There are a ton of outlandish skin treatments out there that claim to elicit incredible results but fail to deliver.
Light Emitting Diode Therapy, or LED Therapy for short, seemed to be a prime example of this “too good to be true” category when it first hit the market. Afterall, wearing a mask that looks like you’re prepping for The Purge and shooting concentrated light wavelengths into your face does sound a little farfetched at first.
However, this style of therapy has only become more popular over the last couple of years because, despite heavy scrutiny, it continued to show noticeable results in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. Several studies have been conducted corroborating the efficacy of the treatment as well (sources 1 & 2).
So how does it work?
Essentially, LED skin therapy uses different wavelengths of light to penetrate the skin at various depths to stimulate different reactions depending on your preference. The light increases blood flow to certain layers of your skin, causing them to rejuvenate at an increased rate. The treatment is painless, non-invasive and usually only takes about 20 minutes.
The real catch with LED therapy is that it typically requires multiple treatments (3-4) to really start seeing results. It will take a few weeks before you are convinced of its efficacy but the benefits of each treatment are cumulative so the more often you do it initially, the more dramatic your results will be.
LED Color Spectrum
Red Light Treatment
Primary Benefits: Stimulates collagen & elastin production and accelerates healing
Primary Uses: Anti-aging and anti-inflammatory treatments
Red and infrared light treatment penetrates deep into the connective layers of the skin, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, the structural building blocks of your skin.
While the production of collagen and elastin are slowly diminishing your fine lines and wrinkles, the red LED is also working to reduce any inflammation and redness you may have.
Blue Light Treatment
Primary Benefits: Kills bacteria, tightens pores, and balances moisture
Primary Uses: Treating acne and oily skin
Blue light is emitted at a higher frequency wavelength than red light, which means it won’t penetrate as deeply into your skin. Instead, it hits the surface of your skin and eliminates any acne-causing bacteria that may be living there.
The excess energy emitted also tightens up your pores which helps balance the moisture of your skin, resulting in a less-oily complexion.
Green Light Treatment
Primary Benefits: Limits the overproduction of melanin
Primary Uses: Age spot prevention and hyperpigmentation treatment
The wavelength frequency of green light falls right in between red and blue so it permeates just past the top layer of your skin. From there, it regulates the production of melanin before it get’s to the surface and becomes an age spot.
This process breaks up melanin clusters to even out your skin tone and eliminates areas of hyperpigmentation.
According to a study from the University of Arizona, green light treatment can also help with certain types of pain (source).
If nothing else, the success of LED treatments goes to show that not all alternative skin treatments are too good to be true.
Talk to your esthetician about LED treatments and how they, in conjunction with your normal skincare routine, can keep your skin bright and beautiful.