Updated: Apr 17
As regular readers of my blog you know that I am constantly looking to increase knowledge by sharing all that I learn on my beauty journey to my wonderful followers of @vanessa.andrea.beauty on Instagram. As such, you may have seen me before wearing this funky mask which seems to belong more on a set of a Star Wars or a Marvel superheroes movie then on your vanity at home. And I have to admit they definitely have that science fiction type of vibe, which is why so many are turning to them as some kind of futuristic skincare treatment.
LED or Light-Emitting Diode skin devices, use different wavelengths of light and is commonly referred to as light therapy. The idea that this comes from outer-space is actually not that far fetched since it was NASA that first started using the
se types of lights on shuttle missions to test its effect on plant growth and then on moved to see how it could be used on wound treatment. So fundamentally, right from its inception, light therapy was looking at what it could do by triggering a body’s natural cell process to accelerate rejuvenation, increase growth and repair damaged cells.
This type of light therapy has therefore grown in popularity both in aestheticians’ offices and at home. The version I have myself, what I tested and educated myself about is the DIY type. I have never tried this at a clinician’s office and I can’t speak to it. What I can speak to is the idea behind light therapy which is that it supposed to an alternative method to treat acne, sun damage, reduce inflation and promote anti-aging effects. But you necessarily need to have any of these conditions, or others such as rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, in order to try or benefit from LED therapy.
Used regularly LED can also benefit healthy and clear skin as it is a sure-fire method of brightening your skin and giving it a youthful glow. I even found that just taking the time to wear the mask in a quiet environment had a calming effect and left me feeling refreshed. I’m not exactly sure how much the effects wer e due to the mask or of simply being in a child-free environment, but its known that the certain lights can have an influence on tranquility
LED light Therapy uses two types of lights; Red and Blue Light.
Red light, also referred to as infrared, improve scarring and signs of aging by acting on fibroblasts which are our skin cells which are responsible for collagen production. When the light is applied to your face, the outer layer of your skin absorbs it and stimulates the collagen proteins. As you may know by now collagen is a natural protein generated in our cells which is makes our skin looking fuller and plump. As we age our body produces less collagen and that is when we start to show signs of aging i.e. fine lines and wrinkles. Red light can reduce inflammation and is the source of that healthier glow you may experience after light sessions.
Blue light is supposed to have an impact on our oil-producing sebaceous glands, which are located beneath your hair follicles. Although these glands are important for lubricating your skin so it doesn’t dry out, reducing the activity of these glands means they will produce less oil and will improve acne symptoms if that is an issue for you. Blue light is also the element that early researches were looking into to improve the healing of burns and can also kill certain bacteria beneath the skin which may the source of acne pimples.
Another question I get asked is around the safety of light therapy. First of all, you should know that LEDs don’t contain any of the damaging and cancer-inducing ultraviolet or UV rays. So any of you girls thinking of using this to work on your tan – think again! The American Academy of Dermatology deems this procedure as non-invasive and safe. Also, the products you buy for home use are all pretty low in power, so you won’t burn your skin and you shouldn’t experience any form of pain, at most is a tiny bit of warmth. Still you should take certain precautions like not staring into their light with your eyes. That is good common sense which we were told since we were kids to not stare at the sun – the same applies here. Speaking of common sense, if you know that you have sensitive skin or are especially sensitive to sunlight, have an active rush or if you are taking any kind of medication, such as acne treatment (Acutane), or any kind of medical skin condition such as psoriasis, please consult your dermatologist before starting any kind light treatment.
In summary home based LED Light therapy is a safe, non-invasive form of skin treatment that should help you improve certain skin imperfections. Because the power and frequencies are not as high as what you may get in a dermatologist’s office, the benefits you see at home may not be as evident but they will still provide a benefit and should be considered another tool in your toolbox along your beauty journey.