You may have seen the Hannibal Lecter-esque light up masks on your Instagram feeds recently, and wondered what the fuss was all about. Spotted on the likes of Bella Hadid and January Jones, LED light therapy skincare is nothing new, but these at-home devices have really blown up all over social media and beyond lately. It's seen as a handy solution to keeping skin healthy and glowing in between professional treatments, especially at a time when we all have to do our part in staying in.
Light-emitting diode (LED) therapy purports to be able to treat acne, reduce inflammation, boost collagen production, improve skin texture, alongside a whole host of anti-ageing benefits... a remedy for all skin concerns, really. So it’s no wonder celebrities and an increasing number of people have turned to these at-home treatments, given our usual beauty treatments at salons and spas are closed, as of writing.
But What is LED light therapy, really? And does it actually work? Here’s what you need to know.
What is LED light therapy
LED light therapy is a non invasive facial treatment that uses non-thermal light energy of varying wavelengths to trigger your body’s natural cell process and to accelerate the rejuvenation and repair of your skin, and helps in instances such as in diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, and more.
It is widely popular because it has no side effects, and has a strong medical heritage, being initially developed by scientists such as Nasa neurologist Harry Whelan. Medical grade and results-oriented, and with a strong celebrity following to boot, it's little wonder this nifty home device is all the rage right now.
How LED therapy works
The skin uses light as a source of energy to rejuvenate damaged skin cells. There are various kinds of LED facials, but the most common ones come in red or blue light. These different colours trigger different reactions beneath the epidermis, and penetrate the skin at varying lengths to target specific skin concerns. For instance, red light stimulates collagen production, while reducing inflammation. It helps to strengthen skin, heal blemishes, repair sun damage, and improve scars. Blue light helps to clarify and balance skin, reducing acne-causing bateria, and regulates oil and sebum production. Green light targets pigmentation, while yellow helps with wound healing.
Here, your skin cells respond in a similar way as to when they are exposed to Vitamin C or retinol, which prompts your skin cells to change or work harder, rejuvenating it in the process!
How to use it
Yet another reason this nifty home device is so popular is its ease of use, and is well suited for all skin types and colours. The Dennis Gross, for instance, only takes about three minutes of your day, and all you have to do is pop it on your face with an adjustable strap. And unlike Korean sheet masks, which contain liquid essences, there is no mess here, making it all that much easier to multi-task as you mask.
The frequency of use differs between products: some are to be used everyday, while others just a few times a week.
Just don’t see an LED device as an end all and be all to your skincare. “An LED device is never going to replace your moisturiser or sunscreen, but you get maximum benefit by using LEDs and topical ingredients in conjunction,” says Dennis Gross.
Intrigued? Here are a few of the popular LED devices out there: