I tried a light therapy facial - but does it actually work?

Kate Mendonca
Shopping Editor

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We tried a light therapy facial. Photo: Getty

I’ve never been one to spend too much time at the spa or the aesthetician caring for my skin, instead opting for a simple skincare regimen at home. Daily cleansing, toning and moisturising, along with the occasional face mask, is my usual routine, and I feel like it’s been working out pretty well so far.

I’m always interested in trying out the newest technology though, so when the opportunity to put one of the biggest current beauty trends to the test came up, I had to give it a shot.

First used by NASA in experiments to stimulate plant growth in space, light therapy has since made its way into the beauty industry due to the therapeutic powers of light on human cells. Thanks to its healing effects, red light therapy has been used to treat scars and wounds, as well as to improve signs of ageing like fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, and discolouration.

Fans of this space-age beauty treatment include Chrissy TeigenKourtney Kardashian and Jessica Alba, who have all shared the benefits of both at-home and professional treatments with their followers.

Celebs like Chrissy Teigen, Kourtney Kardashian and Jessica Alba are all fans of light therapy. Photos: Twitter/Instagram

To test out light therapy for myself, I stopped by the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie in Toronto to try out their Light Stim facial, which harnesses the power of LED lights to penetrate deeper layers of the skin than a traditional facial alone.

While my technician talked me through the simple procedure, she offered the option of either blue or red light technology to target different skin concerns.

She explained that while red light works best to fight the visible signs of ageing, blue light is better suited to killing bacteria that causes acne on the surface layers of the skin.

I opted for the blue-light treatment as my skin is more prone to breakouts, and following a full facial that included massage, exfoliation and extraction, my technician passed me a pair of protective goggles (to shield my eyes from the bright lights) before getting started with the Light Stim wand.

Contrary to other facial treatments like chemical peels or laser rejuvenation, I was surprised to find that there was no sensation at all as the blue light treated my skin. As the wand was gently pressed over small sections of my face, aside from a bit of bright light as it moved around, there was zero discomfort throughout the entire process.

After 15 minutes, it was over, and I concluded my facial experience with a relaxing mud mask before heading home feeling hydrated and refreshed.

Although best results are typically seen after two months of regular treatments, skin will still appear brighter and more youthful after just one session, which I happily noticed for myself in the days following my visit to the spa. Now, nearly a week after my facial, my skin is still brighter and more even in tone and texture than it was before.

Before and after treatment. Photo: Yahoo Lifestyle

Although I was initially skeptical, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the light therapy did really work for me, and I’d definitely be willing to try it again. The only downside to the whole experience would be the cost, which for me makes a visit to the spa more of a luxury than a regular occurrence.

At $55 for a 15-minute add-on to any of the Miraj Hammam Spa’s facials, this light therapy is relatively affordable compared to other skincare treatments, but if your budget doesn’t allow a trip to the spa, there are also some great at-home options if you’re looking to bring the power of light therapy to you.

Just be sure that if you do decide to go the at-home route, to always look for devices that have been tested to be safe around the eyes and to follow the instructed treatment times to properly care for your skin.

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