Red light therapy is increasingly being used in tanning salons in addition to gyms, medical spas, and dermatology offices. Red light therapy focuses on healing from the inside out.
A vital compound in cellular regeneration, ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), is produced by your body due to red light therapy. It has been discovered to be an excellent approach to promote quicker healing, immune boosting, anti-aging, mood enhancement, muscular repair, and much more.
Let’s explore the pros of red light therapy and contrast the expense of individual sessions with the cost of an at-home device.
How Red Light Therapy Works
Red light therapy employs red wavelengths of the light spectrum and is a therapeutic technique. It is also known as low-level light therapy (LLLT) and photobiomodulation (PBM). Near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths fall between 800 and 1100 nanometers (nm), while red wavelengths vary from 630 to 660 nm. Red and NIR wavelengths are referred to collectively as “red light treatment.”
According to studies, the wavelengths that promote healing are between 620 and 660 nm (red) and 810 and 850 nm (NIR). It is called the “therapeutic window” at this point.
Red light therapy is a type of phototherapy that involves exposing the skin to red-spectrum light. The red light used in this therapy is typically 630-660 nanometers near the infrared range. The therapy is based on the idea that when the skin and underlying tissues absorb red and near-infrared light, it triggers a photochemical reaction that can increase cellular energy, stimulate cellular metabolism, and improve overall cellular function.
The red and near-infrared light used in red light therapy is often delivered using specialized devices, such as Platinum Therapy Lights, that emit light at specific wavelengths. The light is typically delivered for several minutes, with sessions lasting anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more.
When the skin absorbs light energy, it stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, both critical for skin health and appearance. It can also reduce inflammation, increase circulation, and improve skin hydration and texture.
Red light therapy is thought to work by penetrating the skin and increasing the energy levels in the cells. These wavelengths’ fantastic ability to start cellular healing is part of what makes them so exceptional. This is possible because the wavelengths can pass through the skin; red light can do so up to a depth of about 10 mm, while near-infrared light can do so up to a depth of about 2 to 7 cm, which is deep enough to pass through bone. When light enters the cell, it activates the mitochondria, tiny organelles that transform nutrition into the high-energy chemical adenosine triphosphate (ATP). All cellular processes require ATP, which is the body’s primary fuel.
A surge in ATP synthesis is produced by freshly activated cells. Numerous investigations and scientific reviews have demonstrated that this surge produces a variety of physiological advantages, from superficial to systemic.
This boost in cellular energy can lead to various benefits for the skin, including reduced inflammation, improved circulation, and increased collagen production. Some studies have also shown that red light therapy can effectively treat conditions such as acne, rosacea, and eczema.
It is important to note that while red light therapy has been shown to be safe and effective in many studies, more research is needed to fully understand how it works and how best to use it.
Benefits of Red Light Therapy
Over time, exposure to the sun may negatively affect our skin. The culprit is ultraviolet (UV) light; it causes fine lines and wrinkles by destroying the collagen and elastin fibers that keep skin taut and toned. A significant collagen boost is necessary to reverse UV damage, and that’s where LLLT comes in.
The increase in ATP noted earlier can increase collagen formation and reduce skin aging indications. In 94 percent of participants, a 2009 study discovered that regular LLLT sessions appeared to lessen the depth and severity of lines and wrinkles.
Enhances Skin Tone and Texture
Skin can become rough and uneven as it ages, and collagen degrades. Red light therapy has been found in numerous tests to remove these flaws effectively. Red light therapy increases blood flow and improves circulation, leading to a more even skin tone and smoother texture.
Researchers from Germany published one such study in 2014. One hundred thirteen participants between the ages of 27 and 79 were randomized randomly to one of four therapy groups for the study. The individuals underwent twice-weekly treatments with either 611-650nm or 570-850nm wavelengths, with minor variations in treatment time and irradiance, depending on their group (the measure of how much light energy an area of the body receives).
Data gathered after 30 sessions revealed that all individuals experienced improvements in skin texture, roughness, and collagen density.
Reduces Acne Scars and Breakouts
Red light therapy has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect, which can help reduce acne breakouts and the appearance of acne scars. The therapy delivers low-level red and near-infrared light to the skin, improving cellular function and stimulating collagen and elastin production. This can reduce inflammation and promote the healing of skin tissues, which in turn may help to reduce the appearance of acne scars.
Stimulates Hair Growth
Some people use red light therapy to improve the health of their hair and stimulate hair growth.
Reduces the Appearance of Dark Circles
Red light therapy is thought to help even skin pigmentation, which may reduce the appearance of dark circles and age spots.
Heals Muscles and Wounds
When the body regenerates muscles after strenuous exercise, the consequence is more substantial muscles. Although expected, this procedure may be uncomfortable if inflammation develops and leads to muscles and joints that are constantly inflamed, such as with bursitis or iliotibial band syndrome.
Athletes’ muscle pain has been demonstrated to be reduced by LLLT, and their muscles’ blood flow and healing have been improved.
Reduces Inflammation and Oxidative Stress
Fibromyalgia, a condition that affects nearly 4 million Americans and is characterized by musculoskeletal pain, exhaustion, and troubles with sleep, memory, and mood, is mainly brought on by oxidative stress and inflammation.
Researchers from Taiwan found that most patients who underwent LLLT for fibromyalgia showed considerable improvement in symptoms, according to a comprehensive scientific review that was published in 2019. Red light therapy was described as an “effective, safe, and well-tolerated treatment for fibromyalgia” by the authors.
Ways To Take Red Light Therapy: At-Home vs. Clinical Sessions
If you’re convinced of the advantages of red light therapy, where should you utilize it: in a tanning bed or at home? Let’s look at the calculations for each one:
Red light therapy often costs between $30 and $100 per session at a tanning salon or other office. Red light therapy sessions costing $50 now and then are a manageable financial burden. However, these seemingly insignificant costs can pile up, so it’s wise to contrast the overall cost to a one-time investment in your device with unlimited usage.
Red light therapy is a long-term treatment, which is another crucial point to remember. To see improvements in your skin tone, adult acne, or wrinkles, it’s crucial to attend regular sessions. And if you want to employ red light therapy to help your muscles recuperate after working out, you should do so after every session.
But let’s take a closer look at the figures. The BIO 300, the least costly model from PlatinumLED Therapy Lights, retails for $369 and comes in red light (660nm), NIR (850nm), or a mix of red/NIR. The smallest PlatinumLED product works best for concentrating therapy on specific areas, such as the upper torso, face, or lower back.
Comparatively speaking, a conventional red light therapy gadget at a salon will most likely provide full-body coverage for roughly $50 for each session. If you go to a salon for seven sessions, you’ll have spent enough to pay for a red light treatment machine that you can use at home whenever you like, as often as you like, and whenever you like.
Remembering that red light therapy is a long-term investment is crucial. Regular use will yield the finest effects, but due to its numerous health and aesthetic advantages, you can continue to use it for months or even years as your wellness and health objectives alter. Why spend money on a few visits to a clinic, gym, spa, or anywhere else when you may have a device at home that you can use whenever you want?
How To Choose The Right Device
Here are some crucial considerations to bear in mind when buying a device for home use:
As was already established, irradiance is a measurement of the power a device emits over a space. Objects release less light energy with lower irradiance, which means your body receives fewer exciting light photons. Your sessions will need longer to provide the desired results the lower the irradiance.
The manufacturer may mention the irradiance of a device, which is often expressed in milliwatts per square centimeter (mW/cm2). However, they must remember to mention how far away from the device they need to be to get the most out of it.
Every product description for a PlatinumLED includes a picture that displays the entire light-meter footprint. This helps you determine how near the panel you need to be to benefit from its irradiance.
Take into account the variety of wavelengths you’ll need if you plan to use your device for several different tasks. Five different wavelengths—630 and 660 nanometers in the red wavelength range; 810, 830, and 850 nanometers in the NIR wavelength range—offer therapeutic advantages. On the PlatinumLED Therapy Lights website, you can read about the particular uses of various wavelengths.
A combination of red and NIR wavelengths is one choice provided by PlatinumLED that is not provided by most other businesses. This feature of the PlatinumLED BIO series allows you to switch between the two wavelengths depending on your needs.
Red light systems exist in many shapes and sizes, from small, handheld wands focusing on particular body parts to massive, interconnecting panels covering the entire body.
Your needs will determine the one you choose. Are sunspots, acne, wrinkles, or other skin issues your main concerns? If so, a modest panel is generally enough. Large panels in various sizes can provide greater flexibility if you want to recuperate from your workouts more quickly.
How To Use At-Home Devices For Red Light Therapy
An at-home red light treatment device can be used in various ways. Depending on the size of the area you wish to treat, you can either sit or stand in front of it. Following a workout or in between sets, you can stretch or foam roll in front of it. Alternately, you can set it up close to your treadmill, spin bike, or other cardio machine and perform a brief recovery exercise.
Customers in salons are limited to the existing setup. In most red light therapy beds in salons, you lie down and passively experience its effects, much like in a tanning bed. While there is nothing wrong with that approach, it is only one way to get a treatment that, when used with the correct tool, has many benefits.
What are the effects of light therapy on healing?
Red light treatment is supposed to function by influencing the mitochondria, or “power plant,” found in your body’s cells. Other cells can function more effectively with more energy by mending skin, promoting new cell formation, and improving skin renewal.
Which color is ideal for light therapy?
Red LED light therapy has the potential to reduce inflammation and boost collagen formation, which declines with age and is crucial for maintaining youthful-looking skin. Acne-causing bacteria may be destroyed by blue LED light therapy.
The therapy is said to increase cellular energy, stimulate collagen production, and reduce inflammation, leading to benefits such as anti-aging, improved skin texture and tone, acne reduction, and pain relief. Red light therapy brings up a whole new world of health and wellness benefits that can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home, whether for internal healing, muscular rehabilitation, or beautifying and anti-aging treatment.
In short, red light treatment offers many advantages for beautiful skin and overall health and improves your body from the inside out.
Taylor is a freelance SEO copywriter and blogger. His areas of expertise include technology, pop culture, and marketing.