Red LED has changed the skincare game. With just a simple switch, it goes to work repairing and healing damaged skin cells, leaving you with radiant, youthful-looking skin overtime. But is it safe to put bright, beaming lights near your eyes? Are there risks associated with using red LED light therapy? If you find yourself asking these questions, keep scrolling! We address these valid concerns and provide tips on how you can keep your eyes safe while using LED tools at home.
Quick refresher, what is red LED light therapy?
Red LED light therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to treat signs of aging — think sunspots, fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. These diodes emit low-intensity red and near-infrared light that penetrate deep into the skin to help to reduce inflammation, diminish hyperpigmentation, and stimulate collagen production (aka the foundation for a plump, firm, youthful-looking complexion).
Is LED safe for eyes?
One of the most sensitive areas of our entire body is the cornea (aka the transparent part of the eye that covers the iris and pupil). Exposure to ultraviolet light (think of the light that comes from the sun and tanning booths), heat, and bright lights can cause damage – especially after long-term exposure.
That said, red LED light does not fall into the ultraviolet wavelength spectrum and does not release much heat. But we like to play it safe – remember that not all LED are created equal. By taking proper precautions, you can ensure that you are getting all of the skin benefits of LED while also protecting your eyes.
How to select an LED device that is safe for eyes
Look for an FDA-cleared device
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirms that red LED is a universally safe treatment, it’s important to remember that not all devices go through the same level of testing. When shopping for at-home LED treatments, look for devices that have an FDA stamp of approval (aka they are FDA-approved or cleared). An FDA-cleared device signifies that the brand has submitted product information to the FDA for review and the device is deemed safe for at-home use. The Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite EyeCare Max Pro is FDA-cleared and has undergone and passed all safety tests for the eyes.
Look for a device that is designed to sit flush to the skin
When an LED device mask sits flush to the skin, there is less likelihood that lights will shine directly into eyes, causing damage. An added bonus of this type of mask design is that it also improves the absorption of LED into skin (the closer the lights are to skin, the higher the absorption rate). The DRx SpectraLite EyeCare Max Pro is designed to sit flush to the face and can be safely used without goggles.
If you do choose to use an LED panel that sits away from the face, make sure you are using the proper eye protection (Dr. Gross recommends black out goggles).
Follow the directions
We repeat – read the instruction manual. When it comes to at-home LED devices, it’s important to use the device as directed. If the device is designed to sit flush on the skin, don’t try to use it as a panel. If a device is designed for the body only, do not use it on your face. If the instructions say to use protective goggles, use them every time you do a treatment. Each device has its unique set of usage instructions – be sure to follow the ones for your specific device.
Still not sure? Check with your dermatologist
The sheer number of options when it comes to LED devices can be overwhelming. Before adding your new LED device to cart, consulting with your dermatologist can not only help you establish your wellness goals, but also find the right at-home device for your skin needs.
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