What is Photobiomodulation?
Photobiomodulation consists of using light to stimulate certain processes in the skin and scalp and thus target signs of aging and strengthen hair.
The History of Photobiomodulation
Photobiomodulation is today an increasingly common technique in aesthetic medicine as well as in cosmetics, particularly thanks to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA). Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, were invented in 1962. The first LEDs did not have the ability to benefit the skin. The emitted wavelengths were too broad and varied up to 100 nanometers (nm). In the 1990s, NASA developed LEDs that produced a very narrow, controlled spectrum of light. This level of mastery of specific wavelengths has allowed their development in medicine.
A wavelength is a variable which makes it possible to characterize electromagnetic waves, namely, light. It is simply a quantity which makes it possible to define whether a wave belongs, for example, to the ultraviolet domain, to the visible spectrum domain or to the infrared domain.
NASA has therefore enabled the creation of LEDs emitting a very specific wavelength, making it possible to have LEDs with a very specific color: blue, green, yellow, or even red.
The Scientific Principles of Photobiomodulation
Today, it is no longer a secret that the sun is carcinogenic because of ultraviolet radiation and more precisely UVB: electromagnetic waves having a wavelength between 280 and 315 nm. We also know that premature aging of the skin is caused by exposure to UVA rays with a wavelength between 315 and 400 nm because they create damage within our cells causing the appearance of premature wrinkles and spots.
However, light, despite the negative effects just mentioned, can in certain cases have a beneficial effect. For example, UVB phototherapy is used today as a treatment for psoriasis. In addition, one of the pathways for the synthesis of vitamin D, an essential vitamin for the health of our skeleton, is made possible thanks to exposure to UVB.
In other words, light can therefore have negative effects and positive effects.
Photobiomodulation consists of using light at low intensity and for a short treatment duration to have benefits on the skin and scalp. It works thanks to an organelle present in our cells: the mitochondria.
This organelle plays a key role in producing energy for our cells by producing adenosine triphosphate (abbreviated as ATP). These mitochondria are so-called chromophoric organelles, that is to say, sensitive to light. They activate more or less depending on the wavelengths. Thus, by correctly controlling the light sent, we can stimulate processes in the skin and scalp to reap the benefits.
Photobiomodulation is now widely used in medicine, particularly in dermatology. In addition, light has the advantage of being a non-invasive treatment.
Photobiomodulation and skin care
How does the LED mask improve the skin?
In the scientific literature on the subject of photobiomodulation for the skin, we find the most data on the effectiveness of red light and infrared light.
As a reminder, the range of wavelengths for visible light, in nanometers (nm), is generally classified as follows:
- Red light: approx. 625 to 740 nm
- Blue light: about 450 to 495 nm
Research has determined that red light at 633 nm helps strengthen the role of mitochondria to provide more energy. More concretely, red light is absorbed by the tissues then by the mitochondria which transform the light energy into energy that our cells can use. So it comes down to giving fuel to our cells so that they work better. The objective being that they can repair themselves better, proliferate better or that they can better produce essential skin proteins such as collagen.
The literature demonstrates that the benefits of red light for the skin are multiple:
- stimulation of collagen production to regain firmer skin and reduced wrinkles,
- improved cell renewal to restore smoother, more radiant skin
- improved blood circulation
- a decrease in inflammation to accelerate skin repair and reduce redness.
Infrared at 830 nm
The penetration of light into the skin depends on the wavelength. Red light (called warm light as opposed to cold light) and infrared are the lights that penetrate the deepest into the skin.
Thus, near infrared also reaches the cellular level but unlike red light, this does not trigger photochemical reactions but photophysical reactions. That said, the result is the same: the cells are “photos activated” and work better. Near infrared at 830 nm also increases blood circulation, which improves the oxygenation of skin cells and provides them with important nutrients to restore healthy skin. They also help reduce inflammation in the skin and increase hydration, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and diminish the appearance of scars .
Expected results and benefits for the skin
Studies have shown that red light and infrared have synergistic effects on the skin providing benefits. This is why the NOOĀNCE mask combines the two lights: red light at 633nm and near infrared at 830nm.
By combining these two wavelengths, the NOOĀNCE LED mask acts on the different signs of aging:
- Stimulation of collagen and elastin production to find firmer and more elastic skin, reduce skin sagging and reduce the presence of wrinkles
- Activation of cell renewal which reduces dullness and improves texture
- Reduced inflammation to improve the overall appearance of the skin
Photobiomodulation and hair loss
The role of LED laser helmet
Androgenetic alopecia is, as its name indicates, due to a genetic predisposition causing an excessive response of androgenic hormones, that is to say male hormones, including testosterone in particular. This testosterone during androgenetic alopecia is transformed in excessive quantities into dihydrotestoterone, DHT, by the enzyme 5 alpha reductase, which leads to an alteration of the hair cycle.
In a person suffering from alopecia we observe a progressive shortening of the anagen phase which is the growth phase. This phase lasts less and less long which gives thinner and shorter hair. So short, that after a certain time they no longer reach a sufficient length to reach the surface of the skin. This acceleration of the hair cycle leads to a miniaturization of the hair follicles while the telogen phase which is the resting phase where the hair naturally falls out remains constant or even continues until the day the hair falls out definitively, the hair follicle is dead. . Androgenetic alopecia is therefore permanent and affects both men and women.
Recent studies showing that 650nm red light can have a beneficial effect on hair growth. It appears in particular from studies that it stimulates the anagen phase by prolonging it and increases the rate of proliferation in active anagen follicles which therefore results in an increase in the density and diameter of the hair as well as a reduction in hair loss. hair, resulting in clinical improvement of alopecia.
Benefits of Photobiomodulation for hair
The exact mechanism of how photobiomodulation works for hair loss is not yet fully known. However, this would probably join the operation of the LED face mask, the light would ensure:
- better blood circulation to deliver more nutrients and growth factors to hair follicles for stronger, less brittle and less dull hair
- a decrease in inflammation that disrupts the hair cycle. Inflammations can be caused by internal factors (stress, diseases, etc.) or external factors (pollution, etc.)
- an increase in cellular energy through the production of ATP: cells have more energy and therefore function better, which supports essential metabolic processes, such as cell proliferation and differentiation. This energy boost promotes hair growth by stimulating hair follicle cells and keeping them in the anagen phase for longer. This necessarily ensures better growth, better anchoring of the hair, a better cycle.
An LED and laser helmet is therefore an effective non-invasive method which only requires 25 minutes of treatment, three times a week and which can be used in conjunction with other treatments such as a hair transplant, minoxidil, anti-hair loss serum, etc.
How to choose your LED mask and LED helmet?
The use of red light and infrared can therefore have beneficial effects for the skin but only if certain criteria are met:
- The wavelength
- The treatment dose and the ergonomics of the mask
As we have seen, to act correctly, LEDs must send a very precise wavelength. Research on red light was carried out with a wavelength of 633 nm and concerning infrared, studies were carried out with a wavelength of 830 nm.
It may be interesting to look at a second criterion with respect to the wavelength used, which is precision . Indeed, the more precise the LEDs, the greater the efficiency.
The NOOĀNCE LED Mask features an accuracy of +/- 2nm which provides greater consistency in results. Less precise wavelengths (+/- 5nm or even +/- 10 nm) may have less uniform energy distribution, which can lead to inconsistent results and longer processing times. In contrast, precise wavelengths can provide uniform distribution of light energy, ensuring consistent results and shorter treatment times.
Irradiance is an important factor in the effectiveness of an LED mask. It represents the quantity of light which is emitted by the LEDs and which reaches the skin. The higher the irradiance, the more light the skin is exposed to, which can increase the effectiveness of laser therapy.
However, it is important not to confuse irradiance with power. Power corresponds to the amount of energy consumed by the LEDs, while irradiance measures the amount of light that reaches the skin. It is therefore possible that an LED mask has high power but low irradiance, which does not guarantee optimal treatment effectiveness.
It is therefore recommended to choose an LED mask with sufficiently high irradiance to allow effective exposure of the skin to light, while respecting the safety limits recommended by the manufacturer. It is also important to follow the instructions for using the LED mask to maximize its effectiveness.
An irradiance of 30mw/cm2 is the irradiance most studied for its benefits on photobiomodulation devices applied directly to the skin.
The treatment dose and the ergonomics of the mask
It is also important to look at the treatment dose, that is, the duration and frequency for which it is necessary to use the mask in order to obtain results. Like any cosmetic device, to have results, photobiomodulation sessions must be regular. Thus, the treatment dose represents an important criterion because if it is too long or too frequent to have results it is likely that many people will give up along the way which will provide disappointing results.
In addition, the comfort of use is paramount. The NOOĀNCE LED mask has patented ergonomics particularly suited to Western morphology. The contour of the eyes, the nose and the contour of the mouth are particularly well exposed to LEDs. The attachments are extremely flexible and comfortable with an additional attachment for particularly sloping foreheads. The flexibility of medical silicone allows the mask to perfectly fit the face. It is used 3 to 5 times a week per session of 10 minutes only to get results.
How to choose your LED/laser helmet?
Just like the LED mask, it is important that the helmet meets several very specific criteria to function, including:
- LED technology
- The wavelength
- Dose and duration of treatment
LED or Laser technology
Most hair growth studies have been done using lasers. That said, new studies would indicate that LEDs could give the same efficiency as the laser, but this remains to be demonstrated.
Thus, for the NOOĀNCE helmet we opted for a combination of the two, allowing maximum coverage over the entire scalp.
As with the LED mask, studies in the scientific literature have shown benefits for the scalp for 650nm red light. It is therefore this light that was chosen for the NOOĀNCE helmet.
The irradiance is also important to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment and not to have any side effects.
Dose and duration of treatment
The NOOĀNCE headset is easy to use: it can be used during another activity, while working or reading. It is used for 25 minutes, 3 times a week for 4 to 6 months to get the first results.
How to integrate Photobiomodulation into your beauty routine?
Weekly usage tips
The LED mask and the LED helmet are two non-invasive methods that can be added to any beauty routine.
Regarding the NOOĀNCE LED mask, simply use it directly after cleansing morning or evening, 5 to 7 times a week in 10-minute sessions for 4 weeks. The device is programmed directly for a duration of 10 minutes and switches itself off at the end of the treatment. Then to maintain the results, it is preferable to use it at least 3 to 5 times a week. At the end of the 10 minutes, simply continue with your usual routine: eye contour, serum, cream and sunscreen if it's during the day.
The first results on the complexion and redness can be rapid but regarding the signs of aging, you must wait at least 4 weeks of use to see the first improvements.
For the NOOĀNCE LED helmet, it is enough to use it three times a week for a 25-minute session on dry hair. The device is programmed directly for a duration of 25 minutes and switches itself off at the end of the treatment. You have to wait at least 3 months of use to see the first effects.
We advise you to regularly clean your LED mask as well as the Laser & LED Helmet window. Once or twice a month or even after each session if you suffer from bacterial infections.
To clean your device, you can follow these steps:
- After your session remove the mask/helmet from the head and unplug it.
- Use a soft, slightly damp cloth to wipe the surface of the device and remove dirt and residue.
- If necessary, you can use a mild cleanser such as biseptin to disinfect it. To be preferred in the case of use by several people and/or presence of bacteria. You can also use an anti-bacterial wipe.
- Make sure not to get electronic parts, such as LED lights, lasers and wires wet.
- Once the device is cleaned, allow it to air dry completely.
- Store it in a dry, clean place to avoid damage or contamination.
It is important to regularly clean your LED mask and your Laser & LED Helmet to avoid the spread of bacteria and maintain good hygiene.
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- Effects of Visible Light on the Skin , photochemistry and photobiology,Volume84, Issue2 , March/April 2008
- Photobiomodulation: Lasers vs Light Emitting Diodes?, Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2018