Light therapy (LED) has been abuzz in the beauty world for some time now. From red light to blue light, Omnilux to Lite Lux, LED treatments are everywhere, and continuing to gather pace. But why?

We put star facialist and self-confessed “light nerd”, Diandra Politano, under the spotlight to see what light therapy is really about – and if it works.

What exactly is light therapy?
Light Therapy is a non-invasive skin treatment that speeds up skin cell recovery and turn over. It is the use of light emitting diode (LED) light which delivers concentrated energy into the tissue. The light will target deep into the cell to heighten the internal functions, stimulate blood flow, induce healing and reduce acne. The light treatment is relaxing and soothing,

Can you please explain the different lights and what they are used for?
The different coloured lights penetrate the skin at different wavelengths and target different conditions. The longer the wavelength the deeper the light goes. The three most researched and popular are white, red and blue.

Blue – 415nm. The most superficial of the three. Great for acne as it targets the skin cells at a more surfaced level, which is where the bacteria sits.

Red – 633nm. Very bright and very red, but so effective after just one! Red helps for all over skin rejuvenation. During a course of red light therapy you might feel you start to plateau. In my own personal opinion, the red is an amazing boost during a facial and/or combined with the white light. Doctors use the red as a non-melanoma skin cancer treatment.

White (aka infrared) – 830nm. A personal favourite, as It does everything! Super healing, seriously firming, cheek bone popping, hydrating and smoothing! If you are looking at a course of light therapy, the white is the way to go- the results on the other end will blow your mind. If you are a used to the red light, a white light may be underwhelming, because you wont see anything during the treatment. Be patient, it may take a few treatments- but with commitment this one is the best of the three.

Don’t get fooled into the brands that do all the colours in one treatment, optimum absorption will not occur. There is no evidence that this works and has no benefit to the skin. You will hear of different brand names like – Healite and Omnilux. They are both fantastic and achieve the same result. Both are TGA approved and have years of research. It must always be remembered that not any old LED machine will do.

Is it safe? And painful?
No pain, no downtime, and no side effects have ever been reported. The only warning I would give is, you must be careful what you apply to the skin afterwards. Light therapy opens up channels in the skin and if your skin doesn’t like a particular product or ingredient it will maximise the absorption of it.

What are the results?
With a good trusted machine – the results are very instant, it is like having a facial, except you only had to sit under a light. You will feel smoother and hydrated. It is incredible how even without doing a deep cleanse, the surface of your skin feels like it has had a scrub. After a course it dramatically improves fine/dehydration lines and controls acne.

Is this a one off thing or does it require maintenance? 
One off is amazing, it gives you an instant glow and refresh, but maintenance is the most effective. Think of it like sending your skin cells to do weights at the gym, after one session- you feel good and pumped up. But, with consistency and repetition, the cells become stronger and Those who suffer with skin issues due to internal problems, like rosacea or acne, light therapy needs to be done regularly once a week for about 8-10weeks. Then maintenance once a month. Repeat the intensive course every 12 months.  Leading up to event do 8 – 10 every week, the last session being as close as the day before.

How does this differ to other facial rejuvenating treatments like laser, fraxel, etc?
Laser, needling and fraxel all cause trauma to the surface and the skin cells- so then we reproduce new ones to repair the damage. It is extremely dramatic and instant! Light Therapy is quite the opposite really- It is healing and repairing the cell. The light will send a message to the cells to reproduce and plump up without compensating your skin. Ultimately they are all achieving a similar thing, but light therapy would take months before you see any similar result to a one-off laser.