair Removal Made Easy – Customize Treatment to Your Skin Needs!

What Are the Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal on the Skin?

Laser hair removal is considered a safe procedure with minimal risk when performed correctly by a trained aesthetician. 

Temporary Side EffectsLonger Term Risks
Redness, swelling, itching or irritation lasting up to several daysScarring – typically only with improper treatment on darker skin or at high laser output settings
“Bee sting” sensations during treatmentPermanent skin discoloration – very rare in expert hands using appropriate parameters tailored to your skin
Blisters or scabs forming in treated areas
Changes in skin pigmentation, either lightening (hypopigmentation) or darkening (hyperpigmentation)

Dr. Soni and will thoroughly review any potential side effects and risks at your consultation. To test your individual skin sensitivity, a small patch test will be done on the treatment area and evaluated over 24-48 hours before full treatments begin. This helps determine the appropriate settings and reduces side effect risks.

How Should I Care For My Skin Before And After Laser Hair Removal?

Proper skin care is vital both before and after laser hair removal for optimal results:

  1. Avoid sun exposure 1-4 weeks pre-treatment to minimize risk of burns or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation during the procedure.
  2. Exfoliate gently 2-3 days prior to removing dead skin cells. This allows the laser to penetrate closer to the follicles.
  3. Trim or shave hair to skin level 1-3 days before. This avoids the laser having to burn through long, external hairs.
  4. After treatment, use a cold compress or aloe vera gel to relieve redness and swelling. Avoid irritation from hot water.
  5. Don’t use sunbeds or expose treated areas to sun for 1-4 weeks post-treatment as skin heals. Apply SPF 30 daily.
  6. Stick to gentle cleansers, moisturizers and makeup while avoiding retinoids, acids, scrubs or harsh chemicals on treated skin.
  7. Some redness, swelling or blistering is normal initially but contact us if it is excessive or you have concerns.

Caring for your skin properly before and after laser sessions optimizes results while minimizing side effects and risks. 

Bid Farewell to Body Hair with Customized Laser Hair Removal

laser hair removal treatment on legs

Tired of shaving and waxing? Dr. Soni at Ethos Aesthetics & Wellness creates personalized laser hair removal plans to help you achieve smooth, hair-free skin. Our experts use the latest technology to safely and effectively target unwanted hair on any area of the body.

Contact us today to book a complimentary consultation. We’ll evaluate your skin, discuss your goals, and design a customized laser hair removal program just for you. With our advanced devices and techniques, you’ll be ready to bare your beautiful, hairless skin in no time.

You may also call us at (908) 628-1916 and treat yourself to smooth, sexy skin through personalized laser hair removal.

FAQs

Does Laser Hair Removal Lighten Skin?

Laser hair removal can potentially cause temporary lightening of the skin in darker skin types, as melanin particles absorb laser energy meant for hair follicles. However, with proper settings and technician expertise, risks are low. Skin naturally returns to its normal tone without bleaching.

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe For Facial Skin?

Laser hair removal is clinically proven as a safe, effective method for permanent facial hair reduction when performed by trained professionals using proper parameters tailored to each patient. Precision devices with cooling systems protect delicate facial skin.

Is It Necessary to Bleach Skin After Laser Hair Removal?

Bleaching skin after laser hair removal is unnecessary and poses risks like hypopigmentation. Instead, use gentle moisturizers and diligent broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen as advised by technicians for proper post-procedure care. This nourishes skin without altering your natural complexion.

Is Laser Hair Removal More Effective Than Waxing For Skin?

Laser hair removal provides more complete, long-lasting hair reduction than waxing by targeting the actual follicles. It requires fewer treatments and is gentler on skin overall than painful waxing that must be repeated monthly.

Can I Tan My Skin After Laser Hair Removal?

Avoid deliberate tanning and minimize sun exposure after laser hair removal to prevent irritation, swelling, and pigmentation changes in sensitive treated skin. Use SPF 30 sunscreen and cover areas when possible during healing. Moderate exposure can resume after 1-2 weeks.

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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