Science of Elight Facials (In-depth Series)
As part of our Elight In-Depth Series, we will be discovering the science behind each part of our Elight Facial Collagen Boost Facial Treatment. This educational series aims to uncover the mechanics behind each technology treatment based on collated findings from the various dermatological reports and case studies from universities and research organisations around the world.
What is Elight Facial?
Elight is a Combination of Radio Frequency and IPL treatment
Elight includes three advanced technologies that combine to deliver effective treatments without sacrificing comfort. Elight includes both the Radio Frequency (RF) as well as Intense Pulse Light (IPL) as well as a "Cool Touch" mechanism.
Radio Frequency (RF) skin tightening is an aesthetic technique that uses radio frequency or radio wave energy to heat tissue and stimulate subdermal collagen production. This is effective in reducing fine lines, wrinkles and loose skin. The nature of RF is such that they are operating at a lower frequency than the light waves used in lasers, RF can go beyond the skin surface more safely to improve skin tone and structure. RF generates an electromagnetic field between two poles, passing through the deepest parts of the skin, resulting in cellular movement. With repeated treatments, it helps to dramatically tighten skin, resulting in a more defined jaw contour, non-sagging cheeks, etc. Because of the nature of RF, it greatly complements IPL and hence enhances the treatment effect.
Evidence-Based Effect of RF Facial Rejuvenation
A study by the Department of Dermatology by Al-Minya Univeristy, Egypt concluded that Monopolar radiofrequency (RF) is emerging as a gentler, nonablative skin-tightening treatment that is able to deliver uniform heat to the dermis at a controlled depth. For the study, Six individuals of Fitzpatrick skin type III to IV and Glogau class I to II wrinkles were subjected to 3 months of treatment (6 sessions at 2-week intervals). Standard photographs and skin biopsy specimens were obtained at baseline, and at 3 and 6 months after the start of treatment. We performed quantitative evaluation of total elastin, collagen types I and III, and newly synthesized collagen using computerized histometric and immunohistochemical techniques. Blinded photographs were independently scored for wrinkle improvement.
RF produced noticeable clinical results, with high satisfaction and corresponding facial skin improvement. Compared with the baseline, there was a statistically significant increase in the mean of collagen types I and III, and newly synthesized collagen, while the mean of total elastin was significantly decreased, at the end of treatment and 3 months post-treatment.
Intense Pulse Light (IPL)
IPL is a special type of light, similar to the laser. IPL uses a specially designed lamp to generate a source of high intensity light, which through the given filter changes its characteristics for different treatments. IPL is an intense, pulsed low-fluence (or density) light used in a non-abrasive way to rejuvenate the skin. During treatment, light pulses are directed evenly over the skin. The light passes through the epidermis and penetrates deeper into the dermis where the pulsed light energy stimulates cells called fibroblasts to produce fresh collagen. Over several treatments, this new collagen smooths and softens the appearance of wrinkles, pores and textural irregularities. It also treats sun-damaged skin with pigmentation abnormalities, spider veins and rosacea, which absorb the light and are damaged until they fade from view.
IPL in Treating Vascular Lesions
In the research study by David J Goldberg filed with the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, IPL has shown to be able to successfully treat Vascular Lesions. (see diagrams below)
One of the main advantages of IPL technology is the absence of postoperative purpura, which minimizes post procedure downtime substantially. Rather than inducing immediate purpura, the goal of treating vascular lesions with IPL is to raise the blood vessel temperature high enough to cause its coagulation, leading to its destruction and replacement by fibrous granulation tissue. Because of its polychromaticity, IPL can target oxyhemoglobin (predominantly found in clinically red lesions), deoxygenated hemoglobin (predominantly in blue lesions), and methemoglobin, with absorption peak wavelengths of 418, 542, and 577. The successful treatment of vascular lesions with IPL depends on the type and size of vessels targeted, with cherry angiomas and superficial telangiectatic veins typically demonstrating the best response.
IPL for Treating Photoaged Skin
Among the variety of methods used to treat photoaged skin, IPL has gained significant interest because of the patient’s rapid recovery after the procedure. Dyschromia, especially of the face, is a common complaint of patients seeking photorejuvenation with laser or light technology. Localized epidermal melanocyte, melanin, or ecstatic vessel aggregates enhance the color contrast with the surrounding skin giving it an uneven, heterogeneous tone. Breaks in the homogeneous color palette of the skin are perceived by the human eye as “imperfections” and has been shown to be one of the principal defining features of “old”-appearing skin. When utilizing a light source for treatment of pigmented skin lesions, the localization of the pigment target is a key determinant for the selection of the appropriate therapeutic wavelength. Wavelengths in the range of 630 to 1100nm account for both a preferential absorption of melanin over hemoglobin as well as an effective dermal penetration depth.
The mechanism of action of IPL for treating pigmentary lesions is thought to be the result of rapid differentiation of keratinocytes induced by thermal heating. This process results in an upward transfer of melanosomes along with necrotic keratinocytes, resulting in their elimination as the microcrusts are removed from the skin surface. These effects have been demonstrated in vivo using both reflectance-mode confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography, which allow precise visualization of melanosomes in the skin in horizontal and vertical dimensions, respectively.
IPL for Rhytids and Wrinkles
Fine superficial wrinkles in the skin are the result of a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic aging processes that affect the skin with the passage of time. Intrinsic aging results in the gradual reduction of extracellular matrix proteins, such as collagen and hyaluronic acids, in the dermis due to a chronological senescence of dermal fibroblasts. Extrinsic aging of the skin is mainly the result of long-term exposure to UV radiation from the sun, which leads to further breakdown of collagen fibers by oxygen radicals. The overall result is a decrease in dermal structural support and volume, leading to a reduction in skin torsion extensibility, thereby causing the overlying redundant epidermis to wrinkle.
The thermal stimulation of dermal fibroblasts by the higher wavelengths within the IPL spectrum has been shown to result in increased synthesis of extracellular matrix proteins, leading to at least partial replacement of the lost dermal volume. Specifically, wavelengths in the 1200nm spectrum are absorbed by water in the dermis, triggering a cytokine reaction, which, in turn, stimulates the formation of new collagen I, III, and elastin. Histological evaluation of the effects of five subsequent IPL treatments with 570 to 645nm wavelengths showed epidermal thickening of 100 to 300µm, a decrease in horny plugs, new rete ridge formation, a decrease in proportion of degenerated elastic fibers, and new dermal collagen formation.
The most commonly targeted wrinkles are those in the perioral and periorbital regions, with finer, more superficial lines typically responding better than deeper furrows. Results are often subtle and require multiple treatment sessions. Recent studies suggest that combining localized or full-face IPL treatments with concomitant botulinum toxin injections for dynamic rhytids produce better results than IPL treatment alone.
As the first step in the Elight Facial Collagen Boost procedure, Elight has multiple benefits which can scientifically help improve the skin layer and texture, and diminish fine lines. Nevertheless, a consistent, regular treatment is essential to reap the benefits of Elight. In our next segment of this In-Depth Series, we will find out more about what our AfterGlow Red Light treatment is all about, and its benefits to your skin.