What you need to know about tanning and laser hair removal

laser hair removal and tanning

We're breaking down fact from fiction about tanning and sun exposure while getting laser hair removal.

If you’re thinking about getting laser hair removal, there are some important things you need to know to get the best results from your treatments – especially when it comes to tanning.

During your laser hair removal treatments, you’ll need to take special care when it comes to self-tanning or sun tanning (whether it’s from sun exposure or sun beds). The laser is attracted to the dark pigmentation in your hair; because tanning darkens the skin, this makes it harder for the laser to distinguish between the pigment in skin and the pigment in your hair.

Sunbathing/Sun exposure:

Laser hair removal can make you more sensitive to the sun, which can increase the risk of burning and hyperpigmentation, as well as making it more difficult to get the results you want. Therefore, we recommend that you avoid direct sun exposure (or sun beds) during your laser hair removal treatments.

However, if you can’t resist that tempting summer holiday, here’s some easy rules to follow:

  • Wait 2 weeks post-treatment before exposing the treated area to the sun
  • Wait 4 weeks post-sun exposure until your next treatment
  • Apply SPF every 2 hours or after swimming to prevent the area from burning
  • Always tell your skin technician when you’ve got a holiday booked, or when you’ve come back and you’ve got a tan!

Self-tanning/Sunless tanning:

Applying any self or sunless tan during your treatment period is completely fine. You will need to wait 5-6 days after your treatment before applying the product. Avoid applying any tanning product a week prior to your next appointment, and ensure all product is completely scrubbed off before the treatment.

As a general rule, you should apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily – this is absolutely critical for the first seven days after a treatment, but it’s also a good habit to get into for your overall skin health.

If you’re interested in getting laser hair removal, or would like more information about the treatment, we’d recommend coming in for a complimentary consultation. You’ll have a detailed discussion with a member of our expert team to go through your options and discuss the results you can achieve.