Beauty • 15 September 2023
What if I told you there is a light that’s good for your skin? As new technologies continue to shape the aesthetic industry, skincare has moved on from routine serums and creams to LED light therapy for skin benefits that work on multiple wavelengths to make a noticeable difference in your skin.
What is light therapy for the skin?
LED (light-emitting diode) uses light at varying wavelengths and frequencies to address multiple skin concerns. When used over a few sessions, LED light therapy has shown promising results in the treatment of mild acne, rosacea, psoriasis, actinic keratosis, dermatitis, wound and scar healing, photoaging and photodamage. In the beauty industry, LED light therapy most commonly uses red, near-infrared or blue light to penetrate the skin at different depths, triggering anti-inflammatory and cellular repair processes.
Not to be confused with ultraviolet rays used in sunbeds and UV gel lamps, LED light therapy is a safe, non-thermal energy often used for reversing the signs of ageing caused by UV damage.
How does light therapy work?
Light therapy devices generate different wavelengths that, when reaching cells, cause them to react and quickly activate photo-biochemical processes. This activation is what helps to reduce inflammation, initiate wound and scar healing, prevent cellular damage and stimulate collagen production.
LED wavelengths are seen as varying colours of the visible light spectrum, targeting different layers of skin. Blue (400nm to 470nm) works on the upper layers of skin, ideal for eliminating acne-causing bacteria. Yellow (560nm to 590nm) targets the middle layers of skin, while red (620nm to 750nm) reaches the deeper layers to stimulate natural cell repair.
Blue LED light therapy: Interacts with the cells up to 1mm on the skin’s surface, helping to initiate antioxidant activity for reducing inflammation for skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis and eczema.
The benefits for treating mild forms of acne or even preventing breakouts are linked to regulating sebum production—along with its unique property of killing cutibacterium acnes (also known as propionibacterium acnes).
Yellow LED light therapy: Also known as amber, this wavelength reaches up to 2mm below the skin’s surface to stimulate lymphatic drainage and blood circulation, removing toxins and improving the skin’s metabolic processes.
Red LED light therapy: Proven to work on the skins ‘powerhouse’ layer up to 4cm below the skin’s surface, red wavelengths reach the mitochondria to produce more energy for natural collagen and elastin production, along with accelerated skin repair.
Light therapy for skin conditions
Light therapy for acne: The most commonly used wavelength at the dermatologist’s office, blue light therapy has been shown to remarkably reduce the number and severity of acne lesions with just a few sessions of light therapy performed at fixed intervals. The antimicrobial effect of blue light eliminates breakout-causing bacteria in the pores and oil ducts, while reducing inflammation and redness.
Light therapy for fine lines and wrinkles: Red and near-infrared wavelengths penetrate the deeper layers of skin, stimulating the mitochondria to generate more energy for cell repair and skin rejuvenation. The increase in natural collagen and elastin production minimises fine lines and wrinkles, while keeping skin plump and supple.
Light therapy for eczema or dermatitis: Millions of people from all over the world suffer from eczema or dermatitis, with very little treatment available. However, a few minutes of blue light therapy per week can soothe itching and reduce flare-ups with anti-inflammatory action.
Light therapy for psoriasis: Both blue and red light therapy can improve the symptoms of psoriasis over several sessions by reducing inflammation and slowing the accumulation of skin cells. Though light therapy alone can’t cure psoriasis, it can be used to effectively limit the progression and alleviate symptoms when used consistently.
Light therapy for wound healing: The same red and near-infrared wavelengths can also be used to effectively accelerate the natural healing process for burns, ulcers, wounds and post-surgical scars by stimulating the mitochondria.
At-home LED light therapy devices
LED light therapy is one of the top skin therapies of 2023, especially for those wanting a convenient way to achieve lasting, professional results from home. Light therapy for skin has been used for decades in-clinic, whether in a dermatologist’s office to treat specific skin conditions or a beautician’s spa during a facial.
Now, you can access this FDA-Cleared technology from the comfort of your own home with portable, clinic-grade home-use devices:
Dermalux Flex MD is the world’s most powerful in-clinic LED light therapy treatment now available for home use. Large enough to treat both the face and body, this flexible device can be used flat or mounted on a stand to reach any area with ease. 360 LED bulbs deliver clinically proven blue (415nm), red (633nm) and near-infrared (830nm) wavelengths within 30 minutes—suitable for all ages, skin tones and types. The Dermalux Flex MD is ideal for targeting rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, mild acne, scarring and the visible signs of ageing.
As for LED face masks, the original CurrentBody Skin LED Light Therapy Face Mask offers complete facial anti-ageing with red (633nm) and near-infrared (830nm) wavelengths. Designed to prevent and reverse the visible signs of ageing, this mask is ideal for reducing fine lines and wrinkles while giving skin a plumpness linked to ample collagen. The brand has also just launched a new multi-wavelength mask to include both green (532nm), yellow (590nm) and deep red (660nm) wavelengths, in addition to red and near-infrared.
The CurrentBody Skin LED 4-in-1 Zone Facial Mapping Mask uses 4 treatment modes to activate specific cells on a biological level to restore brightness, soothe facial redness, balance oil production and increase elasticity. What makes this mask unique however, is the introduction of Zone Facial Mapping—an industry-first that links specific skin concerns with the corresponding wavelengths. This boosts the 10-minute session by targeting not just one concern, but a multitude within the same timeframe.
Specific LED masks have also been created to exclusively target areas around the eyes, lips, neck, décolletage and hands. These medical-grade portable devices provide focused wavelengths specifically attuned to their treatment areas—ideal for plumping lips, fading dark undereye circles, fading neck créping and sun spots. They’re designed to be layered together, almost like you would skincare, allowing you to customise sessions based on your skin goals.