You may have seen LED light therapy masks appearing on your Instagram discovery page or featured by your favorite beauty blogger — and with good reason. Everyone from the Kardashians to Jessica Alba are using LED light therapy to achieve a red-carpet-ready visage. But naturally, as with every successful beauty product that comes to market, many companies try to replicate the tech and make it accessible to at-home consumers. This can be both a blessing and a curse, as while it enables beauty-addicts to try out salon treatments at home, they're typically not as effective — and in some cases, downright dangerous if not completed by a pro.
If you're thinking about utilizing the wonders of LED light therapy to help target your skin problems, but aren't sure what the difference is between a salon treatment and at-home treatment, we've compiled everything you need to know!
What Is LED Light Treatment?
The science behind LED light treatment has been around for many years. In fact, NASA harnessed LED light technology to increase plant growth on board the Space Shuttle in the 1980s! From this exciting discovery was born another even more promising realization — LED light could also be used by astronauts to help their wounds heal faster and encourage tissue growth. But how does this help with our complexion? Let's get to the science part.
In the world of aesthetics, LED light therapy is mainly used to increase collagen and repair tissues. This can help your skin repair itself and reduce the damage that causes age spots, wrinkles, acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Think of LED light therapy as a mini-version of high-energy light forms, like lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) devices. LED therapy is a much more gentle, non-invasive, non-thermal light energy that can be used to kick-start your body's natural cell processes to accelerate repair and rejuvenation of the skin.
How your skin cells respond depends on the color emitted by the LED light mask. Here's what you can hope to achieve from each LED light color:
Blue LED Light Therapy
If you experience acne, blue LED therapy may be the best option for you. There is encouraging evidence that blue LED light can alter the skin's microbiome and improve bacterial infection that leads to acne and pimples.
Blue wavelengths help to sterilize harmful bacteria, and in turn, stop pores from becoming clogged with too much oil and bacteria. This also has the added bonus of shrinking sebaceous glands and reducing inflammation within the pores.
Red LED Light Therapy
Red light promotes collagen production, making it the best color choice if you want to achieve an anti-aging effect from your LED light treatment. As we age, our body's natural collagen production begins to decrease, which can lead to loss of skin elasticity and a duller complexion.
Red light therapy can help counteract this by stimulating your skin cells and encouraging collagen synthesis — leading to tighter skin, more plump skin, and increased blood circulation.
Purple LED Light Therapy
Purple LED light therapy has a double-fold effect on the skin by combining the benefits of blue and red wavelengths. Not only does it have excellent anti-aging benefits, but it also sterilizes acne-producing bacteria and helps to reduce inflammation & scarring.
Some professionals recommend Purple LED light therapy after more invasive treatments such as Botox and fillers, to help reduce inflammation and encourage wound healing.
Cyan LED Light Therapy
Skin health is heavily impacted by blood flow and our overall circulatory health. Naturally, as we age, our circulatory system becomes less efficient, and the capillaries that feed our skin surface become sluggish.
Cyan light therapy has a gentle stimulating effect that can help reduce inflammation and balance your skin's texture. It can also be useful if you suffer from mild acne and scarring.
Yellow LED Light Therapy
Red blood cells play a vital role in skin cell healing and rejuvenation. Yellow light therapy stimulates the production of red blood cells, helping to improve conditions such as rosacea, without irritating delicate skin.
Yellow LED light therapy can also aid in the reduction of hyperpigmentation, as well as evening out the skin tone and improving your overall complexion.
Green LED Light Therapy
Green light therapy is particularly useful if you experience hyperpigmentation of the skin. Although harmless, hyperpigmentation causes patches of skin to darken, which makes some people self-conscious.
Fortunately, green wavelength light can help to reduce hyper-pigmentation and reveal a brighter complexion. Due to its calming effect, green LED light therapy can also be used to treat dilated capillaries and sagging skin around the eyes.
White LED Light Therapy
White LED Light Therapy can be considered the one-size-suits-all option when it comes to light therapy. Not only does it penetrate the skin the deepest, but it can also help combat signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, loose skin, and hyper-pigmentation.
White light also helps to relax the skin, making it appear overall refreshed and younger.
At Home LED Treatment Versus Professional LED Treatment
The benefits of LED light therapy cannot be understated, and it's not simply anecdotal — many studies demonstrate improvements to skin treated with LED light therapy. However, it's important to note that these studies used in-clinic technology that was evaluated by clinicians and the FDA.
So what does this mean for home-based LED devices? There simply isn't enough evidence regarding the biological effects of home-based devices compared to in-clinic technology. The main concern about home-based devices is that the light source they use may not reach the correct wavelength to be effective and get results.
Put simply; not all LED therapy devices deliver the same results. In fact, there are some products out there that do little more than shine light onto your skin. Although purchasing an at-home LED device may seem like a bargain, it's a waste of time and money if it doesn't deliver. If you want to see results, it's crucial that the appropriate wavelength of light and energy density is used to treat your skin condition.
Receiving your LED light therapy from a trusted and licensed aesthetician can help to ensure that you're treating your skin with the most effective and advanced technology on the market. By strategically targeting your skin concerns and problem areas, your aesthetician can help you achieve your skin goals quickly and easily.
You can enjoy an LED light therapy mask session after a facial, or as a standalone treatment to combat your skin issues. If you want the best results possible, be sure to schedule regular treatments — LED light therapy has a cumulative effect, so the more you use it, the brighter and tighter your skin will become!
If you'd like to experience the results of LED light therapy for yourself, book an appointment with an Avari Beauty expert today.