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LED Light For Skin Care: What You Need To Know

by Beverly Hills MD

December 02 2019

LED light for skin might sound too good to be true, but there’s some evidence that it might benefit those with premature wrinkling, fine lines, or other skin concerns. Let’s take a look at LED light therapy, including whether (and how) it could benefit all skin types.

What Is LED Light Therapy For Skin?

LED light therapy maskLED therapy is thought to use low levels of light to stimulate cell activity, which may support healthy skin in the process. The potential for LED (light-emitting diode) therapy has been known for decades.

NASA, in fact, used this type of therapy on astronauts. When someone is in space, they don’t have any sunlight or gravity. That makes it hard for a skin problem, such as a bruise, to heal properly.NASA found that wavelengths of light can help stimulate the activity of cells, helping them regenerate so healing can take place.1

In recent years, the therapy has been used for aesthetic purposes. Research suggests it may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.2

Different colors of light (which is determined by frequency) are used to address different skin concerns. For example, red light is primarily used for anti-aging while blue is used to kill facial bacteria.3

LED Light Therapy: Potential Skin Benefits

Collagen is a type of protein that, along with keratin, helps make skin strong and elastic.4

Over time, collagen can break down. This can lead to skin problems such as sagging and other noticeable signs of aging. There is evidence that LED light may help support collagen production, which in turn may improve the appearance of skin.5

In one study, 76 patients received LED light therapy for 4 weeks. Researchers found that LED therapy improved the appearance of the participant’s wrinkles and overall skin complexion.6

Sunburnt face with sunglasses outlinePeople may turn to LED light therapy for a variety of other skin issues as well.

For example, LED light therapy might benefit those with other skin problems such as spider veins, birthmarks, and facial redness. They might also benefit skin that has suffered sun damage, lesions, and scars.7

Is An Anti-Aging LED “Face Mask” Effective?

LED therapy, in many instances, is performed through the use of a mask that emits LED light at close range.

According to two studies, a light mask may be effective for addressing certain skin problems. In one study, participants used an LED light therapy mask two times a week for one month. The results showed an improvement in the appearance of wrinkles and skin elasticity.8

The other study involved women who had moderate to severe signs of aging skin. According to the results, 94 percent of the women reported improvements in their skin after using an LED light therapy mask for two months.9

Are There Any Potential Risks Associated With LED Light Therapy?

middle aged woman with healthy skinThe risks associated with LED light therapy appear to be very minimal. Research suggests it is a non-invasive form of therapy with no significant side effects in the majority of those who use it.10

As with any sort of therapy, LED light therapy may pose risks for some people. There have been reports of temporary issues such as insomnia, eye strain, and headaches.11

Using perfume or deodorant, getting a chemical peel, or going to the tanning bed prior to treatment, can also pose certain risks and negatively affect the outcome of the therapy.

Talk to your doctor or dermatologist before deciding to undergo any sort of LED light therapy.

Is LED Light Therapy Right For You?

Not everyone is a good candidate for LED light therapy. For example, you should not undergo LED light therapy if you’ve recently had a serious sunburn or if you are pregnant.12

Again, if you’re interested in LED light therapy, talk to your doctor or dermatologist first. They can tell you if this type of therapy is a safe option for you.

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