This guide has been medically reviewed by Dr. Mona Gohara, MD — a medical expert for ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, O the Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Allure and Real Simple.
What is Red
Red light therapy is a form of photobiomodulation or a treatment that uses light-emitting diodes (LED) or low-level laser therapy to stimulate cellular activity to achieve therapeutic benefits. It has been proven that the right wavelength of red light is beneficial in producing cellular changes that contribute to the production of collagen, which is vital in combating saggy and loose skin.
It is not merely shining a red light on your skin — it has to be at the right wavelength to produce the desired effects. This treatment is known by many other names, such as photorejuvenation, LILT (Low-Intensity Light Therapy), LLLT (Low-Level Laser or Low-Level Light Therapy), photobiomodulation or biostimulation.
Red Light Therapy: NASA Says It Works!
Red light therapy has been used by NASA to promote faster cell growth to aid in wound healing. It is also used to combat the effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients. Using the same principle, red light is used to stimulate collagen production that is essential in keeping younger and firmer skin. Because of NASA’s intensive study, the use of red light therapy as an anti-aging treatment is promising.
Traditional Medicine and Color Therapy
Traditional medicine also believes in the power of light. This type of medicine focuses on the energy flows of the body or more popularly known as chakras. It is believed that Red Color Therapy drives overall vigor and strength. Red light is also used in Color Punctures to stimulate acupuncture points instead of using needles.
How Trophy Skin RejuvaliteMD
Red Light Therapy Works
Light is energy. When red light penetrates the skin, it powers up the natural healing properties of our body at a cellular level. It activates our body’s metabolic processes and spurs the creation of collagen and fibroblasts.
The light stimulates blood circulation which also results in increased lymphatic system activity that promotes draining the interstitial fluid from tissues and transports white blood cells to areas where it is needed. In short, red light aids in cellular cleanup to reduce inflammation.
RejuvaliteMD is powered with 120 bulbs of different spectrum of red lights. It contains Amber (630nm), Yellow (590nm), Red (660nm) and Infrared (880nm) that penetrates the skin at different levels, maximizing the benefits and healing properties of the red light spectrum.
The yellow LED bulbs work at 590 nanometer (nm) wavelength.
These help reduce redness and improve skin’s blood circulation. Amber LED bulbs help calm sensitive skin and reduce redness, flushing, and spider veins. They work at a wavelength of 630 nm.
The red bulbs are at 660 nm wavelength.
These help produce collagen and elastin for stronger, firmer, and more supple skin. It helps target fine lines.
The infrared LED bulbs work at 880nm.
These invisible lights penetrate the skin deeper than the other wavelengths. These naked bulbs help in collagen production, repair cell damage, combat wrinkles and sagging skin as well as speed up healing of the skin.
Applications of Red Light Therapy
Because Red light therapy can help speed up the skin’s ability to heal, it can be used to address numerous problems including the following:
Acne and Inflamed Acne Marks
Although Red Light is not used to kill acne-causing bacteria, it will help reduce the inflammation brought about by acne. Red and Infrared lights penetrate the skin at different levels and power up the cells to repair the skin from within. It repairs the skin tissues that acne has destroyed. This leads to faster healing of the acne and prevents further tissue damage that may lead to pitting acne scars. On the other hand, Blue Light Therapy is clinically proven to starve off P. acnes bacteria that is the most common cause of acne.
Because of the red light's ability to speed up healing, bite wounds or punctures to the skin will be healed faster because of increased blood flow to the area.
Bruises are caused by leaking blood to the skin tissues either by a direct trauma or broken capillaries. Because the blood cannot go out of the body without any break to the skin, it gives off a bluish hue that is what we often call a bruise. Red light therapy will be able to deliver nutrient-rich blood supply to the area faster that will repair and aid in the formation of new capillaries. Therefore, red light therapy can help with bruises.
Red Light Therapy does not give off heat so it will not add to the damage that burns cause. What it will do is increase the blood supply to the area so that our body’s natural defenses and repair mechanism will be able to do its work faster.
Cuts, Scrapes and Wound Care
Like mentioned, increased blood flow to the area helps speed up the body’s ability to repair itself naturally.
Dry Skin and Psoriasis
The Red Light penetrates the thickened skin and powers up the skin cells. Because of the increased blood flow to the surface of the skin being treated, more nutrients are delivered to that area. That means it quenches the thirst of the skin to be nourished. Oxygen-rich blood flows to the treated areas, also increasing the hydration brought about by good blood supply.
Scars and Stretch marks
Collagen depletion from the body results in having loose, stretchy and saggy skin. Stretch marks are brought about by saggy skin either from sudden weight loss or aging. Red light therapy can help stimulate collagen production, thus preventing further development of stretch marks. It also helps lighten and diminish scars and even overall skin tone.
Red light is a superstar in correcting sun damage. UV-free LED bulbs are used to safely and effectively deliver red light therapy. The red light wavelength spurs cellular activity to help reverse sun damage. It can lighten age spots.
Because of loss of collagen, wrinkles start to creep up on our face (or neck). Red light therapy helps boost collagen and fibroblasts production to help correct these unsightly tell-tale signs of aging. It works on undereye wrinkles, forehead wrinkles, laugh lines, and crow’s feet. RejuvaliteMD from Trophy Skin is FDA-approved to treat full facial wrinkles.
Treatment for Pain and Injury
Red light therapy speeds up the healing of wounds and injuries to the body and reduces inflammation too. It can improve the range of motion of joints which is a common problem for those who are experiencing arthritis, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other forms of joint pains. It helps reduce pain for those who suffer fibromyalgia too.
Stimulates Hair Growth
Aside from working on the skin, red light therapy works for hair too! You do not need laser lights to stimulate your hair follicle to grow. The right kind of red light wavelength is enough to jumpstart hair growth!
There are many factors to consider in the success of regrowing hair. The key is to have visible red light absorbed by the hair follicle. Wavelengths between 630-670 nanometers are most effective in being absorbed and cause a natural biological reaction to stimulate hair growth.
Now, if the hair follicle has actually died, it cannot absorb the visible red light. Too bad there are no known treatments to resurrect dead hair follicles yet.
Success in regrowing hair also relies on how early the treatment is started. The earlier that it is done, the better the results. The kind of hair loss matters too. Red light hair loss therapies are recommended for individuals who have temporary hair loss due to issues such as medication side effects, stress, surgery, or other hair loss conditions, such as male pattern baldness or menopause.
Now, do not worry that it will cause hair growth in unwanted areas. If no hair follicles are present in the areas you will be treating, then no hair will grow there. It takes about 2 to 3 months to see significant results in red light therapy for hair regrowth. Be patient and do not forget to do your treatments daily for best results.
Treatment for Rosacea
This drug-free and chemical-free treatment have no reported side effects which make it a suitable choice of treatment for rosacea. It is non-invasive and is safe for daily use. Studies have found that visible red light can boost the skin's ability to heal itself by up to 200%. The skin absorbs the red light which can power up the skin cells to heal itself. It can improve blood flow to deliver oxygen to areas that need repair and heal damage.
Because red light can penetrate the skin, it can heal rosacea-related acne without the use of chemicals that make the skin extra sensitive. It has no downtime and is a safe and painless way to treat rosacea.
The different wavelengths of red light used in RejuvaliteMD are effective in decreasing inflammation and reduce redness, swelling and skin tenderness. It can manage redness or flushing and boost the healing of the skin from within.
Red Light Therapy for Losing Weight
Although it sounds impossible to lose weight by just shining red light on fatty areas of the body, it is backed by science. Red Light makes it easier for people to lose weight because it causes fat cells to dump their contents, making fats easier to be removed by the body.
When red light is used on fat tissues, it causes the fats to break down. Fats are then converted to carbon dioxide which we remove from our body through urinating, defecating and breathing out.
You don't need powerful lasers to blast and remove fat cells. You also do not need to undergo liposuction and other surgeries to remove excess fats. Even the simple LED's can help in reducing weight. You just need the correct wavelengths between 630 to 680 nm to do the work.
However, if you do not make the necessary lifestyle changes that will support your weight loss, you will not appreciate your results. If you keep on binging on salty snacks and junk food, you will retain more fluid in the body and it will cause you to feel bloated. Unhealthy eating also adds more to body fats and weight gain.
Red Light Therapy
Indeed, red light therapy can be used in many skin-related problems. It is a good investment because it can address not only aesthetic problems, but it has also been proven to hasten wound repair, alleviate pain, grow hair back, manage rosacea, lose weight and postpone the aging process.
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Johnson, J. (2019) What to Know About Red Light Therapy
Holmes, M. (2021) Balance Your Root Chakra with Color Therapy
Matuschka, K.; Wunsch, A. (2014) A Controlled Study 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
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (2011) NASA Light Technology Successfully Reduces Cancer Patients Painful Side Effects from Radiation and Chemotherapy
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