Everything You Need to Know About Red Light Therapy

what is red light therapy




Red light therapy is a natural and scientifically supported way of improving the health of your skin, with benefits ranging from reducing inflammation to preventing fine lines and wrinkles. If you want to know more about what red light therapy is, how it works and how to use it, read on! This blog post will contain everything you need to know about red light therapy.

The History of Red Light Therapy

Light therapy might seem like a new invention, but it’s been around for longer than you might expect. It has been studied and used by various communities for several decades. Red light has been researched by scientists for a while, including by NASA in the 1980s. Peer-reviewed studies have uncovered many health benefits with few side effects, making this an effective and safe method of treating various skin concerns. This has led to red light therapy entering the public consciousness lately, especially with the introduction of accessible, medical-grade red light devices that can be used at home.

the history of red light therapy

How Red Light Therapy Works

It’s all well and good to know that red light therapy is safe and works, but what does it actually do, and why does it work? Red light therapy involves a light of two specific wavelengths delivered directly to your body. These wavelengths are mid 600nm red light and mid 800nm near-infrared light, which are completely natural wavelengths of light that are also emitted by the sun. The sun emits the highest amounts of this during sunrise and sunset, which means that most of us aren’t regularly exposed to it naturally. But all the wavelengths of the sun’s light have a purpose in our body, and these two wavelengths are some of the most crucial and have unique abilities.

Red light penetrates your skin 8-11mm into your body. The chemical reactions that follow stimulate the body’s natural healing and protecting processes by boosting mitochondrial function and energy production in your cells. It also stimulates collagen synthesis and fibroblast formation, enhances blood flow and supports DNA repair. Essentially, the photons from the red light are absorbed by mitochondrial chromophores in your skin cells, helping the mitochondria produce more energy more effectively. If you remember anything from high school biology, you probably remember how important the mitochondria are. Mitochondria are in all of our cells, and the health of these cells depends on the mitochondria. This means that all the cells that make up all our tissue and organs depend on the health of mitochondria. That’s why red light therapy is so effective, and why it has so many health benefits across so many regions and systems of our bodies.

before and after red light therapy

Beauty & Anti-Aging Benefits of Red Light Therapy

Healthy skin is a big part of our beauty and confidence, which is why red light therapy has become so popular as a beauty treatment. There are many aesthetic skin benefits to using red light therapy, both on our faces and beyond. The red light treats the roots of your skin concerns, leading to lasting results. Some of the biggest aesthetic benefits of red light therapy include smoother skin tone, decreased inflammation, boosted collagen and reduced scarring, hyperpigmentation, acne, fine lines and wrinkles. Your skin becomes clearer, smoother and younger-looking. All these effects have been observed in clinical trials. Best of all, this happens naturally and non-invasively, with no injections or similar procedures, and can be achieved from the comfort of your own home!

beauty benefits red light therapy

Red Light Therapy’s Health Benefits

Red light therapy is not just a beauty treatment, though. It also has other positive effects on many aspects of our health. For example, red light has been shown to relieve the symptoms of skin conditions like psoriasis and herpes. These conditions are notoriously difficult to treat and can manifest in painful ways, but utilising red light therapy on the affected areas of your body can alleviate your symptoms.

If you suffer from chronic or dysfunctional inflammation, red light therapy can also be beneficial for that. Inflammation in the body results in various symptoms throughout our bodies, from fatigue and fever to pain in the stomach, chest and joints. It’s an uncomfortable reality to live with and has many negative effects on our health and lifespan. Red light therapy inhibits the cellular process involved in inflammation, which includes reducing oxidative damage and reducing the inflammatory cytokines. Because of this, it also serves as a way of treating acute and chronic inflammation.

health benefits red light therapy

Lastly, both hobby and professional athletes appreciate red light therapy as an effective way of assisting exercise recovery. You might not be aware of this, but muscle tissue has more mitochondria than other cells in our bodies, making it easy to support with the help of red light therapy. Using red light therapy before exercising is a way to prepare your body for supporting the increased strength and stamina associated with working out, boosting your exercise performance. Using red light therapy devices after exercising helps you recover faster, with less pain and inflammation. In these ways, red light can help you improve your sports performance and recover faster to get back in the game sooner. 

how to use red light therapy

How to Use It Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy can be accessed at clinics, but this is inexpensive and inaccessible to most of us. With the rise of red light therapy devices for at-home use, it’s more affordable and accessible than ever to buy your own red light therapy device to use at home, whenever and however you want. These devices will give you exactly the same results as the ones at a clinic.

To get the most out of your red light therapy, you should aim to use it in the morning before applying any other skincare products. Using it in the evening is also fine if this isn’t doable for you. Do this 4-6 times a week for around 10 minutes, with the red light source being 12-24 inches away. You can use it only on your face, but you’ll see many other results if you utilise red light therapy on as much of your body as possible. The results you’ll get are cumulative, which means that even though there might some improvement fairly quickly, these won’t be long-lasting. Consistent use will get you the real results in 3-6 months.

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