Is Red Light Therapy Worth it?

Jun 28, 2023 ByClaire Miles

Red Light Therapy, also known as low-power laser therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation (PBM), involves using low-wavelength red light to activate and promote the functioning of the mitochondria. Subsequently, this increases energy production or adenosine triphosphate (ATP) inside the cells and allows for the growth of new cells, rejuvenation, and restoration of damaged ones. Now used in cosmetics as a skincare treatment, red light therapy is significantly different from other skin treatments as it doesn’t damage the outermost layer of the skin, nor does it burn the skin; instead, it penetrates deep enough to directly stimulate and heal the affected cells. This is done best under a trained dermatologist’s care or through exposure to a light source at home, like lamps, lasers, or LED face masks, with in-built red light for around 10 to 20 minutes 4 to 5 times a week.

Additionally, some necessary instructions that are recommended for this procedure include wearing eye protection, cleansing your face pre-treatment, and applying an antioxidant face serum post-treatment. Alongside skin and tissue healing, Red Light Therapy’s benefits may include reducing inflammation, psoriasis lesions, wrinkles, acne, and sun damage scars. It also helps in hair growth, increases collagen density, improves skin complexion, and strengthens joint health. However, research and the limited access to evidence have shown that all these benefits aren’t immediate, and the extent of the results is mostly mild. Although, it is considered safe and non-toxic when used short-term, with precautions and proper functioning devices.

Young woman having red LED light facial therapy treatment in beauty salon. Beauty and wellness

Getty Images/Moment/Miguel Angel Partido Garcia

Nevertheless, there have been complaints of temporary risks, including skin sensitivity, bruising, and hyperpigmentation. As a result, this newfound technology is generally considered an excellent addition to your skincare routine and less harmful than other variations of light-based therapies. However, it still needs to undergo further research the test the extent of its benefits and side effects.