What Are Your Best Hair Removal Options If You're Still Dealing With Acne?

Posted on: 18 May 2016


Although most associate the onset of acne with an isolated period of time during the early teen years, many can find themselves dealing with acne-prone skin well into adulthood -- battling zits and wrinkles at the same time. There are a variety of fairly effective treatments for adult acne, from topical medications and cleansers to prescription drugs that inhibit your body's ability to produce excess oil. However, these treatments can often leave your skin red, irritated, and extra sensitive, making hair removal for women more difficult. What are the most effective (and least harsh) ways to remove excess facial or body hair when undergoing acne treatment? Read on to learn more about achieving your desired appearance without harming your skin.

What are the most effective hair removal options for acne-prone skin?

The more you touch and pick at your skin, the greater your risk of introducing acne-causing bacteria and oils into your pores -- so the ideal hair removal method for those with acne-prone skin is a permanent or semi-permanent one that requires no regular maintenance. Laser hair removal or electrolysis can often fit this bill, permanently killing the hair's root by targeting a series of high-powered laser beams at the area. Although these lasers can make an intimidating snapping sound as they strike your skin, they shouldn't cause any irritation or swelling.

Threading your eyebrows or other facial hair can also give you the same look and long-lasting impact as waxing, but without requiring you to cover sensitive skin in hot wax. A technician will use a thin piece of thread or plastic line to wrap around each individual hair, pulling it out from the root and preventing any regrowth for several weeks. This process appears similar to old-school plucking, but can be performed much more quickly and with less irritation. 

Which hair removal options should you avoid while you're undergoing acne treatment? 

There are a few hair removal options that are more likely than others to irritate or inflame sensitive skin. The first is waxing. Even if your technician is as gentle as possible, the process of pulling hot wax from skin to which it has adhered can cause irritation or even minor tears that may have trouble healing if you treat this skin with a medicated wash or scrub. 

You'll also want to avoid most over-the-counter depilatories. These substances work by dissolving the hair follicle, allowing the hair to easily be rinsed away rather than shaved, plucked, or lasered. Unfortunately, exposure to the strong chemicals needed to dissolve hair can be too much for skin that's undergoing acne treatment, and you may wind up with a painful rash -- even if you've previously used the same depilatory with no ill effects.