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What your skin says about your health

Updated: May 11, 2021

@skincarma review of our LED mask

Meet my secret for calming irritated skin.

I’ve been curious about these LED light therapy devices for a while now but only now getting around to really seeing what’s up.

I’ve had the $159 Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite EyeCare Pro for a couple of years and blogged about it a while back. It’s strictly for the treatment of lines and wrinkles in the eye area. TBH I never saw much difference. But to be fair (and not to boast), I don’t have prominent lines in my eye area because I use sunscreen and I’ve got great genes.

But LED light therapy can treat various concerns, including acne, irritation and multiple signs of aging. When used consistently, LED light is thought to penetrate the skin at varying depths and can help stimulate reactions like fighting acne-causing bacteria and plumping the skin to reduce the look of lines on the surface.

Neither of those are particular concerns for me, so when I got my hands on the Ava Kensington Light Therapy Face Mask, the one thing I wanted to test out was the ability of LED red light to calm and soothe irritated skin.

I get flare ups on my forehead maybe once every two weeks. When I do, I usually just pull back on aggressive treatments like vitamin C and exfoliating acids and it always calms down after a couple of days. It can take two to three days for an inflammatory reaction on my forehead to calm down enough to return to normal.

But over the last month, I’ve put this LED device to the test. There are there settings for the Ava Kensington’s Light Therapy Face Mask — blue, red and amber.

Blue light is believed to treat acne by slowing the proliferation of blemish-causing bacteria.

Amber light can help to diminish age spots and melasma. And red light is believed to calm redness and irritation.

How does LED light therapy work?

There’s an excellent article in Allure magazine titled, What Is LED Light Therapy, and Is It Safe for the Skin? available here. It’s a soup-to-nuts run-down of LED light therapy and the benefits for the treatment of multiples skin conditions.

“Without a doubt, visible light can have powerful effects onthe skin, especially in high-energy forms, such as in lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) devices," says Daniel Belkin,

a board-certified dermatologist at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. LED (light-emitting diode) is a "lower energy form," in which the light is absorbed by the molecules in the skin, which in turn "alters the biologic activity or the activity of nearby cells."In skin-care terms, that means altering the skin cells in order to produce a variety of agreeable outcomes, depending on the color of the light in question. "There is encouraging evidence that blue LED light can alter the microbiome of the skin to improve acne, that red LED light can stimulate collagen synthesis, and that yellow LED light can reduce redness and healing time," says Belkin.The various light colors may work to differing degrees, says Bruce Brod, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania. "The best evidence is for [blue light], with clinical studies relatively consistent in showing a reduction in acne bumps when used regularly," he says. "Though we know red LED light can stimulate collagen synthesis, clinical results are not as easy to prove."

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