Skincare

Do LED Lights Really Get Rid of Acne?

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Image: Instagram

It’s impossible for you to check your Instagram or Snapchat feed without being hit with hundreds of beauty fads that your fellow beauty junkies swear by. Your five minute scroll through social media looks like this: “Acne playing hide and seek? Use THIS special cream to stop it in its tracks” or “Say ‘boy bye’ to your red spots forever with this miracle oil!”

You’re constantly surrounded by so many beauty products and fads, which makes it ten times harder to weed out the good ones from the bad. But there’s one beauty treatment in particular that’s been making rounds on socia media: the LED light therapy treatment.

LED light therapy…What is it, exactly?

If you’ve walked into your local Sephora or drugstore lately, you’ve spotted different LED light products that claim to get rid of acne overnight. The LED lights come in many forms, such as a simple wand or a futuristic looking mask. Your favorite beauty blogger has definitely gushed about it. It’s main goal is to clear your complexion with a zap of red and blue light.

What do the colors mean? Dermatologists often use blue light therapy for skincare because it both gets rid of acne while preventing it from forming in the first place. Red light therapy focuses on anti-aging properties. The red light works together with the blue light to reduce wrinkles and gives off a younger, glowing look.

There are many anti-acne facial treatments on the market that make it harder to choose the right one for you. If you have sensitive or oily skin and bounce from one acne treatment to another, this acne light therapy sounds pretty tempting.

But does LED light therapy actually work?

According to science, it does! In a recent study by Nature, a scientific journal, researchers found that LED light therapy (mainly green light therapy) actually boosts your skin’s collagen production and heals wounds. One of the reasons why it works so well is because the light is designed to speed up the skin renewal process.

Before you run to your dermatologist or your nearest beauty store, you should keep in mind that LED light therapy works best on smaller cases of acne. If your skin is constantly breaking out, you may be better off exploring stronger treatments.

At-home light treatment vs. professional treatment: Which one is better?

Neutrogena recently released a light therapy acne mask that is affordable and claims to use the same light formula as your dermatologist to kill bacteria without all of the bells and whistles. So the answer is obvious, right?

Well, not quite.

Even though it’s much cheaper and more convenient than a trip to your doctor’s office, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option. The truth is that most of the light therapy products found in your drugstore have not been tested by professionals, which makes it hard to gauge just how successful they really are.

In fact, you’ve probably seen many commercials or Instagram ads supporting these products without any research by outside sources to back them up. It’s up to you to weigh your options and test it out. It may even be worth it to try an at-home treatment and see if it works for you before shelling out a lot of cash at your next doctor’s visit!

Cassandra is a beauty and women's health writer. She spends most of her time treating herself to dinner and movie dates, pretending her life is a Marvel comic and figuring out how to keep her makeup on her face. Not necessarily in that order. She blogs about affordable outfits from her favorite movies and TV shows at Onscreencloset.com.