This is what light therapy feels like
Mon, 12 December 2016 11:30AM
If you’re interested in skincare, you’ve probably come across LED light therapy at some point in your deep, internet research holes. Hailed as the anti-ageing, acne-fighting, skin-rejuvenating professional treatment with zero downtime, it’s gone from being a niche salon offering to a worldwide sensation.
I gave the super popular OMNILUX version a try recently. OMNILUX LED Light Therapy is arguably the most recognised brand in the light therapy business. It comes in three options – OMNILUX Revive, a red light that hydrates and plumps the skin by stimulating collagen, OMNILUX Plus, a near-infrared light that is all about healing skin tissue, helping with problems like scarring, and OMNILUX Blue, a specific blue LED that helps to treat acne.
The OMNILUX Blue Light. Source: Omnilux
I tried both the OMNILUX Revive and the OMNILUX Plus, over two separate visits, at Duquessa Sydney, treated by Katherine Millar-Shannon, Cosmetic Nurse Practitioner and owner of Duquessa Sydney and Melbourne. I suffer from eczema, which can often be improved by the Plus treatment. But I’m also now in my 30’s and can really benefit from that collagen plumping the Revive offers.
First up, the Revive. This is the most commonly talked-about of the three OMNILUX treatments – it’s the bright red light one you see on beauty blogs a lot. I think the most important thing to mention here is how bloody bright those lights are. After having my face cleansed, a little pair of blackout goggles were placed over my eyes – like the ones you see in movies when people use tanning beds. Even though with my eyes closed behind the goggles everything was pitch black, when the OMNILUX Revive lights were switched on, the red light was super bright and very, very confronting. I physically recoiled in my chair, I was so shocked. You honestly think you’re going to go blind – but you won’t! It sure is a shock, but after about a minute or two, I got used to the bright, red light and relaxed.
There’s minimal heat – it’s a little warm but in the way the sun is warm – in fact, not even as hot as that to be honest. It’s a pleasant warmth. I was under the light for around 20 minutes, and then it’s switched off. You’re plunged into darkness you’ve never experienced before – it’s like, is this where I go blind forever? But once the goggles are removed, you can see – although things are tinged slightly blue for a few minutes!
I would say I noticed results the next morning. My skin honestly looked fresh and “revived”, as corny as that sounds. Just – better. Fine lines seemed a little less obvious, and my complexion seemed brighter. And that’s just after one session! Technically, you’re encouraged to have multiple sessions to really see long-lasting results, followed by one maintenance treatment every 4-6 weeks thereafter, to prolong them. But from my experience, even treating yourself to one prior to a big event or if you feel your skin could use a bit of an overhaul.
The Plus treatment gave me a very different experience. Firstly, the light is not bright at all – it’s barely noticeable, in fact. This, I was told by Katherine, is because the light is infrared and penetrates deeper. This light didn’t feel warm at all, it was almost like nothing was happening during the actual treatment time. The effects came afterwards – my skin felt a little warm for the rest of the day. The following day, my eczema seemed worse – at the time of treatment I had red, itchy patches on my eyelids and along my cheekbones, and these flared up the day after. But it was much in the same way as how you might get a breakout or dry skin patches immediately after a facial – by day two, my skin had calmed down, and by the end of the week I noticed the redness had significantly lessened. Katherine did stress that the Plus treatment in particular showcased the best results after a series of treatments. Because it’s generally used to treat more stubborn skin issues like scarring or eczema, the results are best seen over time as opposed to after a one-off.
One of the biggest benefits of OMNILUX though is you can add it to almost any treatment. One of Duquessa’s hero treatments, the Vita-Lite package, combines OMNILUX with IV Nutrition Therapy, where you receive a vitamin infused IV drip, with OMNILUX while you wait for the drip to do it’s work. But OMNILUX is often incorporated into facials at salons and skincare clinics in general, to boost results or work alongside other treatments.
I think of the two the Revive was my favourite. The results were fairly instantaneous so I think given I’m so lazy/disorganised and would struggle to keep up a regular program when it came to skincare treatments, the Revive suits my lifestyle.
Posted by: Melissa Mason