Beauty bloggers swear by LED treatments for pre-event skin prep, now, thanks to new home-use devices, you don't have to make a dermatologist appointment (or be a celebrity) to get smooth, glowing skin. We explain what to use and how.
How does the LED work?
Think of light as an ingredient, as an active ingredient. The light acts via receptors in the skin cells to stimulate more collagen and have a biological effect. Chemical-free and non-invasive, LED is safe for the skin and eyes because none of the colors penetrate the eyes. In fact, LED was developed by Nasa to help heal astronauts injured in space because the light increases blood flow feeding cells with nutrients and oxygen, which is excellent for repair.
What are the color differences of LEDs?
The use of blue light is very simple, it kills the bacteria that cause acne. When acne bacteria absorb blue light, they release porphyrins (pigment molecules) that destroy the bacteria without damaging the skin. The use of red light, however, is less straightforward because there are different shades that work at different depths of the skin. Some act to increase blood flow, helping to "feed" new cells and encourage wound healing (even eliminating scars), and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Others work directly on stimulating new collagen. The only real way to get new collagen is to use the skin itself; by stimulating the fibroblasts that produce new collagen, which is what red light does.
How to get the most out of an LED mask
While layering skincare is generally a good thing, our creams and makeup (especially SPF) act as a barrier and literally block light. To get around this, layer a light serum under the LED mask. Better yet, save your skincare for use after a treatment when the face is warm and blood circulation is stimulated, as both contribute to better skincare performance. The Kilburn LED light therapy face mask is not only portable, but can also be carried in your hand luggage for an airplane treatment.
Every little bit helps.