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What does near infrared do for skin?

As we age, skin loses its youthful glow and regenerative power, manifesting in wrinkles, sagging, and dull tone. An exciting new technique in anti-aging skincare aims to reverse this process using near infrared light therapy. Did you know that this remarkable wavelength of light can work wonders on your skin? From rejuvenation to increased collagen production, near-infrared has become a hot topic in skincare. In this short article, we’ll unveil the secrets behind near-infrared and unveil its transformative benefits for your skin.

What does near infrared do for skin?

Source: The picture comes from the Internet

What is Near Infrared Light?

Near infrared light is part of the invisible light spectrum, with wavelengths from 780-1400nm. It is adjacent to visible red light on the electromagnetic spectrum. We cannot see near infrared light, but we can feel it as heat. Near infrared is also sometimes called infrared-A or NIR-A.

Near infrared wavelengths penetrate deeper into the skin than visible light because they have lower frequency and longer wavelengths. This ability to penetrate makes NIR highly effective and safe for therapeutic uses. Scientists have found that cells in the body actually absorb and use NIR through a process called photobiomodulation. Let’s explore more about how this fascinating form of light therapy works!

How Does Near Infrared Work on Skin?

When the skin and tissues absorb near infrared light, it initiates a series of beneficial biological changes at the cellular level. Here are some of the key effects:

  • Increases ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production – ATP is the primary energy source for cells. By boosting ATP, cells have more energy to carry out their normal functions and self-repair mechanisms.
  • Stimulates collagen and elastin production – These proteins give skin its youthful strength and elasticity. More collagen and elastin means firmer, smoother, and more supple skin.
  • Reduces inflammation – NIR light has anti-inflammatory effects that can calm irritation, puffiness, and redness. It helps damaged cells recover faster.
  • Improves blood circulation – NIR widens blood vessels for better circulation and oxygenation. More blood flow allows the skin to regenerate and heal faster.
  • Activates lymphatic drainage – The lymphatic system removes waste products from the skin. NIR gets it working efficiently so toxins and excess fluid can drain away.
  • Increases cellular repair and renewal – Photobiomodulation enhances the metabolism and speeds up cell turnover. This rejuvenates aging and damaged skin.
  • Kills bacteria – The light has natural antibacterial effects to destroy acne-causing bacteria like P. acnes. This helps clear up breakouts.

Research is still teasing out exactly how near infrared light achieves these skin benefits at the molecular level. But clinical studies so far have demonstrated promising dermatological applications which we’ll discuss next.

How Does Near Infrared Work on Skin?

Source: The picture comes from the Internet

What Are The Benefits of Near Infrared Light Therapy?

Near infrared light therapy has been studied for a variety of skin applications. Some of the most researched benefits include:

Anti-Aging Effects

Multiple clinical studies have found near infrared light exposure can help smooth wrinkles, even out skin tone, improve elasticity, and give skin a more youthful appearance overall. In direct comparative studies against red LED light, near infrared consistently performed better at reducing signs of aging.[1]

Improved Cellulite Appearance

Cellulite refers to the dimpled, uneven appearance of skin caused by fat deposits pressing through the connective tissue under the skin. Some early research indicates near infrared light therapy may help reduce the visible appearance of cellulite. Proposed mechanisms include releasing fibrous septa, increasing circulation, and stimulating collagen production. More clinical studies are needed to confirm the benefit.[2]

Reduces Inflammation & Redness

The anti-inflammatory effects of near infrared light have been shown to alleviate common inflammatory skin disorders. In psoriasis patients, regular near infrared light treatment improved symptoms and disease severity scores. For people with eczema, near infrared exposure reduced skin redness, inflammation, and roughness. Near infrared may also help reduce acne through its ability to destroy acne-causing bacteria.[3]

Repairs Skin Damage

Near infrared light promotes wound healing and helps repair damage from issues like acne scarring or sun exposure by stimulating tissue regeneration. This speeds healing time and minimizes the appearance of scars.[4]

What Are The Benefits of Near Infrared Light Therapy?

Source: The picture comes from the Internet

Are There Any Side Effects of Near Infrared Light?

Near infrared light is considered extremely safe with no adverse side effects. It’s a non-invasive, gentle therapy that does not damage living tissue like ultraviolet light or X-rays do.

Some minor side effects may include:

  • Warm sensation or mild heat during treatment
  • Temporary redness or swelling after treatment
  • Headaches (rare)

These side effects are mild, temporary, and subside quickly after treatment.

Of course, as with any light therapy device, it’s important to wear protective eye goggles during use. But overall, near infrared light therapy is very well-tolerated with an excellent safety profile.

Who Should Avoid Near Infrared Light Therapy?

Near infrared light therapy is suitable for most people, but certain individuals should avoid it or use carefully under supervision:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women: Effects are unknown on fetus or infant. Use with caution or avoid.
  • People with light-sensitive conditions: Like porphyria or solar urticaria.
  • People on photosensitizing medications: Certain medications like some antibiotics, antihistamines, retinoids, and NSAIDs can increase light sensitivity.
  • Cancer patients: Talk to your oncologist before use, though some types like breast cancer appear unaffected.
  • Individuals with implants: Use carefully around metallic or silicone implants.
  • People with lupus or autoimmune disorders: Near infrared may exacerbate symptoms so avoid.

It’s always best to consult your healthcare provider before starting near infrared light therapy if you have any ongoing health issues or take photosensitizing medications.

What Are The Best At-Home Near Infrared Devices?

If you’re looking to try near infrared therapy at home, RedDot LED offers an advanced FDA-cleared device that outperforms many competitors. Here’s why RedDot LED is a top option to consider:

  1. Medical-Grade LEDs: RedDot uses high-power LEDs that emit therapeutic wavelengths optimal for skin cell rejuvenation. The LEDs deliver concentrated near infrared light at 850nm and 660nm for deeper tissue penetration.
  2. Larger Treatment Surface Area: RedDot can cover larger sections of skin at once for full face and body treatment. This reduces treatment time while maximizing results.
  3. Flexible, Customizable Treatment: RedDot allows you to easily adjust the treatment time and intensity settings based on your needs. Ramp up the therapy gradually for comfort.
  4. Touch Screen: The touch screen makes the RedDot device easy to control and adjust during your light therapy session.
  5. 3 Year Warranty: RedDot LED comes with a 3 year manufacturer’s warranty for peace of mind.


Near infrared light is an emerging therapy that science continues to uncover benefits of, particularly for skin health and anti-aging. With its safety profile, ability to stimulate cellular renewal, and ease of in-home use, near infrared light devices like RedDot LED make an excellent addition to your skincare routine. Consistent use can help restore a more youthful, healthy glow and reduce visible signs of aging.



[1]Alexander Wunschcorresponding author and Karsten Matuschka. A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase. Photomed Laser Surg. 2014 Feb 1; 32(2): 93–100.

[2]Fernanda Rossi Paolillo, Audrey Borghi-Silva, Nivaldo Antonio Parizotto, et al. New treatment of cellulite with infrared-LED illumination applied during high-intensity treadmill training. Controlled Clinical Trial J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2011 Aug;13(4):166-71.

[3]Susan Pei, Arun C. Inamadar, Keshavmurthy A. Adya, and Maria M. Tsoukas. Light-based therapies in acne treatment. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2015 May-Jun; 6(3): 145–157.

[4]Pinar Avci, Asheesh Gupta, Magesh Sadasivam, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013 Mar; 32(1): 41–52.

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