Are you tired of poorly timed breakouts? If your current pimple-fighting routine isn’t cutting it, you may need to add in some extra skincare muscle.
“Blue light therapy is on the rise, and if you want clear, youthful-looking skin, it might be just the thing for you.”
Blue light therapy is a quick and easy addition to your skincare routine that can make a world of difference on your complexion. Read on for more information, a sample skincare routine, and a rundown of blue light therapy benefits.
What Is Blue Light Therapy?
Blue light therapy, also called phototherapy or photodynamic therapy, is a type of light emitting diode (LED) therapy that uses blue light wavelengths to help clear up the appearance of breakouts. While this may seem like technology from the future, it’s actually been around for a while.
LED research first started in 1903, although NASA popularized the concept in the 1990s when they researched an efficient way to grow plants in space. NASA eventually noticed medical benefits of light therapy, and the concept evolved into the multiple branches of LED light therapy that we have today.
Popular devices for LED therapy include masks and wands. LED masks are futuristic-looking devices that cover the full face and deliver comprehensive coverage, while wands are handheld devices that are better for spot treatment.
Many dermatologists and aestheticians use medical-grade LED devices to provide clinical results. But even with clinical-level devices, LED therapy can still take a few sessions to show results.
Many devices are designed for home use that can save you a lengthy and potentially expensive trip to the dermatologist’s office. These at-home devices can give excellent results, but the results often take a little longer due to the lower light intensity.
That’s why I created my Déesse PRO LED Light Mask. This mask provides clinical-strength results and uses a mixture of red, blue, and infrared light to target a variety of skincare concerns. You can even use it from the comfort of your own home!
Because LED therapy is noninvasive and has virtually no side effects, you can even combine it with certain blemish-reducing products. However, I suggest limiting blue light therapy and working with your dermatologist or esthetician when using retinol and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).
These ingredients can make your skin light-sensitive. Because of this, I do not recommend putting your skin close to a bright light source like a light therapy device after applying one of these photosensitizing ingredients.
How Are Red Light and Blue LED Light Therapy Different?
What is the difference between red and blue LED therapy? Although my mask is powerful enough to provide both, many masks only focus on one type of LED therapy.
In short, the difference between red and blue light therapy comes down to the desired effect.
Red light therapy is better at targeting visible signs of sun damage like wrinkles, fine lines, and discoloration. Red light is also able to support your natural collagen supply for firm and supple skin. Meanwhile, blue light therapy is better at addressing breakouts and blemishes.
Red and blue light also have different wavelengths, which means they can penetrate your skin at different depths. Red light has a longer wavelength, which is what makes it so good at targeting deep-rooted lines and wrinkles in your dermis and epidermis.
On the other hand, blue light has shorter wavelengths of light that is closer to ultraviolet light. Because of this, blue light stays closer to the surface of your skin where your oil glands live.
How Does Blue Light Therapy Work?
Before we can discuss how blue light therapy works, we should go over some common causes of breakouts.
Blemishes are primarily a result of buildup in your hair follicles and pores. The type of buildup can depend on skin type, but it is usually some combination of sebum, dead skin cells, dirt, sweat, and bacteria.
This combination can clog up your pores, causing irritation that can manifest as redness and discomfort. While this can lead to a temporary breakout, once you resolve the root of the issue, you may see your skin clear up.
However, some persistent breakouts are actually caused by P. Acnes, a blemish-causing bacteria. This bacteria can get into your pores and fester, leading to irritated pustules, blackheads, and even cysts.
Blue light therapy can help improve the appearance of these blemishes by:
- Neutralizing P. Acnes, therefore stopping the breakout in its tracks. This makes blue light incredibly effective against breakouts related to this bacteria – however, other acne-causing bacteria probably won’t respond to the effects of blue light.
- Calming redness from irritation. Irritated blemishes can get red and angry-looking – however, blue light therapy can help soothe irritation and reduce redness at the source.
Although blue light therapy is effective against blemishes, I recommend first consulting your dermatologist for medical advice. Your dermatologist may suggest a more targeted and effective treatment if you have severe or moderate acne or other skin conditions.
How Should I Use a Blue LED Light Mask?
With all of these incredible benefits, it’s clear that LED light therapy is well worth the investment. Whether you’re looking to improve stubborn breakouts or trying to improve your current skincare routine, blue light therapy might just be that missing link. Here’s how to incorporate blue LED light therapy into your skincare routine.
The first step of any skincare routine should always be cleanser. The right cleanser can wash away buildup and impurities like sweat and sebum that can clog your pores and contribute to breakouts.
I recommend cleansing with lukewarm water. Extreme temperature can stress your skin and cause breakouts to flare up.
I also recommend avoiding scrubbing cleansers, since harsh scrubbing can stress your skin. Instead, use a towel to pat dry before you move on to the next part of your skincare routine.
Next, I recommend using your mask or wand to address breakouts. LED therapy should come directly after cleansing because some common ingredients in serums, toners, and even moisturizers can cause your skin to be sensitive to UV light.
There are many LED masks on the market, but the most important thing to look for is one that is FDA cleared. Masks without FDA clearance may be effective, but are not guaranteed to work and may not produce the benefits they claim to.
When it comes to LED masks, there’s nothing like my Shani Darden by Déesse PRO LED Light Mask. With my mask and neck attachment, you can experience clinical results right at home.
Since oily skin types are most prone to breakouts, I recommend following your LED therapy with a toner. Toners are typically water-based products filled with nutrients to help nourish and prepare your skin for the next steps in your skincare routine.
If you have dry skin, you can skip this step. Some toners have astringent properties that shrink pores and wick away excess sebum. While this is great for oily skin, it’s not always the best fit for dry skin types.
Next up is your serum. Wait until your toner is dry, then apply a breakout-reducing serum of your choice.
I recommend my Lactic Acid Serum. This topical serum helps to polish away dead skin cell buildup and lift impurities from your pores to help your skin truly glow from the inside out.
If you have a topicalskincare prescription, this would be the place to use it. Common prescriptions for the treatment of acne include retinoids like tretinoin or Retin-A. If you aren’t sure about combining topical prescriptions with LED light therapy, I recommend running it by your dermatologist.
The last step in any daytime routine should be sunscreen, or moisturizer containing SPF. Regular light therapy can cause sun sensitivity, so daily SPF is an effective way to protect your skin.
You should use sunscreen with at least an SPF 30 every day and reapply every two hours for efficient protection.
If you have oily skin, I recommend looking for an SPF moisturizer labeled as “non-comedogenic,” “oil-free,” or “for oily skin.” Moisturizers with these labels aren’t as likely to trigger sebum production and clog pores.
Although LED masks seem futuristic, LED light therapy has been on the skincare market for years. As the subject of many studies, blue light therapy is well-known for being an effective way to reduce the appearance of blemishes.
You can administer your own blue LED therapy by incorporating an at-home device into your current skincare routine. For more skin tips, check out my blog and follow us on social media!