Esthetics EDU Moment
by Jacqueline Pugliese, LE
For over a decade, light-emitting diodes – commonly known by the acronym, LED – have been used to treat skin for a variety of maladies. Until recently, one could only find this LED equipment in spas, esthetics institutions, and in the places of practice for licensed skin care professionals. Most recently, however, LED skin therapy products have begun to be marketed for home use. Coming in hand-held assortments, the LED equipment is becoming more affordable and widespread in its use. In Ridley-Lowell’s esthetic curriculum, students learn about LED in classes such as “Electricity and Machines” and “Intro to Paramedical”. We discuss different treatments using LED light therapy.
Estheticians and other skin care professionals – and now the common consumer – use LED therapy for different skin ailments or for improving overall complexion. They work by releasing flashing light onto the skin to stimulate specific responses. Depending on the color of the light, LEDs treat wrinkles, stimulate collagen, reduce acne, heal and calm irritated skin, reduce redness and inflammation, minimize future breakouts, is good overall for “anti-aging” of the skin, and promotes better absorption of creams and serums.
Different color lights are used for different results; LEDs are available in red, blue, yellow, or green. The red light is used for increasing collagen in the skin. It helps improve circulation and stimulation in the skin. The blue light is mainly used for reducing acne; it accomplishes this by killing the bacteria that causes acne and prevents future breakouts before the acne even appears on the surface of the skin. The yellow light is used for reducing swelling and inflammation and can be used for treatment after any skin-related procedure or treatment that may make the skin red, like waxing. And finally, the green light is used for reducing pigmentation in hyper-pigmented areas of the skin.
LED skin therapy can also be incorporated into other procedures and treatments to enhance the efficacy of the product or procedure performed. If the treatment irritates the skin, LED skin therapy lights can be used to calm the skin. LED therapy can also be used to help serums and other topical treatments more effectively penetrate the skin.
Though they are becoming more popular in home use, LEDs still need to be used with the same caution and care as they would be in any professional setting. LED skin therapy should not be performed on anyone with light sensitivities, phototoxic reactions, epilepsy, cancer, or is taking antibiotics, pregnant, or under a physician’s care.
It is recommended to see your local skin care therapist before trying any new product for skin analysis and appropriate recommendations. The Ridley-Lowell Esthetic Clinic is open Monday-Friday from 9am - 5pm http://www.ridley.edu/esthetics-clinic
Ms. Jackie has been teaching at Ridley-Lowell’s Poughkeepsie beauty school for over 2.5 years.