Jun 13, 2023

Is the Dermalux Flex LED the ultimate in light therapy?

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We delve into the science powering the world's most powerful at-home LED device

LED masks have grown from an in-clinic staple to an at-home investment in recent years, luring plenty of topical skincare brands into the tech realm. Dr. Dennis Gross’ Spectralite has been seen on the faces of the Hollywood A-list, while Angela Caglia's rose-quartz embellished light-therapy mask marries pampering with performance. For light therapy with a side of microcurrent, Solawave is here to deliver, and Lyma uses LED as a backdrop to its one-of-a-kind home-use laser technology.

While there are plenty of effective masks, wands and pens out there now, none quite match the original in-clinic option: the Dermalux Flex MD LED panel.

Now available for at-home use, the Flex is a skin-tech behemoth. If you’ve had an advanced facial in one of the country's leading clinics recently, you’ll likely have experienced the incredibly soothing and satisfyingly effective treatment before.

The most powerful home-use LED device on the market, the Flex offers seven treatment protocols, three shades of light and a host of benefits, from reducing redness to treating acne, wrinkles, pigmentation and potentially even helping with psoriasis and muscle issues. Here, we delve into the science underpinning the phototherapy powerhouse.

The Flex contains a combination of 360 lights in blue, red and near-infrared shades, all of which command very different cellular actions to the damaging wavelengths of UV light – in fact, they’re wholly good for the skin.

Each light works to stimulate the skin's cellular functions, including – crucially – repair. The wavelengths are absorbed by the targets in the cells, then put to use enacting a variety of benefits.

Blue is the most superficial shade. It has an antibacterial action, working to degrade the p.acnes bacteria in the epidermis layer, thus preventing breakouts from forming. Red is delivered to the dermis to boost cell renewal, prompting the production of collagen and elastin in the process. Think of it as an energy boost for tired cells. And near-infrared travels all the way to the subcutaneous layer, where it increases circulation, enhancing the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells.

So, what sets the Dermalux Flex MD apart from the others (aside from the investment-level price, of course)? In short, it's more powerful – and significantly so.

As Dermalux founder Louise Taylor explains, it's not just about the number of LEDs (although more lights does equal more absorption into the skin), but also the fine-tuning of the wavelengths.

"The Flex MD uses the most clinically proven wavelengths – blue 415nm, red 633nm and near-infrared 830nm – to rejuvenate cells, reverse the signs of ageing, improve acne, relieve muscular and joint pain, speed wound healing and treat psoriasis. Our LEDs are unique to any other brand, developed to deliver the most precise light energy to the target cells. The number of LEDs is not the important factor, but the power emitted into the skin. Dermalux LEDs deliver more energy per second at the peak wavelength and the most energy over the duration of the treatment than any other LED device."

Of course, there's also the sheer size of the Flex. At 40cm long and 23cm wide, the light panel itself is large enough to treat entire body sections thoroughly, whether you’re using it as a canopy over your face, arching it over your chest and neck, or to treat an inflamed leg muscle.

The heat is gentle, so if you are expecting warmth akin to a day by the beach, you’ll be disappointed. But, this lack of heat is a good thing: heat reduces the optical efficacy of LED diodes, which means your results are ultimately diluted. So, by using copper to keep the LED plate cool – even when running for 30 minutes – the Flex is generating the most optimised treatment. That's not to say the experience is void of sensorial appeal though: there's something wholly calming about slipping under the lights, sans smartphone, for 30 minutes after (or before) a long day. Expect to fall asleep.

Leading facialist Melanic Grant considers LED to be one of her favourite treatment devices, thanks to the diverse range of conditions it can treat without skin trauma or downtime. "I've seen incredible results for clients struggling with rosacea and redness, acne and blemish-prone skins, dullness, devitalisation and most commonly for rejuvenation, collagen synthesis and to boost elastin and skin tone," she says, flagging the additional benefit of both instant and long-term benefits to the skin.

"In my opinion, the best part about LED light therapy is that the results are cumulative, so the more treatments, the better. It also provides a wonderful complement to corrective treatments like lasers, deep peels, collagen induction therapy and radiofrequency skin tightening due to its ability to curb inflammation and accelerate healing," she adds.

Much has been made about LED's ability to treat psoriasis and rosacea. As these are both autoimmune conditions, no device on the market will ‘cure’ them – Dermalux included. However, what you can do is keep your condition under control while minimising the aesthetic manifestations – and here, the Flex could be a good ally. One study has found red and blue light therapy to help clear plaque psoriasis, while there's hefty anecdotal support for red light helping to reduce the inflammation that leads to rosacea flushes.

Personally, redness and acne are my main skin issues, so I was keen to see if the Flex could help me achieve a clearer, calmer complexion. For eight weeks, I slipped under the device every third evening for 30 minutes, primarily using the blue and near-infared wavelengths. The brand's own study found the Flex able to clear ‘mild to moderate’ acne by 75 per cent within four weeks – and my own experience matched up.

After a month of use, not only did I notice a marked reduction in breakouts, but the overall texture and tone of my skin improved hugely, with lingering acne scars all but vanished. What's more, the skin bearing feathery lines around my eyes was noticeably plumper.

With both instant brightening effects and cumulative long-term improvements to a host of skin issues, there's no denying the Flex works hard – especially when it comes to fine lines, acne and overall radiance. It's one of the most satisfyingly effective pieces of kit I’ve put to the test – and, if you’re looking to invest heavily in your skin's appearance, I’d say it's the gold standard.

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