When you read about IPL and LED being used in light therapy for acne and anti-aging you must wonder, does LED light therapy really work? With so many people getting professional treatments and investing in home light therapy options we can tell you, it really does.
The best LED masks for light therapy are now an accessible at-home photo facial treatment and a treatment plan carried out by professional yields even better results.
What Are The Different Types of Photo Facial Treatments?
Photofacial treatments are becoming increasingly popular lately because they are known to treat a variety of skin conditions with minimal side effects.
So what is the difference between IPL and LED light therapy and how do they use light energy? Read on for a quick introduction to the different types of photo facial treatments.
LED Skin Treatment
This type of light therapy uses light emitting diodes at specific wavelengths to influence the skin’s top layer, the epidermis. Each different wavelength, or light color, has a different impact so it is common to use a combination of colors to achieve the desired results.
For example, both red and blue lights are used for acne treatment while green light is used to even out skin tones. This is also why the home photo-therapy masks have several settings for different colors.
The commercial masks available for use at home are less powerful than the devices used in professional spas and clinics. This is an important adjustment because of safety reasons but this also means that you get better and faster results when coming in for professional care.
When using the mask at home, it should be incorporated into a regular skin care routine to get the results you want and maintain them. For example, a weekly session.
When having it done by a specialist, you’ll still have to do several sessions to get to the final wanted result. However, once you have reached that point, you only need to come in for a touch-up perhaps once a month, depending on the treatment.
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Treatment
IPL stands for intense pulsed light. During a session, the device is placed on the skin and sends out strong flashes of light at a specific wavelength.
This is the more powerful form of photo facials as the light energy seeps deeper into the skin. IPL should be performed by a professional which is why you won’t find IPL masks for at-home use.
The reason why IPL should be done by a specialist is that there is more potential for side effects and a longer healing period. The pulses are hot so some may also experience the treatment as painful.
Just like LED therapy, IPL requires several sessions to get the skin that you want. It is also a more lengthy method because there is a necessary resting period of at least two weeks in between each session.
Which is Better, LED Skin Treatment or IPL?
Take a closer look at the pros and cons to decide which treatment plan is more appropriate for you. It is also a smart idea to consult a dermatologist for tailored advice.
|Pain Level||Very minimal to none||Likely painful|
|Possible Side Effects||Sun sensitivity, redness||Redness, sensitivity, swelling, bruises, darkening of spots, blisters, and crusting|
|Affordability||More affordable since there are at-home masks||Less affordable since it must be performed by professionals|
|Suitable for Sensitive Skin||Possibly||Unlikely|
|Effectiveness||Decent with continuous application||Good and long lasting|
|Sessions Required||Continuously to maintain results||Several sessions every 2 weeks with a touch-up every month or so|
LED sessions are not completely painless for everyone but even people with sensitive skin should not get too comfortable from the sensation. IPL, on the other hand, emits heat as well which most experience as more painful.
The expected pain levels are directly linked to possible side effects. Side effects are minimal when going through LED light therapy, with redness and temporary increased sensitivity being the most common side effects.
In contrasts, it is important to space out IPL sessions because the skin really needs a healing period after each session, usually 2 weeks. Possible side effects are more intense and longer lasting which is it is not directly recommended for people with sensitive skin.
Advantages of both methods is that they are non-invasive and can treat a wide variety of skin conditions.
IPL is the more intense type of photo facial but it is more effective, especially when treating more serious skin conditions. In comparison, LED light therapy is more like a technologically advanced beauty treatment.
If you are interested in photo facials then the LED masks are a good introduction. Book a session at a salon to see whether it is a suitable treatment for your skin.
If you are suffering from a more severe skin condition and medications or creams are not taking effect, then consult your dermatologist about IPL.
Which one is better depends on your own skin condition and sensitivity.