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IPL Hair Removal Aftercare: Do’s and Don’ts After an IPL Session

By ULIKEBEAUTY
June 21, 2024
7 minutes
IPL Hair Removal Aftercare Do's and Don'ts

IPL hair removal offers a user-friendly and convenient solution for long-lasting hair removal. Although IPL technology is carefully designed to make it safe for at-home usage, it still makes skin sensitive after the IPL hair removal session. 

This is in addition to other mild to moderate IPL hair removal side effects, such as skin irritation, discomfort, redness, and inflammation. 

You need a proper aftercare routine to address all of these concerns associated with IPL hair removal treatment. Therefore, in this article, let’s discuss what to do and what not to do after an IPL hair removal session. 

Table of Contents:

What is IPL Hair Removal and How Does it Work?

What is IPL Hair Removal and How Does it Work?IPL hair removal is abbreviated as “Intense Pulse Light.” It is a technology in which high-intensity pulses of light are used to remove unwanted hair. 

Not only does it help in hair removal, but it also makes the results last for many months, allowing its users to enjoy several months of silky, smooth, and hairless skin. 

IPL devices are based on broad-spectrum, non-coherent beams of light that transform into heat energy to destroy hair follicles. The broad spectrum allows IPl to cover a large treatment area and remove unwanted hair quickly. 

Why is it Necessary to Do Aftercare of IPL?

Why is it Necessary to Do Aftercare of IPL?Here are some reasons why IPL hair removal aftercare is mandatory, 

  • It helps in calming down the irritable skin after IPL hair removal
  • Aftercare prepares the treatment area for the next IPL hair session
  • It helps in shedding the hair with destroyed follicles 
  • It prevents the side effects of IPL hair removal treatments 

Do’s of IPL Hair Removal Aftercare

The aftercare of IPL hair removal is not as difficult as laser hair removal because IPL is a relatively gentle procedure. 

Thus, the following tips can help you recover from your IPL hair removal session quickly.

1. Take Sun Protection Seriously 

Take Sun Protection Seriously Most IPL hair removal devices must be used a few times every week until you complete 1 to 2 months of full treatment. It means that the aftercare of one session is also the pre-care of the next session.

Sun protection is the most important step in skin care during IPL hair removal treatment. IPL makes skin prone to the damage caused by the sun. therefore, you should, 

  • Try to stay indoors as much as possible
  • Apply a liberal amount of sunscreen and reapply it when you are outdoors
  • Wear UV protective clothes like arm sleeves and sun hats 

2. Calm Down Your Skin with Cold Packs 

Although IPL hair removal devices are less painful than laser hair removal, slight discomfort, itching, redness, and swelling are common.

You do not need anti-inflammatory or pain-killer medicines for this. Rather, cold compresses with ice packs or ice wrapped in clean clothes can help your IPL hair removal aftereffects settle down. 

3. Nourish Your Skin with Moisturizer

Nourish Your Skin with MoisturizerAlthough the energy that falls into your skin during IPL hair removal is light, it transforms into heat when it reaches the undersurface. This heat can dry and sensitive your skin.

So, you need to moisturize your skin immediately after IPL hair removal. Also, moisturize it whenever you wash the treated area, and ensure you use a lightweight yet enriched moisturizer. 

4. Stay Hydrated and Eat Healthy Meals

While treating your skin from the outside, remember that internal nutrition and hydration are equally important, if not more so. Refresh yourself with fresh juices and water.

Additionally, restrict the intake of alcohol, artificial sugars, and smoking. These ingredients not only dehydrate the skin but also cause inflammation. Taking foods healthy for the skin can help your skin recover faster.  

5. Delay Your Other Cosmetic Treatments 

Delay Your Other Cosmetic Treatments In your initial sessions of IPL hair removal, it is important to focus solely on the IPL treatment. The skin can only bear one cosmetic treatment at a time, so do not get any other cosmetic treatments on the area treated with IPL hair removal devices. 

You should avoid chemical peels, photo facials, microabrasion, and botox cosmetic treatments. 

6. Keep the Treated Area Clean 

IPL hair removal burns the hair follicles and causes unwanted hair to shed between treatment sessions. Therefore, you should wash the treated area once or twice daily to speed up the shedding.

Also, always use a gentle facial or body cleanser with lukewarm to cool water to keep the treated area clean.

7. Use Products That Help in the Recovery of the Skin

Use Products That Help in the Recovery of the SkinWhile avoiding products with active ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, AHA, BHA, and other exfoliants is recommended, you can still use some mild anti-oxidants to boost skin recovery after IPL.

Such ingredients include fruit and flower extracts, aloe vera gel, essential oils, and vitamin B5. 

8. Visit a Doctor, if Needed

IPL hair removal is an FDA-approved alternative to laser hair removal, which signifies the safety of the treatment. However, the safety is also determined by the device you are using and your underlying health condition.

If you are using a cheap device, the risk of aftereffects is high. So, consult a dermatologist if you experience any unusual IPL hair removal side effects. 

What Not to Do After IPL Hair Removal Session 

In addition to the important things in IPL hair removal aftercare, there are some things you should not do. Let us discuss those below. 

1. Do Not Use Any Product with Harsh Chemicals

Do Not Use Any Product with Harsh ChemicalsAlthough IPL devices mainly target the hair, some rays also get absorbed into the skin, leading to skin sensitivity. Also, the heat from the IPL device can add to the sensitivity. 

Therefore, you must not use any product containing a chemical that has the potential to irritate your skin. It could be harsh body washes, exfoliating agents, products with active ingredients, and makeup. 

2. Do Not Swim, Sweat, or Take Hot Showers

As IPL light heats up the inner layers of the body to destroy the unwanted hair follicles and there is slight inflammation after the treatment, you need to avoid anything that adds to this heat for 2 days. For example, sweating, hot showers, steam, excessive exercises, and saunas. 

Moreover, scheduling your swimming 24 to 48 hours after IPL hair removal treatment is better because chlorinated water from swimming pools is incompatible with IPL-treated skin. 

3. Do Not Touch Your Skin Repeatedly 

Do Not Touch Your Skin Repeatedly It is common to feel discomfort and itching on your skin after IPL hair removal treatments, which tempts you to touch or scratch it. To prevent the compromise of a healthy skin barrier, it is best to resist the constant urge to touch it. 

Rather, you can use cold compresses to calm it down. 

4. Do Not Shave, Pluck, or Wax Hair

Shaving is the recommended method of hair removal to prepare your skin before IPL hair removal. So, it is likely that you will see a few hair strands growing out after your IPL treatment. Leave these strands alone, as the hair follicles are killed, and the hair is shedding. 

So, avoid shaving the treatment for 1 to 2 days after IPL hair removal. Also, do not pluck or wax the unwanted hair in between the sessions, even if you see hair growth, as these hair removal methods remove the roots and make 

5. Use no Exfoliating Products

Use no Exfoliating ProductsThere is a risk of excess peeling off of the skin if you immediately exfoliate your skin after an IPL hair removal session. Therefore, wait for at least 2 days to use a soft washcloth to gently exfoliate the treatment area.

Furthermore, do not use chemical exfoliating agents, physical exfoliants, or harsh chemicals for 5 to 7 days. 

6. Do Not Expose Yourself to UV Light

The light from IPL hair removal devices contains some UV rays. However, the UV filters in reputable IPL hair removal devices prevent them from harming your skin.

UV sun rays can cause more damage after an IPL hair removal session. Therefore, try to avoid direct sunlight as much as possible. Stay indoors and carry a UV-resistant umbrella when you go out.

7. Do Not Tan Yourself 

Do Not Tan Yourself IPL hair removal devices only work on lighter to brown skin tones and are incompatible with dark brown or black skin tones. Therefore, if your skin tone is compatible with IPL hair removal devices, do not tan yourself artificially after your initial treatment.

In this case, IPL hair removal devices either won’t work on dark skin or are more likely to burn tanned skin tones.

8. Do Not Wear Tight Clothes

Tight clothes rub against the sensitive skin after IPL hair removal, prevent ventilation, trap heat, and cause you to sweat. This can lead to an increase in discomfort and swelling.

Therefore, always wear lightweight, breathable, loose clothes after your IPL hair removal session.

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Conclusion

IPL hair removal aftercare is essential to gain the best results from IPL hair removal treatment sessions without the risk of serious side effects. 

Some IPL hair removal aftercare tips include protecting your skin from the sun, nourishing it, maintaining hygiene, and carefully choosing products.

Furthermore, we have also talked about what not to do after IPL hair removal sessions above. 

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