Shedding Light on LED Light Therapy Acne Treatments

Sponsored by: Celluma

By Denise Ryan

At some point most of us will experience irregular pigmentation. As an esthetician, this is a common concern we hear from our clients. Pigmentation appears in different forms, and it’s important to recognize the root cause, determine how to treat it, and set expectations for improvement.

What is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria buildup. Hormones, diet, stress, and other factors can exacerbate the condition.  

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the US, impacting about 50 million Americans annually.1 And it isn’t just a persistent problem for teenagers. Acne can occur at any life stage, continuing after the teen years into the 30s, 40s, and beyond. Besides facial acne, acne can impact the chest, back, shoulders, and arms.  

We know that acne can be a tenacious and difficult condition to treat. The good news is that clinical research has shown that light-emitting diode (LED) light therapy can successfully treat acne and prevent future outbreaks. There are few known side effects to LED therapy, making it a desirable alternative to the effects of harsh, drying topicals or pharmaceutical options.  

Red and Blue Light Therapy

For practitioners researching light therapy devices, both blue and red wavelengths are necessary to simultaneously and effectively treat the various symptoms of acne. Blue and red wavelengths produced by medical-grade LED devices are clinically proven to trigger an all-natural, photobiomodulation effect in human tissue, killing acne-causing bacteria, decreasing inflammation, and improving skin tone, texture, and clarity from the inside out. 

Safety, effectiveness, and value should always be the priority for treating any medical condition, including acne. When considering a light therapy device, choose one that is FDA-cleared for the treatment of acne and can conform to the skin for optimal efficacy. Positioning the LED device close to the skin surface allows cells to absorb more of the light energy during the treatment session. This improves cellular performance at the microscopic level and speeds up the elimination of acne bacteria to jump-start the skin-healing process.  

A reduction in acne lesions and an overall improvement in skin appearance is often seen in a matter of weeks. Of course, outcomes vary depending on the severity of the acne condition and the client’s compliance to the recommended acne protocols. Blue and red LED light therapy is widely used as an effective option for the treatment of mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris. One study concluded that “. . . blue light and red light may act synergistically in improving acne by combining antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action, rendering phototherapy with blue and/or red light an effective and safe treatment for acne vulgaris.”2 

If you are looking for an effective acne treatment option, LED light therapy is a great addition to your practice. It’s also an ideal noninvasive and chemical-free therapeutic therapy following ablative procedures, including microneedling, microdermabrasion, microcurrent, and laser.  


Gina Thompson's Signature Acne Facial Protocols

Step 1.

Cleanse the skin.

Step 2.

Dermaplane to remove vellus hair that can sometimes contribute to acne issues.


Step 3.

Exfoliate with an ultrasonic spatula.

Ultrasonic Spatula

Step 4.

Use Celluma LED panel on the acne setting for 30 minutes. The Celluma acne program emits blue light to kill acne bacteria and red light to reduce inflammation, increase circulation, and promote tissue repair.  

Celluma blue LED

Step 5.

Apply your preferred treatment products. 


Step 6.

Use sonophoresis to promote product penetration. 

Step 7.

Hydrate and moisturize with your preferred products.     

Before and After.

Celluma Before  Celluma After


1. American Academy of Dermatology Association, “Skin Conditions by the Numbers,” accessed February 2023, 

2. P. Papageorgiou, A. Katsambas, and A. Chu, “Phototherapy with Blue (415 nm) and Red (660 nm) Light in the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris,” British Journal of Dermatology 142, no. 5 (May 2000): 973–8, 

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