By Mecca Ray-Rouse

The newest component of facials has arrived. And — bonus! — it can also treat a wide variety of skin conditions and even pain throughout the body. LEDs (light emitting diodes) use specific wavelengths of light that trigger a natural biostimulatory effect in humans. Just like plants use chlorophyll to convert sunlight into energy, our bodies convert specific LED wavelengths into energy to promote healing, reduce inflammation, and more. It’s non-invasive, painless, and is gaining traction in the dermatology and cosmetic worlds to treat and heal skin conditions by accelerating tissue repair, killing acne-causing bacteria, decreasing wrinkles, and even treating joint pain and arthritis. 

The most common treatment areas that spas offer are ones that are regularly exposed to the sun: the face, neck, legs, and arms. Wellness centers such as New Leaf Hyperbarics & Wellness use different light wavelengths and pads to target specific areas of the body or beds with eight different modes to help whole-body issues. “We help folks that have traumatic brain issues, headaches, or brain fog,” says owner Matt McCarl. “If you want to stimulate an area we’ll use lower frequencies. If you want to sedate an area because you have headaches or muscle inflammation, we’ll use a higher frequency. works throughout the whole body the same way that lower frequency higher frequency.” 

Lumecca IPL treatment available at Arbora Medical Spa. facials.

The wavelengths vary in color, and are dependent on what you are wanting to treat. Need to treat acne-prone skin? Blue light therapy affects the surface layer of skin, kills bacteria, and stimulates collagen production. Want to lighten dark spots? Yellow light increases the production of red blood cells, which helps with skin rejuvenation. Want to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin texture? Red light therapy is the way to go. 

“We incorporate LEDs into many of our facials to elevate the results, as well as calm the skin after the stimulation of treatments,” says Emily Baarstad, manager and esthetician at Arbora Medical Spa. Arbora uses the Lumecca IPL, which uses intense pulse light therapy to treat a variety of skin conditions, from hyperpigmentation to vascular lesions like rosacea or visible capillaries. 

McCarl targets anything from pain relief to energy and athletic performance. If you’re a runner with sore knees, they can target the knee area only. “If you’re training for, say, a marathon, you come in to use the performance or recovery setting to help your body recover from that hard training so that when you do the race you’re at your peak performing level. After the race, you can do some recovery on the bed so that you’re not limping because you pushed yourself.”

When planning a patient’s treatment plan at Arbora Medical Spa, microneedling is often incorporated to enhance the results. “Pairing IPL with microneedling enhances skin elasticity and firmness, which offers comprehensive anti-aging solutions,” says Baarstad. “We also offer chemical peels for those with pigmentation concerns, which can help prolong the results.” 

Before and after Lumecca IPL treatmeant.

Consistency is key in maximizing results from your light therapy sessions. While some improvement can be noticed even after the first session, most spas will recommend multiple treatments for best results. Adding in a facial or something like a chemical peel can help maximize results and extend the time between treatments.   

Gervais Salon and Spa offers LED light therapy as add-ons to any of their wonderful facials. They use the Celluma LED, which treats a wide variety of conditions from wrinkles and inflammation to tension and blood circulation. 

“The majority of our guests focus on reducing facial lines and reducing inflammation,” says Gervais owner Sharah Madrone. Gervais’s hydrafacials include lymphatic drainage, a deep cleanse and exfoliation, and concludes with LED light therapy. 

While LED light therapy is great for your skin, it also works wonders in relieving muscle tension and pain. Red LED penetrates into the muscles, increases blood flow, and regenerates cells. It relaxes the muscles and can speed up the process of healing any sore or torn muscles. It’s pain relief without any medication, a win-win.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment. New Leaf’s hyperbaric chambers allow them to do something called targeted hyperbaric. McCarl says they use the light to vasodilate whatever part of the body is the focus of the treatment, such as pain in the low back. “We’ll use one of the red infrared pads to warm you and make your vessels bigger in that area, then the super-oxygenated blood that we’re creating in the hyperbaric chamber flows to that spot, specifically.”

Before getting a prescription for Accutane or reaching for the pain meds for sore muscles, try light therapy as a natural, non-intrusive way of promoting cellular healing.  By harnessing the healing power of pressurized oxygen also, you can not only revitalize your skin but experience full-body rejuvenation and relief, all without pharmaceuticals or downtime. 

Arbora Medical Spa,

Gervais Salon,

New Leaf Hyperbarics & Wellness,