Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, is a type of treatment that uses specific wavelengths of light to improve skin health. Light therapy can be used to treat acne and other skin conditions, reduce the appearance of dark spots or hyperpigmentation, speed up recovery from sun exposure and even boost anti-aging skincare products. The three main types of light therapy are blue light, red light and LED light. Each one has different benefits for your skin. Here’s everything you need to know about each type of light therapy and how they can be used in your skincare routine.
What is LED light therapy?
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, which is a type of light therapy that uses specific wavelengths of light to improve skin health. Light therapy can be used to treat acne and other skin conditions, reduce the appearance of dark spots or hyperpigmentation, speed up recovery from sun exposure and even boost anti-aging skincare products. The different types of light that have been used in phototherapy include ultraviolet, blue, red and infrared. Each of these lights has different benefits for your skin.
How does LED light therapy work?
To understand how it works, let’s start with a few basics. Light is electromagnetic radiation that can either be visible (i.e. you can see it), or non-visible (i.e. you can’t see it). When light hits the skin, it is absorbed by certain chemicals found in the skin, called chromophores. These chromophores then emit a different colour of light that our bodies can see, called fluorescence. The type of fluorescence depends on the type of chromophore that is being illuminated by the light.
The light emitting diodes (LEDs) used in phototherapy produce non-visible light in the red, blue and near-infrared (NIR) ranges. Blue and red light are absorbed by the skin, but NIR light penetrates the skin to reach the chromophores located in the dermis and upper layer of the epidermis. However, it does not reach the dermis as deeply as UV light does, which makes it safer to use.
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LED light therapy for acne treatment
Blue and red-light therapy have been proven to be effective in treating acne. One study found that blue light therapy reduced the number of acne lesions and the number of acne-related spots, compared to untreated control skin. Red light therapy was found to be effective in preventing acne lesions from forming on the skin. These studies suggest that both blue and red-light therapy can be effective in treating acne.
Blue light therapy can be used alone to treat mild to moderate acne, as well as combined with other acne treatments, like topical retinoids or benzoyl peroxide. When using blue light therapy to treat acne, there is a risk of drying out your skin. To prevent this, make sure to apply a good moisturizer after the treatment. Blue light treatment can also be used on oily skin, but make sure to use a sunscreen during the day.
LED light therapy for hyperpigmentation
Red and blue light therapy have been proven to be effective in treating hyperpigmentation, or the dark spots that often appear on the skin after a pimple has healed. Many skincare products, like serums and spot treatments come with built-in LED lights. If you choose to go with a product that has built-in LED lights, make sure to read the product description to know exactly what kind of lights are being used in the product and how they work. If you are using a device that uses blue light, make sure to avoid using it around your eyes, as it can cause dryness and irritation.
Red light therapy can be used to treat acne and hyperpigmentation, as well as treat the skin of people with darker skin tones, thanks to its ability to penetrate the skin deeply. To use red light therapy for acne and hyperpigmentation, place the LED device about an inch away from your skin and leave it for about 20 minutes. You can use it 2-3 times a week for best results.
LED Light Therapy to Improve Skin Tone and Texture
There is also evidence that blue light therapy can enhance the penetration of skincare products and be used to improve skin tone and texture. For example, a study found that adding a blue light device to a Vitamin C skincare routine led to better Vitamin C absorption in the skin, leading to more anti-aging benefits. Blue light therapy can also be used to improve the penetration of retinoids in the skin.
Retinoids are anti-aging skincare products that are effective but can also lead to severe irritation and redness when applied to the skin. Blue light therapy can be used to reduce these side effects, making retinoids more tolerable to use.
Which LED devices are worth trying?
There are plenty of devices that use LED light therapy. Some of the best devices include the Tanda Me Professional Light Therapy Device, the Philips Acne Treatment UV lamp and the LUNA mini 2. These devices can be used at home and are easy to apply on the skin. Be sure to read the product description to know which type of light therapy each device uses. Generally, LED light therapy devices are safe to use if you follow the instructions for each device. Make sure to apply the device for the recommended amount of time and skin area. Also, avoid using it on your eyes, as it can cause irritation.
Blue and red light therapy have been proven to be effective in treating acne and hyperpigmentation, as well as improving skin tone and texture. There are plenty of LED light therapy devices on the market that are easy to use at home. LED light therapy is a safe, effective and convenient way to treat acne and hyperpigmentation.