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Do Home LED Light Devices Work?

Do Home LED Light Devices Work?

As more companies adopt extended work-from-home policies, many people are seeking ways to maintain their wellbeing during this period.

One of several things people are doing is to buy home beauty devices such as facial cleansing equipment and facial toning devices to soak in the ultimate pampering experience without having to leave the comfort of their own homes.

In particular, LED light home devices are becoming more popular with many consumers recently. Many of these LED light home devices are appealing and look very futuristic. But do they deliver on the promises they make?

What are these home LED devices?

According to most manufactures, these home LED devices are supposed to clear acne, reduce appearance of wrinkles, and repair skin damage caused by UV exposure.

Depending on the manufacturers, these devices can range in price dramatically. There are devices selling for as low as S$50 which requires the LED lights to be replaced regularly. Or mid-range devices that cost about S$400. If you have deeper pockets, you can opt for devices that can go up to thousands of dollars.

But how do these home devices compare to in-clinic ones? Are they worth the hype and investment?

What is LED light therapy?

Light Emitting Diode (LED) light therapy is a popular treatment for treating acne, reducing inflammation, and delaying signs of premature ageing.

It is hugely popular because it is safe for all skin types, and it is completely safe with no downtime.

Red, or infrared light is used for treating the epidermis. When the skin is exposed to the infrared light, the epidermis absorbs the light and stimulates collagen and elastin. Other than its collagen-producing benefits, LED red light is thought to reduce skin redness and inflammation so that your wounds heal faster.

Blue light, on the other hand, works well for people with oily and acne-prone skin. The blue light targets these oil glands and make them less active. With less active oil glands, the skin becomes less oily and you will see fewer acne breakouts.

Blue light resonates at about the same frequency as the acne bacteria’s pigments. When acne bacteria are exposed to blue light, the pigment eventually breaks down the membrane and destroys the bacteria. It makes it a very convenient, painless way to treat severe form of acne, including cysts and nodules.

In-clinic treatment vs home devices

There are many studies to support the skin benefits of photobiomodulation light therapy. However, these studies were carried out using in-clinic LED light devices with specific wavelengths and energy.

There are two primary measures to determine the efficacy of the LED light equipment – wavelength and fluence (intensity).

For a therapeutic effect, the wavelength should be between 633 and 830 nanometers. Wavelengths in the 490 nm range can expedite wound healing, but it may not be great for skin rejuvenation and anti-ageing.

Fluence, or intensity should be in the range of 40 to 150 mW/cm2 for skin rejuvenation and skin repair. Anything between 10 and 40 mW/cm2 is perhaps sufficient for wound healing only.

There is little evidence showing that home devices can tune up to the wavelengths and energy levels just like in-clinic equipment, to bring about an efficacious outcome for the skin.

Even among in-clinic LED light therapy treatments, there is a range of different brands of devices that vary greatly in the power and settings of the machines. If the wavelength and energy given are within the effective therapeutic range, you should be able to see some results after the treatment.

Most home devices will never be as strong as the LED light used in a clinic setting, although they aim to achieve the same beneficial outcomes. On top of the lower power for a home device, the treatment time is also usually much longer.

How to choose a LED light home device

There is no harm in buying a home device if you are unable to make frequent trips to a clinic to undergo the LED light therapy. Although in-clinic treatments are much more effective, you can also reap some benefits from home devices too. Manufacturers often advise consumers to use it more frequently to make up for the lower power, so you need to take the treatment time into consideration before getting it.

If you wish to invest in a LED light home device that can substitute your frequent trips to the doctor’s office for the treatment, you should first do some research and find out the settings. For a therapeutic effect, the wavelength should be between 490 and 830 nanometers. Anything below 490nm will unlikely have a therapeutic effect. Another parameter to look out for is the fluence, or intensity. Look for a machine that can tune up to 150 mW/cm2.

It is also perhaps worth nothing that regardless of whether you opt for in-clinic treatment or purchase a home device, the results of light therapy treatment are cumulative. This means that you won’t see immediate results after one session. However, you should see long-term benefits after regular use.

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