LED facial: Is it effective for anti-aging?

LED facial uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in different wavelengths, that offer a non-invasive, safe, and effective solution to address a variety of skincare concerns. It can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, fight acne breakouts, and reduce hyperpigmentation if used regularly. LED facials can help increase collagen production. Collagen is responsible for the plump, smooth, and youthful look of your skin.  

But here is what you need to know before embarking on LED facials… 

Read on if this is a treatment you are considering or have already started, but still don’t understand exactly how it works. As a guinea pig of various skin treatments over the past decade, I can share all the inside info and educate you on the benefits, drawbacks, and other important things to consider especially if you are using skin care products like Vitamin C, Retinol, or any other actives. I promise to keep it simple and to the point. 

1. Does LED facial really work?

Wrinkles, appearance of fine lines, sagginess. Red light therapy.

Aging gracefully doesn’t mean succumbing to dry, dull, saggy skin by neglecting it. You can love and take care of your skin in natural ways and age like a fine wine rather than a cheap beer. You don’t always have to turn to injectables or invasive procedures. LED facials, can be a safe way to improve the health and appearance of your skin. 

Does it get the same results as Botox and fillers, no, it doesn’t, but if you want to go down the natural route or even add to your existing routine, this is a great option. What Botox doesn’t do is promote collagen production or natural cell regeneration like Red Light Therapy does. 

How does it do it: The application of red light-emitting diode in facial treatments plays a significant role in combating signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. This type of light penetrates the skin, stimulating collagen production, a key protein responsible for skin elasticity. 

With age, we lose collagen in our skin as well as everywhere else in our body. But the magic of LED facial treatment is that it helps reverse that. As collagen levels increase after treatments, the skin becomes smoother, reducing the appearance of fine lines and addressing issues related to sagginess. Red light therapy, with its non-invasive nature, offers a gentle yet effective approach to achieving a more youthful and rejuvenated complexion. 

At-home devices are often gentle enough to be used frequently and at your convenience and suitable for all skin types. 

Led facial professional treatment

Hyperpigmentation or age spots, sun damage, melasma, and spider veins. Green, red and yellow light therapy.

My pet peeve, I have been fighting hyperpigmentation and dark spots for the past 8 years, due to my silliness in my younger years of wanting to have tanned skin on my face. Let me tell you, it’s not an easy fight. But over the years of actively healing and renewing my skin, I have seen dramatic improvements, I can say by about 70%, and I am not done yet. The journey continues. 

How does it do it: LED facial light therapy, particularly yellow and green light stimulates red blood cell production, improving circulation and treating abnormal pigmentation. This process helps fade hyperpigmentation, diminish age spots, and alleviate issues caused by sun damage and melasma. And as you already know red light promotes collagen production, collagen in the skin = healthy skin, healthy skin = less spots and faster recovery of the skin from any free radicals like sun damage. So using all 3 is a great idea to tackle hyperpigmentation problems. 


Green LED light therapy

But, don’t light and heat cause hyperpigmentation and damage? 

Let me address this confusion. Not all light is the same type of light. When talking about dark spots from the sun, we are talking about UV light here. UV light is a damaging type of light to your skin. LED light is nothing like UV light, LED light is healing. And therefore it can help undo the damage that UV light does. 

LED light devices also usually do not emit a lot of heat, I can vouch for that as my face never gets hot or even too warm when I use the masks even for 20 minutes or more. So it’s not an uncomfortable procedure at all. 

Let’s talk about acne breakouts, acne scarring, uneven post-acne texture, and blemishes. Blue light therapy.

You don’t have to have wrinkles to benefit from LED facial, many young people have problems with acne. Actually, even mature skin can have break outs too. I’ve been there once. It sucks. It’s frustrating. Blue light penetrates deep into the skin cells and tackles exactly that without irritating your skin. 

How does it do it: For those dealing with acne-related concerns, blue LED light therapy comes to the rescue. This specific wavelength targets the sebaceous glands and acne-causing bacteria beneath the skin’s surface. 

By reducing oil production and eliminating bacteria, blue light therapy helps prevent acne breakouts and minimize scarring. Its anti-inflammatory properties also contribute to a smoother texture, addressing uneven post-acne skin and reducing blemishes. 

Blue light therapy provides a non-invasive treatment to manage acne-related skin issues for a clearer and healthier complexion.

2.Did you know this scientific fact about LED light?

Used by NASA. 

In its therapeutic application, a concept initially explored by NASA. LED light therapy, rooted in exposure to specific wavelengths, has proven effective in treating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Mimicking natural sunlight, this therapy regulates circadian rhythms and neurotransmitters in the brain, offering a scientifically backed approach to enhance mood and overall well-being. So here is another win, exposure to LED light is good for your overall health, not just skin. 

Research discovers it can be used to treat skin problems.

The breakthrough came when scientists observed that LED light had promising effects not only on plant cells but also on human cells. In the 1990s, NASA’s LED technology, initially developed for plant growth, began to show potential benefits for wound treatment and skin regeneration. 

Researchers discovered that specific wavelengths of light, particularly red and blue, could have positive effects on human skin cells, stimulating collagen production, reducing inflammation, and promoting healing.

Takes the beauty industry by storm.

As this knowledge evolved, the beauty and skincare industry started adopting LED light therapy for aesthetic purposes. Board-certified dermatologists recognized its potential in addressing various skin concerns, including anti-aging, acne, and hyperpigmentation. 

LED facials emerged as non-invasive, safe, and effective treatments, making their way from professional settings to at-home devices, offering individuals a versatile solution for improving skin health and appearance. The journey of LED light therapy from space exploration to skincare innovation highlights its remarkable evolution in addressing aesthetic and anti-aging concerns.

Used by celebrities for anti-aging.

So LED treatments are not just something trendy that got popularised by celebrities like Kris Jenner, Halle Berry, Kate Hudson, and Kim Kardashian, It’s been used for a long time by scientists and doctors to treat, heal and regenerate cells. 
You can read some research papers here for more information on LED light therapy: 
Source: Is light-emitting diode phototherapy really effective? (National Library of Medicine)
Source: LED light therapy. (Cleveland Clinic)

3. How often should you get an LED facial?

Embarking on an LED facial journey involves considering the frequency of treatments to maximize benefits. Ideally, individuals may opt for LED facials once a week, totaling up to 10 sessions initially if done at a clinic/salon. 

This frequency allows the skin to gradually respond to the light therapy, leading to noticeable improvements. Following the initial phase, maintenance treatments are recommended every few months to sustain the positive outcomes. 

Commercial LED devices that are used by professional skin therapists or beauty experts in the clinic/salon are stronger, so they penetrate at different depths compared to home devices. 

However, at-home use devices can also be effective, but need to be used more frequently. And since over time, it works out to be a cheaper and more convenient option, that’s not a problem in my opinion. It’s easy to stay consistent if the device is within arm reach. 

The important thing is to understand that your at-home device needs to be a certain strength and ideally FDA or TGA (for Australian brands) approved, so you know it’s effective. 

You can find the top 5 FDA-approved LED masks here that are currently trending on the market.  

LED face masks Australia review
Best LED Face Mask Australia: 5 FDA approved brands.
Are the LED Face Masks really worth the hype? LED face mask, Australia: trying one for the first time. Hey...

4. How long does an LED facial last?

A typical LED facial session lasts around 20 minutes, making it a convenient and time-efficient option for skincare. The short duration ensures that individuals can seamlessly incorporate LED facials into their busy schedules without disrupting daily activities.

It’s worth noting that consistency is key, and the overall duration of the treatment plan may span several weeks, with one to three sessions per week during the initial phase.

And if you are asking about the results, then I can give you some feedback from my own experience with the LED face mask I used at home. After using the mask consistently for 6 months I have decided to give it a break before trying a different mask brand, I took time off LED facials for around 4 months and the results lasted. But towards the 4-month mark, I started noticing a bit of melasma returning. 

As for the wrinkles and fine lines, I haven’t noticed any drastic change in the negative direction, but I guess 4 months isn’t very long. Considering I was also using Vitamin C and Retinol active serums. 

So I can say the anti-wrinkle effect can last up to 4 months, but only from personal observation and as long as I use good quality skincare. Therefore I would continue using LED mask, well, forever. Because why would I stop? It’s relaxing and gives me 20 minutes to meditate and get off my screen. 

5. What are the side effects of LED facial therapy or negatives?

LED facial therapy is generally safe, with rare side effects. Potential side effects may include increased inflammation, redness, or rashes. However, these occurrences are uncommon and were not noted during clinical trials. If any of these symptoms persist post-treatment, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional. 

Also, you should always read the instructions and contraindications on the packaging of your home device, or consult with your skin therapist before starting treatment if doing it in the clinic. 

6. How much does an LED facial cost?

The cost of an LED facial can vary based on factors such as location and whether it’s combined with other treatments. A single LED light therapy session typically ranges from $55 to $85 in Australia.

Sometimes you can buy a pack of 10 sessions and save, and that can range anywhere from $450 – $800. For those considering at-home LED devices, the cost can range from $50 to $600 or more depending on the brand and strength of the device.

Usually, full face masks starting price is around $150 in Australia. I found that the price does affect the quality of the device. Often cheaper face masks or other handheld devices don’t achieve the same results as they are not strong enough or don’t have enough LEDs for good coverage. 

7. Is LED facial worth it?

Determining the worth of an LED facial depends on individual skincare goals and preferences. LED facials are known for their safety, non-invasiveness, and positive effects on various skin concerns. 

While the initial investment may seem significant, many individuals find the long-term benefits, convenience, and lack of downtime make LED facials a valuable addition to their skincare routine. It does get results over time, but not right away, so be patient. 

In my personal opinion, it is worth it as I noticed changes that were good enough to continue using it. The same goes for my testing team. 

8. LED facial at home vs salon treatment: Which is more effective?

Choosing between an LED facial at home and a professional in-salon treatment depends on personal preferences and convenience. In-salon treatments, administered by licensed aestheticians or dermatologists, provide stronger and more controlled results. 

At-home LED devices offer convenience but may have less dramatic effects in the short term due to lower frequencies, so you may need to wait until more time passes before seeing results. Both options have their merits, and the decision hinges on factors such as budget, time, and how realistic it is for you to attend regular appointments. 

In other words, salon treatments are stronger and more expensive (faster results), home devices take longer to achieve results and need to be used more frequently, but cheaper. The end result is similar for most people.

LED mask home treatment anti wrinkle

9. Frequently Asked Questions About LED Facial.

FAQ: Who should not use LED light therapy?

LED light therapy is generally safe for all skin colors and types, but there are some considerations. Individuals taking Accutane for acne or experiencing active skin rashes should avoid LED light therapy. The use of medications or topicals that heighten skin sensitivity to light may increase the risk of side effects. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider if such medications are in use. 

Also if you are pregnant you may want to consult with your doctor before commencing LED treatments of any kind. Even though they are not considered harmful, to air on the side of caution I would avoid doing such treatments during pregnancy. 

FAQ: Can you overdo red light therapy?

While red light therapy is generally safe regardless of your skin tone, it’s crucial to adhere to recommended guidelines. Overdoing red light therapy may lead to increased inflammation, redness, or rashes. Following the prescribed frequency and duration ensures that the treatment remains beneficial without causing adverse effects. Just because something is good for you, doesn’t mean you need to use it a lot.

Salon treatment with stronger LED devices are normally done every 2 weeks for the first 10 sessions and then maintenance every 4-6 weeks is plenty.

With at-home devices, 2-3 times per week for around 15-20 minutes is all you need to see the best results. If you need to use different lights for different purposes, you can do them back to back. I often do 15 minutes of red led light for wrinkles and fine lines followed by 15 minutes of yellow or green for hyperpigmentation and spider veins. 

FAQ: How to prepare your skin for LED therapy?

Preparing the skin for LED therapy involves a simple yet essential routine. Thoroughly cleanse the skin before the session to remove any makeup or impurities. If you are going to the appointment they will usually do this for you. Additionally, wearing eye protection during the LED therapy session in the clinic is crucial to shield the eyes from the light. 

You don’t need to worry if you are using a well-fitting at-home mask as the light isn’t as strong also most masks are designed with eye holes so the LED light doesn’t actually go over your eyes if the mask fits well. You can always close your eyes and relax too. 

Avoid putting any active skincare ingredients like tretinoin, retinol, or vitamin C before the treatment. But you can do the treatment on the same day of using these actives, as long as you remove them before treatment and cleanse your face. 

FAQ: What is the aftercare for LED light therapy?

Post-LED light therapy, there is minimal aftercare required. Perhaps avoid using active ingredients after the 1st treatment just to see how your skin reacts, and if you don’t have any adverse reaction to the treatment then you can proceed with your normal skin care routine the next day. 

The most important thing is to keep your skin protected from the sun and use good moisturiser at night to keep skin as hydrated as possible. Since LED therapy is noninvasive, there is no recovery time, and individuals can resume their daily activities immediately. For optimal results, it’s recommended to follow through with the prescribed number of sessions and consider maintenance treatments every few months as advised by the provider.

FAQ: Can I work out after an LED facial? 

Yes, you can go about your normal day after treatment. You can swim, sweat, workout, and shower after LED facial. 

FAQ: Red light therapy for puffy eyes: Is it safe?

Red light therapy for addressing puffy eyes is generally safe. The red light stimulates collagen and tissues, potentially reducing puffiness and promoting a refreshed appearance. As with any skincare treatment, it’s essential to follow recommended guidelines and consult with a healthcare provider if there are specific concerns or conditions.

FAQ: Are there alternative treatments to LED facials?

LED treatments are one of their kind, there isn’t really anything other quiet like light therapy, however, that is not the only thing you can do to help your skin feel youthful and healthy. There are alternative treatments worth exploring based on individual preferences and skin needs. These alternatives may include microdermabrasion, Cosmelan Peel, other chemical peels, laser treatment, micro-needling or other non-invasive beauty treatments. Consulting with a licensed aesthetician or dermatologist can help determine the most suitable treatment based on individual skin concerns and goals.

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