What would you do to look forever young? Probably anything, right? That’s why anti-aging skincare and technology is at an all-time high and the numbers are only expected to climb from here.
Now that we know what we know about preventing and slowing the visible signs of aging, we’ll pretty much sell our souls to keep our youthful appearance. One of the most popular technologies available for holding back the years is LED light therapy.
Where did this crazy technology of LED light therapy come from? You can thank NASA for that! They used it to heal astronauts while they were up in space. With so much study behind them, you can safely use them because they’re not like tanning beds. They don’t emit UV rays so you are safe from skin damage.
Not everyone can afford to trot off for treatment in a spa though, like our celebrity counterparts. You can invest in your own, and use an lED light therapy mask at your home for around $120 on the low end. It’s definitely a little weird at first to hold a bright, pulsating light up to your face for a length of time, but the results are all revealing that this little bit of work could have a huge payoff for beautiful, youthful skin. But how often should you have LED light therapy?
According to most studies, daily use is ideal for the best results. With an LED light therapy mask, 10-minute sessions every day should bring you closer to having clearer, healthier skin. However, these benefits are cumulative, meaning that you need to be consistent with it.
Using it once and then shoving it in your cabinet isn’t going to help. You have to do it daily to get the best results, and you can’t use it more than once per day to make up for lost time.
In addition to being diligent with using it, you’ll need to protect your eyes and go sans makeup for best results. You have to remember that collagen cells take time to develop so you might not notice your results fully for the first few months.
Still, it helps to understand what you can use LED light therapy for and how to use it right. Keep reading and you’ll soon be an expert on LED light therapy and making it work for your skin.
What is LED light therapy?
‘LED’ stands for ‘Light Emitting Diode’. It’s becoming quite popular for skin care because it can really help many skin concerns. Among them:
- It can treat acne
- It reduces inflammation and redness
- It provides anti-aging benefits
You might really benefit from using LED light therapy when you have these skin troubles and you’re not seeing the kind of results you’d hoped for from just skincare products alone. Truth be told, sometimes those serums, lotions, and creams could do with a leg up on technology to help create a multi-faceted approach to beautiful skin.
There are a few things that might hold you back though. For one, LED light therapy isn’t cheap. Going for treatments can definitely set you back. Investing in your own LED mask might be a better idea, but it’s still something you’ll want to think about because the results aren’t guaranteed.
Plus, if you are on certain medications or have a skin disorder, it’s not a safe option. It’s a good idea to speak to your dermatologist to see if LED light therapy could be useful for your skin concerns. If your dermatologist thinks you might benefit from it, you could start seeing more beautiful, brilliant, and brighter skin.
Used with consistency over time, these lights can penetrate the skin at varying depths to fight the bacteria that causes acne, plump up the skin, and reduce wrinkles. On top of the long-term benefits, these short treatments can be very soothing which is always ideal for self-care. And good self-care always leads to beautiful skin!
Can everybody use LED light therapy?
Yes, just about! There are a few people who should stay away including:
- Pregnant or nursing moms
- Those taking certain medications
- Anyone using products that cause light sensitivity
LED light therapy consists of different lights. Red light therapy is ideal for minimizing scars, fine lines, inflammation, and a few other skin conditions. You’ll likely see your first results as soon as 24 hours or up to 2 months. You should document your progress with photos. This will help you to see the changes your skin goes through.
If you’re not one of the exceptions mentioned above, any skin type can use LED light therapy. The success of it has been documented in numerous clinical trials. There is some concern about those that have tattoos in the area being treated though scientists say it is very unlikely. In the event that LED light could alter the appearance of your tattoos, you should cover any that you have just in case.
It’s worth noting that the American Academy of Dermatology assesses LED light therapy to be safe. It doesn’t contain UV rays and won’t bring damage to your skin. It’s non-invasive and has minimal risks. It’s also helpful for darker or sensitive skin types because unlike the ever-popular laser therapy, LED lights won’t burn your skin nor will they cause you pain.
Again, you should make sure you don’t use LED light therapy if you’re using Accutane to treat acne and could leave you prone to scarring. Anything that makes your skin sensitive to sunlight like this is not a good mix for LED light therapy.
Never use it with an active rash though if you have psoriasis, you may find that the red lights are helpful. Don’t go it alone though… always consult your dermatologist first. Side effects from this type of treatment are extremely rare, but there are a few things to look out for. If you experience any of the following after LED light therapy, contact your doctor at once:
- Increase in inflammation
- Red, irritated skin
- Painful or tender skin
How LED light therapy works
LED light therapy works with wavelengths of visible light in different colors for skin-specific benefits. With this light as a source of energy to help repair and rejuvenate damaged cells or treat acne, it stimulates skin in the right way. Skin is boosted with collagen and elastin production, circulation is improved, and tissue repair is accelerated. It’s a simple and painless procedure.
LED light therapy can involve different colors:
- Blue light
- Red light
- Near infra-red light
- Green light
- Yellow light
If you go for a treatment, you’ll likely have your skin cleansed with a lactic acid-based peel followed by the LED. Sometimes, just the LED is applied after a quick cleanse and then followed with an SPF finish to protect your skin.
There are also blue light LED treatments. This is best to kill off acne bacteria without irritation. It reduces the overproduction of oil and halts future breakouts. Additionally, blue light is a wonderful UV-free way to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Red light is best for boosting hydration levels in the skin naturally while quelling inflammation and redness. It also visibly reduces the appearance of pores, regulates oil production, boosts circulation, and speeds up skin repair. If you have rosacea, red light LED therapy is medically approved to treat it.
The most deeply absorbed of the LED light wavelengths is near infra-red light. It increases the permeability of the cells and their absorption plus helps smooth lines and wrinkles, improve elasticity, and speed skin healing.
For all of these light-emitting diodes, they can penetrate deep into your skin and create different results. The most popular are blue, red, and near-infrared though there are green and yellow LED lights too.
Treatment with LED light therapy has been underway since the 1990s when the Navy Seals used it to help with wound healing and regenerate damaged tissues in muscles. From there, it was explored further and found that it can smooth skin and reduce age spots, acne, and wrinkles with each use.
Blue light is ideal for focusing on the sebaceous glands under your hair follicles. If yours are overactive, you have oily skin and blemishes. Using this type of light therapy might be beneficial. Dermatologists recommend blue LED light therapy to help treat acne, reduce scarring, and for anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have found it improved the healing of third-degree burns.
Does LED light therapy work and what should you expect?
Yes, LED light therapy most definitely works. Red light has been proven over the decades and is used by professionals to get beautiful results. It doesn’t work overnight though. You have to keep up with the treatments to see a positive change in your skin. Blue light can help control acne while a combination of red and amber light is the ticket to targeting fine lines.
You can choose to go to a professional to have the treatments done in-office or buy your own device and do it at home. You’ll find different devices ranging from $250 on up to $2,500 or more. It’s ideal to find one that sits upon your face so you can keep your hands free.
Whichever one you choose, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep it clean too. A soft cloth with isopropyl alcohol can help clean the head of it after each use. Make sure you never get any water or liquids inside the device though or you could be throwing money down the drain.
You may choose to go for in-office LED treatments though keep in mind you’ll need to go 10 times or more, once a week. You’ll notice some slight results after that first session but once you finish your last one, you’ll see a big difference. The trouble is that even with the recommended number of sessions, the results you see won’t last. You need to keep up LED light therapy if you want to continue to look this amazing.
Because your cells naturally turn over as they should, you’ll lose a little collagen and find the signs of aging returning. Acne breakouts may also come back so keeping up with your treatments is the best way to prolong the stellar results.
One thing about doing it at home is that you can touch up as needed without having to take the time to go to an appointment. However, most home LED light therapy treatments to have lower frequencies than those at the office. You can still get great results but the bottom line is that you’ll need to make time for it daily. Some women find this is still more convenient and more affordable than those in-office appointments though.
If you can, go for those treatments and get an at-home device. Then you can continue to keep up your results once or twice a week to maintain them. You’ll enjoy better long-term benefits this way.
It’s also important not to overdo it. You can’t make up for lost time if you missed a session. Using red LED light therapy too long can reduce its effectiveness. Always follow the directions your LED device provides so you will get the best results. In this case, too much of a good thing can lead to an increase in oxidation. In the long-term, that can cause aging so please remember to take it easy!
Is LED light therapy safe?
Yes, it most certainly is. There are no UV rays in LED light therapy. Those red and blue lights are safe, especially in the kind of controlled doses you find on LED masks and devices for home use. It’s ideal for a non-invasive way to reduce wrinkles, improve skin condition, and clear up acne.
You should always protect your eyes though and avoid looking directly into the lights. Follow what experts say on this and what the device you buy advises. According to dermatologists, it should never exceed 30 minutes at a time more than twice a week. And if you’re pregnant or trying for a baby, hang up that mask until after you give birth. Those with pacemakers or taking certain medications should also avoid using LED light therapy. If you’re taking any kind of prescription meds, talk to your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you.
Red LED light therapy has been approved by the FDA. However, you should know that not all of the devices you can use LED light therapy for are approved by the FDA. Make sure to look into that to see if it’s FDA approved or FDA cleared before you buy anything.
Keeping up with your LED light therapy treatments is the key to getting the results you want to see. If you’re going for treatments, choose a professional place with good ratings. It’s non-invasive, but you want to go somewhere that is clean and knows what they are doing.
If you’re doing it yourself at home, choose a device that the FDA approves or has at least cleared. It’s not cheap to buy one, but it can be cheaper in the long run to have one at home. You can also go for treatments and then get an LED light therapy mask to use once those have ended.
Regardless of which LED light therapy device you choose, please follow the directions it comes with. And don’t go overboard with your treatments to make up for lost time. That can only wind up doing more harm than good. With proper use though, you’ll find that LED light therapy is the answer to taming your skin issues!