Red Light Tanning: Is it Safe?

Red Light Therapy is gaining popularity nowadays. It promises to heal fine lines, reverse sun damage, heal wounds faster, and more. It is offered in spas and call it red light tanning. But is it safe? Let's dive in.
Red Light Tanning: Is it Safe?

Whether you’re new in your skincare journey or a skincare guru, we’re guessing you’ve probably heard of red light therapy. This form of light therapy has become increasingly popular in many tanning salons and aesthetic clinics. 

It has been advertised as a treatment for full-body skin rejuvenation, anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, and offers pain relief. It also claims to correct stretch marks, scars, and adult acne. 

In addition to its cosmetic claims, it’s also believed that certain wavelengths of red light produce therapeutic relief. Many versions — from handheld devices to masks to red light beds — are available nowadays.

Sounds pretty incredible, right? But before you use it, one important question remains: Is red light therapy safe and UV-free? Let’s dive in.

Trophy Skin RejuvaliteMD
RejuvaliteMD Red Light Therapy Lamp by Trophy Skin

 

Shop RejuvaliteMD Red Light Therapy Lamp

What is UV Light?

Ultraviolet light is a form of electromagnetic radiation. It has a wavelength from 10nm to 350nm. It is naturally present in sunlight, tanning lamps, black lights, and mercury-vapor lamps. 

If you have too much exposure to UV light, it causes sunburn, suntan, freckling, and poses a high risk of developing skin cancer. Pretty scary stuff. 

But despite the negative effects that UV light can have on our health, it is also the one responsible for producing one positive one: Vitamin D, or the “sun vitamin.”  

Does UV light have health benefits?

As mentioned above, UV radiation exposure stimulates the production of vitamin D. Vitamin D increases absorption of calcium from food. Having adequate levels of Vitamin D is important to treat a number of diseases such as Rickets, Lupus vulgaris, Psoriasis, and Vitiligo. 

The World Health Organization says that 5 to 15 minutes of sun exposure of face, hands and arms two to three times a week during the summer months is sufficient to keep vitamin D levels high. People who live closer to the equator, where UV levels are higher, can have even shorter periods of exposure to the sun.

effects of uv light to the skin

What are the risks of too much UV exposure?

Although there are many benefits of UV exposure, the harmful health risks accompanied by it outweighs it. Overexposure to UV radiation affects our skin, our eyes, and likely our immune system as well. 

Our exposure to UV radiation accumulates over a lifetime and our behavior towards sun exposure now will determine our chances of getting cataracts or skin cancer later in life.

Skin cancer incidence is strongly correlated with the duration and frequency of sun exposure and use of tanning beds too.


Does the Source of Red Light Matter?

Many tanning salons offer a full-body bed with red light. These are powered with fluorescent bulbs that still produce UV rays. Although it can do a full body treatment at one go, it also emits UV radiation that can produce changes at the cellular level.

LED bulbs are safer to use and these can be manufactured specifically to be UV-free. So yes, the source of red light matters.

Does Red Light Tanning Make You Tan?

Red light tanning doesn’t cause your skin to darken. It is a term coined to mean basking under red light to combat aging skin.

Even though red light beds do not cause you to tan, it uses fluorescent bulbs that still emit UV rays. Although it is unclear how strong or what wavelength the red light beds emit, it is still unsafe, as it increases your risk of developing skin cancer.

Using a lamp with medical-grade LED bulbs is safer to use because these are UV-free. It will not make you tan because there is no UVA or UVB that changes the skin’s color.

UVA penetrates the skin and causes sun damage or age spots in the long run. UVB, on the other hand, usually burns the superficial layers of the skin or what we often call “sunburn.” 

Those who have had severe sunburns at a young age, have a family history of skin cancer, and people with very fair skin, freckles and moles, and red hair have a higher rate of developing skin cancer.

If you want to enjoy the benefit of Red Light Therapy, you have to choose methods that don't emit UV rays.


Can you combine tanning and red light therapy?

You can do tanning if you really want but honestly, it defeats the purpose of doing red light therapy. According to Ashley Bell, the resident esthetician at Trophy Skin, “Sun exposure is not good for your skin, and neither is the tanning bed because it gives off the UVA and UVB rays.” 

90% of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration comes from sun damage, while the other 10 percent is just natural aging. So if you use red light therapy to help your skin, but damage your skin with tanning, you won’t ever really get ahead. Instead, you’ll just be in the same position.


Reverse Sun Damage with Light Therapy

What is a Safer Alternative?

Trophy Skin is committed to producing safe and effective at-home solutions to common skin problems. With the advent of red light therapy, Trophy Skin developed RejuvaliteMD Anti-Aging Red Light Therapy. It is powered by 120 LED bulbs that are UV-free.

The LED panel is evenly divided to contain 4 different spectrum of red lights to combat aging. Red (660nm), Yellow (590nm), Amber (630nm), and Infrared (880nm) are different wavelengths of red light that work great in reducing signs of aging by creating fibroblasts, elastin, and new collagen. 

It also decreases the enzymes that break down collagen, thus improving the skin’s elasticity.

RejuvaliteMD is FDA-cleared and is safe to use at home. It has a built-in auto shut-off timer that will turn off after 5 minutes. With as little as 5 minutes a day, you can combat fine lines and wrinkles and reverse sun damage safely.

For better results, you can use it up to twice a day, a minimum of 5 days a week, for the first 60 days.

Don’t be fooled into stepping into harmful, UV-rich red light. Choose RejuvaliteMD and bask under safe and UV-free red light.


Resources

Blair, W. (2020) How to Get Rid of Blackheads

https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/how-get-rid-blackheads 

Environment, Health, and Safety Division (2018) Ultraviolet Radiation

https://ehs.lbl.gov/resource/documents/radiation-protection/non-ionizing-radiation/ultraviolet-radiation/ 

Pagan, Camille Noe. (2021) What is Red Light Therapy? 

https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/red-light-therapy#:~:text=Red%20light%20therapy%20uses%20very,skin%20to%20damaging%20UV%20rays

Samanta S. (2021) Vitamin D and Immunomodulation in the Skin: A Useful Affirmative Nexus https://doi.org/10.37349/ei.2021.00009 

Skin Cancer Organization (2019) Photoaging: What You Need to Know About the Other Kind of Aging

https://www.skincancer.org/blog/photoaging-what-you-need-to-know/#:~:text=Responsible%20for%2090%20percent%20of,MD%20in%20Solana%20Beach%2C%20California

World Health Organization (2017) Radiation: The Known Health Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation

https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/how-to-get-rid-of-blackheads