Skin Care Benefits of LED Light Therapy
Posted on November 07 2017
We all know there are things we can do to prevent the signs of aging – sunscreen, proper skin care, moisturizing, serums, sleep, and more. (Seriously, the list is a long one!) But what kind of treatments are there that give you results quickly? And that not only the wealthy can afford? The answer is LED light therapy!
This treatment has had proven results in helping your skin to be tighter and smoother, giving you the youthful look we are all striving to achieve! But if you aren’t sure what LED light therapy is, it may sound almost exactly like what you shouldn’t be using. We’ve all heard the warnings of too much sun exposure on our skin (and this includes tanning salons). Too much exposure to UV rays makes our skin age more quickly. Won’t LED light therapy do the same thing? And what makes LED light therapy so effective? And, the question we all want to know, are there more affordable ways to take advantage of this treatment?
If you have any of these questions or concerns about LED light therapy, then read on. We’ve done the research, and what we’ve found is promising and exciting!
History of LED Light Therapy
So, how did this new treatment originate?
If you can believe it, the concept of light therapy actually began in ancient times, with the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. They figured out that light exposure, or heliotherapy, was beneficial to a person’s health. Although they didn’t know it at the time, this was due to the vitamin D production that light exposure provided to the entire body. They saw the effects it had on the skin, and to overall health. While they of course weren’t aware of the harmful effects of UV exposure, they understood the benefits that light can have to the body.
Fast forward to the 19th century, when a Danish physician, Dr. Niels Finsen, discovered the beneficial effects of using various wavelengths in treating tuberculosis. Yes, we know this doesn’t have anything to do with skin treatment, but his technology is what paved the way for the LED light therapy to come on the scene!
In the 20th century, light therapies graduated from using direct sunlight (huzzah! Because the damage of UV rays is no joke) to using filtered sunlight and artificial light. At the time, they weren’t thinking of light therapy as a treatment for anti-aging. It was initially developed to assist with the healing of wounds and scars from surgery. It eventually expanded to include treating ulcers, lupus, tuberculosis, and a variety of skin diseases. The fact that this treatment actually created a rejuvenation of healthy skin was an exciting coincidence.
As light therapy was used more and more, these unexpected benefits began to appear. They found light therapy to have a powerful effect on treating tissue issues through the process of photo stimulation. This may sound confusing, but you have likely seen it or heard of it before when it comes to jaundice treatments. For babies born with jaundice (a condition that makes their skin appear yellow), they are treated with a light treatment that helps remove the bilirubin, the thing causing the skin to turn yellow, from the skin. Light therapy is definitely powerful!
As light therapy was used in other treatments, researchers discovered that it actually helped to improve the skin. Light therapy stimulated the skin tissue to regenerate with new skin cells. Light therapy also increased blood circulation, collagen production, and general healing of the skin. So what kind of results were researchers noticing? That light treatment actually helped to repair sun damage, reduce signs of aging, and treat rosacea. Those are some exciting results, especially when that wasn’t the treatments intended results!
What is LED Light Therapy?
Now that you know where light therapy originated, you are probably wondering exactly what LED light therapy is. In one sentence, it is a process that emits infrared lights on your face in different wavelengths or spectrums. What those wavelengths are is determined by the specific kind of treatment you’re looking for from LED light therapy.
If that sounds complicated, don’t worry too much, it is pretty straightforward. The light waves that are sent to your skin actually trigger certain reactions in your skin cells. These reactions are what, in turn, gives you the results you are trying to achieve. The reactions happen at the dermis layer of the skin. Your dermis layer converts the light into a fuel of sorts that the cells then use to do its job in healing the skin. Think of LED light treatment as a way to fill up your skin’s gas tank. LED light treatment speeds up your skins ability to perform its natural functions.
What kind of reactions will you get with the various light waves?
Red light helps increase collagen production. And since collagen is what makes your skin have that young supple look, this is one of the biggest benefits. The red light also increases blood flow to the skin and capillaries on the face. This promotes healing and rejuvenation, all things you want when it comes to having younger-looking skin. Red light is also used to treat scarring and rosacea. Why? Because the red light has the ability to deeply penetrate your skin, which means it gets past that first layer, stimulating healing through its ability to increase blood flow. Sounds pretty amazing!
Blue light treats acne. Why? Because it is able to generate a high energy form of oxygen that attacks the bacteria in your skin. And that bacteria is what causes acne. And considering the high rate of success researchers have found in clinical studies, blue light as an acne treatment has proven results!
Of all the lights, this is the most powerful, as it penetrates the deepest into your skin. White light is able to tighten your skin as its base layer and reduce inflammation. This gives your skin that smooth, healthy glow we all try so hard to achieve!
While amber light may sound similar to red light in its benefits, think of it as more of a targeted light treatment. Amber light stimulates collagen and elastin production. While red light may provide the same benefit, along with a wide variety of other benefits, amber light specifically targets the skin cells and tissue that play a key role in giving your skin the young look you’re going for!
How LED treatment works
If you’re interested in getting LED light treatment and decide to go to a professional, you’ll find it a relaxing experience. Typically done after getting a microdermabrasion or some other form of facial, the esthetician will administer the light treatment by, first, placing eye protection over your eyes (as lights shining quite close to your face would be rather bright. Obviously.) They will then place LED light panels a few inches away from your face for about 15 minutes.
The good news is, it is usually a pleasant procedure. While it certainly feels warm on your face, many find it relaxing to chill in front of the warm light. And, even better news, it is a painless treatment. Which means there is no cause to worry about getting any burns or other skin damage. It is a relaxing, safe, and effective way to actually enjoy some warm light on your face that isn’t packed with UV rays!
The treatment plan is more intense at first. For the first month to month and a half, it is typically recommended to go in for a treatment two to three times each week during that time period. Sound like a lot? It certainly does! But the good news is, that treatment style doesn’t last forever. Within that month to month and a half, you’ll notice quite a difference to your skin. Once you’ve reached the optimal results (which typically occur in that time period), you’ll move to a monthly treatment plan. While it certainly is time intensive in the beginning, you’ll be able to experience the true results of this treatment very quickly.
More questions about how this treatment works? Check out this video from Joanna Vargas as she answers frequently asked questions from her clients:
Benefits of LED Light Therapy
We already covered this somewhat in the previous section, but we are going to go over what LED light therapy actually helps with. You’ll be able to judge for yourself whether this would be a worthy investment.
- Reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles: by stimulating collagen and elastin production
- Reducing the appearance of scars and other skin ailments, such as rosacea: by deeply penetrating the skin and promoting growth of skin cells
- Treating acne: by fighting off and killing the bacteria under your skin
But, regardless of what reason you decide use the treatment, the overall benefits are the same, regardless of which light treatment you use. Yes, that’s right. While specific light treatments will fight specific ailments, you’ll experience the added benefits of using LED light therapy regardless of which you choose. These include drastically improved skin clarity, tone, and texture. All without being nearly as invasive as the other popular treatments on the market!
LED Light Therapy: At Home?
Now that you understand how LED light therapy works, and all the benefits to using it, the next question you probably have is about cost. Going to a spa or other treatment facility two to three times a week for over a month? That certainly doesn’t sound cheap. And it isn’t, unfortunately. Sure, it is less expensive that the more invasive procedures, but the cost definitely adds up over time. So are spas the only option you have to start taking advantage of LED light therapy?
The good news? No! This treatment isn’t only done by professionals. There are available at home treatments you can do that will save you significant money. Of course, you aren’t going to get as good of a result at home. The reality is that a professional treatment is more intensive, and will give you the results you want more quickly. But that doesn’t mean at home LED light therapy treatments aren’t still good for you and your skin!
So what kind of treatments are out there that you can do at home? Popular at home treatments include the Omnilux clear U and the LightStim for Wrinkles. While they may cost more, they are treatments that you can use many times over. Both are hand held LED lights that will provide the light therapy you are looking for, with the simple instruction of merely standing in from of it to help your skin get that exposure.
Trying to get the upper hand on our aging skin can seem overwhelming and daunting. And the treatments that appear to be the most effective and that provide the fastest results are typically the most invasive and expensive. And let’s be honest – who really wants to drop that kind of money on skin care? Luckily, after doing our research, LED light therapy really does appear to be everything it’s cracked up to be: painless, gentle, effective, and more affordable than those other invasive treatments.
So, what do you think? Are you willing to try out this method? Why or why not? While you decide, make sure to check out our natural, safe anti-aging products that are even more affordable than LED light therapy!