What are the Best Skincare Products to Use with LED Light Therapy?
More and more people are discovering the benefits of LED light therapy for skincare. LED light therapy devices can be FSA eligible and FDA-cleared, and there is proven science behind why they work. Blue light therapy is primarily used to treat acne and prevent scars, while red and infrared light therapy offers benefits like wrinkle reduction and an overall younger appearance. But can you use light therapy alongside your favorite skincare products?
If you’re like many people, you probably have at least one or two skincare products you can’t live without. Whether it’s a favorite moisturizer or the perfect eye serum, you rely on these beauty products to look your best. You may also wish to tap into the power of LEDs with home light therapy devices. However, this brings up a question — will light therapy enhance the results of skincare products, or will mixing them lead to problems? Read on to learn which skincare products work best with light therapy and which you should avoid.
LED Light Therapy for Skincare
First, it’s helpful to understand the basics of how light therapy affects the skin at and below its surface.
Blue light therapy works primarily by targeting bacteria without harming the surrounding skin, which is how it treats and reduces breakouts.
Red and infrared light, at the other end of the visible spectrum, boosts cell regeneration to speed up healing and promote anti-aging effects. It causes the skin and tissue just underneath to grow more quickly, replacing dead skin cells and filling in gaps that cause wrinkles, reducing their appearance and other signs of aging. Red and infrared light can also reduce inflammation.
Knowing the differences in how LED lights work and which devices fit your lifestyle can help you achieve the results you want.
How Do Different Skincare Products React to Light Therapy Devices?
The reactions skincare products have to LED lights vary based on their chemical formulas and the type of device you’re using. You’ll find plenty of light therapy for skincare that works well with serums, creams, massagers, and tools. Make sure to review the best practices for applying your preferred beauty products before, during, or after light therapy.
Can I Wear Makeup While Using Light Therapy Devices?
While you’re always encouraged to wash your face before light therapy treatments, makeup shouldn’t interfere with the effectiveness of your LED device. There is just one exception. If your foundation, or anything else on your face, contains sunscreen, it will block some of the light waves. While sunscreen is designed to block UVA or UVB light, it also blocks other less harmful forms, such as LEDs. So, even though red and infrared light do not contain UV, they will not penetrate makeup with SPF.
Overall, our recommendation is to use your LED devices on a clean face!
Best Serums to Use with LED Light Therapy
Red light can reduce the appearance of fine lines in the delicate skin around the eyes over time. Using an anti-aging cream or red light therapy-friendly serum after your light therapy session may speed up the results. For the best results when searching for a serum to use post-red light therapy, look for products containing retinol, argan oil, peptides, or vitamin C.
Retinoids are products containing retinol — also known as vitamin A. Retinol is a common ingredient in anti-aging products like moisturizers and serums. It is a great product to use before bedtime, as it encourages cell regrowth and replacement while you sleep. Using retinol and LED light therapy together was previously considered inadvisable. However, science now shows that retinol-containing products are okay to use after a light therapy session, just not before.
Vitamin C, on the other hand, is a popular recommendation among beauty bloggers, known for boosting skin’s overall radiance and creating an even skin tone. Vitamin C can also stimulate the natural production of collagen, hydrate the skin, and provide skin-brightening antioxidants. Red light therapy provides similar benefits to vitamin C serums, as both are non-invasive treatments shown to be effective anti-aging solutions.
Using retinol or vitamin C serum alongside your red light therapy device will depend on the goals you wish to prioritize. If your goal is to brighten your complexion, using vitamin C serum alongside your red light therapy device could be beneficial. If your goals involve wrinkle reduction, retinol might pair better with red light therapy.
Remember to keep the order of your routine matters. We recommend applying your serums after light therapy treatment.
Best Creams to Use with Blue and Red Light Therapy
You can use a cream with ingredients like salicylic acid and other beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) alongside your light therapy devices. BHAs dissolve in oil to penetrate the skin and exfoliate dead cells, making them an effective ingredient for treating and preventing acne. In addition to creams, BHAs are found in ointments and cleansers.
BHA-containing products can work well in combination with blue LED lights. They target blocked pores to destroy bacteria and reduce inflammation while loosening the bonds holding dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. However, some people’s skin may be too sensitive for BHAs, so they choose blue light alone to treat acne.
It’s advisable to use LED products on a clean face. After cleansing your skin, follow up with serums before applying creams and moisturizers. You’ll also want to allow a few minutes before each step to allow the previous product to absorb into your skin.
Best Massagers and Tools
Electric massagers and rollers help to increase circulation and relieve muscle tension in the face. You may use them alone, or they can help you apply moisturizer by increasing its reach and penetration into your skin. A vibrating red light cleansing device can deliver the benefits of both a massage and light therapy to reduce wrinkles and enhance collagen. These make excellent light therapy products for skin if you need something soothing, easy to transport, and effective.
Skincare Products Designed Especially for Use with Red Light Therapy
There is a growing market for lotions and moisturizers designed to be applied before red light therapy. So what should you put on your skin before red light therapy? We recommend doing your homework before choosing one of these. Read reviews, ask among your friends, or talk to your dermatologist to find the best products to use alongside red light therapy. Because these products are not regulated by the FDA, and each person’s skin is a little different, your results may vary.
The purpose of these new skincare products is to complement the effects of red light wavelengths. These red light therapy-friendly serums and creams claim to provide the following results:
- Healthy skin PH
- Protection of delicate skin to combat signs of aging
- Boosted transfer and conversion of light energy
- Encouraged collagen production to plump and smooth the skin
How to Prep Your Skin for Light Therapy
Taking good care of your skin is the best way to prepare it to receive the benefits of LED light therapy. A few tips you can incorporate throughout your day include staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, using sun block and limiting sun exposure. Before you use your home light therapy device, use a gentle cleanser to cleanse your skin. You can also use your device in the morning before applying any skincare products.
Place the lights of the device directly on the skin of the area you wish to target for three minutes before moving on to the next area. Track your results with before and after photos, and share them on social media so your friends can admire the new you!
FDA-Cleared LED Light Therapy Devices
From on-the-go spot treatment to big handheld panels, reVive Light Therapy® offers a variety of red and blue light therapy tools to help you achieve your skincare goals. Red light therapy will take your skincare routine up a notch and enhance the overall radiance of your skin.
Shop our full selection of LED skincare devices.
Experience the power of light therapy at home
Specific wavelengths of light have different effects, and can be used for a variety of applications — from destroying acne-causing bacteria to killing harmful germs on your phone. Our light therapy devices allow you to harness the power of LEDs in the comfort of your own home.See How It Works