Blotchy, inflamed and red—sound familiar?
Or maybe your skin is showing signs of stress? With a routine all over the place.
Then, you will need to press reset with red light therapy.
It has numerous healing and skin-rejuvenating benefits.
That goes far beyond what is possible with a topical.
Bringing calm and radiance to your complexion.
In this article, we discuss with our founder why she loves red light therapy so much.
You’re a big advocate of red light therapy; why?
I’m a licensed esthetician, skin educator, and the founder of the Naked Chemist range, with over 30 years of experience working directly with the skin.
The reason this is my go-to treatment is that you can roughly break down our client’s skin concerns into four groups:
- 20% of them have oily/combination skin (blue light therapy is excellent for this)
- 30% are concerned with conditions associated with ageing
- 30% of them are concerned with skin conditions presenting on their skin, like rosacea, inflammation, psoriasis, ageing and acne inflammation
- 20% of them have post-procedure side effects due to harsh treatments like micro-needling, chemical peels or laser
The 80 % of clients with sensitivity, ageing concerns or post-procedure problems will benefit from red light therapy.
Red light therapy protects your barrier
The other reason I love this treatment is that I work from a holistic viewpoint, and red light therapy fits in with my philosophy.
What I mean by this is when I’m working with clients, I always want to come from a place of keeping the protective barrier functioning at its optimum potential and the delicate micro-flora that makes up the acid mantle intact. Which ultimately keeps the pH balanced and the skin healthy and free from conditions. Why destroy something that is there to protect you? To then build it back up again? It makes no sense to me.
Red light therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses specific red light therapy wavelength to promote healing, reduce inflammation, and improve skin health.
The company Therapeutic Beams offers a range of red light therapy devices designed to provide safe and effective treatment for various conditions.
The following studies are pretty exciting in terms of how red light therapy can improve skin conditions:
A considerable body of research (1) suggests that LED light therapy helps to improve skin conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, and solar keratoses—those scaly, dry patches of skin damaged by the sun.
This study (2) found that red light therapy significantly increased cellular growth by an impressive 150 to 170%—promoting wound healing and reducing associated pain.
One of the critical processes involved in healing wounds and scars is the production of new collagen, which we discuss in this article.
This study (3) on skin cells found that red light therapy significantly boosted collagen production and improved skin texture.
Red light benefits
It is an excellent treatment for facial rejuvenation, wound healing, and pain.
These are just some of the benefits that can be obtained from this gold star treatment.
- immune health
- heals wounds
- sagging skin
- post-procedure care.
- acne inflammation
- fine lines and wrinkles
- sluggish lymphatic system
- strengthen the immune system
- protects against pathogens and diseases
So you can begin to get a fundamental understanding of why I like this treatment.
Alongside these skin rejuvenation benefits, research around red light therapy shows a success rate in assisting with pain, which is why it is often used in sports injury rehabilitation.
Moving forward, the possibilities of red light therapy to treat a variety of health and aesthetic concerns are emerging rapidly.
This is all thanks to interest and research from hospitals and universities and the at-home devices making their use more accessible.
Red light treatment has become really popular for at-home use in the past few years.
These devices typically take the form of tools like wands, masks or lamps, with dozens to hundreds of little LED lights attached.
Individual results vary and will never be as strong as your clinic treatment.
However, if you experience side effects, I recommend immediately consulting your doctor or dermatologist and stopping using the device.
You recommend it for post-micro-needling; why?
Yes, because red light therapy stimulates the lymphatic system and helps to strengthen the immune system—your body’s internal army that protects you against toxins, pathogens and disease—a topic I discuss in this article on sensitivity.
Why don’t you recommend laser or peels as a post-procedure treatment after micro-needling?
Microneedling creates maximum barrier disruption.
Immediately after treatment, the channels in your skin are open, and any active ingredients like peels or vitamin C are in ascorbic acid (the clue being in the word acid).
When applied to your skin during and after treatment, it infuses into the deeper layers, causing irritation and inflammation under the skin’s surface.
As a result, we see more people presenting with skin problems and systemic illnesses.
Why is inflammation harmful to the skin?
The short answer is that it is the route of all premature ageing.
Think sun-damaged skin, which is thick, leathery, and heavily lined, all due to inflammation in the tissues of your skin.
This is a subject we discuss here.
Understanding LED therapy
You’ll have to bear with us here as we get a bit skin sciency.
LED (Light-Emitting Diode) devices have a lot of science behind them, and what’s more, NASA has also studied them, which is really impressive.
Different wavelengths of visible white light are used to change the behaviour of your skin cells.
The wavelengths used for LED light therapy are:
- Blue LED: 450-500 nm
- Yellow LED: 570-590 nm
- Red LED: 610-760 nm
- Near Infrared: < 760nm
Different lights can offer other benefits for your skin, which we discuss in the article on led light therapy.
Blue light therapy is excellent for oily skin, and if you suffer from breakouts or acne, blue light also kills acne bacteria.
Using them combined can make a huge difference in your skin, especially if you have many conditions.
When the red light is combined with near-infrared light, used in masks and at higher strength in clinics, it is a powerful combination for cellular restoration and immune health.
You may be surprised to learn that there are imposters in the world of RED light therapy.
Unfortunately, copycat machines promise claims and even supply results that they say are based upon real, tested and genuine reviews. Yet, these copycat machines are poorly executed.
One company comes in the form of “full body red light therapy”, which utilises fluorescent tubes emitting red-coloured light.
However, the colour of the light is not the equivalent light energy emitted from a light-emitting diode or LED.
Florescent tubes can’t produce a stable light spectrum like LEDs because of the variables existing in the production and application of said tubes.
It is essential to understand that fluorescent tube lights can inherently be off by as much as +/- 10% of their original specifications; this can vary wildly depending on the equipment used.
Other variables may include power supply, the proximity of the lamp to the body, acrylic shields, reflectors, temperature, and the age of the bulb.
These variables cause the spectrum, which is 633 nanometers, to become an entirely different spectrum; these variables have not been resolved with fluorescent tube-type and consequently don’t produce enough verifiable stability in output.
Therefore, these are not actual red light therapies but an attempt to capture the unsuspecting user with a marketing message from real-world LED results.
The FDA has prohibited the use and/or modification of these copycat products until proven they are not harmful and/or produce the results being claimed.
To conclude. The naked truth
While research on red light therapy is ongoing, it remains exciting because of the proven positive effects we see in facial rejuvenation.
Its benefits for sensitive skin are wide-reaching, and it has the potential to assist in treating acne inflammation and reducing redness.
We also see excellent results in helping our clients decrease their healing time after specific procedures like micro-needling.
If that’s not enough, it might even stimulate hair growth and general skin rejuvenation.
There are some copycat machines out there, so do your research well, and if in doubt, read this by Omnilux (4), a company with integrity.
With red light therapy reading like a beauty resume, I think you’d agree if you have sensitive skin or conditions associated with inflammation or premature ageing.
Your skin could benefit from some red light therapy love.
Phototherapy with Light Emitting Diodes
Effect of NASA light-emitting diode irradiation on wound healing
Skin photorejuvenation effects of light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
- Omnilux medical treatment protocol.