Red light therapy is a term you might have come across, either during a visit to your dermatologist or while browsing through beauty products in a store. Additionally, it has gained attention due to celebrities like Victoria Beckham endorsing this skincare regimen on social media. But what exactly is red light therapy, and is it effective? This article will walk you through everything you should know about red light therapy.
What Is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy involves the use of light-emitting diodes (LED) or low-level laser therapy to promote cellular activity for therapeutic purposes. The treatment specifically utilizes the right wavelength of red light to trigger cellular changes that promote collagen production, which helps combat saggy and loose skin. It’s important to note that simply shining any red light on the skin won’t yield the desired effects—it must be the appropriate wavelength. This therapy is also referred to as photobiomodulation (PBM), low-level laser light therapy (LLLT), or low-power laser therapy (LPLT). The high-quality red light therapy devices from Mokolight utilize LED technology to emit red and near-infrared light in a therapy session. People who receive this treatment can visibly see the red light and experience the warmth of the near-infrared (NIR) radiation.
How Does It Work?
Red light therapy devices emit natural, therapeutic light that triggers a chemical reaction within the mitochondria of cells. This reaction leads to two primary effects:
Increased ATP Energy
Red light therapy reduces oxidative stress and boosts the generation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is a vital molecule generated through cellular respiration, serving as the “energy currency” for the body.
Improved Cell Signaling
Specific wavelengths of red light create a more favorable oxidative environment within cells. This activation initiates various intracellular signaling pathways, amplifies protein synthesis, activates enzymes, and promotes the progression of cell cycles.
LED Red Light Therapy vs Laser
Red light therapy stands apart from other treatment methods due to its painless nature and the absence of harm or damage to the skin. Unlike surface-level treatments, red light can penetrate up to 50 millimeters below the skin’s surface, and in some cases, it can even reach the brain, potentially offering benefits to mental acuity.
In contrast, other treatments like cold or hot lasers do not provide the same benefits as light therapy employing LED technology. These alternative methods may cause mild pain and have the potential to damage the outermost layer of skin. Additionally, the treatment area of laser therapy is often limited compared with LED light therapy.
Red Light Therapy VS Blue Light Therapy
Red light therapy and blue light therapy utilize distinct wavelengths of light and have different effects on the skin. Red light therapy has been employed to address issues such as inflammation, skin roughness, and fine lines. On the other hand, blue light therapy has been utilized as an acne treatment because of its interaction with bacteria.
Certain products offer the option of using a “combination light” mode where both red and blue light are activated simultaneously. However, it is not recommended as most scientific research and treatments have focused on the individual colors of light rather than their combination.
Applications of Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy lessens inflammation while expediting the healing of wounds and injuries. It has the potential to improve joint mobility, addressing typical problems brought on by ailments including carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, back pain, and other types of joint discomfort. Additionally, it can provide relief from neuropathic pain.
As collagen diminishes, wrinkles gradually appear on our face or neck. Red light therapy plays a role in promoting the production of collagen and fibroblasts, aiding in the reduction of these visible signs of aging. It targets various types of wrinkles, including those under the eyes, on the forehead, around the mouth (laugh lines), and at the corners of the eyes (crow’s feet).
Stimulates Hair Growth
In addition to its effects on the skin, red light therapy also has benefits for hair growth. You don’t need laser therapy to stimulate hair follicles. The appropriate wavelength of red light is sufficient to initiate hair growth.
The success of hair regrowth depends on several factors, with the absorption of visible red light by the hair follicles being crucial. Wavelengths ranging from 630 to 670 nanometers are particularly effective in being absorbed, triggering a natural biological reaction that encourages hair growth. However, it’s important to note that if the hair follicle has already died, it cannot absorb visible red light, and there are currently no known treatments to revive dead follicles. The timing of treatment initiation is also significant for successful hair regrowth. Starting treatment early yields better results.
It’s worth mentioning that red light will not stimulate hair growth in undesirable areas. If there are no hair follicles present in the treated areas, no hair will grow there. Red light therapy for hair regrowth takes two to three months to show a significant effect. Patience is key, and consistent daily treatments are important for optimal outcomes.
Treatment for Rosacea
Red light therapy is drug- and chemical-free, making it ideal for addressing rosacea. It is a non-invasive method and can be safely used on a daily basis without reported negative effects. Research has shown that visible red light has the potential to enhance the skin’s self-healing capabilities by up to 200%. When the skin absorbs red light, it energizes the skin cells and promotes self-healing. This therapy can improve blood circulation, ensuring oxygen delivery to areas that require repair and aiding in the healing process.
Red light therapy can effectively treat rosacea-related acne without the need for chemical-based products that may cause increased skin sensitivity. It is a safe and painless approach with no downtime for treating rosacea. The various wavelengths of red light used in Mokolight devices have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing inflammation and alleviating redness, swelling, as well as skin tenderness associated with rosacea. It can help manage symptoms such as redness or flushing and enhance the skin’s healing process from within.
While it may seem unlikely, there is scientific support for the idea that red light can aid in weight loss. Red light exposure can facilitate weight loss by causing fat cells to release their contents, making it easier for the body to eliminate fats.
When red light is applied to fatty areas of the body, it promotes the breakdown of fats. These fats are then converted into carbon dioxide, which is eliminated from the body through processes like urination, defecation, and exhalation.
To target and eliminate fat cells, you don’t require strong lasers or invasive treatments like liposuction. Just red light therapy can assist in reducing weight, provided they emit the proper wavelengths between 630 to 680 nm.
However, it’s important to note that making necessary lifestyle changes is crucial to achieving and maintaining weight loss. Merely relying on light therapy without adopting a healthy diet and exercise regimen may not yield satisfactory results. Consuming excessive salty snacks and junk food can lead to fluid retention and bloating, as well as contribute to weight gain through the accumulation of body fat.
Indeed, red light therapy offers tons of benefits for various skin-related concerns. It is a rewarding investment as it can address not only aesthetic issues but also aid in wound healing, pain relief, hair regrowth, rosacea management, weight loss, and slowing down the aging process.
Is It Safe?
Red light therapy is generally considered safe and does not have associated side effects when used correctly and for short durations. It is non-toxic, non-invasive, and milder compared with certain topical skin treatments.
Unlike other anti-aging treatments like chemical peels, dermabrasion, or laser therapy, LED light therapy does not cause burns. It is potentially safe for all colors and types of skin. However, if you are taking Accutane for acne or have skin rashes, it is not advised that you utilize LED light therapy.
Use red light therapy products as directed. Do not use them too frequently or without proper protection. Misuse can potentially result in damage to the skin or eyes if not adequately shielded.
To ensure the safest approach, it is recommended to consult with a dermatologist or a qualified healthcare professional. They can check your skin condition and recommend the treatment that suits you most.
How Often Should You Get Red Light Therapy?
LED face masks are typically applied to the skin for a duration of 20 to 30 minutes, and this treatment can be repeated 2 or 3 times per week. When using a handheld device, it is generally recommended to use it 3 to 5 times per week, with each session lasting 10 to 20 minutes.
The frequency of treatments may be different depending on the particular light therapy device being used. It is important to thoroughly read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions when using an at-home device.
Red light therapy shows promise as an emerging treatment for skin rejuvenation and addressing various conditions like acne, psoriasis, hyperpigmentation, and hair loss. It is typically regarded as safe with few side effects. However, if you suffer from severe acne, a skin condition, or thinning hair, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional.
How to Choose the Right Red Light Therapy Device?
When considering purchasing a red light therapy device for home use, it is advisable to prioritize devices from reliable companies that are labeled as “FDA approved.” In the United States, light therapy devices are required to have FDA clearance. It is important to note that many devices marketed online may not have FDA clearance, so it is safer to opt for FDA-cleared devices to ensure both safety and efficacy.
One recommended brand for red light therapy devices is Mokolight, which is not only backed by FDA clearance but also offers features such as portability, rechargeability, and comfort during use. Keep in mind that the quality of light therapy devices can vary significantly, so it is crucial to choose a high-quality device to maximize potential benefits.
Single Color LEDs
While it might be enticing to invest in a light therapy device that offers a variety of light colors, it is essential not to be swayed by the allure of additional features, especially considering the limited research conducted on combination lights such as purple light. Instead, choosing devices that allow you to use one light color at a time is preferable.
Light wavelengths are typically measured in nanometers (nm). The range of red light is 620 to 750 nm. Devices for red light therapy typically operate at 630 nm. Some devices provide red light at a variety of wavelengths, including near-infrared light that is just above 750 nm.
As a leading LED light design manufacturer, we are committed to working with our clinical partners to provide red light therapy devices of high quality. They are not only FDA-approved but also portable, rechargeable and comfortable to wear. Contact us to find out more!