Laser Hair Removal and Retinoids
Bob Dylan popularized the song The Times They Are A Changin’.
A catchy tune, no doubt, and odds are that Dylan didn’t think those words would relate to areas of the beauty industry.
Or who knows? Maybe he did. Because they definitely apply!
Laser hair removal is fantastic not only from an aesthetic standpoint but also from that of advancement. Over the years, doctors and laser hair removal professionals have learned so much about the industry. What methods and lasers work best. And what protocols should be followed for the best client experience.
That’s the case for retinoid use during laser hair removal. For years, it was advised to stop retinoid use prior to and during laser hair removal treatment for the sake of client safety. But more recent studies have discovered that retinoid usage can continue during laser hair removal.
Read on to find out how laser hair removal and retinoids can work together.
What do retinoids do for your skin?
Retinoids help reduce lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. They also stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, help soften some rough patches, and reduce the appearance of age spots.
Retinoids help reduce lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen.
What is the difference between retinol and retinoids?
Retinol is a topical form of a retinoid, often an over-the-counter formula. Retinoids are essentially an umbrella term for both over-the-counter retinol and prescription retinoids.
In the past, why were laser hair removal and retinoids not seen as a wise combination?
When retinoids first received Food and Drug Administration approval in the 1970s and lasers were used clinically, patients would encounter delayed wound healing. Because of that, the initial recommendation was that retinoid use be discontinued during laser hair removal treatments.
With time, the advancement of technology, and a better understanding of the capabilities of the laser and how clients respond to treatment, later studies revealed insufficient evidence to delay laser hair removal for patients actively undergoing retinoid therapy. In short, combining these two treatments poses no risk of harm to the client.
What is the current protocol for laser hair removal with retinoids?
The current understanding is that laser hair removal is safe for those using retinoids. Prior to this standard, an abundance of caution was used, fearing that retinoids would lead to complications during and following laser hair removal. But that was based on limited evidence.
Are both oral and topical retinoids safe with laser hair removal?
The approach for all retinoids would be the same. Laser hair removal is safe while taking both retinoid forms, retinol (topical) and isotretinoin (oral). The one caution that needs to be taken is to not apply any topical retinol to the skin while laser hair removal is being performed. If a topical product is used – retinol, some kind of lotion or deodorant – it heightens the risk of experiencing a complication.
It’s good to know that protocols for laser hair removal and retinoids have been updated!
Right! If you have ANY questions or reservations about receiving treatment while on retinoids, talk it over with your doctor. But following the proper instructions and protocols will allow a client on retinoids to enjoy the lasting benefits of laser hair removal!