The “Skinny” on LED Light Therapy

Whether you’ve heard of LED light therapy from celebrities like Jessica Alba, January Jones and Lena Dunham looking like illuminated storm troopers on Instagram or you’ve read about it as an anti-aging game changer in magazines, LED light therapy is one of the most effective means for building collagen, healing the skin, and fighting acne. We talked to our resident LED light therapy expert Kari Poling, National Trainer for Lightwave, to break down everything you need to know about these innovative treatments.


What is LED light therapy and how is it good for the skin?

LED light therapy is the process of converting light energy into cellular energy for natural, non-invasive skin rejuvenation. Through a combination of Red light therapy, Blue light therapy and Infrared light therapy these wavelengths work for anti aging therapy, wrinkle treatment, scar treatment, body treatments, acne treatment and more.


Spa Radiane LED Light Facial

What is the difference between red, infrared, and blue light therapy?

Red LED light therapy stimulates the fibroblasts that produce collagen, which gives young skin its plump look. Professional LED machines can also minimize fine lines and wrinkles, treat sun-damage and stretch marks, and reduce redness after more aggressive IPL or laser treatments.

Infrared (IR) LED light therapy is similar to Red LED light therapy, except infrared energy is invisible, and can travel much deeper into the body and can reach deep into soft tissues, muscles, joints, and bone. IR LED light therapy is primarily absorbed by the proteins found in the cell membrane, which helps to increase cell permeability.

Blue LED light therapy is quickly absorbed by acne-causing bacteria. Molecules within the bacteria then react by producing singlet oxygen free radicals that in-turn destroy the P. Acnes bacteria. Once the body has been exposed to Blue light it is recommended to follow with Red light therapy to help restore normal cellular function, repair damaged/scarred tissue and promotes healthy skin. The best time to use blue light therapy is when you feel a breakout coming on – and you want to be able to have an immediate response.


Should I put anything on my skin prior to LED Light therapy?

No. Many skin care products contain reflective agents and if they are applied to the skin prior to a light therapy treatment, they can actually decrease the effectiveness of the treatment. It is important to apply the various wavelengths of light to clean, dry skin.


Does it matter if I apply the red or blue first?

Yes. Always follow the blue light with the red since the blue light therapy create free radicals to kill the bacteria and the red light will neutralize them.


What advice can you give consumers on buying at-home devices?

Do your homework! There is so much garbage coming over from China – buyers beware. The biggest piece of garbage is the Neutrogena mask (seen on Lena Dunham on Instagram) – it only has 10-12 diodes and they are spread out. You can’t possibly get a result with such few diodes spread out like that. The further away the diodes are from each other the less effective it is. You want a lot of densely populated diodes in order for an at-home device to garner results.


What about the at-home devices that boast illuminating more than one color at a time?

Only three colors have been proven to work – blue, red, and infrared – anything else is just a light show. If you turn two colors on at the same time they cancel each other out and become ineffective.


Is proximity to the LED lights important?

Yes, very. The efficacy decreases the further away your skin is from the device. You want it as close as possible.


How long does it take to see results from LED light therapy?

Well, it depends on which color you are using. Blue light is an immediate fix for killing bacteria – we aren’t working with cellular activity so you get that instant effect. But with red and infrared, we are triggering collagen and elasticity, creating changes on a cellular level. This takes time. It could take a couple months before you start seeing changes. Keep in mind that the effects are cumulative so even if you can only get into the spa once a month and use the at-home device occasionally, your skin will see a difference.


What is Topical Light Infusion (TLi) and how is it different from traditional LED light therapy?

Topical Light Infusion is a treatment that combines the activation and delivery of topical treatments (serums, creams, masks, etc.) and light. This new topical infusion method has the ability to activate and infuse various topicals without damaging the skin or altering the topical formulations.

Skincare companies have come up with such phenomenal ingredients but their large molecules can only penetrate on a superficial level.   TLi makes the molecules small enough to penetrate to a much deeper level.


How did your company come up with the Topical Light Infusion technology?

We worked with the University of Texas on the medical side. They were looking for a light therapy that would get topicals to absorb into severe burns. We provided the machines and they provided us the patented cosmetic rights.


Who is Topical Light Infusion appropriate for?

Everyone! It makes the actives in skincare formulas 50-times more effective than just applying topically.


Call Spa Radiance today to book a LED light therapy or Topical Light Infusion treatment. Be sure to also check out the Lightwave at-home device, sold at our spa.

Angelina’s Skin Resolutions for 2016

After a holiday season full of too much of everything – late nights, rich foods, and cocktails – your skin is more than ready to say goodbye to 2015. Start your year off right by cleaning up your skincare routine and following Spa Radiance co-founder and owner Angelina Umansky’s skin resolutions below:

angelina headshot

I will never go to sleep without washing my face.I’m always shocked by how many of our clients spend good money on treatments and products, yet they don’t make washing their faces at night a priority. Even if you don’t wear makeup, studies have shown that city pollution can be just as damaging as UV rays. Get that grime off your face with a gentle yet effective cleanser like Rhonda Allison’s Milk Plus Cleanser. Need an extra deep cleaning? Book our bestselling Super Duper Facial to cleanse, exfoliate and hydrate your winter-ravaged skin.


I will never go to sleep without applying a retinol or retinoid.

Washing your face at night is just the first step. While you are sleeping your skin cells are busy little bees healing and regenerating quicker than in waking hours. Apply active serums and creams at night that contain retinol, one of the only proven anti-agers. Retinol can make a huge difference in wrinkles, fine lines, oily skin, and breakouts. Also, don’t use your sensitive skin as an excuse for skipping retinol. We carry an amazing gentle retinol from True Nature Botanicals Pacific line that works on the most reactive of skin. Tip: add a capsule of True Nature Botanicals’ Topical Vitamin C to your retinol to give it an extra anti-aging and brightening boost.


I will always wear sunscreen.

I love to think this is a given because wearing sunscreen is SO important to preventing future damage, but unfortunately many of our clients still make excuses for why they don’t wear sunscreen every day. Let me be clear…you must wear sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days. Try a multi-tasking sunscreen like Revision Skincare Intellishade that combines potent ingredients like anti-aging peptides and soothing aloe with a tinted mineral sunscreen that adapts to your skin tone.


I will not let the dry heat blaring from the vents dry out my face this winter.

As a fourth generation Russian esthetician, you can imagine I know a thing or two about treating winter skin. In the colder months, your skin needs a big boost of hydration so make sure you replace your usual moisturizer with a nourishing oil like Vintner’s Daughter. You should also incorporate a potent eye and lip serum into your winter regimen like Rhonda Allison Eye & Lip Renew, which has anti-aging powerhouse ingredients like retinol and vitamin c. Also, treat your skin to a revitalizing and hydrating mask 1-2 times weekly like the Biologique Crème Masque Vernix. This repairing mask uses a mix of fatty emollients that simulates the protective waxy coating on a newborn baby. Does it feel like no matter what you do, your skin is always parched? Book our Swiss Oxygen 52 Vitamin Facial for plumped, hydrated, dewy skin.


I will stop complaining about my sagging skin and do something about it.

Nobody likes looking in the mirror and seeing sagging jowls and disappearing cheekbones. Luckily there are wondrous inventions like micro currents that can help give our faces a much-needed lift. Think of micro currents as Pilates for your face – the only way to get results is to do it religiously. Step 1: Book a series of Spa Radiance Non-Surgical French Face-Lift Facials. Step 2: In between appointments, use the NuFace Facial Toning Device 5-7 times a week for lasting results.


We know how hard it is to embrace change (even in your skincare!) so please call or visit Spa Radiance soon to discuss your skincare regimen with one of our experienced estheticians or product consultants.


Happy New Year!


Best Wishes,


Meet our October Esthetician of the Month, Christina!

Spa Radiance Esthetician of the MonthChristina is an esthetician who has been with us for EIGHT years, earning the title of senior skincare expert with varied experience including medical skincare treatments like Dermapen, Ultherapy and deep peels. She tends to prefer natural products and enjoys educating clients on how to improve the health of skin from a wellness perspective.

Christina says fall is a the perfect time to shed that unhealthy, pigmented dead skin with a medium to deep peel at Spa Radiance. With the intense summer sun behind us we can focus on peeling without the worry of heavy sun exposure. Make an appointment at the spa and unveil your most beautiful skin yet with a peel!

Want an at home solution? According to Christina, this is a ideal time of year to bump up your home care exfoliation with retinols, a gentle version of Retin-A. Herpersonal picks are the My Body’s A-Team and True Nature’s Night Time Serum with Retinol for a very user-friendly, gentle version. For normal to resilient skin with a more aggressive approach Skin Medica’s 1.0 is a great choice.