Red Light Therapy for Skin Care
You may have seen some interesting looking mask-like devices being advertised on your social media feed and on beauty websites. There’s a good chance you’re seeing the home version of something called red light therapy for skincare.
This unconventional but safe treatment has been around since the late 1800s. Red light therapy has been used to treat tuberculosis and in the 1980s was used by NASA in space to grow plants and speed the healing of astronaut’s wounds. Now you can get your own device for home cosmetic use. But what is red light therapy and how can you use it?
What is red light therapy?
Red light therapy or RLT is a low wavelength of light that can be used for medical and cosmetic purposes. It’s a light emitting diode or LED that lets off light and heat.
The red light can penetrate the top layer of your skin and get into the dermis, or lower layer. RLT works on the mitochondria within your cells in the dermis by stimulating them with energy so they can be more efficient. The cells can then better make repairs or your body is stimulated to make new cells. Red light therapy may be another way to promote the cellular turnover cycle.
Studies are actively being done and whether or not it works is controversial. There are accepted medical uses for some skin conditions such as psoriasis, warts and even skin cancer.
Red light therapy also goes by several other names:
Low-level laser light therapy
Cold laser therapy
Non-thermal LED light
Soft laser therapy
Biostimulation or photonic stimulation
Photobiomodulation and phototherapy
What does red light therapy do?
On a very basic level, people claim to be getting results particularly with anti-aging aspects. RLT has shown promise in reducing wrinkles. But it may also treat redness, acne and scars.
At the cellular level, RLT is working to do a bit more:
Help to stimulate the production of collagen, a substance that makes skin firm and plump.
Increases the fibroblasts that make the collagen.
Increases circulation to skin.
Reduces inflammation in cells, and therefore throughout the body.
Anti-Aging Benefits of Red Light Therapy
There is a lot of support that shows red light therapy may have some amazing benefits for anti-aging. One study shows that RLT increases the skin’s production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. All of these things contribute to a more youthful appearance by reducing wrinkles, fine lines, pore size, and elasticity.
Red Light Therapy for Acne
RLT has been shown to help treat the redness and inflammation that goes along with acne. By treating those things at the source, acne itself can be tamed. It tends to work better on mild to moderate cases.
People who have acne generally use a lot of chemicals to treat their condition. Red light therapy is more gentle and is safe and non-irritating.
Other Skin Issues
There are other cosmetic and medical issues that red light therapy may help treat. Wounds and scars have been shown to benefit from this simple treatment. This is because the red light stimulates cell repair and boosts circulation.
Cold sores, or herpes simplex, may also benefit. Red light therapy treatments may help with faster healing and decrease pain for those who suffer.
If you have stretch marks, you know how frustrating it can be when they show up in the wrong places. For the most part, if you have them, you’re stuck with them. Some people are having luck using RLT on stretch marks, though at this time there are no studies to prove anything. If you have a device, give it a try!
Does red light therapy work?
The verdict is still out on whether red light therapy works or not. It’s a controversial topic with some saying it’s a highly effective treatment and others saying it’s just a gimmick. Most of the studies show that RLT has potential but more information is needed.
The last thing anyone wants to be doing is throwing their money away on something that might not be working. The studies that have been done looking at RLT have not been very intensive. They’ve only looked at a small number of people or were limited to animals or tissue only. There just isn’t enough evidence at this time to say whether or not it works for certain.
There is anecdotal evidence from people who swear by RLT. And compared to other treatments, it is relatively inexpensive, especially if you purchase a device for home use.
Red Light Therapy at Home
RLT devices are available almost everywhere. They are safe to use, so even if they aren’t necessarily effective, they won’t do any physical harm. The home devices do use a lower wavelength and are less potent than the treatments you’d get in a dermatologist or esthetician's office. When looking to purchase your own RLT device, look for one that ranges from 600-900 nanometers.
Even at a lower power, you should use eye protection with a home RLT device. And if you’re leery about the product you’re getting, do your research by checking reviews. Like anything, you get what you pay for.
Although generally safe for home use, there are certain medications or topical creams that might trigger irritation. If in doubt, talk to your doctor.
Red Light Therapy and Skincare Products
Because the evidence supporting red light therapy is iffy right now, it’s really up to you whether or not you should give it a try. It may help support the cellular turnover cycle, which is the basis for all of Qyral’s products. Using RLT in conjunction with our custom made skincare won’t hurt. If you use both, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what results you’re getting!