What is LED light therapy?
A terrific treatment that targets everything, from acne breakouts to collagen breakdown, its been availabe for many years as Light Therapy or you may know it as LED (light emitting diode) Therapy. We talk about skincare technology going space age and we mean it literally in the case of LED treatments. Developed by NASA in the 80s to speed up astronauts’ tissue healing and repair, LED light therapy has been used in skin clinics for around 20 years. If you want a gentle and pain-free facial with zero downtime, LED light therapy is the one for you.
What can LED do for skin?
It could be a more pertinent question to ask ‘what LED can’t do for skin.’ Different colours emitted deliver various benefits and having regular Led light therapy will boost collagen, reduce acne bacteria, reduce pigmentation and hydrate your skin beautifully!
Unlike UV light or blue light emitted from screens, LED light penetrates the skin at a longer wavelength, 5mm approximately, stimulating cellular repair rather than damaging cells like shorter UV and HEV rays do. Generally they’re safe and effective for everyone to use whether you’ve got sensitive skin, rosacea, acne or even if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
My favourite, red light, is renowned for speeding up collagen synthesis and enhancing cell repair and was the original therapy utilised by NASA in medical care. Red light energy stimulates the mitochondria (the power generators) in cells so that they function optimally, boosting the production of collagen and elastin thereby slowing down premature ageing and environmental damage.
Red light is also anti-inflammatory and it’s for this reason that many skincare experts follow up a more intensive or invasive skincare treatment with a red LED light treatment to calm redness, swelling and any potential adverse side effects.
As well as leaving your skin glowing, red light also supports the natural production of vitamin D. Given that the UK health officials now advise everyone should think about taking vitamin D supplements during winter months due to widespread deficiencies, a 20 minute time under the LED light might do more for your health than just give you a glowing skin.
Blue light has been scientifically proven to kill the P.acne bacteria on the surface of the skin that’s responsible for breakouts. Also a study was done by Professor Kean at Leeds University proving blue light helps reduce headaches and sleep problems.
For the past 20 years I have been combining Red and Blue light which effectively treats acne and inflammation and this has been confirmed by a clinical studies in 2015 at University of Chicago.
Can LED replace good skincare at home?
No you shouldn’t chuck out your hard-earned serums but LED light energy will rival some of the most effective skincare ingredients and rather than replace your skincare – treatments will complement your skincare routine. Receptors in your skin cells react in the same way to LED light as any other active ingredient such as retinol or vitamin C – renewing dermal and epidermal cells, boosting action at a cellular level and creating a optimised healthy skin.
How often should you have a treatment?
LED light therapy is a gentle, slow burner type of facial treatment. When using an at-home device, you need to understand the difference in light energy between having 150 LEDs and a salon professional treatment LED which has 1000 LEDs. Do I think the at home portable devices are any good? Truthfully I wouldn’t advise spending hundred of pounds on a device that you would have to consider using at least 5 sessions every week, to see any results. Instead, I would definitely visit a skin clinic with the professional LED system and do a course of treatments which should be two a week for 4 weeks and then down to one at least a month for maintenance.
The Celebrity facial
LED facials are the favourite red carpet treatment before the Oscars and if you require recent proof that LED is the way to go, Princess Eugenie’s bridal skincare prep of choice in the run-up to her wedding was LED facials at The Light Salon in London.