Who doesn’t want to look and feel younger? As we age, changes in our skin like wrinkles, sagging, and discoloration can make us appear older than we feel on the inside. The pursuit of youthful skin has led to an explosion in the anti-aging industry, with people spending billions each year on creams, serums, procedures and more.
Red light therapy has emerged in recent years as a non-invasive way to potentially slow signs of aging. But does this fancy-sounding therapy really deliver on its claims? Or is it all just hype and snake oil? Keep reading as we dive into the science behind red light therapy for anti-aging and how it can help you achieve a more youthful glow.
History of Red Light Therapy
The healing power of red light has been recognized for decades. Early NASA research in the 1980s and 1990s examined using red light to grow plants during space travel. They discovered that the red and infrared wavelengths stimulated energy metabolism in plant cells. This spawned further research into how red light could impact human cell function and treat conditions like skin wounds and tissue damage.
Since then, extensive research has uncovered the many ways red light positively affects the skin to reduce visible signs of aging. Now red light therapy is increasingly used in salons and medical spas for anti-aging effects. Home devices have also become popular for their convenience and lower cost for regular use. But what does the science say about red light therapy for anti-aging? Let’s find out.
How Red Light Therapy Can Make You Look Younger?
So how exactly can shining red light on your skin make you look younger? Red light therapy works on a cellular level to stimulate collagen production, renew skin cells, improve circulation and more. Here are some of the ways it improves aging skin:
Increases Collagen Production
Collagen is the structural protein that keeps skin firm, plump and elastic. As we age, collagen breaks down leading to wrinkles and sagging. Red light penetrates deep into skin and stimulates fibroblasts, the cells that produce collagen. This boost in collagen leads to smoother, firmer, and more youthful looking skin over time. Studies confirm red light significantly increases pro-collagen production.
Renews Skin Cells
Our skin cells have a turnover cycle where new cells push older ones to the surface. Those dead cells then shed off. As we age, this cell turnover process slows down leading to dull uneven skin with fine lines and dark spots. Red light therapy boosts cell renewal by stimulating mitochondria activity which gives cells energy. The light also increases circulation bringing nutrients and oxygen to skin cells. This rejuvenates skin cells to restore a healthy, radiant glow.
Reduces Redness and Inflammation
Redness, inflammation, and dilated blood vessels can make skin appear older. Red light helps constrict blood vessels reducing facial redness. The light also has anti-inflammatory effects which diminish puffiness. This gives skin a calmer, less irritated, more youthful appearance.
Increases Blood Circulation
Good circulation brings oxygen and nutrients to our cells and whisks away waste. Poor circulation shows in our skin as dullness, dryness, and a tired look. Red light expands blood vessels increasing blood flow and oxygen to skin cells. Improved circulation gives skin a healthy flush.
Stimulates Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system helps remove toxins and excess fluid from our tissues. Red light activates lymph channels to improve waste drainage. This reduces puffiness caused by trapped fluid. Improved lymphatic flow also gives skin a clarity boost.
Increases Fibroblast Production
Fibroblasts are skin cells that produce collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid which keep skin youthful. Red light boosts fibroblast production and activity. This enables fibroblasts to ramp up production of collagen, elastin and HA for lift, firmness and glow.
Red light also helps repair skin damage that contributes to aging like dark spots, fine lines, rough texture and enlarged pores. The light stimulates healing responses and regenerates healthier, younger looking skin. Red light is shown to treat rosacea, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and signs of photoaging.
Now that we’ve covered the science behind red light therapy for anti-aging, let’s look at the evidence.
Studies Confirm Red Light Therapy Delivers Anti-Aging Benefits
But does the research back up these claims for anti-aging effects? Here is a look at some promising studies on using red light as an anti-aging treatment:
- In a 2007 controlled study, patients with facial wrinkles were treated with at-home 830 and 633nm red light twice a week for 4 weeks. Studies have found that the amount of collagen and elastin fibers increases significantly, which can effectively rejuvenate the skin.
- A 2014 clinical trial showed that red light therapy reduces fine lines, wrinkles and improves the appearance of skin by increasing intradermal collagen.
- Another study from the same year showed that red light therapy can increase pigmentation by stimulating melanocyte proliferation and reduce pigmentation by suppressing autoimmunity.
The results from these kinds of clinical trials and objective research reviews indicate red light therapy is a legitimate anti-aging solution. Consistent red light therapy sessions will produce the most dramatic improvements in combatting wrinkles and achieving more youthful looking skin overall.
Who Should Not Use Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy is very safe for most people when used correctly. However, certain conditions and medications could make light therapy unsafe. People who should avoid red light therapy include:
- Those who have light-sensitive conditions or are taking photosensitizing medications. These include lupus, porphyria, and some antibiotics. The light could worsen rashes and symptoms.
- People with thyroid issues or autoimmune diseases. Red light may over-stimulate thyroid hormones or the immune system for these groups.
- Cancer patients, especially those on chemo or radiation. Red light may help cancer cells grow. Patients should consult doctors first.
- Anyone with an implantable medical device like a pacemaker or defibrillator. The light could disrupt the devices.
- People taking medications that cause light sensitivity like isotretinoin or doxycycline.
- Those with skin cancer malignant melanomas. Red light could exacerbate this condition.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Not enough research has been done on red light therapy for these groups.
Talk to your doctor before trying red light treatments if you have any underlying medical conditions or take medications. Make sure to tell your technician about any health issues too. When used correctly, red light poses little risk for most people. But it helps to be cautious.
Pros and Cons of Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy has many benefits but also some limitations to consider:
- Non-invasive and drug-free
- Little to no side effects when used properly
- Improves wrinkles, skin texture, tone, and radiance
- Stimulates natural collagen and cell renewal
- No downtime – safe for all skin types
- More affordable than many age-reversing laser procedures
- Can be convenient at home
- Multiple treatments needed for best results
- Results accumulate gradually over weeks and months
- Not as dramatic a change as lasers, botox, fillers etc.
- Clinical treatments can be expensive without lasting results
- Poor home devices may be too weak to provide anti-aging benefits
- Not enough evidence on long-term use past 1 year
The pros heavily outweigh the cons for most people. Red light therapy is a safe, non-invasive way to improve aging skin and look more youthful. Home use provides a very affordable option. Multiple treatments per week deliver better results long-term than occasional clinical sessions. Just be sure to invest in a high-quality home device with proven power density.
Red Light Therapy vs. Other Anti-Aging Treatments
Red light therapy is emerging as a new player in the vast anti-aging market. Treatments like lasers, chemical peels, filler injections and others come with more risks and side effects compared to non-invasive red light. Here is how red light stacks up against some other popular anti-aging options:
- Red Light vs. Anti-Aging Creams – Topical creams improve surface hydration and may provide temporary tightening. But they don’t stimulate lasting structural changes beneath the skin’s surface like increased collagen. Red light reaches deeper layers of the skin to smooth wrinkles from the inside out.
- Red Light vs. Botox & Fillers – Botox paralyzes muscles to relax wrinkles while fillers like Juvederm plump up wrinkled areas and fill in lost volume. Both have potentially serious side effects. Red light is safer and improves the overall quality of the skin for more complete rejuvenation.
- Red Light vs. Microneedling – Microneedling creates tiny injuries under the skin to promote healing and new collagen. It requires numbing, involves bleeding and carries a risk of infection and scarring. Red light is completely non-invasive with no wounds or downtime.
- Red Light vs. Chemical Peels – Chemical peels dissolve the outermost skin layer to reveal newer skin and must be carefully neutralized. Red light works beneath the skin without any harsh chemicals.
- Red Light vs. Lasers – Ablative lasers essentially burn off skin layers and usually require anaesthesia. Non-ablative lasers are gentler but still may cause discomfort. Red light has no pain and zero side effects.
For those seeking to avoid harsh treatments and minimize risks, red light therapy provides natural-looking rejuvenation with far fewer drawbacks. The treatment is safe for all skin types and requires no downtime. Sessions are quick and comfortable. Red light can be used alone or combined with other non-invasive anti-aging treatments for optimal effects.
While red light therapy cannot permanently stop the aging process, a wealth of research supports its effectiveness at reducing visible signs of aging like wrinkles. Red light cannot replace cosmetic procedures that instantly eliminate wrinkles or sagging. But it does offer slower, more gradual rejuvenation of the complexion, especially with regular long-term use. So if you’re seeking a pain-free, non-invasive way to restore a more youthful glow, red light therapy is certainly worth a try.
Published by reddotled.com (Repost Tips)