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Trend or Recommend: LED Light Therapy

Plus, all your questions, answered.

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? 

woman under red light therapy

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

woman having red light therapy on the face

Quick-Fire Facts 

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

woman under red light therapy

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.

woman receiving led 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.

woman under mask light therapy

Brand Recommendations 

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:

  • DermaluxTM
  • Light Stim
  • Joov
  • Omnilux
  • Filterlessera
  • Opera mask
  • Celluma

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.”

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Back To Basics: The Skincare Routine For Oily & Acne Prone Skin

A simple and effective way to care for oily and acne prone skin types.

In our last Back to Basic Skincare Series we looked at how to implement a minimalistic skincare routine for dry and dehydrated skin with the right products. In this blog, we are reviewing a skin care routine for oily skin and sharing with you the best skincare routine for oily skin, and best products and formulations to keep your skin healthy and looking its best!

We know how difficult it can be to care for and balance out an oily skin type. The challenge is even greater for those suffering from regular acne breakouts with the wrong oily skin care routine. Although we can’t make them disappear overnight, there are ways to diminish their appearance and get your skin to be less reactive with a concise and effective regime. In order to achieve those results, we need to clear up some popular myths surrounding the skin care routine for oily skin, excess oil production and breakouts.

Oily or combination skin types are genetically predisposed. This is the type of skin that you were born with and not a condition you can treat and cure. Oily skin types exist when there is an overproduction of sebum from the sebaceous glands of the dermis which gives a shine and greasy look to the skin. This hyperactivity produces excess oils that overfill the pores and enlarge them. The sebum in the pores mixes with dirt and bacteria. Dead skin cells get trapped and form blackheads and whiteheads under the surface of the skin.  Blackheads and whiteheads are a different type of skin condition collectively known as acne. 

How Do I Know if I Have Oily Skin?

You can look out for the following signs and characteristics such as excessive shine. Oily skin tends to have a persistent shine, particularly in the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin). This shine can be noticeable throughout the day, even after washing your face. One might even notice enlarged pores. Oily skin often has visibly larger pores, especially in the aforementioned T-zone area. These pores can be more noticeable and may even be clogged with oil, debris, or blackheads.

If you suffer from frequent breakouts, that’s because oily skin is prone to acne breakouts, including whiteheads, blackheads, and other forms of pimple-like blemishes. See if your breakouts appear more frequently and may be concentrated in the T-zone. This is a sign of oily skin.

Have you noticed your makeup melting? If your makeup tends to slide off or lose its matte finish quickly, it could be an indication of oily skin. The excess oil can interfere with the adherence and longevity of makeup products.

Let’s talk about greasy texture. Oily skin often feels greasy or slick to the touch, especially on the surface of your face. When you blot your skin with a tissue or blotting paper, you may notice oil residue on the paper.

If you experience a combination of these signs, it is likely that you have oily skin.

Step-by-Step Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin

The best way to address oily skin care routine, oily skin types and reduce acne is to follow a good skin care routine for oily skin that helps balance out the oil production on the skin while keeping it well hydrated and avoid any disruption on the dermis barrier. Avoid the use of any harsh or drying products such as alcohol and other astringents, or irritating ingredients like menthol, lemon, eucalyptus as well as, aromatic oils and solid rich formulations such as bar soaps that clog the pores, making matters worse by exacerbating the oil secretion on the skin.

For a simple and effective skin care routine for oily skin we recommend the following steps:

Skincare For Oily & Acne Prone Skin

Step 1: Cleanser

Cleanse your skin twice daily, in the morning and night, using a mild water-soluble facial cleanser to remove excess oils and avoid buildup in the pores. As mentioned above, avoid any aggravating ingredients and/or harsh scrubs and cleansing tools. Remember, the tingling sensation does not equal cleaner skin, it’s a sign of irritation that is not good for any skin type.

Our picks:

  • Clean & Clear daily pore cleanser oil free
  • Garnier skinactive micellar foaming gel cleanser combination to oily skin, even sensitive
  • Cerave renewing SA cleanser
  • Kiehls ultra facial cleanser for all skin types

Oil-Free Daily Pore Cleanser, PRP AED 21.95, available at head2toes.ae

Micellar Gel Face Wash Sensitive Skin, PRP AED 25, available at asos.com

Foaming Cleanser Normal To Oily Skin, PRP AED 50.31, available at caretobeauty.com

Ultra Facial Cleanser, PRP AED 98, available at kiehls.ae

Step 2: Toner

This is one of the most important steps of a skin care routine for oily skin. A well formulated, alcohol-free exfoliating toner will replenish your skin with antioxidants and calming ingredients, minimize the appearance of enlarged pores and remove any residues of makeup or dirt that could possibly clog the pores. An exfoliating toner that contains BHA’s such as salicylic acid is a fantastic fit for oily skin types as it is oil soluble and can get deep down in the pores unclogging them from the roots and keeping those black and white heads at bay.

Our picks:

  • COSRX BHA blackhead power liquid
  • Bioderma sebium pore refiner
  • The Inkey List PHa toner
  • Derma e soothing toner with anti-aging

Bha Blackhead Power Liquid, PRP AED 120.15, available at carethy.net

Sebium Pore Refiner, PRP AED 77, available at carrefouruae.com

Pha Toner, PRP AED 64.95, available at cultbeauty.co.uk

Anti-Wrinkle Toner, PRP AED 49, available at asteronline.com

Step 3: Moisturiser

Contrary to common belief, oily skin types need to stay well hydrated to keep the dermis acting and looking healthy. Proper levels of hydration on the skin are fundamental to keep it functioning and regenerating at is best. To learn more about the differences between dehydrated and dry skin check our first Back to Basics skincare instalment. When choosing a moisturiser focus on an oil-free, lightweight water-based formulation, that will effectively hydrate your skin without clogging your pores or leaving a heavy and greasy feeling to it.

Our picks:

  • Clinique moisture surge hydrating lotion
  • Glow Recipe watermelon glow pink juice moisturizer
  • Elf oil control liquid lotion
  • Drunk Elephant f-balm electrolyte waterfacial

Moisture Surge Eye™ 96-Hour Hydro-Filler Concentrate, PRP AED 220, available at sephora.ae

Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer, PRP AED 97.50, available at cultbeauty.co.uk

Oil Control Liquid Lotion, PRP AED 70.99, available at amazon.ae

F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial, PRP AED 195, available at cultbeauty.co.uk

Step 4: SPF

Nowadays they are so many elegant and sophisticated sun block formulations that are oil free and non-comedogenic. The Gaggler prefers products in a lotion form that contain the active ingredients zinc oxide and or titanium dioxide which have been proven to prevent acne breakouts. In addition, proper sun protection as part of a skin care routine for oily skin helps you prevent any pigmentation scaring.

Our picks:

  • Shiseido ultimate sun protection SPF 50 sunscreen + wetforce for sensitive skin + children
  • Peter Thomas Roth Mineral Naked Broad Spectrum SPF 45
  • Neutrogena ultra sheer face sunscreen SPF45
  • La Roche Posay anthelious 50 mineral ultra light sunscreen fluid SPF50 face

Expert Sun Protection Lotion Wetforce SPF50+ Face And Body, PRP AED 147.70, available at sweetcare.com

Max Mineral Tinted Broad Spectrum SPF 45, PRP AED 153.86, available at revolve.com

Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF45, PRP AED 114, available at noon.com

Anthelios Spf50+ Shaka Fluid, PRP AED 110, available at uae.sharafdg.com

Step 5: Specific treatments and serums

If you suffer from acne prone skin and regular breakouts you would want to introduce a treatment serum on your regime that contains benzyl peroxide to help regulate oil production during the day while reducing redness and inflammation; and a retinol serum to keep skin clear and rejuvenated at night time. Another great ingredient you can include in your regiment is the powerful antioxidant niacinamide that helps out with the appearance of enlarged pores, while also soothing and calming the skin and providing anti-aging benefits.

Our picks:

  • Drunk Elephant framboise glycolic night serum
  • The Ordinary Niacinamide 2%
  • Proactiv emergency blemish relief
  • La Roche Posay effaclar duo corrective unclogging care

Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, PRP AED 450, available at noon.com

Niacinamide Plus Zinc Serum, PRP AED 41, available at lookfantastic.ae

Emergency Blemish Relief, PRP AED 173, available at noon.com

Effaclar Duo[+] Corrective Unclogging Care, PRP AED 81.27, available at caretobeauty.com

Things to Avoid

When it comes to caring for oily skin, there are a few key things to avoid. Firstly, steer clear of heavy, oil-based moisturizers and skincare products that can exacerbate the oiliness. Instead, opt for lightweight, oil-free or water-based alternatives that won’t clog pores. Secondly, avoid harsh cleansers or soaps that strip away too much oil, as this can lead to increased oil production. Opt for gentle, non-comedogenic cleansers that won’t disrupt the skin’s natural balance. Next, refrain from over-washing your face, as this can strip away essential oils and trigger more oil production. Stick to washing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser. Lastly, try to avoid heavy makeup and opt for oil-free or non-comedogenic formulas to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best night skincare routine for oily skin?

A night skincare routine for oily skin should focus on controlling excess oil production and preventing breakouts. Start by thoroughly cleansing your face with a gentle, oil-free cleanser to remove dirt and sebum. Afterward, use an exfoliating toner containing salicylic acid to unclog pores and reduce oiliness. Next, apply a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer to hydrate your skin without adding extra grease. Consider using a spot treatment on any active acne or blemishes. Lastly, before bed, apply a thin layer of oil-free or gel-based night cream to help balance oil production while you sleep.

How do you take care of oily skin everyday?

To take care of oily skin everyday, start by cleansing your face twice a day with a gentle, oil-free cleanser. Use oil-free or gel-based products that won’t clog pores. Apply a good sunscreen to protect your skin. We do strongly recommend the use oil-absorbing sheets throughout the day to control excess oil. It’s best to not use heavy, pore-clogging makeup and hydrate your skin with a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer.

How can I maintain my oily skin naturally?

The mantra is simple:
Cleanse, Hydrate, Exfoliate!

Opt for natural exfoliants like sugar or oatmeal. Our team at The Gaggler recommends natural exfoliating recipes:

  1. Use a Sugar Scrub: Mix equal parts of brown sugar and coconut oil. Gently massage onto damp skin in circular motions, then rinse off with warm water.
  2. We love a good Oatmeal Scrub: Combine ground oatmeal, honey, and a few drops of lemon juice. Apply to your face, let it sit for a few minutes, then gently scrub and rinse off.
  3. Weekend Coffee Grounds Scrub: Mix used coffee grounds with a bit of olive oil or honey. Massage onto the skin in circular motions, then rinse off.
  4. The Famous Baking Soda Scrub: Create a paste by mixing baking soda with water. Apply to damp skin and gently rub in small circular motions before rinsing off.

A controlled diet is always recommended. It’s best to consume a balanced diet with less greasy or fried foods, as they can contribute to oiliness.

Staying hydrated is the secret sauce to great skin regardless of the skin type Drink enough water to keep your skin hydrated from within, which can help balance oil production.
Try our latest water bottles to help you reach that 2 litre goal!

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The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will, too.

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