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March 22, 2021

LED Lights: Are They Beneficial To Our Skin?

LED lights

If we told you that there was a way to improve your skin for a long time and all you would have to do is sit for a few minutes every week with your eyes closed under a softly pulsing light, would you rush to make an appointment for yourself? LED lights might just be the solution you have been waiting for.

According to experts, Light Emitting Diode (LED) Therapy is a non-invasive procedure that treats acne, sun damage, wounds and a variety of other skin problems. Some of these skin problems include rosacea, melasma and psoriasis.

To begin with, LED therapy is not the same as laser therapy, which causes controlled damage to the skin in order to facilitate healing. Consider skin-friendly visible light as ultraviolet light's pleasant equivalent to understand the idea of light as skincare.

Light affects biological material in a process known as photobiomodulation; for example, ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun changes our skin in ways that can accelerate cancer and ageing.

LED Therapy has grown immensely popular due to how flexible the mode of treatment is. Patients may choose to engage in at-home treatments or visit a dermatologist for professional help.

LED Therapy makes use of wavelengths of light to trigger and speed up the skin’s natural healing process. Through the exposure of red, blue, green and yellow lights, this treatment process repairs the skin quickly and painlessly.

More About LED Lights Therapy

For many years, scientists have studied how the sun's rays affect the skin. First, they focused their attention on the so-called burning rays of the sun or ultraviolet B radiation. Then, the focus shifted to ultraviolet A rays or UVA. Those are the sun's rays that age the skin, leading to wrinkles and discolouration. Only recently, there has been much research done regarding the effects of visible light on the skin — not only LED light but all visible light.

LED lights have only in recent years been used as a skin treatment, despite having been around since the 1960s. Different wavelengths of visible light correspond to different colours of LED light, which penetrate the skin to different depths evoking various effects.

When we think of LED skin treatments, red and blue light therapy are the most popularly promoted. Red LED light could help reverse some of the signs of ageing while Blue LED light is most often used to treat acne.

Red LED Therapy

red LED light

Red LED therapy employs red low-level wavelengths of light to treat various skin issues. Research has shown that the treatment has been proven to improve scarring, persistent wounds, and the signs of ageing such as wrinkles. The light affects fibroblasts, which are responsible for collagen production to assist in the recovery of damaged skin. Red light may also help people with androgenetic alopecia, or male- and female-pattern hair loss, regrow their hair.

Red LED therapy is also known by these other names:

  • Photobiomodulation (PBM)
  • Low-level light therapy (LLLT)
  • Soft laser therapy
  • Cold laser therapy
  • Biostimulation
  • Photonic stimulation
  • Low-power laser therapy (LPLT)

During the treatment, red light works when a biochemical effect is produced in the cells which strengthen the mitochondria. When the function in the mitochondria increases, the cells can make more adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

Red light therapy avoids the harsh step of directly stimulating the regeneration of the skin. This is because the light only penetrates about 5 millimetres of the skin’s surface.

After treatment, the skin would be smoother, fuller and have less fine lines and wrinkles. Experts also report that red light reduces inflammation and improves circulation. With continued use of treatment, the patient would have a healthy glow on their skin.

Blue LED Therapy

Similar to Red LED therapy, Blue LED therapy is a safe & painless procedure that is mostly used to treat acne and severe pimple problems such as cysts and nodules. Blue LED therapy uses either natural violet or blue light, which may be considered an alternative treatment.

Blue LED therapy decreases activity in the sebaceous glands, which are small glands on the skin’s surface that produce oil. This causes the glands to produce less oil, which reduces acne breakouts. [1]

Cutibacterium acnes, an acne-causing bacteria, can also be killed by blue light therapy. Blue and red LED lights are often used in tandem to combat acne, with the blue light focusing on C. acnes and the red light on inflammation and redness.

We would recommend going for treatments regularly to maintain results.

Treatments needed for different skin issues:

  • One to four treatments for actinic keratosis (precancerous sunspots), with annual maintenance
  • Four to six treatments for acne, with maintenance appointments every six months

Green LED Therapy

Green LED therapy accelerates the process of wound healing by inducing migratory and proliferating mediators. They also possess a sterilising function in the therapeutic process. In short, this increases cell growth which makes the skin and cell regenerate faster around the wound area. [2]

Yellow LED Therapy

Yellow LED therapy, or amber light therapy, is a drug-free alternative to address skin concerns. Although not commonly used to target tissue healing or collagen/elastin production, it is beneficial in assisting problems with sun damage. In a study, the histology showed increased collagen in 100% of participants who underwent yellow light treatment.

Ideally, Yellow LED therapy works best for patients with reactive or sensitive skin as it possesses soothing and calming effects during the treatment.

Some benefits of Yellow LED therapy include:

  •  A drug-free alternative for skin redness and flushing
  •  Reduces Skin irritation
  •  Reduces rosacea
  •  UV radiation damage
  •  Reducing the appearance of tiny blood vessels on the nose/face
  •  Helps to remove waste particles/debris from the skin
  •  Boosts lymphatic flow
  •  Increases cellular growth

Yellow LED lights are capable of deeply penetrating the skin. Much of its application has been focused on photoageing and is an alternative form of therapy to laser treatment. It decreases the intensity and duration of erythema after fractional laser skin resurfacing. [3] Yellow LED lights also stimulate red blood cell production, which is crucial in skin healing and skin cell rejuvenation.

Lastly, Is LED Lights Therapy Safe?

They are safe because the light does not produce UV rays. Furthermore, they are non-invasive and are unlikely to damage your skin. However, we would advise that you keep a sharp eye out for anything unusual post-procedure, such as redness, pain, increased inflammation and even hives.

You should also consult your doctor if you are eligible for this treatment as certain medical conditions or medications may prevent you from going for LED light therapy. For example, if you happen to be photosensitive to the wavelengths being used or are on medications for acne such as isotretinoin that could lead to light sensitivity, we would advise you to skip making an appointment.

LED Light Therapy is often used post-procedure in aesthetic treatments such as Gold PTT Acne Treatment, Neogen Plasma, as well as other laser treatments to heal and soothe the skin.

  1. Pei, S., Inamadar, A. C., Adya, K. A., & Tsoukas, M. M. (2015). Light-based therapies in acne treatment. Indian dermatology online journal6(3), 145–157. https://doi.org/10.4103/2229-5178.156379
  2. Fushimi, T., Inui, S., Nakajima, T., Ogasawara, M., Hosokawa, K., & Itami, S. (2012). Green light emitting diodes accelerate wound healing: characterization of the effect and its molecular basis in vitro and in vivo. Wound repair and regeneration : official publication of the Wound Healing Society [and] the European Tissue Repair Society20(2), 226–235. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1524-475X.2012.00771.x
  3. Opel, D. R., Hagstrom, E., Pace, A. K., Sisto, K., Hirano-Ali, S. A., Desai, S., & Swan, J. (2015). Light-emitting Diodes: A Brief Review and Clinical Experience. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology8(6), 36–44.


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