Typically, when you see an LED face mask or device, it’s glowing red or amber. We know from the past few years of celebrity selfies that LED therapy is largely popular for their anti-aging effects, and top doctors and aestheticians use them as an adjunct at-home or in-office treatment.
“Amber and red LED have been found to have anti-aging effects on the appearance of facial wrinkles, through a process called photobiomodulation,” notes Charlotte, NC dermatologist Gilly Munavalli, MD. However, now we’re seeing blue LED therapy taking center stage with a handful of new devices cropping up that are made specifically to treat and help prevent acne—but do they really work?
What It Does
For acne-sufferers, this type of LED light works by hitting the root cause of acne and treating the aftereffects as well. “Blue light helps to reduce the growth of bacteria that cause acne, and can help reduce inflammation,” says Melville, NY dermatologist Kally Papantoniou, MD.
Celebrity aesthetician Shani Darden says wavelengths determine how far deep into the skin the light can go. “The wavelengths penetrate the skin at various depths to address skin-care concerns from anti-aging to blemishes. For example, red light penetrates the skin at a deeper level than blue light to increase cellular activity, while blue light penetrates the skin at a level necessary to treat acne.”
Before You Add to Cart
If you’re looking to purchase your own blue LED therapy device, Dr. Papantoniou says to check with your doctor before you incorporate it into your at-home routine: “Ideally, I would recommend seeking a dermatologist for blue light therapy to ensure the best outcome paired together with a guided anti-inflammatory diet, proper skin care regimen and prescriptions as needed.”
Otherwise, our experts say give it a go! “I really like the LightStim for Acne,” says Darden. “It features 36 red and blue LED lights to calm breakouts and reduce inflammation. This device is great for a quick and easy treatment.”