Skincare has come a long way in recent years, from salon treatments such as botox and laser resurfacing to at-home solutions like vitamin serums and face rollers. But one of the most groundbreaking developments has been the use of LED light phototherapy to treat a range of skin conditions.
Employed by dermatologists for a number of years, LED phototherapy is now a popular treatment in the salon and at home for acne, scarring, sun damage and ageing. The treatment uses noninvasive wavelengths of light to stimulate the skin’s natural healing process and encourage skin repair.
But with different tools and frequencies of light to choose from, it’s useful to know how the therapy works so that you can choose the best type to suit your skin.
Discover how LED Phototherapy works and the main benefits of the treatment in our guide.
How does LED phototherapy work?
LED stands for light-emitting diode. The technology was originally developed by NASA for plant growth experiments in space. LED delivers light deep into the tissues of the body to promote wound healing and natural tissue repair.
Phototherapy occurs naturally when our skin absorbs light, but not all frequencies of light are good for the skin. UV light from the sun’s rays can damage the skin, but LED phototherapy uses red, blue and near infra-red wavelengths of light that are UV free and are easily absorbed into the skin’s surface.
Red and blue light frequencies can penetrate the skin at different depths and are believed to trigger the skin’s natural biological processes to aid healing and encourage natural rejuvenation.
Red light is believed to treat the epidermis layer which is the outer layer of the skin’s surface. When red light is absorbed, it stimulates collagen production, which is responsible for keeping our skin looking plump and youthful.
As we age our skin produces less collagen. By stimulating collagen renewal we can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for more even-looking, hydrated skin.
Scientists believe that blue light treats the deeper layers of the skin to target acne and reduce oil production. It is absorbed by the sebaceous glands, also known as the oil glands, which lie underneath the hair follicles. These glands work to lubricate the skin and hair, but if they become overactive it can lead to acne or oily skin.
Blue light is also believed to kill bacteria, responsible for acne, cysts and pimples as well as reducing inflammation. Blue light therapy gives the skin a chance to become less congested, so large pores can be reduced and skin becomes much less prone to breakouts.
Near infra-red light
Near infra-red light uses very low, safe levels of heat to promote skin, tissue and muscle healing. Researchers believe this is the most deeply absorbed light wavelength.
Near infra-red light can help to increase cell permeability and absorption, as well as smoothing lines and wrinkles. It also works to improve elasticity, reduces pain and inflammation and can accelerate the healing of wounds, cysts and acne.
How does LED phototherapy benefit the skin?
One of the main benefits of LED Phototherapy is that it’s safe for use on all skin types and on any part of the body. This allows for regular treatments without causing injury or harm to the skin.
Some alternative therapies such as lasers and chemical peels can burn the skin, but LED phototherapy promotes skin regeneration in a much less invasive treatment, making it a popular choice.
While LED phototherapy is useful for treating acne and improving the visible signs of ageing, it’s also effective in treating a range of other skin conditions. These include dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, scarring, dull skin, sun damage, wound healing, hair loss and more.
The treatment can be used alongside other skin therapies, like acne treatment and doesn’t require the use of any drugs or harsh chemicals. It’s also unlikely to cause any long term side effects such as skin damage or scarring.
How to use LED phototherapy
LED phototherapy can take place in a salon or dermatology clinic, or it can be done at home. Some people even choose to start their therapy with a clinician and then carry on their treatment using an at-home device.
Professional treatments usually last around 20 minutes and your clinician will recommend a course of therapy depending on your skin concern. Sometimes up to 20 sessions may be necessary to get the desired effect and you may need to return for top-up sessions to maintain the results.
At-home LED devices have become extremely popular with many looking to save time and money on salon appointments by carrying out treatments in the comfort of their own home.
Professional home devices are more advanced than ever and typically come in the form of a mask or wand that you apply to the skin. To get the most out of home treatments, it’s advised to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but the benefit here is that you can schedule treatments to fit around your schedule, on a time or day that is convenient for you.
How much does LED phototherapy cost?
The cost of LED phototherapy can vary depending on where you go for treatment or if you choose to treat yourself at home.
Professional sessions range from £80 to £150 and there may be extra costs for the initial consultation or additional treatments such as facials and skincare products.
At-home LED phototherapy devices range from as little as £75 up to £2,000, but the initial outlay could save you money in the long run when you add up the cost of regular salon treatments.
When considering an at-home device you should carefully research the brand to ensure the device suits your needs and that it’s made by a reputable manufacturer.
What are the risks and side effects of LED phototherapy?
Led light phototherapy is generally considered a safe treatment. Since LED’s don’t contain UV rays it’s regarded as safer than other therapies and won’t cause any long-term damage to the skin.
There are some circumstances where you should avoid the use of LED therapy including if you suffer from acute acne, if your skin is sensitive to sunlight or if you have an active rash.
It’s always best to check with your doctor if you are unsure and if any unwanted side effects arise as a result of treatment.
Where can I buy an LED Phototheapry mask or device?
At Dermastore we are experts in specialist skincare and stock a range of cyclically approved, professional LED phototherapy devices. Discover award-winning light-based technology from the industries leading brands in our store today.
For further advice on any of our products get in touch with one of our team.