Blue light therapy is an effective treatment for acne related conditions. Image supplied.
Are you are dealing with acne, fine lines, pigmentation or perhaps your skin is just a little lacklustre and you want to give it back some oomph? Rest assured, LED light therapy will be your best friend as it can address all these common skin concerns and more. If like a lot of us, you were wondering exactly how these fancy multi-coloured lights work, then read on to get the inside scoop. From what it is, to how it works, discover the healing power of light therapy.
Space age technology
The modern study of light colour therapy has its origins in the 1980’s when NASA began experimenting with Light Emitting Diodes, or LED as a way to potentially stimulate plant growth, with the hope that astronauts could one day be able to grow their own food supply. It was during this process that they accidently stumbled across further applications for this technology – namely the healing properties of light.
This lucky discovery sparked further interest in the possible medical applications of LED technology and the cellular response that different coloured lights triggered within the human body. Since then, LED has gained traction over the past few years as both a wellness practise and a popular skin treatment due to its effectiveness at calming and treating various skin disorders. It is not hard to view these strange glowing lights as “otherworldly” and with a backstory this futuristic, it is no wonder that LED technology has captured people’s interest!
All the coloured lights
The lights used in LED light therapy machines are not your average, run-of the mill light bulbs. They differ from common household lighting in that the wavelengths have less energy and do not impact our bodies in the same way as LED lights. Professional LED lights offer a spectrum of different coloured lights from invisible or infrared though to the visible light spectrum such as red, blue, green, yellow.
The different coloured lights penetrate the skin at different lengths, triggering a biological process that assists the skin’s natural healing and rejuvenation process. Depending on how deeply they penetrate, the different colours have different biological effects on the body and therefore different skincare benefits.
Red Light – Turn back time baby
Experts believe that red light can be hugely beneficial at improving the signs of ageing such as dull, lifeless skin, moisture loss, those pesky fine lines as well as the loss of elasticity. It does this by targeting fibroblasts, the skin cells that are responsible for the body’s collagen production.
By now most of us are aware that as we age, sadly, many things within our bodies start to slow down. One of the things we produce less of is collagen – resulting in tired, lax skin, age spots and wrinkles. By boosting skin’s collagen and elastin levels, we can encourage it to look smoother, younger and plumper overall.
Also thought to reduce inflammation, red light can boost circulation and increase blood flow leading to a strengthened cellular structure and giving you a healthy glow – making it the ideal pre-party treatment.
Red light therapy assists collagen production and the signs of ageing.
Blue Light – Out damn spot!
Blue light is an effective tool for treating acne related conditions. By targeting the small oil-producing glands in the skin known commonly as sebaceous glands, this can lead to an improvement in pimples and active acne.
Located beneath your hair follicles, sebaceous glands are small oil-producing glands in the skin that are necessary for lubricating your skin and hair. They can however, get carried away and become over-active, leading to oily skin and acne. The theory is that by reducing the activity in these glands, this can lead to fewer breakouts.
Blue light also kills off the bacteria caused by acne deep within the skin and can help prevent future breakouts. Often red and blue light are used in conjunction to fight acne (including painful cystic acne) – with blue light targeting the acne-causing bacteria and the red targeting the inflammation. A match made in heaven for us – goodbye pimples!
Green and Yellow – Fade and heal
Whilst red and blue light are the most commonly used lights in a LED light therapy machine, green and yellow have their own applications also. For those of us who are guilty of spending too much time in the sun when we were younger, green light is very effective at treating sun damaged skin such as sunspots, pigmentation and discolouration. Yellow light is used to improve the overall health of your skin as well as for healing, as its known to trigger the lymphatic system, removing toxins from the treated area.
Convenient and safe
One of the many benefits of LED therapy is how safe treatments are. Unlike other types of light therapy, LED does not contain ultraviolet rays, making it safe for regular use. Speak to your practitioner if you are on any type of medication that increases your sensitivity to light but otherwise its safe for all skin types and colours. Treatments are non-invasive, with sessions lasting approx. 20-30 minutes on average with absolutely no downtime post treatment – making it the ultimate lunchtime treatment.
In terms of price, a single LED facial can run between $50-$150, depending on where you live and if the therapy is layered with other treatments. Depending on what your particular needs are, your practitioner will recommend a course of several treatments. Light therapy can be used on the face, hands, neck and chest, with many finding the treatment a relaxing and enjoyable experience.
Although extremely effective as a stand-alone tool, it is also fantastic for layering in conjunction with other treatments. Often a layered facial experience will include LED Light Therapy as part of the overall service. An extremely useful tool for healing, soothing and restoring the skin, LED is a great final step to unite all the benefits post-treatment.
Not only do LED treatments leave your skin with an undeniable glow, the treatments also invoke the feeling of summer. The combination of warmth and light can lower stress hormones, boost your immune system and leave you with that feel-good feeling – all you have to do is lay back and let the lights work their magic!