If you think LED light therapy sounds like something from a sci-fi movie you’re not alone.
Don’t let the futuristic-sounding name fool you — LED lights have been around since the 1960s. However, using LED light therapy for skincare treatment is fairly new, which means that there’s still a lot of mystery and intrigue surrounding it.
One of the most common questions we get about LED light therapy is “Is LED light therapy safe to use?”
Here, we cover everything you need to know about how to use light therapy safely and effectively at home.
Light Therapy: A Safe, Natural Skin Treatment
The science behind LED light therapy technology was originally developed by NASA to grow plants in space. Due to the regenerative properties of LEDs, light therapy was found to have the potential to naturally heal wounds.
Eventually, red light therapy evolved into a professional skincare application to help regenerate the skin’s cellular production promote natural production of collagen and elastin to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging. Red light therapy devices are commonly used for anti-aging purposes, while blue light products are typical for acne treatment. While both are safe for treatment, you can read more about the difference between red vs. blue light therapy on our blog.
Since we all know it’s important to limit sun exposure for healthy skin, it can be confusing to understand how LED light therapy actually helps your skin. Here are some important facts about LED light therapy safety:
- LED light therapy devices do not emit harmful ultraviolet rays.
- LED light therapy, unlike chemical peels, dermabrasion, and laser therapy, has no recovery or down time.
- LED light therapy is safe for all skin types.
- LED light therapy is known to aid in wound healing, acne treatment, sunburn prevention, and skin rejuvenation — which makes light therapy a safe solution for regular use at home.
LED light therapy devices by LED Technologies Inc. are all cleared by the FDA.
LED Light Therapy: Factors to Consider Before Use
As everyone has different skin sensitivity levels, it’s important to test your light sensitivity before using your light therapy device on a continual basis. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to test! Just power on your device and place it on or within ¼” of the skin on your forearm for three minutes. After time is up, check the area to see if the area has turned red. If redness lasts for more than two hours, your skin is light sensitive. You should discontinue use and contact customer service.
Blue LED light therapy is a popular and effective treatment for acne. If you are using blue light therapy for this purpose, take note of your skin’s color before and after treatment. While it’s not a regular occurrence, some users may experience redness and/or mild irritation of the skin after use. In those cases, it is best to suspend treatment.
How often should I use light therapy?
When it comes to skincare, the less-is-more approach is a common theme — don’t overwash your face, don’t over-exfoliate, and so on. However, light therapy is one skincare treatment that responds well to multiple daily uses.
While using other skincare products too often can set you back on your skincare goals, light therapy behaves a bit differently.
The reason we’re often told that less is more when it comes to skincare is because if you overwash or over-exfoliate, you end up stripping your skin of natural oils, which can cause dryness or acne breakouts. Since light therapy works from the inside out to stimulate cellular regeneration and increase blood circulation, most users do not run the risk of overusing light therapy to the point where your skin sees more harm than good.
Using your light therapy device as a part of your daily skincare routine — once in the morning and once at night — might be easiest, as it’s recommended to not exceed three treatments per area per day. However, the order of your skincare routine is an important factor in maximizing the effectiveness of all your skincare products, including LED light therapy. (Read more about how to use light therapy with other beauty products.)
3 tips for using light therapy safely and effectively
Like any part of your skincare regimen, there are steps you can take to make the most of your LED light therapy. The recommended amount of time per treatment session is typically 3 minutes, although specific instructions will be provided within the product’s packaging. Some LED skincare tools come with an automatic timer to make treatment even easier. Here are four tips for using light therapy safely and effectively.
1. Be consistent with treatments
Consistency is key when treating acne, reducing wrinkles, or tackling just about any skin concern. While it’s perfectly fine and safe to perform up to three light therapy sessions within a day, long-term consistent use trumps sporadic periods of intense use. While it’s easy to use a skincare tool when you first buy it and then slowly drop off in use, using your light therapy device regularly is key to seeing improvements.
To see best results, we recommend using light therapy regularly once a day for a few weeks. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, most people see results from light therapy after a series of treatments and regular use over time. Once you’ve developed that level of consistency, you can begin adding more treatment sessions in your routine.
2. Track your progress with photos
Who doesn’t a love a good “before and after” photo? We strongly suggest taking pictures of your acne or wrinkles to see your progress. Take photos on day one, then after week one, week two, and so on. Remember to take all photos in the same location, at the same time of day and with the same lighting — consistency matters when it comes to comparing before and after pictures.
Even though light therapy works rather quickly, it is still a gradual process just like any other skincare or lifestyle change. You might not notice the small changes that occur day to day, so it’s great to have pictures on hand to truly see the difference light therapy can make. In addition, taking photos is helpful for keeping an eye on unexpected changes in your skin, so it is also a good safety precaution.
3. Watch which creams and serums you use
For the most part, skincare products like Vitamin C serums and moisturizers are fine to use with light therapy. However, if you are using a skincare product containing retinol, you may want to be cautious about how you combine them. Retinol increases the skin’s sensitivity to light and it is recommended by dermatologists to avoid sun and light exposure after applying retinol. So, while retinol can be used with light therapy, it is recommended to apply retinol creams or serums after a light therapy session — not before it.
LED Light Therapy — A Natural Part of Your Skincare Routine
LED light therapy can be a fundamental part of your skincare routine no matter what your beauty goals are. At reVive Light Therapy®, we love helping you find the right products to own your skin goals and feel confident in your skin. If you are seeking a natural, effective treatment for wrinkles, acne, or other skincare conditions, make sure to explore our full selection of LED products.