Can I have laser hair removal in the summer, if I am tanned?

Ah, these summer months when we finally get to enjoy warm weather, blue skies and sunshine. Of course these are the months when the most skin is on view!

Cue panic and reaching for the trusty razor, hair removal cream or waxing kit. But as we all know, these give temporary results – just how long you remain hair free depends on your hair type. Another option is laser hair removal, which takes more time but gives permanent hair-free results exactly where you want them.

There’s always a lot said about avoiding spending time in the sun when you’re having laser hair removal treatments. And it’s sensible advice! However, there is also an urban myth that laser hair removal can’t be done during the summer months. This isn’t true, although there are certain things to be aware of.

Whatever time of year you’re having treatment, it really is important to limit the exposure of your skin to the sun before and after your appointment. Which is why if you’re planning a hair-free holiday in a sunny country you need to complete your course of treatment in plenty of time before you go.

Laser hair removal has the best results on untanned skin (and this includes tanning products). The sun makes the skin more sensitive to heat, which is how laser works, so ideally avoid the sun for four weeks before and two weeks after your treatment. This is obviously harder in the summer, but in reality we should all be covering up to avoid sun damage.

There are some areas that are less likely to be exposed to the sun on a day to day basis anyway, such as your underarm or bikini area, your back or your bottom!

You’ll need to take extra care with some areas, such as the face and arms. So while you most certainly can have laser hair removal here, you will need to be happy covering up with a wide-brimmed hat to shield your face, or a long sleeved top to protect your arms. And you need to use a high quality sunscreen.

When it comes to sunscreen, we should all be using this as part of our everyday skincare routines, and even more so if you’re having laser hair removal treatments. Use a broad spectrum, high SPF sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. You should top up your sunscreen every 2-3 hours if you are going to be in the sun all day. You should apply sunscreen even if it’s a cloudy day, or you think you’re going to be stuck indoors. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

If that’s all too much to think about, you may be better off waiting for the cooler months! Although even then you still need to look after your skin before and after.

For example, once you have had the treatment your skin will need a little extra TLC. Just for a couple of days it’s worth avoiding having a sauna, jacuzzi or swimming in the sea or in a pool. And be kind to your skin, don’t exfoliate for a few days either.

Timing your laser hair removal is critical because to see a permanent difference will take around 6 to 8 sessions, with 4 to 6 weeks in between each session, depending on the area you’re having treatment. We always say if you’re having LHR for a specific event, such as a holiday (or wedding or party) then you’ll need to work backwards to see when it’s best to start.

Most clinics provide a free initial appointment where you can discuss any concerns you have about having treatment in the summer months. If you would like to talk to the team at Brigstock Skin and Laser, call now on 020 8683 6730. You can also book online by clicking here.

Whatever you decide, we hope you enjoy the sunny weather and take the very best care to protect your skin – remember it’s a long-term investment!

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