Light-emitting-diode (LED) light therapy is a skin treatment that doesn’t use ultraviolet light. Instead, it uses skin-safe, low-level light in different wavelengths and colours like amber, blue, red and green.
Developed by NASA for plant growth experiments, LED lights have been around since the 1960s but only recently began being used in skin treatment. These lights emit different wavelengths to penetrate the skin for smoother, plumper results.
Understanding LED lights
Face yoga practitioner and facialist expert Vibhuti Arora from House of Beauty shares some interesting aspects on the therapy. LED light therapy has been thoroughly tested, evaluated and validated by hundreds of universities and most importantly NASA, assures Vibhuti. "LED lights were made famous by NASA when they were used to heal astronauts up in space. They’ve been studied a lot and aren’t dangerous because they don’t contain UV rays. LED light is great for anyone who is looking at a luxury self-care investment for their skin."
Founder and director of Derma Miracle Clinic, Dr Navnit Haror, reminds us that ageing skin is not only associated with the natural process of ageing, but also a variety of other changes including atrophy (wasting away) and pigmentation. "Recent research has shown that LED phototherapy may be an effective way to treat these conditions because it’s safe; this therapy can be easily combined into your current medical treatment plan or used alone for aesthetic purposes," says Dr Navnit.
Further, speaking of the many ways of treating the signs of ageing, Dr Navnit asserts that the one way that just might be worth trying is LED phototherapy. "It’s a relatively new skincare technology that has proven benefits for photoageing. It can restore youthfulness by altering intrinsic cellular activity through absorption by chromophores located on our skin. This might result in desirable effects such as increased collagen production or reduced wrinkles," adds the doctor.
Different colours and their effects
This seven-colour LED photon light therapy treatment helps in skin tightening facials, lightening the skin, anti-ageing, acne spots and scar removal, smoothening skin of wrinkles and fine lines. In fact, LED light therapy can trigger the skin to produce collagen, which is great to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
While red light stimulates collagen production, red LED light could also improve scarring and signs of ageing, such as wrinkles. Incidentally, Amber LED light has also been studied in comparison to red LED in a clinical trial, and both were found to have anti-ageing effects on the appearance of facial wrinkles. Blue light has bacteria-zapping properties that are great for acne sufferers. Blue light also reduces activity in the sebaceous glands, which are small oil-producing glands in the skin and may also kill a type of bacteria that contributes to acne by causing inflammation. Likewise, green light helps in lightening hyper-pigmentation spots, revealing a brighter complexion. Its calming effect also has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the surface of the skin.
Speaking of how this type of skincare device has gained popularity, Dr Navnit shares that over time, "LEDs can cleanse pores by thinning oil within them—and photo-rejuvenation makes it possible to undo sun damage without harsh resurfacing or aggressive peels."
Vibhuti adds that one can choose to have LED light therapy at a dermatologist’s office or to use a device at home. "It takes several treatment sessions before one can notice an improvement in the skin’s appearance. In fact, people usually see the best results several weeks after their last treatment," says Vibhuti, adding, "It may also be necessary to have follow-up sessions to maintain these results."
Uses and benefits
LED light therapy can help treat a variety of skin problems, including the following:
l dull skin
l signs of aging, including wrinkles and age spots
l sun damage
l wound healing
l other inflammatory skin conditions
Risks of LED light therapy
While LED light facials might be a better choice compared to other options like lasers as they generally have fewer side effects, they can also cause mild reactions, such as the following:
LED light facial devices
Given below are a few of the devices used for the treatment:
l Light facial masks
l Light wands for targeted spot treatment
l Ultrasonic devices
l Mesotherapy electroporation devices
l Professional LED light machines