Professional treatments

Why Red Light Therapy is the Gold Standard Treatment

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.

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. I have 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 the 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.

I also love this treatment because I work holistically, and red light therapy fits 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.

This holistic approach 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.

Exciting research

The following studies are 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 150 to 170%—promoting wound healing and reducing associated pain.

One important process 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.

  • redness
  • sensitivity
  • rosacea
  • 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 understand 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 are making their use more accessible.

At-home treatments

Red light therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses specific red light therapy wavelength to promote healing, reduce inflammation, and improve skin health.

These devices typically take the form of tools like wands, masks, or lamps with dozens to hundreds of tiny LED lights attached.

The company Therapeutic Beams offers a range of red light therapy devices designed to provide safe and effective treatment for various conditions.

I also really like Omnilux. Our clients have seen great results when using these two products at home.

However, if you experience side effects, I recommend immediately consulting your doctor or dermatologist and stop 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 the skin are wide 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. This is due to inflammation in the tissues of your skin, a subject I discuss in greater detail here.

Understanding LED therapy

You’ll have to bear with me here as I 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 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 the skin; I discuss more about this in the article LED light therapy.

Blue light therapy is excellent for oily skin; if you suffer from breakouts or acne, blue light kills acne bacteria.

When red light therapy and blue light are used in combination, it can make a massive difference to the skin, especially if you have many conditions.

When red light therapy is combined with near-infrared light, often used in masks and at higher strengths in clinics, it makes a powerful combination for cellular restoration, warding off premature ageing, immune health and healing sensitive skin.

Buyer beware

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 the power supply, the lamp’s proximity to the skin or body, the type of acrylic shields and reflectors used, the lamp’s temperature, and even the age of the bulb used.

These variables cause the spectrum, which is 633 nanometers, to become entirely different; 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 they are proven to be not harmful and/or produce the claimed results.

To conclude. The naked truth

While research on red light therapy is ongoing, it remains exciting because of all the proven positive effects that are coming to light (excuse the pun) regarding facial rejuvenation.

Its benefits for sensitive skin are wide-reaching, and it has the potential to assist in treating acne inflammation and reducing redness.

I also see excellent results in my client’s skin when decreasing their skin’s healing time post-procedure after treatments 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 you are in doubt, read this by Omnilux (4), a company I mentioned above that really does have years of research behind them and with integrity.

With red light therapy reading like a beauty resume, I think you’d agree that your skin could benefit from some red light therapy if you have sensitive skin or conditions associated with inflammation or premature ageing.

References

  1. Phototherapy with Light Emitting Diodes

  2. Effect of NASA light-emitting diode irradiation on wound healing

  3. Skin photorejuvenation effects of light-emitting diodes (LEDs)

  4. Omnilux medical treatment protocol.

 

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