During the summer, we all enjoy a little more sun than usual, along with smooth, beautiful, hairless skin. However, even though most people rush to have laser hair removal done when summer strikes, it’s actually not the ideal time to start your hair removal treatment if you plan on spending time out in the sun.
Any good laser technician will tell you that tanning while undergoing a course of laser treatment is a big no-no (that includes tanning booths & fake tans!) and can cause adverse side effects.
There are three very good reasons for this. Firstly laser treatments on skin that has recently been sun exposed can cause hypopigmentation (white spots on the skin), and in some rare but severe cases, burns. At the same time your skin remains sensitive for at least two weeks after treatment, making you more vulnerable to the damaging effects of the sun such as sun burn and even hyperpigmentation (darkening spots on the skin).
Probably the most important factor is that tanned skin causes laser treatments to be less effective. The reason behind this is that often tanned skin will prevent some of the laser energy from reaching the hair follicles, as the laser is absorbed by the pigment it fires upon – in other words the darker the skin, the more light energy it absorbs. So as the skin absorbs most of the light, the hair follicles are deprived and skin is sometimes burnt as a result.
Basically if a technician is willing to treat you while sunburnt, actively tanned, or heavily fake tanned, get the hell out of there! Not only would you not be getting your value for money as lower settings would have to be used which is not as effective during treatment, you could experience some of the minor to more serious adverse effects mentioned above.
Our advice is that tanning of all sorts should be avoided two to three weeks before and after your laser hair removal treatments; and if we happen to turn you away from treatment due to your tan, know that we only have your best interests at heart so come back when your tan has faded.