What is Red Light Therapy, and What Does It Do?

A form of LED light therapy, red light therapy (RLT) is a therapeutic treatment that uses red LEDs to produce low-level wavelengths that penetrate the skin in a non-invasive way. Mitochondria in the body’s skin cells absorb the red light to create energy, which experts believe helps with cellular repair and health. Although red light therapy has a wide range of applications for both skincare and pain relief, much of the interest is in its applications for anti-aging.

Red light devices often produce visible light you can see, as well as infrared wavelengths that are outside the visible spectrum.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

Although red LEDs do not feel hot to the touch, they create friction and heat below the skin’s surface. Energizing cells in this way increases their activity, causing them to reproduce faster. Cells take in energy through their mitochondria, which tells them it’s time to divide. Using red light therapy is like a boost to your skin cells’ metabolism. Each time a skin cell splits from the energy of red LEDs, it creates two new copies of itself. As new cells emerge, they displace old, damaged cells that contribute to signs of aging.

What Does Red Light Therapy Do?

The result of light therapy treatments is more healthy skin cells, which can help to contribute to a more youthful appearance. Red light therapy can also increase your blood circulation to bring more oxygen and nutrients to your skin’s surface. Increased blood flow also contributes to faster skin cell regeneration. Unlike laser therapy or abrasion, red light therapy doesn’t need to destroy your skin tissue in order to rebuild it. Instead, the minimally invasive light boosts your skin’s natural cellular regeneration.

What Does Near Infrared Light Therapy Do ?

The visible light spectrum ranges from 810nm-940nm is invisible to the naked eye, it penetrates the body’s tissues more than visible light or ultraviolet light. Infrared light works by painlessly penetrating the skin, providing a greater depth that can reach the site of pain, be it the muscles, nerves, and even bones. This is important because it means that infrared light therapy can help even harder to reach cells and tissues.

When infrared light reaches body cells, it is absorbed by the mitochondria of the cell. This increases the cell’s metabolism which stimulates healing in the muscle, bone, skin, and subcutaneous tissue.

What are the Benefits of Red Near Infrared Light Therapy?

Many of the most popular benefits of red light therapy involve treating signs of age in the skin. Red light treatments have been shown to help reduce the appearance of:

• Reduce scars , wrinkles & fine lines

• Crow’s feet

• Reduce dark spots

• Muscle and Joint pain

• Speed wound healing

• Hair Re-growth

• Enhanced blood circulation

• Weight loss

• Anti-inflammatory

• Decreases pain

Additionally, red light energy also help with healing wounds and mitigating the appearance of scars. When used with blue light therapy, red light may also help reduce acne and blemishes. Other applications for red light therapy include regenerating muscle tissue, gum tissue, and other areas of the body.

Is Red Light Therapy Safe?

LEDs generate less heat than standard light bulbs. Because of the lower temperature, LED light therapy devices can be used comfortably and regularly on the body.

When using red light therapy in a dermatologist’s office or FDA-cleared home devices, the treatment is generally considered safe. Red and infrared LEDs contain no UV rays, so there’s no risk of skin cancer like from the sun.

How Long Does Red Light Therapy Take to Work?

Like most skincare products, the effects of red light therapy take time. Each device comes with its own recommended usage time, usually from 5-20 minutes per treatment area. You can choose to use it once or twice a day, or every other day, as your schedule allows. Consistency is key to seeing results. Even so, improvement to skin tone and appearance will happen gradually. You may see minor results quickly, but you will continue to see the full effects over three to six months. After that, you will want to use the device less frequently for maintenance.