Skin Deep - Reaching Your Full Potential with LED Therapy
Updated: Sep 16
Similar to plants, the skin can absorb light and use it as energy. Light therapy, or LED (Light Emitting Diode) treatment has been around since the 1960s. NASA originally developed it for growing plants on shuttle missions. Later it was discovered to be beneficial in tissue regeneration and healing.
May 14, 2020 1:45:05 PM / by The Institute of Skin Science
Similar to plants, the skin can absorb light and use it as energy. Light therapy, or LED (Light Emitting Diode) treatment has been around since the 1960s. NASA originally developed it for growing plants on shuttle missions. Later it was discovered to be beneficial in tissue regeneration and healing for astronauts. There are many benefits of this therapy including reducing the appearance of acne, decreasing oil production, minimizing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, temporary increase in blood circulation, and synthesis of collagen and elastin.
The sun emits a vast amount of energy known as electromagnetic radiation or the electromagnetic spectrum. This energy travels to earth in waves or wavelengths and are measured in meters. Most of the energy that is harmful is blocked by the atmosphere. The portion of energy that reaches Earth is known as “light”. LED therapy uses the visible light spectrum and light that is beyond the visible spectrum. This visible light wavelength ranges from 400 – 700 billionths of a meter, or nanometer, (NM).
When it comes to light therapy, you may hear terms like 380nm or 710nm. Different frequencies of light, or light wavelengths, correspond to different colours of LED light and penetrate the skin at varying depths up to 1 inch deep. Several colours of light stimulate different responses in the skin. These colours include violet, blue, green, yellow, amber, red and near infra-red each acting in specific ways. For instance, red and near-infrared have beneficial effects on cells by sparking them into creating ATP, or cellular energy thus increasing DNA activity. Because the spectrum of light used does not include UV, it does not harm the skin.
Purple (380-450nm): Purple light increases cell regeneration.
Blue (450-495nm): Blue light is used to kill bacteria making it excellent for treating acne-prone skin. It also helps to regulate the oil glands.
Green (495-570nm): Green light is absorbed into the skin and has a calming effect. It helps to lighten hyper-pigmentation. The calming effect also has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the skin.
Yellow (570-600nm): Yellow light reduces redness, swelling, and inflammation. It is beneficial for Rosacea. It also stimulates circulation.
Red (650-950nm): Red light is primarily used for anti-aging. It penetrates deep into the dermis and works to soothe inflammation and redness. Deeper shades of red penetrate even further to stimulate the repair of skin cells and stimulating fibroblasts which produce collagen and elastin. The skin is left plump and more luminous.
Amber (over 950nm): Amber light works to revitalize the skin, reducing any swelling, and increasing radiance.
Near Infra-red: This spectrum penetrates deeper than any other colours. It reaches into the dermis, stimulating the synthesis of collagen and elastin. It is known for helping reduce the signs of visible aging.
LED light therapy is safe for all skin types, even your deeper Fitzpatrick types. There are a few contraindications to LED light therapy, such as pregnancy, epilepsy, photo sensitivities, and photo sensitive medications such as Accutane and Tetracycline. If you are taking steroids or cortisone injections, you should not receive light therapy.
LED therapy is desirable for many reasons; it is low cost, safe for all skin types and conditions, easy and effective. The benefits are increased when used in conjunction with clear, non-active products like Skin Restoring Fulvic Elixir or Amino Acid Treatment Serum with PC10. When consistently used over time, LED lights are beneficial for a variety of skin concerns from acne to aging. Consistency is key to reaching the full potential this treatment can offer.
Written by The Institute of Skin Science