We've all seen the Hannibal Lecter-esque masks on Instagram but do we actually know what they are and how they work? Not so much.
They're not just creepy looking masks, but actually the secret to giving acne-prone and dull skin a good old glow boost.
Whether you're going in-salon or trying it at home, here's everything you need to know about light therapy for your skin...
What is LED light therapy?
LED light therapy is a non-invasive hand and facial treatment that uses narrow band, non-thermal LED light energy to trigger your body’s natural cell processes to accelerate rejuvenation and repair of the skin. It’s recommended for skin rejuvenation, sun damage, acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, sensitive and inflammatory conditions, wound healing and scarring as well as anyone looking to restore skin’s radiance.
What does light therapy do?
LED Light Therapy is great in every single facial to calm any areas of irritation and it’s also brilliant at brightening the skin.
When used consistently, over time, LED lights are thought to penetrate your skin at different depths and cause various reactions in your skin, such as fighting acne-causing bacteria, plumping skin and reducing wrinkles.
A course of treatments offers corrective and long-lasting results, although you’ll be able to see a difference after the first session. Light therapy is also particularly calming, so you’ll leave feeling refreshed.
How does light therapy work?
LED Light Therapy uses colour wavelengths of visible light which have specific skin benefits. As a result of ageing, skin disorders or trauma, healthy skin cells are compromised and unable to renew themselves normally.
The skin uses the light as a source of energy to fuel the repair and rejuvenation of damaged cells, or, in the case of treating acne, kill bacteria. The energy stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, boosts circulation and accelerates tissue repair. During the treatment, you’ll simply lie underneath a light screen while the device does all the work.
In high end spas that use light therapy, LED is used in every single facial. They would start with the cleaning of the skin which includes peels and extractions if needed. We they would go onto the advanced side of the facial and finish with a full session (20 minutes) of LED.
If someone is coming only for LED, they would clean the skin, then apply LED and SPF to finish.
What types of light are there and what do they do?
Red LED: Anti-aging
- Reverse visible signs of prematurely aging skin
- Helps diminish scars
- Promotes wound healing and tissue repair
- Lifting of the skin leaving it smoother and more firm and radiant.
Blue LED: Anti-acne
- Eliminating acne by zapping acne-causing bacteria
- Prevents future acne breakouts
- Visibly improves the appearance of blemishes and promotes their disappearance over time
- Promotes anti-inflammatory effects and diminishes irritation
Yellow LED: Redness Reducer
- Activates toxin elimination
- Triggers and activates the lymphatic system
- Reduces redness from inflammation and rosacea
Green LED: Skin Balancer
- Unifies your skin tone
- Eliminates skin pigmentation
- Regulates Melanin production
- Reduces Oil secretion
Cyan LED: Metabolism facilitator
- Reduces skin tension
- Soothes swollen capillaries
- Helps with healing sun burns and inflammation
Purple LED: Cell rejuvenation
- Combines the benefits of blue and red light
- Prolongs skin cell life
- Increases cell regeneration
- Helps repairing acne scars
White LED: Skin Booster
This is the most deeply absorbed wavelength, it increases cell permeability and absorption, smooths lines and wrinkles, improves elasticity, reduces pain and inflammation, accelerates wound healing and heals cystic acne.
- Penetrates in the deeper layers of your skin
- Amplifies the effects of the treatments
- Highly improves the absorption of your skin care products
What skin types should try light therapy?
Light therapy is good for all skin types, literally everyone, and incredible for rosacea.
Does light therapy hurt?
No, LED light therapy is completely non-invasive and does not hurt. All you'll feel is a tiny bit of warmth.
Can you get a tan from light therapy?
Nope! Light Therapy doesn't use UV light so there's no risk of tanning whatsoever.
How much does professional light therapy cost?
In clinic the treatments cost $80 . They also advise light therapy after most of facials, which is a $60 add on.
Are light therapy masks effective?
Research has proven that LED face masks can effectively treat a multitude of skin concerns, with particular success when it comes to increasing collagen production and management of (mild to moderate) acne. One study has even found green light therapy to show promise when it comes to fading melasma and hyperpigmentation: conditions that are famously tricky to tackle.
However, the results of light-therapy treatment are cumulative, meaning you won’t see long-term benefits from that single salon facial you treat yourself to once a year. If regular appointments aren’t an option, investing in an at-home device could be the answer.
“At-home LED masks are an excellent way to bring a normally in-office treatment to the comfort of your home," says Dr. Maryam Zamani, oculoplastic surgeon. “These at-home devices will not be as strong as the LED used in a clinic setting, but they do have similar benefits. Whereas professional treatments can last 10-20 minutes, at-home treatments are typically slightly longer."