Laser hair removal can be a little harsh on your skin, creating patches of sensitive skin that you want to take extra special care of. Your skin will get back to normal after a while, but until then, you want to be careful about exposing your skin to the rays of the sun, much less going for a tan afterwards.
Your laser hair removal specialist will talk to you about what you can and can’t do. If you’re wondering why can’t you tan after laser hair removal, the technician should talk you through all that and give you recommendations for how to treat your skin, deal with irritation and itchiness, and make sure that your skin heals properly after the procedure.
If you’re really set on getting that tan as soon as possible, though, then we want to help you with a short guide that should answer all of your questions about tanning as a follow up to laser hair removal.
How Long after Laser Hair Removal Can I Tan?
You want to give your skin at least a few weeks to heal from the laser hair removal surgery before you expose it to direct sunlight or go for a tan.
Whether that tan is artificial or using natural sunlight, neither one will be good for your sensitive skin that has undergone laser hair removal.
To give you a more precise timeline and to answer the question of “When can I tan after laser hair removal?”, it’s recommended that you wait about two weeks before exposing your sensitive skin. That should give your skin enough time to heal, allowing protective hormones and chemicals in the body to strengthen and safeguard your skin.
You may be tempted to get some sun, go to the beach in a bathing suit, or even go for a quick session in the tanning salon, but all these are off the table and are very bad ideas following laser hair removal surgery.
This is one rule you really don’t want to break, and you can cause serious, even permanent damage to your skin. It’s not worth trying to get a slightly more tanned for the kind of damage that you could end up causing.
You want to make sure that you stay covered up as much as possible, specifically covering up the parts of your body where you had the laser surgery. You may need to wear a long sleeves or sunglasses, or other clothes while you’re outside that cover up the areas where you’ve had hair removed by laser.
It’s not considered a good idea to have laser hair removal done in areas of your body that are generally exposed to the sun, as those would be more difficult to keep covered up while your skin is healing. The laser hair treatment makes your skin really sensitive to heat, and you want to protect that skin from heat of all kinds.
What Happens If You Tan after Laser Hair Removal?
If you do go for a tan after you had laser hair surgery done, you can cause yourself all sorts of skin problems. The heat of the laser surgery makes your skin extra sensitive to heat, and any additional heat can create serious damage.
The most common side effect from exposing your sensitive skin to harsh sunlight or a tanning bed is that it will burn. It can become even more sensitive and feel raw and irritated.
You may also experience hyperpigmentation, where the color of your skin changes, perhaps for a short while or even permanently. That’s right, you could change your skin color to something different just by exposing sensitive skin to the sun or to a tanning bed.
The most serious damage you may cause by not being careful with how you treat your skin after laser hair is that you can create scars. These can be long lasting and even permanent, and it’s remarkably easy to cause scarring just by having the wrong kind of heat or sunlight exposure happen to your sensitive skin.
This is why it’s so incredibly important take care of your skin after you’ve had laser hair removal done. Talk to your laser technician to see what kind of recommendations they make about protecting yourself and your skin.
You may want to consider even the time of year you have the surgery done, as summer and winter will have the harshest sunlight and be the most likely to put your skin at risk for damage after the surgery.
If you are treating a part of your skin that’s practically always covered up, then there’s not much issue. You’ll experience little risk with sun damage and heat damage to your skin, even though the skin is very sensitive for a couple of weeks as it recovers.
However, you do want to be careful about wearing clothes that are too thin or too transparent. You still want to be careful about being out in the sunlight and direct heat for very long. They can heat up your clothes and affect your skin negatively.
Yes, sunlight can damage your skin through your clothes, if you’re not careful and the sunlight is hot enough.
You should be protecting your skin by wearing sunscreen, which gives you additional protection beyond simply covering up with some clothes. Anytime you’re going to be outside, it’s a good idea to put on sunscreen, and make sure that you use an effective sunscreen that can filter out the harmful rays of the sun.
Give Your Skin Time to Recover
The simple fact is that your skin will need a couple weeks to heal after laser hair removal. If you can try to stay indoors as much as possible, stay covered up, use sunscreen when you go outdoors, and keep heat away from your sensitive skin, then you should make a full recovery.
You don’t have to avoid laser hair removal just because of the risks, but you want to be aware of those risks and follow proper safety precautions.
I’m Jennifer a beauty and wellness expert. I believe in promoting a sustainable and healthy lifestyle from within. Helping people feel good is my passion; whether it’s teaching yoga or offering skincare advice.