Skincare trends can be hard to keep up with sometimes. There are new products. New technologies. And recently, there’s been buzz around LED light therapy for skin health.
What exactly is LED light therapy for skin?
LED light therapy is basically a plastic mask you put on your face. It has LED lights on the inside, which emit different colors of light. And the difference between the colors is that each color emits a different wavelength. The wavelengths of red and blue light can be absorbed into the skin.
While LED light therapy can be used on any part of the body, it is mainly used on the face. The skin on your face experiences more damage from the environment, like pollution and sun exposure. That is why LED light therapy is now used by estheticians to help heal stressed skin that is aging or suffering from acne breakouts.
So, let’s talk about the difference between the red and blue light for a moment...
We’re going to get a little sciency here to explain exactly what red light therapy does to the skin.
Red LED Light Therapy
Red LED light therapy works by changing the chemistry of skin cells, making the mitochondria in the cells stronger. Mitochondria make all the skin cells’ energy. When the skin cells have more energy, they can function better, like healing themselves and repairing damage.
In skincare treatments, Red light therapy is usually marketed as an anti-aging service. Red LED light therapy actually stimulates collagen. More collagen means your skin will appear smoother and fuller by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Red LED light also calms redness and improves circulation, giving your skin a nice healthy glow!
Blue LED Light Therapy
Blue LED light therapy, on the other hand, works on the oil glands. The oil glands produce sebum, which keeps your skin from drying out. But when the oil glands start producing too much oil, because of hormone changes or an improper skincare routine, it causes blackheads and breakouts.
Blue LED light therapy targets the oil glands to make them less active. It can also kill acne-causing bacteria on the skin.
Blue LED and RED Light Therapy Together
Together red and blue light therapy can be used to treat acne. Using both gives you the benefits of slowing down oil production and decreasing scarring and redness.
Is LED light therapy safe to use?
The American Academy of Dermatology says, YES! Since LED lights don’t have UV rays, they are considered a safe treatment. Light therapy won’t cause long-term damage to your skin. It is not invasive, meaning it doesn’t break the surface of the skin. Instead, the light rays absorb into the skin.
LED lights do not get hot, so they will not burn the skin compared to other anti-aging treatments, like chemical peels, dermabrasion, and laser therapy. It is also safe for all skin colors and skin types. LED light therapy for skin is not painful. There is no downtime after having a treatment either. So, you won’t be walking around with a red face for 3 days the way you do after some really harsh chemical peels.
Where to find LED light therapy treatments
You will typically find LED light therapy for skin services offered by a doctor’s office, medical spa, or day spa. And there are also at-home masks.
It is recommended to have the treatment done 1 to 2 times per week for 20 minutes for up to 10 weeks. You’ll have to be patient with this treatment, as LED light therapy is not a quick fix. And most people only see minor results after their first treatment. Results are not permanent either. So, it’s more of a cosmetic treatment than anything else. Maintenance treatments are recommended every few months.
You also shouldn’t use LED light therapy if you have a rash.
If you are taking Accutane, a vitamin A derivative used to treat severe acne, LED light therapy for skin is not recommended. You might wonder why since blue light therapy is great for acne? One of the side effects of Accutane is that it makes the skin very sensitive to light.
All in all, LED light therapy is an amazing technology and a great alternative to more aggressive acne and anti-aging treatments.