The potential use of coloured light for skin health is rooted in space!
NASA scientists discovered that intense red light produced by LEDs (light-emitting diodes) helped increase the rate of photosynthesis and plant growth in space. Following this discovery, research into the application of coloured LED lights on human cells began in earnest.
Over 1700 clinical studies have been carried out into the effect of LED light. Most research has focused on red, blue and near infrared (IR) light. The restorative and healing effects of LED light have been proven. Clinical research has shown, using detailed images of the skins surface and microscopic analysis, that collagen thickness and skin smoothness both increase after LED light therapy.
Although the restorative properties of light have been known for decades, and have indeed been used therapeutically for years, the mechanism by which they work isn’t fully understood.
In recent years, the application of LED treatments in non-invasive aesthetic treatments has become increasingly popular for a range of skin issues from general signs of ageing and sun damage, to helping reduce acne and treating rosacea. LED phototherapy brings many of the beneficial and restorative effects of sunlight, without the damaging UVA and UVB rays.
LED therapy is administered using masks, lamps or handheld devices.
How does LED therapy work?
Different wavelengths of light have different colours and ‘carry’ differing amounts of energy.
Each colour can be used to treat specific skin complaints as light works directly on photoreceptors that exist naturally in our skin. These photoreceptors activate physiological changes in the skin. This is called photobiomodulation.
Red LED light energy penetrates up to 5mm into the skin and is absorbed by the cells in those layers. This energy alters the cells’ own cellular mechanisms. Most notably, absorbed red LED light causes the cells’ mitochondria (the ‘powerhouses’ of the cell) to produce energy in greater quantities and more efficiently. This energy is then available for cell repair and growth, stimulating fibroblasts, causing them increase collagen production. The result is skin which is plumper and smoother.
Blue LED light is often used to treat acne and other bacterial skin complaints. The wavelength of blue light kills the inflammation-causing bacteria responsible for acne. Blue light targets sebaceous glands and the bacteria found there, reducing both bacterial activity, secretions and swelling.
Green and yellow LED light is used to help treat pigmentation, rosacea and inflammation. The modes of action for these treatments need more research.
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Who is LED therapy for?
LED light therapy is safe and gentle. It is suitable for all skin types and all areas of the face and body.
It can be used in combination with other skin and aesthetic treatments to create even better outcomes or reduce recovery time.
How do you prepare for LED therapy?
There is no particular preparation needed prior to your treatment. It is worth ensuring that your skin is makeup free.
What happens during an LED skin treatment?
Step One - Step One - Consultation and Consent
On arrival at the clinic, your practitioner will complete a detailed personal details and medical history form with you.
They will discuss your medical history and clearly highlight the realistic, expected result of the treatment.
Step Two - Step Two - Your Treatment
If you haven’t done so already, your practitioner will thoroughly cleanse your skin.
You will be asked to wear a pair of goggles.
Step Three - Step Three - The Debrief
Your practitioner will remind you of any aftercare procedures you need to follow.
Step Four - Step Four - The Repeat Treatment
Although you might see improvements after your first treatment, it is probable that your practitioner will recommend a course of treatments for best results.
Think of investing in LED therapy as a commitment over a certain period of time to see the full results, like investing in a good skincare regimen.
What happens after LED therapy?
Following your treatment, you won’t always see immediate results. Depending on the skin concern being targeted, you might require multiple sessions before the full effect of the treatment will be seen.
There are no specific steps to follow after your treatment, although a good skincare regimen and daily SPF is always recommended.
What are the side effects and risks of LED therapy?
LED phototherapy non-invasive, gentle, drug-free treatments.
LED phototherapy may not be suitable for those who are taking photosensitive medications or patients with epilepsy.
They are also not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
In 1700 clinical studies, no major adverse effects have been noted.
Rarely, mild dryness or redness can be caused but is self-limited.
How much does LED therapy cost?
LED light therapy costs from £30 to £100 a session.
6-12 sessions are usually recommended.
Followed by a 6 monthly maintenance session.
Clinics often apply discounts for multiple sessions.
All information in our Glowday Treatment Guides and blog articles is intended for reference and information. The information given here is to help you make informed decisions when considering the wide range of non-surgical aesthetic treatments available.
It is NOT intended as medical advice. Any reliance placed by you on the information contained within the Glowday Treatment Guides, Glowday blog articles or on any of Glowday.com is done by you at your own risk.
Before undergoing any non-surgical cosmetic treatment mentioned anywhere on Glowday.com, you should fully consult with an appropriately qualified and accredited practitioner who is properly trained in and fully insured to conduct the treatment you are interested in. Neither the author of the guides or blog articles, or the practitioner who has verified the guides nor Glowery Limited can be held responsible or liable for any loss or claim arising from the use or misuse of the content of Glowday.com.