Posted on 29/04/2018
Facial Treatments using LED
(Light Emitting Diode)
The use of LED light in facial treatments is often referred to as ‘Light Therapy’ or ‘photo-rejuvenation’. The lights stimulate a response in the skin, including killing bacteria within it or strengthening and regenerating it. We offer Blue light therapy, red light therapy and combination light at Cheltenham Reflexology and Massage.
LED light stimulates the production of ATP, an essential energy source for the body’s cells (namely the mitochondria). The light excites the mitochondria and it is believed that when it travels deep into the layers of the skin it allows the production of 10 times more ATP than usual in the mitochondria. As we age, our levels or ATP are significantly reduced and our body’s ways of keeping up with demand can result in the production of more free radicals, that in turn cause cellular damage. The cell’s mitochondria can also decrease as they die off after mutations occur. The body does not store vast quantities of ATP, so we need to have continuous supplies of it. Light is a great solution to low ATP reserves.
LED light is very different to UV light. We know that the sun’s rays (UV) can be very damaging to skin, increasing signs of ageing with visual changes including increased wrinkles, fine lines and pigmentation. UV light is also believed to damage cells that can lead to skin cancer.
Scientific studies have shown that controlled levels of LED light can actually be beneficial to the skin. Blue and red light are absorbed by the skin & are known to have therapeutic properties. This is because the energy from the LED light stimulates activities in the cells, promoting a healing response.
The benefits of using LED include:
Who is LED treatment suitable for?
LED treatment is suitable for all skin types. This type of treatment is also ideal for younger skins, especially those suffering with acne. There are no side effects and the lights do not produce harmful light that is hot or damaging to the skin.
Will one treatment help?
The optimum treatment pathway is two uses per week. One treatment will give the skin a boost but if you are struggling with acne or inflammation or want to reduce signs of ageing you will want to follow a course of treatments.
What is the difference between Red LED light and Blue light?
Blue light is used for inflamed skin and acne. The light is absorbed by the molecule Porphyrin. This is found in the bacteria in skin pores and cells (P-acnes) and is the cause of acne. LED light is effective as it creates free radicals, neutralising/killing the bacterial cells. Blue LED can decongest the skin as well as normalise the production of sebum, the skin’s natural oil. As a result of killing bacteria, skin pores can shrink and future breakouts can be prevented.
Red light can be used with blue light. We use a purple light in this instance. In the case of acne, red light can be soothing as it provides an anti-inflammatory response. Combination lights (purple) can also be great for irritated skin.
Red light is proven to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. These are important elements in providing strength and elasticity to the skin. The wavelengths that produce red light are known for their wound healing properties. This is therefore also useful to improve skin texture, fine lines and deep tissue healing. With is high nanometre range, red light can travel deeper into the skin than blue light.
What our BT Accent LED machine does:
The bt-accent® LED features 552 red, blue, and combination lights to address a variety of service options.
LED light therapy is a great add on or stand-alone treatment – enhancing your current skin treatment or a great quick skin boost.
LED light therapy works with different colours lights that reach different levels of the skin, creating ATP synthesis, blood circulation and normalizing the cells to treat the existing conditions that concern you.
Professional LED treatments can also help boost your mood during long, dark winters.
The bt-accent® LED is not intended to treat or diagnose any medical condition.
Red Light 640nm– reaches the deepest into the skin
Blue Light 470nm
Combination 640 and 470 nm – red and blue
The heavy sciency bit…
The reason that we are able to see different colours of light is because different colours have a different wave length. The spectrum of light that is visible to us ranges from 380nm to 770nm.
The colour blue is at one end of the spectrum in the 400nm – 470nm range.
The colour red is at the other end of the spectrum in the 640nm – 700nm range.
*nm = nanometer (wavelengths that are measured in billionths of a metre)
Psychological Benefits of Blue Light
Blue light has a physical and psychological impact. You may have heard about the need to put electrical devices away at least 1 hour before you go to sleep? This is because the blue light from them sends messages to the brain’s hypothalamus, suggesting that it is time to be energised. (This light is a slightly different wavelength to the therapeutic blue light.)
Your circadian rhythm is what is often referred to as your ‘body clock’. It controls when you will feel alert or sleepy and is responsible for that slump mid-afternoon that might make you feel like taking a nap at your desk! Our circadian rhythm is unique to us as some of us are ‘morning people’ whilst others prefer staying up late into the night. Keeping a regular sleeping pattern and circadian rhythm is seen as key to health and well-being.
When there is little or no blue light the absence of it is picked up by the eyes, which then send a signal to the hypothalamus to suggest that it is dark and so time to rest. The chemical melatonin is released, making the body feel tired, thus promoting sleep. In winter, or in countries where there is less daylight, some people suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Blue light lamps are recommended as a solution to help these people to feel more alert and hopefully less depressed. Blue light has great psychological benefits in both natural and machine form, thus, laying under a blue light for a 15 minute period of time can help you to feel refreshed and uplifted.
NASA has undertaken man studies of the use of LED technology. They discovered that LED lights are the best sources of light for plant growth in space as well as on Earth. One of the reasons for this is that because LED’s create little heat they are safe to put up very close to living matter without damaging it. As well as this, LED wavelengths can be measured exactly, allowing different colours to be used for different desired effects. NASA have also used blue light technology with astronauts to aid them with their sleep patterns. It is well known that it is difficult to regulate the circadian rhythm when in space so astronauts required medications to help them to sleep. The use of blue light has helped astronauts to feel more alert and then more drowsy at the times appropriate for their mission.
NASA published research in 2002 where they discussed the effect of space travel on astronauts’ muscles and bones. They found that gravity is required in order to aid cellular growth. We need cell reproduction every minute of our lives and this lack of growth demonstrated a real risk to astronauts’ health. NASA concluded that LEDs stimulate the energy process in the cell’s mitochondria (where the power comes from). NASA hoped that the use of an LED blanket could help to prevent the dying off of essential tissue and promote wound healing in future missions.
How does LED actually work?
Wavelengths/nanometres have been proven to increase the production of the body’s ATP (Adenosine triphosphate). Increased energy in each cell promotes effective and efficient cellular function. Cellular processes are faster and produce better results. An example of this is wound healing, whereby healing is quicker and tissue is refreshed and regenerated to its optimum.
The pulse or frequency of the LED light can be adjusted during a treatment. Our machine has range of 10 – 100hz. 100 hz looks like a solid light, but is in fact flickering so fast that you don’t notice it. Studies have found that 5-20hz provides the most effective treatment. Some people cannot tolerate this as it is like laying under a strobe light.
Power density/energy is a variable that is important when using LED as a treatment. The wattage of each bulb as well as the number of bulbs per units are an important factor. Different devices vary their number of bulbs and the energy produced by each one. This is then calculated as the number or milliwatts per square centimetre. With a reading of 300mw/cm2 it has been established that results can be seen after 7 – 10 minutes of use. We use a panel of LEDs rather than a mask as we find the number of bulbs is much greater.