Monday, 23 March 2015

The Anti-Ageing LightStim – Giving LED Light Therapy a Second Chance

Of all my premium home beauty devices the one that has convinced me the least is the anti-ageing LightStim.

I have nothing against the LightStim itself. In fact, I think it still one of the best devices in its class. It’s the technology behind it that I’m not sure suits me – LED light therapy.

This type of therapy uses different wavelengths of light to treat a variety of skin concerns. For example, blue light is said to be good for tackling acne (I have a friend who swears by it for treating hers), red for fine lines and wrinkles, infrared for inflammation and green for pigmentation. Amber meanwhile, is said to help boost collagen synthesis (so anti-ageing again).

The LightStim combines red, infrared and amber lights, so a good all round anti-ageing choice. I was desperate to get my hands on the £250 device and had mine shipped over from the US two years ago – they weren’t available in the UK at the time.

One of the key reasons I chose the LightStim was for its relatively large treatment head.  Let me explain why this is important.  Light therapy is gentle and pleasant to experience –  it delivers a comforting warm sensation on the skin. But it’s not for those who want quick results. Treatment is slow – and boring! 

For the LightStim you divide the face into 10 sections. You treat each section for three minutes, before moving to the next. It takes a total of 30 minutes to complete a single treatment.

That might not sound too hefty but hear me out. For the first eight weeks you’ll need to use the LightStim for 5 nights/week, making a total weekly treatment time of 2 ½ hours! That’s pretty dull, though lots of people choose to use their device while watching TV.

Now, this treatment regime is not atypical. Fortunately, as the LightStim treatment head is relatively big, I can get away with dividing my face into six sections, rather than 10, saving on treatment time.  Also, treatment drops to two nights/week for maintenance after the initial booster.

If you are considering LED light therapy, do take a look at the head size and also the treatment time – 3 minutes per section was pretty standard when I bought my device. This may have changed (manufacturers don’t make this sort of info easy to find out on their websites – I tried!), so it’s worth checking.

I used my LightStim as instructed and in the absence of any other anti-ageing device for eight weeks. At the end of that period I was left, sadly, very disappointed. I didn’t see any improvement in my skin. In fact, if anything, I noted a mild increase in pigmentation!

Now, I have read many reports of pigmentation issues following LED light therapy. It later transpired that my pigmentation was caused by a hormonal imbalance (Melasma). However, I’m still concerned that the light therapy might have exacerbated the problem – my dermatologist thought this possible too.

If you suffer pigmentation issues, this is something else to consider. As is light sensitivity, which is another thing that I suffer from (and only became aware of after buying the LIghtStim). Oh, what life throws at you sometimes!

I noticed that after I used the light close to my eyes (whether or not I was wearing the comfort googles supplied – they’re not mandatory but you should always close your eyes when treating, as the light is incredibly bright), everything in the room turned green momentarily. The experience is not unlike when someone takes a photo of you with a very bright flash. It’s quite unnerving!

What I experienced was perfectly harmless (I had my optician check my vision and as I’m a contact lens wearer I get regular ongoing checks). So, don’t be alarmed if this happens to you too, but do (and I can’t stress this enough) get your vision checked, in case it’s something different. According to LightStim, about 1% of its customers have light sensitivity.

My LightStim was subsequently put back in its box and there it has remained. That is, until a few weeks ago when I spotted it again, at the back of my bathroom cupboard. Now, I’m not one to admit defeat, nor indeed am I one to give up on an expensive device. So, I’ve decided to give light therapy another chance. I’ll report back!

You can buy the anti-ageing LightStim from Space NK.


  1. I've never heard of this kind of therapy so this was an interesting read! Can't say I'm convinced by the theory behind it though!

    1. LED light therapy does have its fair share of doubters. I'm still on the fence, and it will be interesting to see how many second stab at testing it turns out. Tx

  2. Ooh how interesting, I'm intrigued to find out how you get on.

  3. Interested to come back and see how you got on the second time around.

  4. Well, I will wait for your further reports... I would like to know more about it in case you use it again... I don't know whether it's really nice - I may have some fears... I am also a contact lens wearer. But your friend likes it, so many other people may like it too... I confess I would love to try it!

  5. I'd like to try it, always interested to discover new skin treatments!

  6. I had no signs of pigmentation on my face prior to using Lightstim but now have several blotches which surfaced within two weeks of use. I have contacted Lightstim and await their response. I also intend return both devices for a refund.


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