Smoking and Laser Hair Removal

We all know that smoking is bad for our health. It is well documented that it can cause health issues, severe illnesses, and can damage our teeth. But some people are unaware that smoking is actually bad for our skin, too.

Before starting a course of laser hair removal, it is important that you are made aware of the best practices to follow so that you have the best chance at seeing the most effective results, as well as experiencing minimal side effects.

These best practices will include things like alcohol consumption before laser treatment as well as the subject of smoking, and you will be told specifically by your course provider how long you should abstain from smoking for – both before and after your course of treatment.

Carry on reading for more on the restrictions around smoking for laser hair removal customers.

Can you smoke before laser hair removal?

We advise all our patients to stop smoking before they attend a laser hair removal session.

Smoking is known to be a vasoconstrictor. This means that smoking constricts the blood vessels within our skin and decreases the amount of oxygen in our blood. This can make recovery from injuries slower – not good for those undergoing laser hair removal.

Some clinics advise that you stop smoking 24 hours before your treatment, others that you should stop smoking a week before your treatment. Our specialists will be able to provide you with bespoke preparation instructions during a consultation, but in general, the best advice is that the more in advance you stop smoking then the better.

Can you smoke after laser hair removal?

You should avoid smoking after laser hair removal until your skin has fully healed.

This is for the same reasons that you should avoid smoking before laser hair removal. You want your skin to be at its healthiest before damaging it with a laser. Because that is what you are doing when you undergo laser hair removal, even though it is very gentle for most people and side effects are very rare.

By smoking when your skin is still recovering from the laser treatment, you are increasing your risk of scarring and longer-lasting damage. This includes redness and tenderness.

Also, you should keep the date of your next laser hair removal appointment in mind before you begin smoking again.

Is vaping bad for your skin?

Early evidence also shows that vaping may be bad for your skin. This is especially the case if the vape that you use contains nicotine.

For that reason, we will also advise that our patients follow the same rules with vaping that they would with smoking before and after treatments.

Other aesthetic reasons to stop smoking

Aside from the issues that smoking can cause for laser hair removal, there are many other ways that smoking can damage our skin and our aesthetics. This includes:

  • Developing wrinkles – the repeated puckering of the lips when smoking causes wrinkles to develop prematurely around the mouth. We treat many patients with Botox whose wrinkles are caused by long-term smoking.
  • Drying out skin – the chemicals in cigarettes and vapes can dry out the skin of smokers, meaning that you will see fewer benefits from regularly moisturising or receiving hydrofacials or skin peels.
  • Pigmentation damage – smoking can create dark spots on the skin, as well as yellow teeth and nails.
  • Signs of ageing – smoking decreases the amount of collagen and elastin in the skin. Not only will this create premature signs of ageing, but it will also lessen the effects of any collagen-boosting facials that you receive.

These are in addition to the plethora of health problems that smoking can cause.

Beauty Barn laser hair removal specialists

Contrary to what articles such as this may lead you to believe; laser hair removal actually is a very quick and easy treatment! Most individuals see only very minor side effects (warm, tender skin) and they go away within a day or two.

If you would like to get started on a course of laser hair removal, then contact us at The Beauty Barn Clinic and Spa for more information.

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