I swear by Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro. I use it daily (it’s only three minutes) before my night skincare routine. It helps with both acne and wrinkles (it has various modes – not just red light). It’s my favorite LED advice and the only one I’ve been able to use consistently. Dermatological nurse and celebrity aesthetician Natalie Aguilar is also a fan, and of red light in general.
I chatted with her to get more information on how red light therapy works, why it’s so beneficial for the skin and in what cases it can be used for reasons other than for skin improving.
theFashionSpot: What exactly is red light?
Natalie Aguilar: Red light therapy is a form of skin therapy that utilizes light-emitting bulbs. It’s my favorite therapy when it comes to advanced skincare. Red light is known for its anti-aging properties and is hands down the most popular color choice. The sun gives plants the energy they need to convert light therapy into chemical energy and, similarly, red light gives our skin the energy to charge our power cells, the mitochondria. With this energy cells are able to repair themselves and become healthier, and can promote healing in skin and muscle tissue.
theFashionSpot: What can it be used for?
Natalie Aguilar: Depending on how deeply a particular device penetrates, LED therapy is thought to have different biological effects. The most common benefit of red light therapy includes a decrease in inflammation and an increase in cellular energy, which plays a role in collagen production, smoothing lines and wrinkles, promoting wound healing and can reverse photoaging in the skin.
theFashionSpot:How long do you need to use it to see an effect?
Natalie Aguilar: Personalized to the individual’s goals, one can receive a professional treatment once a week or use an at home device as often as desired. For example, a 20 year old can benefit from a weekly at home treatment, whereas someone in their 50’s would need to treat themselves more often to see a visible difference.
Note that LED therapy is completely painless. For the most part you feel nothing but a slight warmth. However, the bulbs are so bright, that even though eyes are closed and covered with googles, the light penetrates really deep making our eyes feel slightly uncomfortable. This eye adjusting phase last 20-60 seconds and is completely safe so long as eyes are closed.
theFashionSpot:Are thee quality differences/things to look for when buying a red light device?
Natalie Aguilar: The quality of red light devices also varies greatly – some aftermarket devices might not deliver the light intensity required to provide therapeutic benefits. For example, some Christmas tree lights can also be LED, but they are not the same. More so than being a waste of time and money, these lesser devices are risking your skin’s safety.
I think you should caution buying any device from illegitimate websites. You can really find any device online, you can even find aftermarket professional lasers that can cause harm even if used properly.
My favorite at-home and professional-grade LED devices are by LightStim. For at-home use, I recommend my clients purchase the LightStim For Wrinkles. I love love love my handheld because it leaves my skin looking so amazing and radiant! This compact LED device has also been approved by the FDA and is efficacious for combating fine lines and wrinkles and keeping the skin dewy and plump. It only requires about 12-15 minutes a day and combines both red and blue LED wavelengths.
I also love that LightStim has advanced NASA’s LED technology and taken it to a new level by developing the LightStim MultiWave patented technology to simultaneously emit multiple wavelengths (colors) of light. These wavelengths work together to give the skin a more radiant and youthful appearance. In my office, I offer the LightStim Anti-Aging ProPanel for my clients, which I like to include as a part of my custom facials or as a stand alone treatment.
For those that prefer a hands-free option, I also enjoy using Dr. Denis Gross’ DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro from time to time. This powerful FDA cleared light therapy device is designed for the full face and features a combination of red and blue LED lights that work together to help boost collagen production, improve skin density, smooth wrinkles, diminish discoloration, and clear acne for a clear, younger-looking complexion.
theFashion Spot: What about red light for non-skin related issues?
Natalie Aguilar: There are other benefits that red LED therapy can provide that aren’t skin related. For one, I have a client whom is a psychiatrist and treats her patients with seasonal depression with red light therapy. Some people suffer with seasonal depression, also called the winter blues because the amount of sunlight we are exposed to decreases in winter. Therefore, light therapy helps to ease symptoms by increasing energy levels.
There are also LED body beds that help muscle tissue and other parts of your body heal.
It’s also being used for dental pain, tendinitis and osteoarthritis by decreasing inflammation that contributes to pain. There are currently studies being done on the effects that red light has on dementia. I have also seen that many veterinarians use it on animals to speed up wound healing.
theFashion Spot: Anyone who red light is not for or any dangers?
Natalie Aguilar: Red light therapy is generally safe for all skin types, however pregnant, diabetic and sensitive skin should consult with their primary physician prior to treatment