LED Light Therapy

LED light therapy is a popular non-invasive, non-surgical aesthetic treatment. LED stands for light-emitting diode. These have been in use since the 1960s, but people have only recently begun to use them as a skin treatment. LED is being used in the aesthetics industry to help minimise fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation concerns and acne. LED can also be used as an added treatment after a facial which will allow for better penetration on products. Non-thermal LED light energy is used to trigger your body’s natural cell processes to accelerate rejuvenation and repair of the skin.

LED history 

LED was first invented in 1962, human interest in LED was by NASA when they conducted a plant growth experiment. These experiments showed that LED was more effective than fluorescent light in promoting photosynthesis. LED emits a narrow band of non-coherent light at a specific wavelength that targets the specific chromophore.  

What is Phototherapy?

Holistic, non-invasive, non-ionizing therapy used to encourage the body to heal itself. It is also known as Chromatherapy, Colour Therapy and Light Emitting Diodes (LED). LED light therapy units will often describe the colour in terms of the wavelength of the LEDs. The wavelength is measured in nanometres (nm). The importance of light to body processes and our health was captured by scientists in the USA.

Light is crucial nourishment for our body cells. We absorb light through our eyes and our skin. Light is a stimulus that charges the mitochondria. This creates the natural flow of electricity and energy within the body.  Our electrical system, in turn, triggers the chemical reactions—the hormones, vitamins, minerals, enzymes needed for our bodies to function. LED lights stimulate the basic energy processes in the mitochondria of each cell. Their role is to utilise oxygen in the production of energy, known as Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) This production is increased enabling the cell to absorb specific nutrients. This ensures healthier, stronger cells. The cells absorb and store the information. Stimulating intercellular communication, resulting in cell rejuvenation. 

What is LED used for and how does it work?

LED is used for skin rejuvenation, sun damage, acne, rosacea, to help with wound healing and as well as skin radiance.

The light must be absorbed to activate a cellular response. Photon absorption by a molecular chromophore or photon acceptor. Match the wavelength to the target Deliver sufficient proton energy to induce a biological response. LED can be used more often than other aesthetic procedures. The LED light onto the skin also aides further penetration into the skin. This helps increase product permeability and allows the products to work better.

Blue light 

415nm to 470nm
• Antibacterial action
• Sebum levels decreased by 80% (Celluma, 2020)
• Photoexcitation triggers photochemical oxidation reaction and destroys Propionibacterium acnes bacteria (P.acnes bacteria) without irritation (Dermalux, 2020)
• Anti-spasmodic properties which produce a ‘Botox-like effect in the skin (Celluma, 2020)

Mechanism

P.acnes bacteria is an anaerobic bacteria, which is oxygen intolerant and thrives in low oxygen environments
• Produces porphyrins
• 415nm excites the porphyrins, which triggers a  photochemical reaction, and they release Singlet Oxygen (peroxide) (Dermalux, 2020)

Red Light

  • 620nm to 750nm
  • Cells require energy to regenerate, proliferate, and repair.  It is the organelle, mitochondria that manufactures Adenine Triphosphate (ATP)
  • ATP is oxygen and glucose which is carried to the cells via the blood flow

Mechanism

The photon energy is absorbed by cytochrome c-oxidase in the mitochondria and converted to chemical energy to ‘recharge’ the cell. Bio stimulation is initiated.

Near Infra-Red Light  

60nm to 1,500nm
• Age management treatment protocol
• Energises skin cells which accelerate the natural healing and rejuvenation process
• Proven to increase cell regeneration up to 5 x faster than normal
• Reduces skin dryness up to 71%
• Skin absorbs red light easily due to the high water and blood content
• Activates at least 24 different positive changes in the skin at the cellular level (Celluma, 2020)

Mechanism

The permeability of the cell membrane is increased when NIR is absorbed by the chromophores.

This triggers the release of nitric oxide into the bloodstream creating a pseudo wounding

This kick starts the IPR response which, stimulates the release of active growth factors for proliferation and healing.

  1. Stimulation of macrophages and lymphocytes to detoxify
  2. Downregulation of MMP-1 (collagenase and elastase enzyme)
  3. Suppression of tyrosinase to regulate melanin production
  4. Neutrophils increase superoxide dismutase which acts as an antioxidant
  5. Langerhan Cells increase skin health and immunity to pathogens

Consultation Process

As with all aesthetic treatments a thorough consultation will be needed before undergoing LED light therapy. Medical and lifestyle questions will be asked by your therapist to determine your suitability for LED light therapy. Depending on your needs and concerns the appropriate light will be selected by the therapist.

LED light is a relaxing treatment. Treatment times may vary depending on the specific skincare needs. 

LED and Acne

Acne can occur at any point in anyone’s life. Hormones can be a leading factor in acne. However, sometimes acne develops at various stages of our life and there may be no reason. Acne can cause low self-esteem, impact social and physical lifestyles. Acne can also impact the psychological aspect of anyone’s life. Many acne sufferers are frightened by the thought of chemical products on the skin. Due to the inflammation and irritation of acne. LED light therapy does not irritate the skin like harsh chemicals often found in products to treat acne. 

LED blue light helps reduce the inflammation that is associated with acne vulgaris. The wavelength for blue light is antimicrobial which helps kill many different types of bacteria including P.acnes which the of the bacteria associated with acne. 1-2 sessions per week for 20 minutes can help reduce acne. As LED is not chemical-based and is non-invasive it is suitable for all skin types. The bacteria in acne releases porphyrins (sebum or oil you can call it,). These are naturally occurring substances in the body. When porphyrins absorb light of certain wavelengths, free radical damage is produced, and this destroys the bacteria.

 The blue light acne treatment uses a narrow-band, high-intensity blue light source that is readily absorbed by porphyrins released by the bacteria causing acne.

Former light therapies used UV light (usually UVB), which can be damaging to the skin. Hence UV light is no longer used to treat acne and blue light devices currently available for use do not contain ultraviolet (UV) light.

Side effects can include:

  • Redness
  • Bruising
  • Skin peeling
  • Slight discomfort

Benefits of LED

  • Non-invasive and non-surgical
  • Non-thermal
  • Suitable for all skin types 1-6