Most of the benefits associated with LED can be attributed to increased cellular energy, blood vessel dilation as a result of additional nitric oxide bio-availability, and modulation of a number of growth factors and inflammatory mediators. What we’re looking for with topicals are ingredients that will help support and intensify these benefits. What we would avoid using directly (during the same treatment) with LED is any ingredient that is known to contribute to irritation, dryness, or inflammation. Of course formulations of things like vitamin C and A vary. It’s recommended to choose less aggressive forms of these ingredients for maximum benefit and reduced possibility of irritation. As with any treatment, skin type and condition are considerations. When in doubt, a skin test is a good way to go. The following is a list of some LED benefits along with examples of topical ingredients that support them:
Energy Production Boosters: Thiotaine/Ergothioneine, minerals, yeast extracts
Collagen and Elastin Synthesis: collagen building peptides (Matrixyl 3000, Synthe 6) vitamin C, niacinamide, Vitamin A (retinols) Bakuchiol (Sytenol A)
Increased Cell Turnover: Vitamin A (retinols) natural barrier enzymes and saccharides
Increased Hydration: hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, amino acids, panthenol, algae peptides, wheat germ glycerides, soy phospholipids, trehalose, silver ear mushroom, sodium PCA, glycerin and others mimicking natural barrier humectants
Lipid Production: Squalane/Squalene, Sphingolipids, Ceramides, Phospholipids, Stearic Acid, Farnesol, Cholesterol, Oleic Acid, Linoleic/Linolenic Acids, Plant Oils (Sterols, GLA): sunflower, safflower, evening primrose, borage, jojoba, seabuckthorn , Maracuja oil, Liposomal Rosemary oil
Increased Cellular Function/Repair: roxisomes, vitamin C, Thermus Thermophilus, Dunliella Salina (Extremophile Microalgae), Cotton Meristem Cells, Cassia Alata Leaf Extract
Reduced Inflammation: anti-oxidants to counteract free radical damage and glycation, i.e.- thiotane, lipochroman, glutathione, resveratrol, EGCG (green tea), beta carotene, astaxanthin, lutein, lycopene, Mexican bamboo & Japanese knotweed, Persian silk tree
Increased Circulation, Respiration and Oxygenation: Superfruits Gogi, Noni & Acai, Pomegranate, Coffeeberry, Corn extract, Saccharomyces Lysate, Valine, Threonine, Glutamic Acid, Glycine, Evodia fruit
Bacteria Reduction: niacinamide, vitamin C, lichochalcone (Chinese Licorice) controls lipase, irritating enzyme produced by P. acnes and other microbes implicated in acne and rosacea, Lilac Meristem Extract, Beta Glucans, Prebiotics – Bioecolia, Coneflower (Echinace)
Cellular Detoxifiers: Carnosine, garden sprout extract, moringa peptides, charcoal
According to Irena James, Vice President of Product Development at YG Labs, “LED devices, both for professional and at-home use, can be helpful allies to our skin’s ability to utilize the most impactful ingredient technologies used in skin care formulations today. By targeting skin’s power generator, the mitochondria, and increasing energy levels, LED significantly boost our cell’s ability to “bio-convert” the nutrients from skin care products into much needed fuel our cells use for maturation, growth and healthy functioning. LED also generates a mild thermal effect in the tissues, contributing to more optimal ingredient absorption, and a more efficient intracellular and trans-cellular ingredient diffusion as warmth causes lipid bilayers to “loosen” and lipidic components of our cellular membranes to become more receptive and bind more easily to similar structures in our products. Utilizing LED together with skin care products or using them to treat the skin before the products are applied increases skin’s permeability and receptiveness to some of the most valuable ingredients for aging, acne, sensitivities, and other major skin concerns.”
It seems clear that the future of skincare, like wellness, will necessarily shift towards a more holistic and integrative approach. Understanding how various treatments and lifestyle changes work to support each other while encouraging our own regenerative processes is not only key to better results, it is central to the concept of aging better.
-Amy Gardner LightStim USA Educational Coordinator
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