You may have seen LED light therapy in several different forms. A popular one resembles a Star Wars stormtrooper mask. Well, this is what is known as LED phototherapy. Much like me, you may be skeptical at first when it comes to LED light therapy, as it can seem like a gimmick. However, it comes highly recommended by dermatologists, aestheticians, and doctors. From facials to at-home devices, LED light therapy is becoming increasingly popular. But what exactly is it? Let’s dig deep.
LED Light Therapy
Looking for a new and improved way to treat your skin conditions? Say hello to LED light therapy! This non-invasive treatment uses light-emitting diodes to emit different wavelengths of light and is known to treat a variety of skin conditions, including acne, sun damage, pigmentation, and eczema. Best of all, there is no downtime required and the treatment time is short – perfect for busy bees! Plus, it’s safe for all skin types and has been clinically proven to be effective (depending on the wavelength used). And what’s not to love about the free catnap included in the treatment?
How Does It Work?
We all know that plants absorb light energy to help them grow. But did you know that our skin can do the same thing? When we sunbathe, our skin absorbs the sunlight and we develop a tan from the energy of the sun. LED phototherapy uses this same principle to stimulate and repair cells.
In fact, it can work up to 200% faster than natural processes, which helps to regenerate and repair the skin. As the light triggers a whole cascade of skin-enhancing processes, your skin still reaps the benefits, even after the treatment has finished. If you would like a more visual and detailed video, you can find it here.
Are the Results Real?
The results speak for themselves. The great thing about light therapy is it’s not just for the face; you can use it all over the body. You will see many images online to prove that the treatment works. A friend of mine used Dermalux LED light therapy in her clinic on a client’s hands to treat contact dermatitis, showing amazing results. You may see detailed photos of before and after LED light therapy results here.
I am often asked about LED light therapy in my day-to-day work. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions with my answers:
How long does it take per session?
It all depends on the wavelength of the light being used, but roughly speaking, you can expect to sit under those LED lights for anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes per session.
How often do I need to have this treatment?
Twice a week is recommended for optimum results, but it is safe to have this treatment daily and, although very beneficial, it would not be necessary and isn’t too budget-friendly unless you have an at-home device. If so, go ahead!
How long do I need to maintain the treatment to keep the results?
Results can last several months, but maintenance is key with most treatments. After your course, I would suggest at least once a month or every 2-3 months, depending on what skin condition is being treated. The more severe the condition, the more maintenance is required. And don’t forget that your daily skincare is also considered maintenance.
What are the benefits of using LED light therapy?
- Helps fight acne formation and reduces bacteria
- Reduces oiliness
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces pigmentation
- Lowers redness, swelling, and bruising
- Accelerates wound healing
- Improves skin rejuvenation
- Stimulates hair growth
- Repairs sun-damaged skin
- Stimulation of the synthesis of new collagen
- Improvement in skin elasticity
What do the different LED light colours do?
Most LED devices have red and blue light therapy or red, blue, and near-infrared light. You may often see a pink light, which is a combination of red and blue light. Light therapy is versatile, and you can personalise treatments in many ways! Here’s a quick breakdown of what each colour does:
- Red – One of the most popular and the most commonly used. Red-light therapy has been shown to stimulate the synthesis of new collagen, improve lymphatic circulation, reduce wrinkles, improve skin elasticity, reduce inflammation, and stimulate hair follicles. It can also help with muscle recovery.
- Near-Infrared Light – This is invisible to the naked eye, but it has a whole host of benefits. It can boost metabolism, trigger the healing process, recharge mitochondria, stimulate white blood cell production, reduce body fat, promote cell regeneration, increase energy, reduce inflammation, and improve circulation.
- Blue Light – This is best suited for acne-prone skin, but it should be avoided if you have pigmentation concerns. Blue light has been shown to reduce oiliness, breakouts, blackheads, and whiteheads. It also kills bacteria, making it an ideal treatment for bacterial skin conditions. Blue light can also prevent acne formation by reducing inflammation. It is also known as the “happy light” because it has been shown to improve mood.
What do the different wavelengths mean?
The longer the wavelength, the deeper the penetration delivers energy to the cells. Different LED light wavelengths mean different things for your skin. If you’re looking for a light that penetrates deeply, you’ll want to find one with a longer wavelength. The most clinically evidenced and scientifically proven wavelengths for optimum absorption are:
- Red – 630nm-640nm
- Blue – 405nm-420nm
- Near-Infrared Light – 800nm-900nm
I have some fine lines and wrinkles; is it anti-ageing?
The short answer is yes! Red light and near-infrared light combined would be the best for this. This combination is amazing for skin rejuvenation, loss of elasticity, fine lines, and wrinkles.
How is it a different light from a tanning bed?
Tanning beds use ultraviolet light, which not only emits heat, but also causes pigmentation to become darker and age spots to develop. UV exposure can also cause a whole cascade of health and skin problems, including causing skin cancer and skin ageing at lightning speed.
LED light therapy, on the other hand, uses low-level light, which does not cause any of the problems that UV exposure might cause. Instead, it helps to improve the quality of the skin. LED light therapy is a much safer and healthier option than tanning beds.
Can LED improve hydration in the skin?
Yes, red LED light therapy can improve hydration levels in the skin by stimulating your skin’s fibroblasts and encouraging the skin to retain hydration. However, there are more beneficial treatments, such as the HydrafacialMD, which will also include light therapy if hydration is your main concern.
Will it improve my acne?
It will certainly improve acne and breakout-prone skin. You will see significant results, but it will not completely clear acne just using LED alone. Along with these treatments, a consistent skincare regimen and looking after your gut health are the most important for acne-prone skin.
If I have a client suffering from acne, blue light therapy would definitely be a part of their treatment programme. Results vary from person to person depending on factors like lifestyle and hormones, but I have seen incredible results from blue light therapy.
I find my skin is dull; is it good for brightening?
Yes, studies have shown that red and near-infrared light used together offer the best results for dull, sallow skin with a lack of radiance.
Will it affect my eyesight?
All devices should be used with protective goggles to block any light and be perfectly safe.
Is light therapy more beneficial than other treatments?
Light therapy is such a versatile treatment that it can be added to existing treatments to enhance its benefits. It can also be added to intensive treatments such as micro-needling to calm the skin and reduce bacteria and redness. Still, it is an incredible standalone treatment that gives clinically proven results. And don’t forget you can also use LED light therapy on any area of the body! If you need to be more budget-friendly, but have skin issues or concerns, then definitely book this treatment as a standalone.
Is it expensive?
It varies on location, device, and whether it is a standalone treatment or an enhancement to another treatment. It can often be included in some treatments, but if not, it is usually cheaper to add to the treatment. Price varies from AED 100-400.
When should I not use LED light therapy and why?
I would avoid light therapy if:
- You are taking Accutane or similar medication as the skin can be sensitive to light
- You are pregnant
- You suffer from epilepsy
- You take medications that cause light sensitivity (such as Tetracycline)
- You are currently taking steroids or cortisone injections
Can I do this myself at home?
You certainly can! I wouldn’t expect miracles to happen with at-home devices. However, they are great for maintenance and skin rejuvenation. Most at-home devices are a lower level wavelength, so instead of only having to use the device for 10 minutes, you may have to wear it for up to 60 minutes for optimum results.
When it comes to LED light therapy, there are plenty of options on the market. But as the saying goes, “research is best before you invest.” So, to save you some time, I’ve compiled a list of recommended brands:
- Light Stim
- Opera mask
What to Look For
When it comes to choosing an LED light brand, there are many factors to consider. First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that the brand offers a minimum wavelength of 630nm. You’ll also want to look for brands that offer clinical studies to back up their claims. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, it’s time to consider convenience and time.
Did You Know?
“After extensive trials, NASA scientists found that using red light is extremely beneficial to humans. The red light was used to speed up the healing process of astronauts’ wounds in space. Further research found that aside from healing wounds, red light can also stimulate the skin’s production of collagen and elastin.”