How to Prepare for IPL or Laser Hair Removal

I have put this procedure together myself and I think its really handy and a good reference guide. I would suggest to download the PDF version, print it out and have it handy for your IPL and Laser hair removal treatments.

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Prior to Doing IPL / Laser

  1. Avoid plucking or waxing completely for 3-4 weeks prior to doing your IPL or Laser treatment. Any form of hair removal that requires you to pull the hair out of the follicle is not allowed, this includes depilatory creams. The only form of hair removal that is allowed during between each IPL or Laser treatment is shaving as this cuts the hair in the growing phase.
  2. Do not bleach the hair prior to doing any IPL or Laser treatment.
  3. Avoid any form of tanning, this includes tanning lotions, solariums or tanning out in the sun. The darker the skin is the less effective the IPL and Laser treatments will be for your permanent hair reduction. If you get a tan or use any tanning lotions, it is recommended
  4. It is recommended to shave the area to be treated the night before the treatment. This is to ensure that the Laser or IPL machine is able to penetrate the hair follicle at the right stage of growth to get maximum results.

When You Do IPL / Laser

  1. Firstly, clean the area to be treated with an antiseptic wipe to ensure it is free of any lotions, deodorants or cosmetics etc. It’s best not to apply any sort of cosmetics to the area prior to doing a treatment anyway.
  2. Ensure you wear protective eyewear whilst carrying out your IPL or Laser. The light from the IPL or Laser machine can damage your eyes.
  3. Ensure you wear clothing that is loose fitting otherwise your skin may get irritated with tight or irritated clothing.
  4. Ensure you apply a topical cream prior to the treatment. This is to ensure the skin is properly prepared in order to prevent any skin damage, burning or irritation. Just remember that the IPL and Laser machines produce light energy which penetrates the hair follicle with heat. It is important that we prepare the area to ensure the surrounding skin tissue does not get damaged in the process.
  5. Put on the protective eyewear.

After You Do IPL / Laser

  1. Apply a topical cream after performing the IPL or Laser treatment to ensure the area cools down from the heat generated by the IPL or Laser machine. This is very important in order to protect the skin tissue surrounding the hair follicle. This is important because although the hair follicle has already received the heat from the machine being directed to it, the skin and hair follicle remain hot, therefore, topical after treatment creams are essential to cool the area down and prevent any skin damage.
  2. Only shave in between treatments if you need to remove unwanted hair. Do not pluck, tweeze, wax or use creams as these slow down the results from your IPL or Laser treatments.
  3. If you are going to go out in the sun, ensure that you apply sunscreen to the treated area. It is important to refrain from getting exposed to any UVA or UVB rays during the entire length of the treatment.

6 thoughts on “How to Prepare for IPL or Laser Hair Removal

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  3. Could you please advise the pretreatment cream. I have bought gel for e-light, ipl, rf and laser. It is a water based gel with “high optical and conductive qualities”. I also have topical lidocaine. So im assuming the cream before hand would be topical anaesthetic applied approximately an hour before the gel. What I would like to know..what cream or gel should be used post treatment? Is the gel I have what I should user or should it be something like the gel used after being on in the sun to long such as containg Aloe Vera gel. Or is there a more specific cooling type gel to be used to prevent surround tissue scolding.

    • Hi Andrea. That’s correct. You need to be looking at a cooling gel for post treatment care. You are right, you need a gel with cooling and soothing properties in order to reduce the heat applied on the skin from the treatments. It is not necessary, not everyone uses one, but most people like to apply a calming gel afterwards for soothing reasons. You can try the Tria Smoothstart calming gel or yes, an aloe vera based gel is good also.

  4. Hi Gaby,
    Can I know what the difference between the IPL,Diode laser,and alexandrite what is the comparison between those three machines
    Thank you for your helping

    • IPL is broad spectrum, diode laser is more concentrated and alexandrite is a red light infrared spectrum and alexandrite is typically not available as a home use device, have you seen one that I am not aware of?

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