5 items you should never use in your laser hair removal studio (and a lot more that you should)!

5 Items You Should Never Use in Your Laser Hair Removal Studio

5 Items You Should Never Use in Your Laser Hair Removal Studio

With a cool and edgy look, black exam gloves are all the rage in dental offices, med spas, and tattoo parlors. So why not elevate the look of your laser hair removal studio with black exam gloves? Well, black gloves are actually a terrible idea in a laser studio but for a reason you might not expect. You see, lasers “interact” with dark pigments and not in a good way - think little explosions or fire and light as the pigments ignite and evaporate under the intense laser light.

In this article we talk about the importance of choosing the right consumable products specifically for your growing laser hair removal business. We will explore the do’s, don’ts and important considerations that are unique to the world of lasers.

1. Never use dark colored exam gloves

Powerful hair removal lasers can cause the pigments in exam gloves to ignite, resulting in a tiny flash of intense heat and even a visible spark. Being that the technician’s hand is often near or occasionally in the path of the laser light, an interaction between the laser beam and darkly pigmented glove can cause a small burn to the technician and potentially the client.

In our studio we only use light pink, light blue, white, or light green exam gloves. Even the darker variations of pink, blue, and green pose a risk, which is why at Bolt Aesthetics we only source and sell very light shades of the most popular colors.

When it comes to glove materials, we only use nitrile or polychloroprene in our studio. While slightly less expensive than nitrile, latex gloves cause an allergic reaction in a small percent of the population. In our opinion latex gloves are just not worth the risk, particularly since not all clients will know if they have a latex allergy or not. Nothing ruins the client experience quite like leaving the studio with itchy and irritated skin or even skin lesions. Like nitrile, polychloroprene gloves don’t pose an allergy risk but are softer and more elastic than nitrile, allowing for a snug, yet very comfortable fit. These advantages come at a fairly significant price premium which is why nitrile remains the most utilized glove material in laser hair removal.

2. Avoid permanent skin markers

Imagine your latest client showing off their buttery smooth and hair-free legs on Instagram only to see your skin marker lines still scrawled over their calf. Skin markers are a key tool of the trade in laser hair removal, but permanent markers just make for a bad client experience. In our studio we only use Viscot brand skin markers and only in light colors, usually white or red. Remember, just like gloves, dark pigments and laser can cause a heat reaction. The white and red Viscot markers go on smooth, stay visible over the course of treatment, and importantly wipe off easily with a water-based wet wipe.

3. Don’t EVER cut corners when it comes to protective eyewear

We have all heard the expression “if seems too good to be true it probably is.” Well, those protective laser glasses you found on eBay for $20.00 that come with zero documentation, written specifications or safety certifications fall into that category as well. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is worth risking permanent damage to you or your patient’s eyesight.

“Real” laser safety glasses come with testing and safety data, including the amount of light reduction, known as Optical Density or “OD”, provided at a specific light frequency. Good quality safety glasses are designed for specific laser types (YAG, Diode, Alexandrite) and come with a chart that shows the actual test data used to establish the amount of Optical Density (light reduction) per frequency.

4. Avoid use of antiseptic wipes on a patient’s skin before treatment

There are three common types of wet wipes: water-based, alcohol-based, and antiseptic wipes. Antiseptic wipes contain germicides and are usually used to clean equipment that meets the client’s skin, such as the laser itself. While physicians use antiseptic wipes to clean wounds, these strong wipes aren’t generally used on patients' skin in laser hair removal.

To understand what to use instead, it’s important to first understand what we are trying to accomplish by using wipes on a client before laser treatment. As discussed before, we want to minimize interactions between the laser and anything it might react with that interferes with the treatment or causes an unintended reaction. This includes a multitude of things that can be found on a client’s skin. One of the most common things we find on the skin is makeup, particularly on the face, but we also encounter sunscreen, natural body oils, dye transfer from clothing (jeans in particular), and dirt. Laser light interacts with all these substances and in some cases that interaction is very problematic. We therefore want to cleanse the skin of these substances before treatment.

The best solution for cleaning the skin of oils, cosmetics, dyes, and dirt before treatment are water-based wipes. Water wipes, such as the popular Huggies brand Natural Care wipes, have the advantage of having no side effects. While Isopropyl alcohol is effective in removing oily substances such as cosmetics and body oils, it dries out the skin and can result in irritation before and after laser treatment. As mentioned above, if you use non-permanent skin markers, the marker lines should be easily removable with non-irritating water wipes. Save the Isopropyl alcohol wipes for disinfection of laser protection glasses, laser windows and other surfaces in the office.

5. Don’t let minor laser burns go untreated

Even the best technicians using the best equipment still occasionally cause minor burns to the client’s skin. Powerful lasers are more likely to produce burns on recently tanned skin and darker skin tones. However, with so many variables at play, ranging from the laser settings, technician technique, to the patient skin type, minor burns are sometimes unavoidable.

When a client does indeed receive a minor burn, it’s important to provide options for keeping the affected skin moist. Petroleum jelly, Biafine cream, and Aloe Vera gel are all options. All three treatments work by trapping a layer of moisture underneath the skin, which in turn promotes a faster healing process. From our personal experience, Biafine has worked best for us, and it is what we use in our own studio.


Laser hair removal requires specialized products and specialized knowledge on their use to perform safe and effective treatments that achieve great results. Bolt Aesthetics was started by an expert laser technician to make it easy for studio owners to find the right products to grow their business.

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