Are LED photofacials good for your skin?

Here’s a special treat for all you Beauty Brainiacs out there: our special guest-blogger for today is none other than Nicki, from If you’re a fan of the Beauty Brains, you’ll love Futurederm. Check it out! And now, on with Nicki’s post…

Want Clearer Skin? See the Light.

And no, I’m not talking about sunlight, sorry everyone! What I am talking about is the new Tanda Skincare System ($395.00, The system emits visible wavelength (not UV) light from an LED source (414 nm blue light and 660 nm red light), to treat acne. According to a study by Tanda, the use of their light treatment was “significantly more effective” than treatment with a 5% benzoyl peroxide cream over the same period.


Yet, the use of LED has been recently shown to have anti-aging effects for the skin as well. With skin-clearing and firming benefits, is an at-home LED treatment center worth the money? FutureDerm investigates…

Acne-clearing benefits

According to Kansas City dermatologist Dr. Audrey Kunin’s DERMADoctor site, the Tanda Skincare System is only to be used on patients with mild to moderate acne, not cystic acne. The site says that the way to know the difference is simply by counting the lesions: no more than 125 total lesions across the treatment area (100 whiteheads/blackheads, or 15-50 inflammatory lesions). According to a 107-person 12-week study by Tanda, a 63% mean reduction in inflammatory lesions and a 45% mean reduction in comedones was exhibited by those patients who completed the study.

It is speculated that the reason LED is effective against acne is two-fold. One, LED light may have anti-bacterial properties, and there is a small amount of evidence that suggests that light disrupts P. acnes, the primary bacterial species found in acne cases. Two, LED light may have anti-inflammatory properties, which may calm existing lesions and prevent new lesions from forming.

Collagen and Elastin Production Stimulation

According to a recent study, LED phototherapy repairs sun damage and increases collagen and elastin production, although “lasers and peels have faster, more substantial results, but more side effects,” according to Seung Yoon Lee, a dermatologist at the National Medical Center in South Korea. With regards to LED therapy’s fewer side effects, Lee adds, “LED is safe for dark skin, unlike some lasers.”

According to Allure magazine, in the study, the researchers treated one side of 61 subjects’ faces with a light-emitting diode machine, while 15 others received a one-sided placebo treatment. Twelve weeks later, only the LED-targeted skin had a decrease in wrinkles (26-36 percent) and an increase in elasticity (14-19 percent). LED therapy seems to increase collagen and elastin production, although less significantly than dermatologist-administered lasers and peels.

Overall Thoughts and Opinions

LED therapy has been proven more effective at fighting acne and promoting collagen and elastin production than other at-home procedures. However, greater effects are still available through prescription medications and treatments (lasers, peels) at your dermatologist’s office. At the present time, it is probably a better idea to spend your money on a dermatologist-administered treatment. Hopefully, however, the cost of at-home LED therapy systems like the Tanda Skincare System will decrease. At any rate, the treatment is certainly novel and exciting, and if you want the best in at-home treatments, then this is definitely worth a try!