To many skeptics, light therapy sounds like a New Age wellness trend for people with too much time and money.
In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s understandable that people would be skeptical about using something as insubstantial as light to treat physical ailments. But treatment with light has been around in varying forms for generations, and it’s more modern incarnations stem from research at NASA!
For acne sufferers, light therapy is a safe and accessible treatment option for people of all ages and incomes. It delivers results on par with — or better than — the best traditional acne treatments on the market, but without the harsh chemical side effects.
If you’re interested in trying out light therapy for your acne, you may be eager to schedule your first appointment with a clinic.
But hold on! Clinics are no longer the only option for light therapy. Recent research and advancements have provided a simpler, more cost-effective way to access this treatment: at-home light therapy for acne.
How Can Light Therapy Help Acne?
Blue and red light therapy effectively treat mild to moderate acne breakouts. Treatments can be administered in clinics by certified professionals, or through convenient at-home devices.
Blue and red wavelengths of light each have their own effects on acne-prone skin. Medically optimized blue light is antimicrobial, which means it kills bacteria – including the kind that leads to acne. It also has a calming, anti-inflammatory effect on the skin.
Red light works a little differently. It penetrates deeper into the skin to energize the cells, promote cell turnover, and increase blood flow. The result is faster healing time for damaged skin and reduced inflammation.
In summary, blue light kills acne-causing bacteria, and red light heals acne-damaged skin. While you can use either therapy on its own, you’ll see best results when you opt for both. Together, they’re an acne-conquering duo!
Visit a Clinic or Try At-Home Light Therapy for Acne?
So, where to receive your first light therapy treatment? In a clinic, or at home?
In-Clinic Light Therapy for Acne
When you visit a clinic for light therapy, you have a licensed clinician available to treat you, answer your questions, and adjust your treatments as needed. Light therapy devices in clinics also tend to be more powerful than at-home devices, which means they can often deliver results more quickly.
Many clinics warn that some at-home devices don’t administer the wavelengths and energy density needed to make a real difference in your skin. In a clinic, you know you’re receiving treatment from a quality device.
On the other hand, some argue that because clinics use large, expensive machines, they don’t replace them very often with the latest technology.
At-Home Light Therapy for Acne
The obvious benefits of at-home light therapy for acne are convenience, cost, and privacy.
With an at-home device, you’re in complete control of your treatment schedule and can complete it whenever is most convenient for you. There’s no working around hours of operation or other people’s schedules.
At-home devices range greatly in price, but higher-end products can cost several hundred dollars. In-clinic treatments also vary in price, ranging from $30–$300 per treatment. Since light therapy requires ongoing sessions to see the best results, you’ll typically end up outstripping the one-time cost of an at-home device.
You may prefer the privacy of your own home over a clinic full of strangers. And while it’s true that not all at-home devices are created equal, thorough online research — including reading user reviews — along with sticking to reputable companies can help you choose a quality device.
At-Home Light Therapy for Acne Options
If you’re interested in at-home light therapy for acne, you have several options available. Take the time to consider the different types of devices available, so you can choose the option that best meets your needs.
Light Therapy Masks
A light therapy mask is an at-home device that fits over your entire face. LEDs (light-emitting diodes) on the inside of the mask produce specific wavelengths of light and rest snugly over your skin.
If you’re considering a mask, look for an ergonomic design with adjustable straps to ensure a proper fit. Read user comments to learn about the comfort of the design and features.
At-home light therapy masks range in price from under $100 to over $450. The Dr. Dennis Gross SpectraLite Faceware Pro, for example, is on the higher end of the price spectrum, but the company is highly respected in the industry. A higher price tag can mean you’re buying from a more reputable company that will offer great perks, like a warranty and attentive customer service, should your device malfunction.
A safe option might be to start with a mid-range product, such as the Aphrona Moonlight Pro LED Facial Skin Care Mask, which retails for a little over $150. Reviews indicate that this product produces effective light therapy and that the company is responsive to any customer issues. A quality mid-range product can give you a good idea of whether at-home light therapy for acne will work for you.
Remember to always read product reviews carefully, whether on the company’s website or on a third-party site like Amazon. Some devices, such as the VeRosky LED Face Mask, will appear to have a high user rating, but when you look into the comments themselves you find concerning signs.
Light Therapy Beds and Panels
Light therapy isn’t only for your face. Beds and panels can treat acne all across your body. Take the Joovv Solo 3.0, which stands at a whopping 36 inches. It can be mounted on a door, a wall, or stand upright on the floor.
If you’re looking for even more coverage, the LightStim LED Bed looks like a tanning bed without the top cover. It’s large enough to lie down on, and it comes with a separate panel to position over your face.
While beds and panels are great for targeting larger areas of the body, they come with a hefty price tag. The Joov Solo 3.0 panel is over $1,500, and the LightStim LED Bed costs more than many people’s annual salary.
Light therapy panels and beds often only offer treatment with red light, rather than blue and red combined. This may not be as effective for acne, but many athletes and physicians take advantage of red light’s properties to improve healing after workouts, injuries, or surgeries.
Spot devices that provide at-home light therapy for acne are often the most cost-efficient and convenient option. These handheld, portable devices are easy to use and range from about $75 to $500, meaning you won’t have to exchange your annual income for healthier skin!
If you’re looking for a spot device specifically designed to target acne, the Luminance RED – ClearBeam Acne Device comes from a reputable company and boasts a 100% money-back guarantee to complement its higher price. Users report that 77% of pimples were completely healed after just two treatments!
A more affordable option is the reVive Light Therapy Glō Acne Device. It costs just $79 and guarantees positive results a few days after starting treatment. At a similar price is the Pure Daily Care Luma 4 in 1 Skin Therapy Wand, which also includes massage and ionic therapy features.
Wrap-Up on At-Home Light Therapy for Acne
Considering at-home light therapy for acne? Prioritize devices that use both blue and red light. If you want to quickly heal existing breakouts and prevent new ones, a combination of these wavelengths is the way to go.
Still on the fence? Look for a device from a reputable company that offers a warranty and/or money-back guarantee. Since numerous clinical studies have found LED light therapy to be safe and free from side effects, the investment will be completely risk-free.