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Widely used by Hollywood stars, LED light is a non-invasive, painless and very effective aesthetic technique used to treat a wide variety of skin problems.
This method uses LED lights of different colors to cause a chemical reaction in the body, as a result, cells are stimulated to produce more collagen and elastin, essential components for skin tightening and smoothening.
The difference between LEDs and other light therapies is that they don’t contain any ultraviolet rays, this means that they are safe to use on a regular basis and are perfectly adapted to the skin of the face.
A color or a combination of colors will be used depending on the desired treatment, in this article, we will talk specifically about red LED light therapy, its benefits for the skin, procedure, areas targeted, side effects, and more.
Table of Contents
How Does Red LED Light Therapy Work?
Scientifically speaking, red light helps to treat the epidermis, which is the outer layer of your skin; when the skin is exposed to red light, it produces a biochemical effect in the cells that increases the activity of mitochondria, an essential element that produces the energy needed for the cell’s operation, and therefore boosts cellular energy production and regeneration by producing more ATP, which is a crucial energy-carrying molecule found in the cells of all living things.
When your body has more ATP, it means that it has more energy and therefore can work more efficiently on skin rejuvenating processes, including collagen production, skin repairing, reducing inflammation, and more.
In other words, red led light helps to stimulate collagen production in your skin, therefore, the latter will appear smoother and fuller. In addition, red light can reduce inflammation and improve circulation, which will give you a healthy and glowy skin.
Benefits of Red Light Therapy
- It helps to restore damaged cells and accelerate wound healing.
- It is a perfect and non-invasive treatment for wrinkle and fine line reduction.
- Helps against hair loss in people that have androgenic alopecia.
- It helps to reduce redness and uneven skin tone.
- It reduces pore size and refines skin texture.
- Helps to reduce psoriasis lesions.
- It helps to treat sun damage and age spots.
- It relieves the signs of rosacea.
- Can help improve the health of your joints if you happen to have knee degenerative osteoarthritis.
- It is also often used in combination with blue led to treat acne scars.
Procedure for Red Light Therapy
There are two types of procedures that we are going to talk about in this article. First, we will discuss the procedure done by an Esthetician and second, the procedure done at home, as they differ in various ways.
With an Esthetician
What is a session like? After a thorough cleansing of the face, and wearing protective glasses, you will be required to lie down comfortably so that the face is placed under the LED panels.
A red LED light therapy session done with a therapist is estimated to last about 20 to 30 minutes. The number of treatments can go up to about 10 of them. However, it all depends on what exactly you are looking to achieve.
Keep in mind that LED treatments can be combined with other procedures (after peeling, after laser, etc.).
Nowadays, LED lights for at-home use are manufactured by several brands and can easily be found in the market, therefore, they can quickly be added to our daily beauty routine once the steps to be followed are well understood.
At-home LED light therapy devices come normally in the form of wands or masks that you are supposed to apply to your face for a few minutes at a time. The best thing to do in this case is to make sure you follow all the instructions outlined by the manufacturer.
Finally, you will need to be patient and perseverant to take full advantage of your LED light devices.
If you want to learn more about these devices, check out our article about the best LED light therapy devices for home use.
Areas Targeted by LED Light
LED treatment is suitable for all areas of the face and body. There are no contraindications for specific areas.
However, the most popular area targeted by LED light is the face. Normally, your face is where most skin damage tends to occur because unlike your body, the face is more exposed to the elements and the environment.
Other areas where LED light therapy can be used are mostly your chest and neck, these are other areas that normally tend to show aging signs.
Note that you should avoid photosensitizing treatments that can make your skin sensitive to the light, such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, etc.
Is Red Light Therapy Safe?
Since LED light therapy does not contain UV rays, the procedure is reported to be safe according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The procedure is also non-invasive and does not cause any pain.
Unlike more invasive anti-aging treatments such as dermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser therapy, LEDs do not cause burns on the skin.
One thing you need to note is that if you happen to experience any skin rash, or you’re taking Accutane for acne, you should not use LED light therapy.
Although LED light therapy is generally safe, there are some rare side effects that include rashes, redness, and increased inflammation.
Can LED Light Therapy Damage Your Eyes?
It is extremely crucial to wear eye protection during LED light therapy sessions. In fact, even if most LED light therapy devices are designed to filter out all UV rays, the extreme brightness of the light produced by these devices is likely to damage the cells of the eyes, hence the need to wear FDA approved goggles that provide protection against UV rays.
It is also highly recommended that you keep your eyes closed during treatment.
Multiple studies have clearly demonstrated the benefits of red LED light for many skin conditions, particularly for the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles.
Among the most well-known studies in this area is the one performed by Wunsch A and Matuschka K in 2014. During this study, red light was projected on patients over several sessions. There was an overall improvement in the skin, particularly a reduction in signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines and an increase in collagen production.
Red light therapy is a wonderful technology worth trying, so don’t hesitate to try it and enjoy its tremendous benefits.
Hi, it’s Judy!
I’m a passionate skincare specialist and writer. I have more than 7 years of experience as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do.