Skincare after Laser Treatments

January 20, 2022
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There’s no denying that the results from laser treatments are worth their weight in gold. From minimizing wrinkles and scarring, to getting rid of brown sunspots, is there anything laser can’t do?

Laser treatments are an effective way to improve the appearance of your skin and achieve generalized rejuvenation.

However, while our aestheticians will give you the 5-star treatment, the aftercare is just as important to maintain your results. Follow these 5 tips on how to take care of your skin after laser and help maintain the results you will see.


After laser treatment your skin will be hypersensitive to the sun for up to 6 weeks. Exposure to the sun may cause your skin to hyper-pigment, meaning more brown sunspots. Wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater is one of the best things you can do to protect your skin after laser treatments. 

Though you might associate needing sunscreen with being outside, it’s just as important to protect yourself from the sun while inside. That’s because windows and clothing don’t filter all the sun’s powerful rays. Reapply your sunscreen every two hours and after any contact with water or sweat.

Make a point to stay in the shade or wear a hat if you must go outside. Your skin will thank you! 

For sunscreen, you will need something to treat sensitive skin because after the procedure, the area treated will need some extra care. Getting the right sunscreen will help your skin heal faster.

For the first week we recommend ZO Broad-Spectrum SPF 50, as this has great coverage and is also very gentle on skin immediately after treatment. 

After the first week you can restart with your chosen sunscreen and a personal favourite of ours is ZO Sunscreen and Primer SPF 30 which leaves your skin with a silky matte finish. These are all available at our skincare store Skinstitute.

2) Moisturize your skin

Laser treatments create tiny, controlled micro-trauma to your skin to encourage collagen production. It’s normal for you skin to look worse on its way to looking better and you may experience redness, flakiness, dryness or possibly some crusting. It’s incredibly important to help your skin heal by providing lots of moisture repair, which helps to sooth and rejuvenate your skin and allows you to heal in the shortest amount of time. 

For the first week we only recommend using ZO Hydrating Crème for moderately dry skin and Skin Better Science TRIO for very dry skin. 

After 48hrs you can start to use antioxidant serums and growth factors. 


These provide daily antioxidant protection against the aging effects of oxidative stress and creates an improvement in the appearance of uneven tone and redness. They work by neutralizing free radicals and enhancing the skin’s vitality and radiance. We love ZO Daily Power Defense and Skin Better Science ALTO 

Growth Factor

We cannot get enough of ZO Growth Factor! This is a lightweight gel for all skin types that strengthens skin, supports skin rejuvenation and protects against future signs of aging. Growth factors work by promoting the body’s production of structural proteins such as collagen and elastin, both of which are key for maintaining skin elasticity, but are also crucial components in skin regeneration.

3) Skip the strong ingredients

If you typically use skin care products with retinol or other strong ingredients, hold off using them in the 2 weeks leading up to your treatment and in the few weeks after your treatment. When recovering from the controlled micro-trauma created by the laser it is important to give your skin a rest from the stronger skincare products. Ask your aesthetician for personalized advice on when to recommence using these products. 

4) Avoid cosmetics or makeup 

After a laser treatment your skin may look worse on its way to looking better. Redness, flakiness, and occasionally some crusting, are all common after laser treatment. You might be tempted to cover up that redness using foundation or other types of makeup. However, the chemicals in your makeup can interfere with the healing process and may cause you more discomfort. It’s better to wait a few weeks until the skin has had a chance to fully heal. Use mineral-based cosmetic products, which are gentler on your skin and may even have some nourishing effects. Ultimately, shelving your cosmetics and using a good sunscreen lets your skin heal properly.

5) Wait to exercise

Exercising may be part of your daily routine, but it’s important to take a rest and skip the gym for at least 3-4 days following your laser procedure. Strenuous activity can cause your blood to rush to your skin and leave you feeling flushed, and this can often be uncomfortable after laser. When you exercise, you are likely to sweat which can also irritate your skin. If you want to get some movement in, consider a gentle walk outside in the fresh air or opt for some modest stretching.

And because it’s sometimes hard to consolidate all this great advice into 5 simple bullet points, here is a bonus tip just for you…

6) Quit smoking

Smoking is commonly a significant contributor to damaged and aged skin, and while you’re healing from laser treatments it can increase your risk of complications (like infection) and unpleasant side effects. The harmful substances in cigarette smoke may derail the healing process and further irritate your skin. If you’re a smoker, wait for at least two weeks to smoke again. And if you manage to hold off smoking for 2 weeks, why not continue with the cessation streak?

Check out our e-store Skinstitute to purchase all your skincare needs from the comfort of your couch and enjoy free delivery on orders over $175.