Light Therapy
Light Therapy

Previously confined to the four walls of a facialist’s salon, light therapy is now making its way into the mainstream, with several brands offering at-home devices promising transformative results. But are these masks and tools efficacious, and, more importantly, safe in untrained hands?

Research has proven that LED treatments can effectively treat a multitude of skin concerns, but the results are cumulative, meaning you won’t see long-term benefits from that single salon trip you treat yourself to once a year. If regular appointments aren’t an option, an at-home device could be the answer.

What is light therapy?

“Light therapy, or LED treatments have been around for over 30 years and were originally developed for astronauts to help with tissue healing and repair,” explains Dr. Zamani.

According to dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross, the benefits of LED light therapy are manifold. They include treating acne, regulating natural oil production, stimulating collagen and elastin and minimising redness and wrinkles. Certain wavelengths have even been shown to reduce dark spots and uneven skin tone.

As the spectrum of light used does not include UV, there’s no risk of damage – and no, you won’t get a tan.

How does light therapy work?

“LED therapy uses light in the visible spectrum – including blue, yellow, amber and red – as well as light beyond the visible spectrum to penetrate different depths of skin. As the light wavelength increases, so does the depth of penetration,” explains Dr. Gross. This light is absorbed by receptors in the skin, just like topical skincare, and each colour of light stimulates a different response in the skin. LED is suitable for use on all skin types and tones.

How to use an LED tool at home

Today, there’s a small but growing list of options when it comes to at-home light therapy devices. For a complete facial treatment, a mask is the most obvious investment, but the emergence of targeted ‘wands’ and smaller (more portable) treatment lights is especially interesting for treating areas of acne-prone skin.

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