What are the best LED light treatments for acne?

Let’s talk about LED light therapy because it’s not only a long-standing trend, it’s a form of skin treatment that has been medically proven to work. However, getting it done in-clinic is often very expensive. If you were to get a LED light facial in-clinic, it might cost $20 - $50. However, depending on the base cost, it could add up to $80 to $180 per facial. You may need a treatment each week for about a month. Then, you might need maintenance treatments every month or every few months (Cleveland clinic). 

So, why not do it at home?

What do at-home LED light facials do? 

The function of LED lights depends on the wavelength (i.e the color of the light). LED light has been shown to help with wound healing, collagen formation, and inflammation. Specifically, blue LED has been shown to help with acne. “Blue LED light is most often used to treat acne. It may do this by reducing activity in the sebaceous glands, so they produce less of the oil that can plug the hair follicles, leading to acne. Blue light may also kill acne-causing bacteria known as cutibacterium acnes. Often blue and red light are used in combination to help fight acne — the blue light targeting the C. acnes and the red light targetinginflammation and redness” (Harvard health).

Unfortunately, a lot of at-home devices, don’t have the right wavelength or power to penetrate into the skin and produce these benefits. Nevertheless, there are still at-home red LED treatments in the 650-nanometer range that penetrate deep enough into the skin to present good results.

Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite Dpl FaceWare Pro -$435

The Dr. Dennis Gross face mask is $450, but Cassandra got it on sale at Sephora. To see professional results with an LED light, it may also require a substantial time commitment. You might need to use your device twice a day for 30 to 60 minutes for four to five weeks (Cleveland Clinic). This one is the most expensive, but Cassandra has been using the Dermabeam face mask, and she likes it.

Dermabeam LED face mask - $299.99

One thing Cassandra always looks for on LED devices are little round beads on the inside. If you have LED products that are just flat and don’t disperse light, the products usually don’t have the power or ability to penetrate the skin as deeply as they need to. And depending on what color you’re using, you need to make sure that it’s at the right wavelength and has the right power to do so. Red is usually the most effective when it comes to in-home devices. 

The Dermabeam is relatively inexpensive compared to Dr. Dennis Gross. On top of that, it also has eye protection which is very important, and it is also larger. Cassandra likes LED products that are large because they actually cover the surface of the skin. We want to make sure that our eyes are protected though, and if you’re getting something that doesn’t come with eye protection, that might not be the best. Cassandra really likes this one, and it has multiple lights. She likes the red LED, and you can wear this whilst doing other things. This has different settings, but it might be difficult if you're on the go.

If you’re on the go, you can use the SolaWave Advanced Skincare Wand with Red Light Therapy.

SolaWave Advanced Skincare Wand with Red Light Therapy -$149

This has an LED strip that projects red light. Cassandra charges it with the same USB that she charges her battery packs with. It only activates when you put it to your face, and it’s quite nice. Cassandra is still testing this, and she loves it for being on the go. It’s the size of a pen, and it fits in a purse making it very portable. 

Other doctors and derms can recommend it, and it even works on wound healing. You can use it in tandem with the Squalane Marine Algae cream for boosted wound healing. 

Biossance Squalane Marine Algae Cream -$54

Are at-home LED facials safe?

When it comes to at-home vs in clinic LED, it’s very hard to hurt yourself. Make sure that you cover your eyes. If you have diabetes, glaucoma, or a history of seizures and epilepsy, then maybe you wouldn’t want to do this, but it’s very hard to hurt yourself at home with LEDs.