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How Do Waxing, Shaving, and Laser Affect Your Skin?

How Do Waxing, Shaving, and Laser Affect Your Skin?
IMAGE Paolo Pineda
Hear it straight from a dermatologist.

Filipinas are naturally conscious about unwanted hair. Be it on our face, underarm, or leg, we want it smooth and hair-free! With different hair removal methods, we should be wary of the effects these may have on our skin. To help shed light on the popular treatments we resolve to in achieving hair-free legs, we talk to Dr. Anna Rufino, a board-certified dermatologist and a member of the Philippine Dermatological SocietyBelow, we break down just what waxing, shaving, and lasering really does to our skin. Read on!


Shaving removes hair at the skin's surface through the use of a razor. This is usually done with a shaving cream.

Pros: "Shaving is the quickest and easiest way to get rid of unwanted hair for as long as you have the proper tools and techniques. Make sure you use a sharp razor and a mild shaving cream or gel on clean skin."

Cons: "If not done properly, you can cut and wound yourself."

Effects: "It is quick and easy but hair will grow back soon after." The regrown hair are also blunt, so from afar, they seem to appear thicker than before. If you shave regularly, your skin will be more prone to ingrown hairs."


Melted wax is applied to the skin and removed against the direction of the hair growth, pulling the hair from its roots. 

Pros: "Hair grows back more slowly."

Cons: It is moderately painful, and ingrown hairs can also occur.

Effects: "The heat can irritate the skin causing an inflammation, which results in hyperpigemtation. And when hair is plucked out of the follicle, you create access for bacteria to enter the skin causing an infection called folliculitis."



Laser penetrates the skin and destroys the follicle, meaning it can achieve permanent removal. "But you should also consider the type of hair you have (thick or thin, dark or light) in choosing the right machine/laser (diode, NDYag or IPL) to make sure it will be effective. You also should not wax at least four weeks before the procedure and the number of sessions needed may vary per person."

Pros: Hair removal through lasers can be permanent or have longer effectivity and causes no damage to the dermis.

Cons: "Depending on the machine used, pain is very tolerable."

Effects: Hair will naturally fall off within two to three weeks. And depending on your skin and hair type, sessions needed may vary for each person. It's the most cost-effective investment you can splurge on. It is also safe even if you have sensitive skin.

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