Everything you need to know about light therapy: professional and at-home
It's the secret behind the amped-up glow of red-carpet celebrities Jennifer Anniston, Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba and it couldn't be more relaxing. Simply lie back and let the deliciously warm light bath your face while hundreds of coloured bulbs give your complexion a non-invasive, anti-aging boost.
What is light therapy?
It's a treatment that uses LED lights (light emitting diodes) to deliver specific wavelengths of light energy into the skin.
How does it work?
Different wavelengths of light have the ability to stimulate different reactions in the skin. For example the wavelengths emitted from red and amber lights encourage collagen and elastin production, calm the skin and promote circulation. Infared aids healing, while blue is used for its anti-bacterial benefits.
Who needs it?
Anyone can benefit from the use of light therapy. Whether you want to rejuvenate your skin, calm rosacea or combat acne, an LED therapy session can be tailored to your needs. Plus, laying under the light has a relaxing, feel-good effect.
What can I expect?
In a beauty clinic, it can be a standalone treatment or part of a facial. Goggles will be placed on your eyes and the light placed just above your face. When the light first comes on it is intensely bright but stick with it, your eyes will quickly adjust. Within a minute or two you will feel like you’re being bathed in warming sunshine (without the UV damage).
What else do I need to know?
You’ll get the best results with a course of treatments. LED Therapy is not recommended if you have epilepsy, are pregnant or on medications that cause light sensitivity or currently having steroid or cortisone injections.
Expect to pay upwards of $70 for a single session however the price comes down for a course or if it’s added onto a facial.
Although not as powerful as what you’ll find in a clinic, these at-home options can be used in the comfort of your own home, even while you're watching Netflix...
bh loves: Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Spot Treatment, $55, can be held directly over a blemish to speed up the healing process; Dr Dennis Gross SpectraLite Eyecare Pro LED Device, $274, targets ageing around the eyes; LightStim LED Anti-Age Hand Held, $399, is designed to be used 5-7 times a week for 3 minutes per area.
Main image: Dr Dennis Gross
Have you ever tried light therapy?