In a world full of advancements, the way you look after your skin and beauty needs has also taken a step ahead! So much so, the old oldschool creams that transformed into masks are no longer just masks. And the masks that moved into the domain of fancy parlour facials are now what we recognise as the furthest milestone in the beauty space; a corner light and life, quite literally - well, we’re talking about the popular LED light therapy. At the confluence of skin TLC and science, this dermis recovery solution has been developed by the best brains in the business, NASA! Brought to life in the 80s to speed up and heal astronaut's skin and muscle systems, it’s now being used to benefit our beauty divas. In fact, it is now also becoming an at-home skin treatment in the form of all-over face masks, targeted pens, goggles and several other handheld devices that people can use on their own. To vouch for its brilliance, look at the internet’s iconic divas - Kate Moss, the Karadashians and many more. They swear by this LED technique for that flawless and filterless glow.
So, to unravel more about the most popular skin treatments in the world - hold tight as we unveil to you everything essential.
Types of light therapy
While you may think there is only one, always know that greatness always comes with options! So, here’s the spread.
Blue light therapy
The blue light is in the 400 – 520nm spectrum and is used for its antibacterial properties to help treat acne, control oil production and reduce inflammation in the oil glands. Blue light can help control oil secretion with long-term use. It reaches the pore to activate chemicals inside the bacteria which destroys the cell and its ability to form acne.
At times blue LED face mask used in conjunction with red LED light therapy to correct skin problems like scarring, acne and inflammation.
Red light therapy
Red light is in the 640 – 700nm wavelength. It has a longer wavelength and penetrates deeper into the skin to treat inflammation and rejuvenate skin. When the red light hits the skin, it increases blood circulation, boosts cell turnover, which leads to increased collagen production, thus reducing the appearance of fine lines and open pores. Red light helps chronic skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, psoriasis. It has a soothing effect on the outer layers of the skin, thereby reducing the signs of ageing like age spots, blemishes and fine lines.
Near InfraRed Light Therapy
Near-infrared (NIR) light therapy is similar to red light therapy, except it is invisible to the human eye, and it has a deeper penetration level. We’re talking about 850 nm - super effective! This form of treatment is especially helpful with improving cellular energy (ATP) production, which can have a wide range of health benefits and moreso, it does the magic for your skin. It reduces inflammation and catalyses wound healing. So if you were looking for a way to tame the puffiness and marks - here’s what you can fall back on.
Yellow Light Therapy
Yellow (or amber) LED face mask therapy encompasses 570 nm-620 nm and has a shallow penetration level which can be effective for healing a variety of skin issues involving redness. When this magical light penetrates the skin, key mechanisms take place to alter biological pathways and improve the appearance of the skin. Wonder how? Well this light fosters skin cell rejuvenation. It also boosts lymphatic flow, which removes toxins and waste from the dermis and curbs the signs of ageing.
Green light therapy
Get set, ready and go green! In LED face mask therapy for skin, green light targets dark circles, pigmentation, broken capillaries and sunspots, and as a result could have an impact on skin pigmentation. It also calms irritated or over-stimulated skin. So, the next time your dermis is feeling agitated, turn to the green.
Benefits of LED light therapy
Take notes, ladies for a shining future awaits you!
Those with stubborn acne and acne-prone skin can benefit from LED face mask therapy. As mentioned before, the light has the ability to seep deep into the pores of the skin and damage the wall of acne-causing bacteria, thereby preventing acne and clogged pores.
Improves skin texture
Those who regularly go for LED light therapy at the dermatologist’s clinic or do it at home using a handheld device or mask, notice a difference in their overall skin health. Since these lights target acne and other skin problems like sunspots and discolouration, your skin starts looking even-toned and healthy.
UV rays are responsible for causing most skin problems. Right from premature ageing to pigmentation and uneven skin tone, regular exposure to UV rays can lead to this. These problems are corrected by LED face mask therapy. Using the red and blue light in conjunction can target most skin issues and reverse the damage caused by the sun.
Side effects of light therapy
No good without a little bad!
As with any procedure, there are pros and cons to LED light therapy for acne too. Fortunately, the pros outweigh the side effects in this case! However, here’s what you may need to know.
When UV radiation comes into the picture, risks crop up too. To this end, some potential risks of LED light therapy include premature ageing of the skin and an increased possibility for skin cancer development later in life. Eye strain and temporary headaches caused by the light are also often reported, although these symptoms do not seem to indicate any permanent injury.
Further, in LED light therapy, side effects differ depending upon the type of photosensitizer used. When a harsh one is introduced, there is a higher chance of subsequent hyperpigmentation. Patients sometimes also experience a flare-up of acne that is transitory in nature. Moreover, this therapy also nudges some reactions — such as, redness, stinging, and burning; however, these reactions usually subside about three weeks after the treatment. Allergic reactions such as hives and eczema can appear at the area of contact within a few hours after exposure to the cream.
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You ask, we answer!
How much does professional LED light therapy cost?
A blue light device would cost you between Rs 15,000 – Rs 25,000. This device is effective to treat mild to moderate pimples. Whereas, a red light device would cost you between Rs 20,000 – Rs 25,000 - excellent for boosting collagen and correcting acne scars.
How long does it take for LED light therapy to work?
Results can be seen in 48 hours.
Does light therapy hurt?
Yes, when the LED face mask is on, the light can cause pain when it shines on the skin. It can also cause mild swelling, dryness, and change in skin tone.
What aftercare should you use after light therapy?
Icing the area during and post the procedure to reduce the mild irritation or the redness and the swelling that can come with the treatment. Post-procedure, you can also expect a mild swelling to occur in the specific region where the follicles have been targeted. There can also be some mild redness which usually settles in 24 hours. An antibiotic cream would be suggested to reduce the chance of an infection and sunscreen usage is very important.
Written by Anushka Shah on Aug 10, 2022