See the light: professional treatments for younger-looking skin

Woman with luminous skin

My introduction to light technology came via James Bond. More specifi cally, by watching the eponymous villain’s laser beam working its way towards Sean Connery’s nether regions in Goldfinger. How times have changed. These days, Bond would probably be coaxing Goldfinger’s lovely assistant to give him a little anti-ageing laser skin rejuvenation instead.

Lasers and other light-based technologies have been used medically for some years, but now it’s the beauty industry that’s buzzing with light-based treatments – whether it’s in the dermatologist’s office, at the spa or, increasingly, at home with DIY gadgets. Cosmetic companies are also pouring their scientific understanding of light and skin into new high-tech creams. With solutions on offer for everything from wrinkles to hair removal,

I spoke to leading experts – and women who’ve undergone the treatments – to discover what to expect and what really works.

Which to choose?

Lasers use a single beam of light. It can vary in strength, and be targeted to remove hair or age spots, for example. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) uses light of various wavelengths, and can also be targeted to address different concerns.

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) produce red or blue light. Red has been shown to stimulate collagen for skin healing, while blue is antibacterial, so is often used to treat acne.

Before you sign on the dotted line...

Choose your practitioner carefully. Personal recommendation is always best, but the website of The British Association of Cosmetic Doctors (www.cosmeticdoctors.co.uk) and cosmetic aesthetics website www.consultingroom.com are good places to start. See a practitioner who has a variety of equipment and solutions rather than a one-size-fits-all machine.

Treatments to choose if you have:

Pigmentation and brown spots

Lines, wrinkles, visible pores or lacklustre skin

Or why not try one of the latest skin illuminating creams

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