Skin treatments and facials have undoubtedly developed immensely over the years and with that advancement, new therapy options have come to light… some even literally! LED Light Therapy is something you might have heard of, its become really popular and with good reason. I have personally used it within clinic for many years, its safe, effective and gives amazing results.
To be honest we now often associate light exposure with skin ageing and damage, however light has many positive effects. It helps us produce vitamin D and provides energy and serotonin and can also accelerate our skin’s natural repair processes, so not all light is bad light, some is actually quite amazing!
LED stands for light emitting diode, the science and technology was originally NASA based, used to grow plant life in shuttle missions, so yes you could call it the face treatment from out of space. The machines emit light which gets absorbed by the skin and further acts from there. You might think, how can light have such an impact on the skin, which is a very good question, I usually give the example of the skin absorbing UV light (BAD light) which in very basic terms stimulates our skin to send up brown. There is a physical response taking place in the skin. Lasers are also using light, just in a really targetted focused way, so thats just an example of the power of light and its potential impact on the skin.
LED light is a broad light treatment, it has proven to be effective with treating many skin issues such as acne, sun damage, skin injuries, boosting collage, speeding healing, reducing the appearance of fine lines and much more. Because it is only light that is used in a treatment, it is totally non-invasive and can be easily added on to almost any other treatment. Its great as a course of treatments on its own as well as combined with peels, laser and basically most treatments. To be clear it does not contain ultraviolet rays so its not damaging to the skin at all, and the brightness (it is like looking at the sun from an inch away, does not damage the eyes either)
What is important is the wavelength or nanometre (nm) which determines the target for the light and also the depth of penetration into the skin, so not all machines are the same.
Different colour of light are used with LED Light Therapy in order to personalize the treatment for each client. Red is the most widely used because it ticks a lot of boxes with treating the skin.
Red light works by escalating the function of the mitochondria – (the mitochondrium is the powerhouse of the cell). When this function is increased, more energy – carrying molecules called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) get produced. (stay with me, I know this is sciency). the accumulated storage of ATP can be used by skin cells to better repair damage. It does this by producing building elements like collagen which give structure and elasticity to the skin, the skin becomes plumper, firmer and softer while the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines can reduce. This red light also reduces inflammation which largely contributes to sensitive skin, oxidative stress, spots. It also plays an important role in the process of skin reparation.
Whilst red light targets the mitochondria, blue light targets the sebaceous glands, which produce Sebum (oil). Accumulated oil, dead skin cells, melanin and proteins can clog the pores, first resulting in comedones, then in more inflammatory spots and possibly acne like pustules or cysts. Because blue light targets the sebaceous glands and bacteria, it’s a huge support in reducing breakouts. However, if you are taking accutane, I would always check with your doctor before. I would be a little cautious of blue light if you experience pigmentation issues and just opt for red which will actually help pigment.
Quite often I will use a combined light within treatment for an acne skin, as both are really supportive.
Modern clinic machines usually take around 20 minutes for a full treatment, earlier machines needed at least 30 minutes exposure. To add onto a facial or other treatment it might be a 10 minute add on. What is really important is the regularity of treatment, the skin needs regular exposure to the light if we want to see results and also the closeness to the skin of the lights. Ideally we need to get it as close as possible. Which actually makes some of the at home face gadgets that sit on the skin more interesting.
If we are treating acne then ideally expect to come in for a treatment at least 2 – 3 times a week for a course of 10 as a minimum.
Yes, previously I wouldn’t have really recommended at home LED devices, I didn’t feel you could get the results. HOWEVER, technology has dramatically improved, making some at home devices really effective. To be clear they wont be as effective / strong as the clinic machines, but they can be a great addition between facials, or if you don’t have the time or budget for regular facials they are a great way of upping your at home skincare routine. They are safe to use at least 3 times a week. There are only a couple of devices I actually know and trust
Dessee Pro is a really brilliant machine, it is getting towards a proffesional type of device, with more light options. This is a celebrity favourite.
The facelite is the perfect device to use for ease and simplicity with results also great to travel with because its a flexible. https://www.abigailjames.com/facelite
The Decolite is ideal for the neck and decollete but also for treating back acne, you can wear this at the same time as your other devices, amazing for rejuvenating the neck, reducing chest wrinkles, I know this is an area we often forget! https://www.abigailjames.com/decolite
A QUICK VIEW LIST OF WHAT LED LIGHT IS GOOD FOR
I have long been a fan personally and as an aesthetician, its benefits and ease of use and no down time make it an absolutely brilliant treatment to do within clinic or at home. HAVE YOU TRIED IT? I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW.
Love Abigail x
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