photo: L Julia

It's hard to look and feel your best when you're running around with the kids. Here's your guide to easy beauty maintenance to always look and feel amazing! Check out these laser hair removal facts.
If you're a busy mother, you're probably aware of how hard it is to keep up with your own needs. Raising a family is a full-time job, so it pays to make things as easy as possible.
In order to make beauty maintenance less demanding, many women opt for getting laser hair removal. This eliminates the need for shaving, waxing, or plucking. What a huge time saver!
But, there are some things you need to know before you decide to schedule your first visit. Plus, you may realize you have some misconceptions about it. Let's go over nine laser hair removal facts that might surprise you.

1. Avoid Tanning Beforehand
If you enjoy tanning and make it part of your regular routine, you'll need to give it a break before and after your laser treatments. This includes sunbathing, tanning beds, and even tanning sprays.
Too much exposure to the sun before and after treatment can cause irritation and skin discoloration. It can even make the treatments less effective.
The laser hair removal process involves sending light into the hair follicle to damage and eventually kill it. This causes your skin to become much more sensitive. You're then more susceptible to UV rays.

2. You Shouldn't Worry About Pain
A common misconception surrounding the laser hair removal process is that it's extremely painful. For the most part, this is untrue.
Yes, you will feel a little discomfort, but it's nothing serious. It's about the equivalent to a pinprick. You may also experience slight irritation or itchiness for up to a few hours after a treatment.
If you're concerned about the pain, ask about having a topical numbing ointment applied before the treatment. You can also look into offices that use lasers with cooling technology to ease the pain.

3. Shave Before Your Appointment
It may seem pointless to shave right before the treatment, but it helps. Make it a point to shave the area you're having laser removal done to the day before.
Waxing or plucking means there won't be anything for the laser to target. On the other hand, long hair makes it harder for the laser to reach the root.
That's why shaving the day before is the perfect solution. Your hair follicles are still intact but the hair isn't long. Plus, shaving one day in advance gives your skin time to recover from shaving.

4. There Are Different Type of Lasers
It may surprise you, but there are different types of lasers, each better for different types of skin. A spa technician will know what's best for you.
A diode laser works well for all skin types. An Nd:YAG is also fine for all skin types but is less effective on fine or lighter hair. The Alexandrite laser is faster and better for lighter skin tones.
These three lasers are quite common, but there are more on the market. An aesthetician can give you a rundown of what's available. You can also check out this website to learn more about your treatment options.

5. One Treatment Won't Be Enough
Unfortunately, a single session won't get the job done. You'll need to have several treatments, each about a month apart.
Hair grows in cycles, and laser hair removal is more effective when a hair follicle is in the initial growth stage. Each treatment needs to take place in this stage.
That's why it's important you stick to your treatment schedule. Missing an appointment will make the entire process much longer. Don't worry though, you'll reap the rewards once you're finished.

6. Stay Away from Certain Medications
You'll need to avoid taking any photosensitive drugs about a week leading up to your procedure.
These drugs contain photo-reactive agents that react to UV light. This could result in a negative reaction to your skin during treatment.
It's important to note that some people won't have a negative reaction, even if on photosensitive drugs. But everyone is different, so it's better to be safe than sorry.
Certain antibiotics, painkillers, and topical acne medications are photosensitive. If you're unsure, ask your doctor about it and find out if they think it will cause an issue.
7. Stop the Use of Some Skin Care Products
Along with certain medications, you'll also need to stay away from certain skin care products before the procedure. These could cause skin irritation and discoloration.

On the day of your appointment, you should avoid using lotions, makeup, or sunblock. Clean skin with nothing applied to it is the best possible situation. You should also skip putting on any perfumes that day, too.
If you're having laser hair removal performed on your underarms, don't wear deodorant. After the treatment, it's a good idea to apply a light moisturizer or sunblock.
8. You'll Be In and Out in No Time
One of the best things about a laser removal appointment is they won't take up much of your time. In fact, about half an hour is all they require. This includes prep time.
Of course, the size of the area you're having worked on will affect how long it takes. But even larger areas aren't too time-consuming.
This means you won't have to reschedule appointments or take time off work. You can easily fit in a session during the lunch hour.

9. You Shouldn't Work Out Afterwards
After laser removal treatment, it's best to keep your skin cool for about 24 hours. This is because the heat from the laser results in redness and causes the follicles to become inflamed.
While your skin and follicles are in this state, they're more susceptible to the bacteria contained in your sweat. This can cause discoloration and itchiness.
Along with working out, you'll need to avoid saunas and hot showers. Basically, anything that makes you perspire.

Keep These Laser Hair Removal Facts in Mind
If you want to simplify your life, you need to eliminate small, time-consuming tasks. Laser treatment for hair removal will cut down the amount of time spent in the bathroom and give you peace of mind you're looking your best at all times.

Remember these laser hair removal facts when gearing up for your first appointment. Keeping up with you and your family's health and wellness is critical for every mother. Find a wealth of informative articles that will make the process easier.