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At Home vs. In-Office LED Therapy: Which is Right For You?


In the quest for radiant, healthy skin, LED therapy has emerged as a popular skincare treatment. With a growing number of at-home LED face masks on the market, the latest release being the highly anticipated TheraFace Mask by Therabody, we can’t help but wonder if it is more beneficial to invest in in-office treatments or opt for the convenience of at-home LED face masks? In this article, we’ll explore the world of LED therapy, the various coloured lights, the differences between in-office and at-home options, and weigh up the pros and cons of each.

What is LED Therapy?

LED therapy, or light-emitting diode therapy, is a non-invasive skincare treatment that utilises different coloured LED lights to address various skin concerns. Each colour of light serves a specific purpose, from reducing acne and inflammation to stimulating collagen production and improving overall skin tone.

The different wavelengths of light stimulate various biological processes within the skin, interacting with the cells in the body. When the LED light is applied to the skin, it penetrates the epidermis and reaches the underlying dermal layers. Once absorbed by skin cells, the light energy is converted into cellular energy. This energy fuels various cellular processes, including the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of cells. The increased ATP production enhances several cellular functions. 

LED is painless, and doesn’t involve the use of heat or UV rays. It is safe for most skin types and can be used for a variety of skin concerns. For the best results, LED therapy requires consistent use. Regular sessions can lead to the gradual improvement of skin concerns and enhanced overall skin health.

The Different Coloured Lights:

Image by LTim/Shutterstocck

Red Light: Red LED light is known for its anti-ageing benefits. It stimulates collagen production, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and promotes overall skin rejuvenation.

Blue Light: Blue LED light is commonly used to combat acne and reduce bacteria on the skin, making it effective in managing breakouts.

Green Light: Green LED light targets hyperpigmentation and sunspots, helping to even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of dark spots.

Yellow Light: Yellow LED light is used for soothing sensitive skin and reducing redness or inflammation. It’s ideal for those with rosacea or skin sensitivity.

In-Office LED Therapy

In-office LED therapy, often provided by skincare professionals or dermatologists, offers a high level of precision and customisation. One of the primary advantages of in-office treatments is the expertise of the practitioners who can tailor the therapy to your specific skincare needs. 

Additionally, clinical-grade LED machines used in these settings have more focused and powerful light output, leading to quicker results. The guided, hands-on approach ensures that the treatment targets your specific concerns, whether it’s reducing acne, diminishing fine lines, or managing skin sensitivity. 

While in-office LED therapy can be highly effective, it’s worth considering factors like the cost, time commitment, and the need for multiple sessions to achieve the desired results. For those seeking professional guidance and a more intensive approach to skincare, in-office LED therapy is a valuable option.



At-Home LED Face Masks

Image by Dr Dennis Gross

At-home LED face masks offer the convenience of LED therapy in the comfort of your own home. These devices are designed for self-application and come in various forms, from flexible masks to handheld devices, gaining popularity for their cost efficiency and ease of use. This accessible and user-friendly option is perfect for individuals who prefer a DIY approach to skincare and the flexibility to fit LED therapy into their daily routines.

However, it is important to note that at-home LED face masks have lower light intensity compared to clinical-grade machines and thus may not always be as efficient. They also do not have the same quality of evidence behind them as professional LED therapies. Therefore, if you are planning on investing in an at-home LED face mask, it is critical to do your research to ensure that you purchase a quality device.

You should look for devices that have been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration as safe for use before purchasing and choose a trusted clinic brand. While buying an FDA approved product ensures that it is safe, companies are not required to prove effectiveness so remember to read up on customer reviews to assess its efficacy. 

With a plethora of different LED therapy devices out there on the market, make sure that you do not get tempted by the prices. While the upfront cost of an at-home LED face mask might put you off, they are an investment and if you don’t do your research, you might risk wasting time and money on a device that simply does not deliver.

The initial investment in an at-home LED mask can prove to be more budget-friendly in the long run, particularly if you seek ongoing treatment and maintenance. With regular use, you can maintain consistent therapy and enjoy the benefits of reduced acne, improved skin tone, and enhanced overall skin health.



Which is Right for You?

The choice between in-office and at-home LED therapy depends on your specific skincare goals, budget, and preferences. In-office treatments offer the advantage of professional guidance and stronger equipment, while at-home options provide convenience and long-term cost savings. Ultimately, the best choice for you is one that aligns with your skincare needs and lifestyle.

Whether you opt for in-office treatments or an at-home LED mask, LED therapy can be a valuable addition to your skincare routine. Consistency and adherence to the treatment plan are key to achieving the desired results and enjoying healthier, more radiant skin.


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