March 3, 2016 6:58 pm
Updated: March 4, 2016 11:19 am

What is LED light therapy? Kourtney Kardashian shines spotlight on it

One dermatologist Global News spoke to says not to try this at home.

Kourtney Kardashian, Instagram
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Kourtney Kardashian‘s latest selfie gave some of her 35 million Instagram followers a scare.

The photo, which looks like a cross between an alien and iconic horror character Michael Myers from the Halloween film franchise, features an LED light therapy mask — a popular skin treatment among the stars.

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A photo posted by Kourtney Kardashian (@kourtneykardash) on

Kourtney’s sister, Kim Kardashian, apparently uses a roughly $800 light therapy device.

Jessica Alba also swears by the beauty regimen.

Emergency session w @shanidarden 😱 before work today

A photo posted by Jessica Alba (@jessicaalba) on

Her esthetician Shani Darden uses the tool as part of a facial that guarantees “brightened, firm and smooth skin, with reduced breakouts.

Some people have said they notice a major difference in their skin complexion a couple days after a treatment. The theory is that it increases blood flow to the face, and different wavelengths work on different problems.

Red is supposed to reduce inflammation. Blue promises to kill acne-causing bacteria. Amber is said to build new collagen.

READ MORE: Do dermatologists think multi-masking is a good idea?

Kardashian’s photo lit up a frenzy online, with a lot of her fans wondering, “What is that and where do I get one?”

Well, you may want to hold off on spending your hard-earned dollars. Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellet said LED light therapy has been around for over a decade but it’s “not particularly effective for any given condition.”

She said anything you can use at home will not be very strong. And in some cases, it can even be harmful.

“Sometimes people will overuse them. I’ve seen burns from them. So you have to be careful.”

Bryan Barron, the co-author of “The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here,” said that LED light-emitting devices also require protective eye wear.

“The wavelengths they emit can damage unprotected eyes, and if you don’t remember to protect your eyes at home with the higher intensity output you would be risking your sight.

“Be sure to invest in protective eyewear prior to using such devices around your eyes, and never look directly into the device.”

Home devices can also sometimes cause scarring, Kellet cautioned.

READ MORE: Health Canada warns of potential for serious allergic reactions from face care product ingredients

“Sometimes people have been known to use these light therapies to treat skin cancers and treat melanomas, which obviously is not the treatment for them.”

Her advice is to decide what skin issue you want to treat, and see a specialist.

If you still want to try LED light therapy, check out the at-home devices Barron recommends on BeautyMythBusters.com.

Global News

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