Phototherapy - An Alternative Modality For Your Treatment Room
By: Denise Gaston
For many the use of light therapy may seem far-fetched, however; for beauty professionals “in the know” this is one more tool driving treatment success. Clients today want, expect and oftentimes demand measurable benefits from their Therapist. Gone are the days of just applying creams and lotions that did nothing more than enable the skin to feel smooth and silky. We want acne cleared and gone, brown spots faded, the appearance of lines and wrinkles lessened, and what was once parched and dehydrated plumped up and firmed, bottom line its all about R-E-S-U-L-T-S.
Let’s look at just a few conditions encounter in our skincare practices.
Acne, now this can take a couple of forms from teenager “puberty driven” to adult acne “stress related and/or hormonal” women it seems are more prone to adult type acne, to acne cause from comedogenic cosmetics, medications or ones occupation. Acne can range from grade one to the most severe grade four which by the way should really be treated by a physician.
Hyper-pigmentation, we like to call them sun spots, brown or liver spots which by the way has nothing to do with the liver. Sun damage as it is most commonly referred to is nothing more than pigmentation caused by years of UV (ultra violet) radiation, hence “exposure to the sun”. These pesky little spots can be the result of hormonal activity i.e. melasma commonly called pregnancy mask showing up predominately on the cheeks, chin and even forehead. Many women experience this during pregnancy and lingering even after giving birth, this condition can correct itself, unfortunately for many it will not. Another pigmentation condition is called Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmention or P.I.H. for short, resulting from scarring and/or spots left by pimples that have healed leaving behind their remnants of brown or red spots. Everyone on the planet has some form of hyper-pigmentation with the majority of the damage occurring by the early twenties.
The third condition all of us will acquire is “aged skin” you know it when you see it, skin that has seen better days, fine lines and wrinkles become your new best friend, collagen and elastin have slowly taken flight. Your skin tends to feel drier than it use to feel and say “yes” to our neighbor hyper-pigmentation. The years of laying on the beach have finally caught up with us skin in this category tends to be drier as well. The preventative aging market is huge and we baby boomers are leading the charge to look as young as we feel.
There is help on the horizon in the form of L.E.D. Photo Therapy, a technology ushered in by NASA with their experiments with plant growth in space and a way to speed wound healing. Light Emitting Diodes or L.E.D. for short based on the same theory of Laser, however, L.E.D. Phototherapy is non thermal and unlike its big brother laser is safe to use by non-medical professionals. It is considered a Class I Device by the FDA. It does not deliver power that would destroy tissue but just enough to effect cellular change. Cells and tissues response to light at varying nanometer levels. These devices can be handheld (great for small treatment rooms) or stand alone units that can be placed right at the head of your facial bed.
L.E.D. produces low level, non thermal light in varying degrees of colors which are calibrated at a special nanometric range relating to the length and strength.
Red Light for aging skin and cellular rejuvenation, utilized at a range of 625-740 nanometers. This light as a long wave, is less aggressive and penetrates deeper into the skin. Affecting the mitochondria cells of the skin which are the energy powerhouses responsible for ADT=Adenosine Triphosphate, makes energy and amino acids. Apply 2-3 minutes before treatment mask.
Blue Light for acne, utilized at a range of 435-500 nanometers. This light is more aggressive and more superficial. Blue light helps to correct erythema (redness) also working to destroy the bacteria that causes acne (propioni bacterium). Use up to 10 minutes before applying an antiseptic or calming mask.
Green light used to address pigmentation issues, at a range of 520-565 nanometers. Helps in the absorption of hyper-pigmentation working at the level of the dendrites in the cell. Use green light 2-3 minutes on each area, follow with brightening or lightening mask. The green light is also beneficial for calming.