Banishing wrinkles and acne is the goal of millions, and successfully doing so without turning to cosmetic surgery or questionable serums would be a dream come true.
LightStim is most well known for its therapeutic light energy devices. Each model is designed for home use and addresses a different physical concern, including wrinkles, acne, and pain management.
All that’s needed, the company claims, is to use its devices for three minutes per treatment area. LED Light Therapy device is FDA-approved, and purportedly used and recommended by medical experts like dermatologists and plastic surgeons.
Can you trust these high-tech handhelds to actually improve your skin? Keep reading for our analysis on whether LightStim delivers on its promises.
Does Light Therapy Work on Wrinkles and Skin Problems?
Just as plants absorb light to convert it into energy, LightStim claims that our bodies benefit from specific UV-free light wavelengths (colors) at certain intensities.
Each lightStim device uses different light wavelengths, that, when applied directly to the skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, kill the bacteria responsible for mild acne, or temporarily increase blood circulation for pain relief.
The company claims to utilize LED (light-emitting diode) technology developed by NASA to emit multiple wavelengths of colors at one time. This non-invasive treatment option works for all skin types, is painless and doesn’t require recovery time.
Red light therapy (RLT) is a therapeutic technique that was first used by scientists in the 1990s to grow plants in space. Soon after, the technology was tested for its potential impact on wound healing, psoriasis, and even wrinkle removal.
It’s believed to work by strengthening the mitochondria in cells, which is where it creates its energy. By boosting its energy supply, RLT makes cells function more efficiently and repair damaged tissue.
Similarly, blue light therapy (BLT) is an FDA-approved treatment for killing off bacteria on the skin that cause acne.
While there are countless studies on the impacts of light therapy, Healthline WebMD, and Medical News Today each state that the research is still inconclusive. Most studies to date involved animals, test tubes, or used too small of human trials to be definitive.
However, the studies that do exist indicate there is evidence that this technology can address wrinkles, improve acne and reduce acne scars, aid wound healing, stimulate hair growth for those with alopecia, and reduce pain for adults with musculoskeletal disorders.
LightStim currently sells the following three handheld LED devices:
LightStim for Wrinkles ($249)
Designed to reduce the appearance of your fine lines and wrinkles to help you maintain a youthful appearance on your skin, LightStim for Wrinkles utilizes multiple light wavelengths to penetrate your top layers of skin and to reduce your wrinkles visibly.
You can continue your regular skincare routine while using LightStim for Wrinkles, though products with drying ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, Retin-A, or vitamin A should only be applied after treatment.
To use, place the lightly gently against your skin and hold it in place for about three minutes before moving to a different treatment area. Plan to use it 5-7 times a week.
It takes an average of two months of regular treatment before you will start noticing a reduction in your lines and wrinkles. You should continue using the device indefinitely to maintain your results.
LightStim for Acne ($169)
This device is designed for treating mild to moderate acne as well as calming existing breakouts so that your skin develops a clear, healthy appearance. It utilizes blue light therapy to destroy all acne-causing bacteria that form pustules on your skin’s surface to unclog your pores naturally.
To use, place the light gently against your skin and hold in place for three minutes before moving to another treatment area. You might want to close the eye closest to the light to prevent irritation.
It’s best to use the device twice daily until your skin clears up, and then as needed afterward to maintain your complexion.
LightStim for Pain ($249)
LightStim for Pain works to temporarily relieve arthritic pain, relax your muscles, deliver joint pain relief, and increase blood circulation. The device emits a warm, soothing light that triggers the body’s natural pain-relieving process for fast-acting effects.
To use, place the light gently against your skin, holding it in place until you start to feel relief. This may take between five and 30 minutes. Move it to a new treatment area to continue the results. You can use it as often as desired for temporary pain relief.
LightStim Skincare Products
Beyond its light-emitting devices, LightStim sells a variety of skincare products. Below are the quick highlights of each one.
LightStim SheetMasque: These single-use masques contain hyaluronic acid, argireline, and brown plankton extract to give you soft, smooth skin. Cost: $16 per masque, $80 per box of six.
LightStim PhotoMasque: Those who want to add extra moisture to their skin while using LightStim for Wrinkles can apply this topical masque to their skin after the treatment. Cost: $50 for 4-oz.
LightStim BodySerum: Designed for full-body hydration, this serum contains plankton extract and hyaluronic acid and can be applied daily. Cost: $40 per 8-oz.
Return and Warranty Information
LightStim offers a 90-day satisfaction guarantee for all handheld devices sold through the company.
So long as you contact the company within that timeframe, you can receive a full refund on your order, minus return shipping costs. All originally packaging just be included with the return, and if anything is missing, LightStim may deduct a 15% restocking fee.
All LightStim devices qualify for a five-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects as well.
Analysis of Customer Reviews
Customer reviews of LightStim products vary. LightStim for Wrinkles averages four stars on Dermstore and 4.1 stars on Influenster, while both LightStim for Acne and Pain average 3.5 reviews on Amazon.
Below is a summary of some of the comments we saw most often:
Works as Described
The reviews for all three devices show that many users think they work as described. Some shared that they thought their wrinkles became less severe after a few weeks of treatment, and others stated that they were finally breaking the cycle with their cystic acne and getting clearer skin than they had seen in years.
Those who used LightSim for Pain wrote that they were experiencing relief beyond what they expected after only a few sessions.
Expensive, No Visible Results
Not all LightStim users were happy with their improvements after a few weeks of use. Some wrote that the impact was too subtle to notice or not worth the device price.
Others shared that any improvements they did see disappeared again after they stopped using the device, and they didn’t think it was worth committing to for the long-term.
No Timer on Device
A few LightStim users grew frustrated that their devices didn’t come with any built-in timers. This made it harder for them to track how long they treated specific areas and made it a little more tedious to use.
Improves Acne Quickly
Customers who used LightStim for Acne had great feedback on this device. Some shared that twice a day use was shrinking their pimples before they could become big problems and helped them get the signs of cystic acne under control.
Reduced Pain After Regular Use
Many people who purchased LightStim for Pain were happy with how well it worked on areas of chronic pain like their feet and shoulders.
One reviewer shared that she was a hairdresser on her feet all day and that LightStim reduced the swelling in her foot due to plantar fasciitis by over 50% within one day of treatment. This helped her live pain-free for the first time in a year, despite experimenting with lots of other treatment options in that same timeframe.
Another reported that it improved their shoulder’s range of motion to the point that she could resume her yoga routine after a two-year break due to pain.
Too Time-Consuming to Use
Some of the reviewers who believed that LightStim worked still didn’t recommend it because of how tedious it was to use. They shared that they felt anxiety about making time for it in their day and consequently planned to stop using it.
Broke After a Few Weeks
In a few cases, LightStim devices broke within a few weeks for customers. Though they were able to exchange them without a problem, they resented the delay in their treatment time.
Reviews indicate that many LightStim customers are happy with their purchase. All three devices seem to show evidence of accomplishing what they promise, but the results might be too subtle to justify the cost for some.
The Bottom Line
Customer reviews and available research on red light therapy both come to the same conclusion: LightStim devices really can work as promised. There’s evidence that regular treatments with these handheld devices can reduce your wrinkles, acne, and arthritis pain, but keep in mind that the results might be subtle and that using the device multiple times a week can be tedious.
You’ll need to keep the device in one spot for at least three minutes with every session, which means it might take half an hour or longer to cover your whole face. Likewise, the effects are likely to be short-lived unless you commit to regular treatment.
Overall, while LightStim certainly offers one option for addressing some of your physical concerns, other treatments might be cheaper, more cost-effective, longer-lasting, and easier to commit to.