[By Nicolette Lin]

For needle phobes out there, here is a reason to rejoice as this simple light therapy promises skin rejuvenation at flash of a bulb.

It sounds far-fetched but there are non-invasive light therapies that can actually enhance our skin cells in many ways! Known as LED (light emitting diode) light therapy, these little known aesthetic procedures have become an alternative to laser resurfacing treatments for people who shun downtime, redness and discomfort.

Although light therapy may seem to be a new idea, history indicates that this is far from the truth. According to Shelley Hancock, light therapy can be traced back to 1500 BC where records indicate that light exposure was necessary for optimal health. Hancock also points out that in 1805, the Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to a Danish physician, Dr. Niels Finsen, for his success using specific wavelengths to treat tuberculosis. NASA has also used LED light therapy to treat muscle and bone atrophy in astronauts, while the U.S. Navy has long used this therapy to treat crew members aboard deep sea submarines.

Cellular benefits

Carrying anti-aging and cosmetic health benefits, LED light therapy is also being used in skin disease treatments with high success rates. A Korean study in 2007 demonstrated that LED is effective for non-ablative facial skin rejuvenation. Other studies have also shown the following skin benefits from LED light therapy:

1. Improvement in wrinkles was detectable and the skin was rendered soft, smooth and firm in a high proportion of cases.

2. Increase in collagen fibres.

The real benefit of these gentle LED light therapy is that it is suitable for all skinned types including tanned and dark skins. It has a far safer treatment profile than ablative methodologies for skin rejuvenation such as aggressive chemical peels and laser resurfacing.

Types of LED light therapy

But it almost sounds too good to be true. How can lying under a panel of warm light for 30 minutes improve my skin, you ask? According to the work of Dr Goldberg and co-researchers, LED therapy involves the absorption of a specific wavelength of light which generates production of cytotoxic singlet oxygen. This triggers a cascade of cellular responses, resulting in improvements in skin cell function, collagen proliferation and cellular repair.

In case, you are tempted to place your face in front of a traffic light, you need to know that the wavelength of light needed to induce all these positive skin changes is very specific. The process of cell function enhancement is called photobiomodulation. Radiation of fibroblasts with 633 nm wavelength light increases procollagen synthesis fourfold from baseline.

Other studies have indicated that LED 630 to 700 nm penetrates tissue to a depth of about 10 mm. This proves useful for the wound healing of cuts, scars, trigger and acupuncture points, and low grade soft tissue infections.

Cosmetic benefits

Here are some cosmetic benefits from LED light therapy:

  • Improvement of acne— the Blue LED light therapy has been known to reduce bacteria count and promote a clearer skin. Try Clean & Clear program at The Sloane Clinic
  • Improvement in skin healing— the red LED light therpy has been known to improve cellular repair and soothe sensitive skin
  • Improvements in skin wrinkles and pigmentation — the yellow LED light known as Gentlewaves have been used for anti-aging and skin rejuvenation purposes.
  • Improvements in eczema and scar healing

It’s no wonder that many doctors and aestheticians are now incorporating this technology into their practices to stretch the youth potential of our our skin. When it comes to prevention, LED light is ideal as it can be used to optimize skin health and delay the ageing processes. LED light is a good adjunct to more traditional procedures such as microdermabrasion, peels, IPL and lasers. By combining a simple, quick and no-downtime procedure, you can ensure that your skin is optimally cared for in a “light” and gentle manner.


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