Does LED Light Therapy Really Treat Acne? What Studies Say

 Does LED Light Therapy Really Treat Acne? What Studies Say

LED therapy face-masks turned many heads in the last decade, and more and more women started using these devices at home.

Light-emitting diode therapy was commonly used by aestheticians and dermatologists as an in-office treatment to help minimize breakouts, to reduce inflammation after facials, and to give an overall boost.

Lately, a lot of companies launched LED devices that can be used at home, designed to treat different skin’s affections, such as acne, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, or to maintain a healthy complexion.

However, you ought to know that not all of them are FDA cleared — this article gives you the best options FDA approved on the market.

Many scientific studies support the use of LED light therapy masks for acne and blackheads.

LED Light Therapy

The treatment itself is a result of many experimental pieces of research that have tested the efficacity of these devices in treating comedones, acne, and blackheads — resulting in significant success and high patient satisfaction levels.

Dr. Glynis Ablon at the Ablon Skin Institute in Manhattan explains, “One of the most important aspects of LED phototherapy devices is their safety. LEDs are nonablative and nonthermal, and when used, do not cause damage to the epidermis or dermal tissue.”

More than that, he proves that the therapy is safe with no adverse events or risks associated, affirming “There are no adverse events associated with the use of these devices and little to no downtime for the patient. When LED phototherapy is used alone, patients do not experience redness, peeling, blistering, swelling, or pain.”

More studies strengthen the therapy efficacy

This study of The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology concluded that the phototherapy using LEDs is beneficial for a broad range of medical and aesthetic conditions encountered in the dermatology practice. 

The results represented the basis for using light therapy masks and devices to treat acne and other skin issues by regular people at home.

In 2009, The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology published a study which concluded that daily blue light therapy home treatment for acne “reduced the number of acne lesions significantly.” Also, it showed an overall improvement in the complexion.

Twenty-one subjects took part in the study — 18/21 were female and 3/21 were male with a mean age of 31 years.

Subjects expressed confidence in the use of LED therapy for self-treatment of acne without the supervision of a doctor or clinician.

Blue light-emitting diodes were applied to the affected area on men and women once daily for six minutes on a period of eight weeks.

The present study evaluated the performance of self-applied, blue light therapy in the treatment of mild-to-moderate acne on the face, concerning the following:

  • time to the improvement of the number of blemishes and lesions on the face
  • quality of skin condition 
  • the occurrence of new blemishes and lesions
  • ease of product use
  • patient satisfaction, wellbeing, and comfort during the treatment period
  • treatment’s safety level

What did they discover? 

The study showed that following the treatment, using the device daily, it can reduce the number of inflammatory acne lesions significantly.

The total number of papules within-subjects during treatment had reduced, and was significant, with a 41.03% reduction.

The signs of inflammation had reduced during the therapy period from 10.6% of subjects to 9.5% with no signs of allergic reactions observed during the period of the study.

All subjects reported little or no pain at all or a slight warm sensation that reduced within minutes after the LED therapy.

Further, there was little or no irritation reported during the procedure.

Most of the treated subjects expressed the opinion that their skin looked better after the blue light therapy period had been completed.

In terms of physical experience-reported during light-emitting diode treatment, all of the subjects reported that the blue light treatment was natural to perform.

They felt confident in administering self-treatment once daily, and they thought therapy with the device was safe.

led therapy for acane

During the study period with the self-applied blue light procedure, the total number of comedones on the face had significantly reduced for the assessment on Day 7.

The total number of open comedones on the face during the treatment period was reduced significantly for assessment at treatment Day 15.

The total number of closed comedones on the face during the treatment period was reduced significantly for the assessment on Day 28.


Now that you know it is 100% safe, you only have to check your concern’s boxes, to make sure what you want to treat and which is your skin type.

Besides acne, light-emitting diode therapy treats aging skin and hyperpigmentation, as well — you might want to check this list with the best-LED masks for wrinkles.


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To our readers

The information from this article is not entirely medical-grade level and should not be treated as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. No one will know you, your medical history, the meds you’ve taken or are taking, your sensitivities and drug interactions, allergic reactions, and your lifestyle, but your doctor does.

Amanda Blake

Amanda Blake

Due to her vast experience in the beauty industry, Amanda Blake is an expert beauty advisor. Merging all the passion with much work, she established Women's Concept community, a place where women can seek and share everything regarding the beauty universe.