Last updated November 2021
What is LED Light Therapy?
LED is an acronym for light emitting diode. These are very small semiconductors that emit light when a current is passed through them using an LED device. LEDs were originally developed for plant growth experiments but in the past few years, specialised therapeutic LEDs that have extra luminescence emitted through a very specific wavelength band have been used for the purpose of skin rejuvenation.
Unlike laser or IPL, LED light therapy (or LED phototherapy) is non-invasive and non-thermal, and hence requires no recovery time after treatments. LED light therapy involves the use of continuous light rather than pulses of light, and it does not use UV rays.
Different wavelengths of LED can be used to target various skin conditions from acne to ageing skin. Each wavelength will penetrate a different depth and have a different effect on the skin. If you suffer from persistent acne, rosacea or signs of ageing you may wish to inquire about LED light therapy.
LED light therapy should be differentiated from photodynamic therapy. Although both use LED light on the skin, photodynamic therapy requires pre-treatment of the skin with aminolevulenic acid (ALA) and this significantly changes the light reaction in the skin. Photodynamic therapy has significant recovery periods, unlike LED light therapy which requires no downtime.
What is LED Light Therapy used for and how does LED light therapy work?
LED light therapy is used for a multitude of skin conditions. LED light therapy works by using the properties of a certain wavelength of light to induce changes in the skin to treat a particular condition. There is no heat energy or tissue damage induced by this process.
Types of LED Light Therapy
At the Victorian Cosmetic Institute, we utilise two LED wavelengths, namely 415 nanometers (blue LED light) and 620 nanometers (red LED light). Each wavelength has a particular property and depth of penetration.
Red and blue light LED light therapy can be used synergistically to treat active acne, the blue light helping to reduce bacteria counts and the red lights helping to heal the skin. Both blue and red LED lights have no side effects on the skin and require no recovery period.
Blue LED light therapy
Blue LED light therapy is primarily used for acne treatment, because it targets the oil glands and makes them less active. It can also be used to target the acne causing bacteria and relieve skin damage. By targeting the metabolic product of these bacteria, porphyrins, an oxygen free radical is produced from these porphyrins which destroys the acne causing bacteria.
Red LED light therapy
The red LED light can be used for skin rejuvenation, to reduce inflammation, and to improve healing; for example, post-laser treatment. The red LED (620 nm) wavelength induces a mild inflammation of the target cells and sets up an immune response that helps to regenerate these cells. This helps to rejuvenate skin and to help with skin healing. Red LED treatment can also be used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles because it stimulates the collagen proteins in the outer layer of skin, or post laser/chemical peel treatments can be used to speed the healing process.
Both lights can be used as a part of photodynamic therapy, which is a much more invasive treatment due to the pre-application of a substance called ALA on the skin. Photodynamic therapy is usually used for the treatment of various skin cancers and acne. Once again, photodynamic therapy is a vastly different treatment to LED light therapy and requires a significant downtime/recovery period.
LED light therapy is able to treat a variety of skin conditions. The benefits include:
- Non-invasive treatment that triggers the skin’s natural processes, inducing fast healing.
- Targets acne bacteria through the use of the blue light.
- Reduces redness and inflammation.
- Quick, painless treatments and no recovery time.
Dangers/risks of LED Light Therapy
LED light therapy requires technical equipment to be effective and safe. Short term side effects are rare, but can include headaches, eye strain and insomnia. If you have a history of skin cancer or are currently taking Accutane you should not undergo LED light therapy.
How much does LED light therapy cost?
You can find the pricing of LED Light Therapy on our pricing page.
We also often use the red LED lights post laser treatment to help calm down the skin and reduce excessive inflammation from the laser. Depending on the type of laser treatment, LED Light Therapy may be included in the price of the laser treatment.
LED Light Therapy with Hyaluronic Delivery Mask
Hyaluronic Delivery Masks are a super hydrating treatment suitable for most skin types. They are cooling, soothing and with intense hydration the mask calms and nourishes dry and dehydrated skin. The mask has a soothing anti-inflammatory effect.
Blemished and ablated skins are not to be treated with this mask.
Key ingredients of the mask are:
- Hyaluronic Acid: super hydrating, found naturally in our skins.
- Arbutin: extracted from the bearberry plant in the genus Arctostaphylos. It inhibits tyrosinase and thus prevents the formation of melanin. Arbutin is therefore used as a skin-brightening agent
- Hydrolized Glycosaminoglycans: An ingredient that increases the elasticity and pliability of the skin. Widely used in skin care products and cosmetics because of their ability to bind with water efficiently and increase depth hydration, improving the elasticity and firmness of the skin
- Glycyrrhizic Acid: is a widely used anti-inflammatory agent isolated from the licorice root.
When used in combination with the LED lights the skin warms under the glow of the light and is even more receptive to absorbing the amazing ingredients that the mask has to offer. The results are boosted by the anti-inflammatory and healing properties of the LED light.
What is the difference between laser/IPL treatments and LED Light Therapy?
|Laser or IPL||LED phototherapy|
|Involves thermal energy and heating of the skin||LED phototherapy does not involve any heating of the skin.|
|Pulses of light energy||Continuous light energy|
|Causes a specific injury to the skin to induce a certain wound healing response and change/improvement in the skin||Improves skin by stimulating the skin cells metabolism without causing injury|
|Requires a period of recovery||No recovery required|
Preparing for LED Light Therapy?
You should prepare your skin for the treatment by performing your regular skincare routine. Remove all the dirt and excess oil from your face using a cleanser, and then rehydrate with a toner. There is no need for any extra preparation.
How many treatments are required?
For the treatment of acne, clinical trials have shown that a treatment twice a week for 8 weeks, followed by once a week for 4 weeks helps to reduce bacteria counts and inflammation associated with acne, and therefore reduce the number of active acne lesions. The red and blue LEDs are alternated each session.
When red LED light is used for the purpose of rejuvenation, treatments can be done from 1 to 4 weeks apart, and the more LED light therapy treatments that are performed, the better the result. This can be incorporated into one’s skin maintenance regime.
The use of red post-laser therapy LED light treatment to help speed up recovery requires a variable number of sessions, depending on the skin treatment performed. For lighter laser skin treatments, such as our Medlite laser skin rejuvenation treatment, only one session of LED therapy is required immediately after the Medlite laser is performed. For more intense laser skin treatments, such as our carbon dioxide laser resurfacing, we tend to do it daily for several days post-treatment.
LED Therapy Before and After
This patient came to visit our Skin Therapy team with severe facial redness and breakouts that are often associated with Rosacea. Her treatment was simple, Red LED Light Therapy with Hyaluronic acid mask. The results have far surpassed the expectations of the patient with her skin maintaining reduced redness in its appearance and resolution to the breakouts of pustules associated with the Rosacea.
This patient presented to the Victorian Cosmetic Institute with concerns about her skin breaking out. She had tried many different treatments and products prior to coming to our clinic. Our skin therapist, Dani Feiam, placed her on a simple skin care treatment plan of Synergie Biocleanse and Priority B serum. The patient also has LED light therapy treatments to target the acne bacteria. These are her before and after images following her 8th LED light therapy treatment.
Which LED therapy should I choose?
The type of LED light therapy that you will need will depend on your skin concerns. You can book in a consultation with a member of our professional team to discuss which treatment best suits you.
How long does LED therapy take?
Each session lasts for about 20 minutes and the amount of sessions you will need will depend on the kind of treatment you are receiving. If you are receiving treatment for acne, you will need to attend sessions one-two times a week for up to 12 weeks. If you are receiving treatment for the purpose of skin rejuvenation, your treatments will be further apart but may need to continue until you see results.
Does LED light therapy treat existing scars?
It does not treat old or existing scars. It can help fresh wounds heal, but older scars may need different treatment.
Is there any downtime with LED light therapy?
No, there is no recovery period for LED light therapy.
What is the difference between red and blue LED light therapy?
Red and blue light LEDs have different wavelengths and are used to target different areas of the skin. Red light therapy is recommended for skin rejuvenation and inflammation, while blue light therapy is often used in combination with red light therapy to treat acne.
Can LED light therapy be used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles?
Yes, LED light therapy is perfect for this purpose. Book a consultation today to set up a treatment plan.
Why choose Victorian Cosmetic Institute as your provider of LED light therapy?
Our doctors specialise in light based treatments including LED light therapy. We use this treatment in conjunction with other treatments available at our clinic to provide you with the best options for the treatment of various skin problems – including acne, wound healing and signs of aging.
Our LED devices are of the highest quality, and provide the best results. Side effects after LED light therapy are very rare and since it is non-invasive no pain relief will be necessary. Speak with one of our professionals about LED Light Therapy.
Making that first phone call about any cosmetic procedure can be a confronting task – many of our patients have preferred filling out our online enquiry form. We can then contact you with an understanding of the results you are hopeful of achieving and ensure the treatment is appropriate.
Otherwise, you can phone us directly on 1300 863 824.