Red light therapy was initially for skincare concerns but its benefits are far more far-reaching than that; in fact, red light therapy can do wonders for your health.
Today it’s easy and convenient to use red light therapy at home, thanks to the various portable LED devices that are now available. Whether you own a device already or want to investigate the technology before buying, here’s what you need to know about red light therapy. 
What is red light therapy?
Electromagnetic radiation comes in a whole range of wavelengths, from the very small, like gamma radiation, to the much larger, such as radio waves. Only some of this spectrum is light, but our skin soaks it up, and while some parts of the light spectrum, such as UV rays are damaging, some wavelengths are helpful to the skin and can be leveraged in LED light therapy.
Red light has the longest wavelength of the visible spectrum; one form of LED light therapy, red light therapy (RLT) is a treatment that uses red LEDs to make low-level wavelengths that pass through the skin in a non-invasive manner. Mitochondria in the skin cells take in the red light to create energy, which experts believe helps cellular repair and health .
Despite the fact that red light therapy has a wide range of applications for pain relief and skincare, much of the buzz is in its applications for antiaging . Red light devices usually generate detectable light you can see, as well as infrared wavelengths out of the visible spectrum. Today, red light therapy various clinical and consumer uses. Other names for red light therapy include:
- Cold laser therapy
- Low-level laser therapy (LLLT)
- Low-power laser therapy (LPLT)
- Photobiomodulation (PBM)
- Photonic simulation
- Soft laser therapy
Why red light therapy?
It’s all about energy, and since food isn’t the only energy source, we can help “feed” our body with this treatment. The cells in our bodies absorb and use the natural light from the sun, through electromagnetic radiation, as a source of energy every day .
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Our body consists of 37 trillion cells, which use energy of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). These ATP are made in our cellular energy factories called the mitochondria. They all have an enzyme absorbing light, which kicks off a photo-chemical reaction that converts the energy from the photons into electricity, just like solar panels do.
In the same way, the photons from red light therapy devices help to power your body, which creates electrical potential and charges our cells. This potential is a rich energy resource, an indicator of our body vitality.
Is there scientific proof behind this treatment?
Light therapy has been analysed and used to better human health for over a century. In 1903, a Danish physician Niels Ryberg Finsen was awarded the Nobel Prize for pioneering some of the first clinical light therapy treatments .
Finsen used red light to address smallpox and other light spectrums to treat chronic diseases like tuberculosis. In the decades that followed, Finsen phototherapy became more advanced as a cutting-edge therapeutic tool of modern medicine.
In the 1980s, NASA examined red light therapy use in space for health and plant growth. Afterward, NASA continued to work with a Wisconsin-based company Quantum Devices Inc., the developer of a far-red/near-infrared light-emitting diode treatment named High Emissivity Aluminiferous Luminescent Substrate (HEALS). The HEALS device has proven therapeutic for painful cancer treatment side effects and even the reduction and potential elimination of cancerous tumours [6, 7]
Red light is scientifically proven to help you in the following :
Optimising your body’s energy: photons of light are absorbed by mitochondria of each cells, optimising energy production by making more of ATP, the body’s chemical energy.
Recovering faster from from physical performance and injuries: improving blood flow, relieving muscle tension, reducing muscle fatigue and relieving mild arthritic pain.
Restoring natural circadian rhythm: red and infrared light stimulate release of melatonin, the ultimate antioxidant and DNA repair hormone.
Red light therapy devices
Whether you’re looking for face masks or full-body red light therapy devices, in no particular order, here are some you can try:
FlexBeam is designed for personal use at home or anywhere and is flexible to achieve targeted multi-angle light delivery through its three modules to increase the irradiation area . Its ergonomic and unique design allows light to penetrate deep into difficult-to-reach areas of the body-such as the knee and shoulder joint, which is impossible with flat light panels.
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FlexBeam is equipped with both visible Red and Near-InfraRed wavelengths for the safest and most successful therapeutically wavelengths. The device has convenient wrap-around or straight-line application design choices in one device. It uses battery or plug-in operations that are suitable for practical ease of use anytime, anywhere.
Joovv Solo 3.0
The Joovv 3.0’s universal mounting system and superior optics make it an appealing choice for individuals who want to get started with red light therapy. It’s also easy to use – connect it via bluetooth to the mobile app for extra control and track of your sessions, create goals and explore everything it offers. The 3.0 is just one of the multiple red light devices Joovv has, as they also have a helpful guide and even a quiz to find your perfect match .
SolaWave 4-in-1 Red Light Facial Wand
This award-winning red light therapy device is a favorite among celebrities like Nicole Kidman, Lil Nas X, Aubrey Plaza and Debbie Ryan, among others. With patented technology and clinically proven results in diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes, this wand delivers targeted treatment to both the neck and face areas. aside from red light, this wand can also give your skin a microcurrent facial, massage and even therapeutic warmth. The outcome? Smoother, tighter and healthier skin.
Lua Red Under-Eye Patches
This device is easy to use and is a targeted solution for the skin under your eyes . By assisting your body with collagen and elastin production, the red light can help refresh the skin and combat lines like crow’s feet and dark circles. Place under your eyes for a few minutes and let them work their magic. After using, gently wash with lukewarm water and a towel. A micro USB charger is included to recharge your patches.
Dr Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite EyeCare Pro
If you’re looking to ease into red light therapy or not looking for a full-face treatment, here’s the SpectraLite EyeCare Pro . It’s perfect for those whose main priority is to treat crow’s feet, vertical forehead lines (also known as elevens), fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area. This FDA-approved light therapy eye device has been shown to stimulate the natural production of collagen while reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Safety, contraindications and caution guide
You’ll find many red light therapy products if you search online. While these products are generally safe, they may use a lower wavelength frequency (indicating they’re less powerful) than devices that dermatologists or other trained skin professionals may use.
Some basic guidelines to follow are:
- Do not place over tattoos to prevent any unusual reactions, especially when tattoos are brand new or in black pigment.
- Do not use these devices on children under 12 years old. Do not exceed recommended exposure time. Kindly consult your doctor if you have further questions.
- For individuals with light sensitivity, reduce exposure time.
- Never stare at the LEDs or use them within 30 cm of the eyes, as powerful invisible infrared light is emitted.
- You might get an unusual response or detox reaction for heavily medicated patients. Please do not use it under alcohol influence.
Intrigued? So are we! Our CEO is currently testing Recharge FlexBeam, and we look forward to bringing you our product review shortly – stay tuned!