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Here’s Everything You Need To Know About At-Home LED Light Therapy

The skincare trend from space

Watch Doctorly's review of an LED light therapy device


Your favourite celebrity has a selfie wearing one, it's a topic on your favourite skincare subreddit, and the beauty influencers you follow are all talking about the benefits. LED light therapy devices are one of our latest skincare obsessions.

But what is the science behind LED light therapy? How does it work to bring about the benefits beauty gurus talk about? And what device options are best for your skin problems?

Luckily, Lavande is here to help you understand what this high-tech skincare trend is, how it works and how it can help your skin look and feel better.


What is LED light therapy?

LED, short for Light Emitting Diode, is a source of visible light that occurs in several colours, each with a different wavelength and depth of penetration into the skin.

LED light therapy was originally developed for experiments on plant growth and wound healing in space by NASA and was later used by the Navy SEALS for healing and regeneration of body tissues.

It then became a skin treatment in spas for its usefulness in treating issues like acne and inflammation, improving skin’s appearance from the inside out.

Now, you can bring the spa right to your bedroom, thanks to at-home LED light therapy devices.


Here’s the science

LED light therapy works by sending light waves which stimulate skin cells. The light waves are absorbed by certain skin receptors, which cause skin cells — like fibroblasts — to carry out certain cellular functions specific to the light colour’s wavelength.

LED light therapy is available in red, blue, near infra-red, amber, purple and green, each with a different wavelength. The higher the wavelength, the greater the depth of penetration into the skin.

Blue light has a wavelength of 415 nanometers (nm). This form of light therapy works on your skin’s epidermis to prevent breakouts and combat acne by destroying acne-causing bacteria and reducing the activity of your sebaceous glands.

Red light is great for skin problems like premature ageing as it reduces fine lines and wrinkles. It stimulates fibroblasts to increase collagen and elastin production, thereby revealing firmer, healthier skin.

Unlike the other forms of LED lights, red light has a range of wavelengths that work on your skin’s dermis, the most popular being 633 nm, which is orange-red, and 660 nm, which is deep red.

Infrared light penetrates skin the deepest at 830 nm and reduces inflammation. Like red light, it stimulates collagen and elastin production, clears fine lines and wrinkles, and improves the overall appearance of the skin.

While not enough studies have been carried out to confirm green light’s skin healing potential, its wavelength is anti-inflammatory and has been said to treat hyperpigmentation and target dark circles.

Amber light has also been found to improve skin’s appearance and glow and calm any skin inflammation.


Benefits of LED light therapy

LED light therapy is useful in clearing up signs of ageing and treating skin problems like rosacea, sun damage, hyperpigmentation and inflammation.

Unlike UV light, LED light therapy does not burn the skin, and it is also painless and non-invasive.

The treatment can be used on all skin tones, and is a pretty neat way to indulge in some self-care.

LED light therapy devices range from futuristic-looking masks for the face and neck to handheld, portable wands. They can be a bit pricey, but bearing in mind that regular sessions could cost a lot more in the long run, we consider the at-home devices as more convenient cost-wise.

Our favourites include The DRx SpectraLite™ FaceWare Pro LED face mask with three treatment modes, UNICSKIN’s UnicLED Korean Mask, LightMax Supercharged LED Mask 2.0 and the Omnilux CLEAR™ LED face mask.


LED light therapy may seem like an all-in-one, quick fix to skin problems, but the treatment requires long-term dedication as results are cumulative. A single session might do some good, but it will not bring about any noticeable difference. This makes at-home LED devices your best bet if you can not afford to attend regular sessions.

It is best practice to protect your eyes while undergoing this form of therapy. People, especially those who are photosensitive, will need to wear protective goggles or patches.

LED therapy devices come with different instructions for use. It is important to read the instructions carefully and use the devices accordingly.


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