I was recently invited to the gorgeous Lite Luxe salon in Double Bay to try my first laser skin treatment. It would be a Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) session that would take 11 minutes, and promised to be “painless, non-invasive, risk free”.
Initially, I was a bit dubious and slightly frightened (in my head there would be lightsabers caressing my face), but I was also dying of curiosity. It turns out that there’s a surprising amount of research on the use of LLLT for a plethora of issues, including skin rejuvenation, injuries, acne and hair regrowth. It encourages elastin and collagen synthesis by the fibroblasts in the skin, which usually winds down as you get older or more sun-damaged, leading to saggy skin and wrinkles.
The machine at Lite Luxe is the Healite II, a state-of-the-art machine fitted with 1800 LED bulbs. The rejuvenation treatment uses 830 nm light, which corresponds to the near-infrared range – this is a bit less energetic than visible light (infrared = below red, the least energetic form of visible light, like how ultraviolet = above violet, the most energetic form of visible light), and penetrates into the subdermal layer for a greater effect. The Healite II also uses something called photosequencing, which unfortunately I don’t quite understand – the way it’s explained is that 590 nm light is used just before the 830 nm light, to essentially “prep” it to absorb the 830 nm light better. The big advantage of LLLT treatment though, is its gentleness – it’s low energy enough that it’s impossible to have heat damage, which means you don’t have to hide your scabby face for a few days before you emerge glowing, like other hardcore treatments.
My treatment at Lite Luxe did indeed live up to the low-impact reputation – the light gets borderline uncomfortably warm, but nothing too over-the-top. I was pleasantly distracted with a complimentary hand massage during the treatment. My therapist applied some vitamin C serum to my face afterwards – my face was definitely glowing afterwards and stayed glowing for a couple of days afterwards. I also had about 4 pimples on my face before the treatment, including a particularly stubborn hormonal bump on my chin. 48 hours after the treatment, I was surprised to see that all but one of the bumps were flat and easily hidden with make-up! The forehead ones had actually disappeared entirely.
A single treatment at Lite Luxe costs a very affordable $50 and I highly recommend if it you have pesky bumps you need to subside before a big event. If you want more dramatic anti-ageing results, a series of 10 costs $450.
W-S Kim, R G Calderhead, Is light-emitting diode phototherapy (LED-LLLT) really effective? Laser Ther. 2011, 20, 205–215.
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