Red Light Therapy For More Youthful Looking Skin
Written by: Kimberly Langford
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy is a relatively new skin rejuvenation treatment that very safely and gently delivers precise dosages of energy to the skin to simultaneously repair collagen in the dermis (the deepest layer of the skin), while gently erasing signs of aging in the epidermis (top layer of skin).
Originally discovered by NASA about 40 years ago to stimulate plant growth, Red LED (Light Emitting Diode) therapy was also found to encourage cell repair and and healing of injuries incurred by astronauts while in space. Even in a zero gravity environment, where cell growth is normally very slow, this red light energy was shown to stimulate the metabolism in muscle and bone as well as skin and subcutaneous tissue.
Recently, the field of cosmetology introduced a variety of new treatments which rely on the therapeutic effects of light at wave-lengths between visible light and infrared. LED therapy has shown strong efficacy for the treatment of wrinkles, sun damage, uneven skin tone, rosacea and inflammatory acne. After much research, Biologists have discovered that cells exposed to LED light grow an overwhelming "150 to 200 percent faster than those cells not stimulated by such light". LED's have the ability to increase energy inside cells which helps to speed up the healing process.
Red Light Therapy Devices and Machines For Home Use
At one time, red light skin rejuvenation treatment was exclusively offered through spas and doctor's offices. Now, several very effective red light therapy devices have emerged which harness the benefits of the same professional strength technology, but allow the client the convenience and privacy of in home treatment. Some of the best home care systems can be purchased for under $349.00.
The latest medical-grade, FDA approved red light therapy devices designed for home treatment include the powerful StarLite-LM® which produces a combination of deep healing red and infrared wavelengths to help improve the appearance of wrinkles and aging skin. Other products such as the ReVive™ Anti-Aging Light Therapy Device and Tanda Luxe Photofacial Device feature optional interchangeable LED treatment head capability, allowing you to treat aging skin and acne all with one single hand-held system.
The professional-grade DPL® Light Therapy System manufactured by LED Technologies also promotes skin rejuvenation using deep penetrating red and infrared wavelengths and is one of the only in-home systems to offer users a luxurious "hands-free" anti-aging facial treatment experience. The powerful DPL system includes two over-sized LED panels designed to treat every inch of the facial and neck area in one 18 minute session. The LED panels are also detacheable and may be used with the included velcro strap system to treat other areas of the body with ease. In addition to being highly effective in rejuvenating the condition of the skin, the system was recently cleared by the FDA for the effective treatment of pain including the relief of muscle spasms, aches, and the temporary relief of minor arthritic pains and stiffness.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work?
Red light therapy is a very gentle, non-invasive procedure, that only treats the needed areas while leaving the surrounding tissues unharmed. LED's signal the body to naturally convert light energy into cell energy without causing undue damage or discomfort.
Specific wavelengths stimulate specific responses in the body. Red wavelengths and certain infrared (non-visible) wavelengths increase cellular activity at the dermal level by targeting underlying hemoglobin. Cellular activity and energy levels fall as we age. With the delivery of the correct wavelengths of LED light, these dermal cells receive a rejuvenating, anti-aging boost from the light energy. This safe, painless, natural healing process converts light energy within skin cells, very similar to the way photosynthesis takes sunlight and turns it into food energy in plants.
The thermal (heat) activity generated by LED's enhance blood circulation, helping to delivery nutrients and cellular growth factors to the treated areas. Red and infrared light stimulate fibroblast and collagen production to strengthen sagging skin and wrinkles. These favorable cellular and metabolic effects can also remove age spots and dark pigmentation, repair broken capillaries, reduce inflammation, and leave your skin soft, smoothed, refreshed and healthy looking. Photofacial therapy also promotes faster healing of inflammatory acne, rosacea and areas of redness, with less post surgical or post trauma scarring.
Red light therapy is safe for all skin types and ages, there is no down time or recovery time and it is quickly becoming recognized by the skin care industry as one of the most effective and gentle ways to help rejuvenate and repair the skin.
What is The Difference Between Red Light Therapy and IPL (Intense Pulsed Laser)?
The light produced by the LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) interacts with the body's own natural processes to stimulate collagen and elastin production (the proteins responsible for building the skin's strength and elasticity) in the cells and counteract the effects of aging. LEDs have been proven to safely and effectively penetrate the skin to encourage skin rejuvenation and do not cause downtime or discomfort. In fact, photofacial treatment is the new therapeutic approach to skin renewal that also promotes a sense of well-being and relaxation!
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and high powered laser are medical procedures that work by causing thermal damage to the skin and/or underlying tissue. These potentially dangerous and extremely costly procedures are performed only by trained medical professionals and can often result in extended downtime and discomfort.
What Are The Benefits Of Red LED Treatment?
Red light therapy is an extremely safe and gentle non-invasive alternative to dramatic plastic surgery procedures, laser resurfacing, chemical peels, Collagen and Botox injections and other invasive treatments. The results can vary by individual and skin type, are gradual, and will not just occur over night. Although red light treatment has been known to produce an immediate and temporary rejuvenating effect, continued daily application will provide more cumulative long-term, lasting results.
- Produces An Instant Lift And Long-Term Facial Contouring
- Improves The Appearance Of Sun-Damaged Skin
- Heals Redness Caused By Acne, Rosacea and Eczema
- Encourages A Radiant, Even-Toned, Smooth Complexion
- Softens The Appearance Of Fine Lines and Wrinkles
- Reduces Dark Under-Eye Circles
- Enhances Skin Firmness
Are Red Light Therapy Safe?
Unlike some pulsed laser treatments, red light therapy is non-invasive, non-abrasive, does not cause skin inflammation and does not require any special post treatment procedures. LED technology is used throughout the world and its effectiveness and proven safety record is backed by numerous clinical studies.
Although there are no reported studies which conclude that red LEDs are unsafe to look at, it is recommended that protective goggles be used during treatments for precautionary reasons. If you accidentally look at the LEDs, no harm will be done but never stare into the direct line of light for extended intervals of time. Red light therapy is considered a safe, easy and gentle skin rejuvenation technology however the following precautions should always be taken:
- Do not use if pregnant, epileptic or taking cortisone or steroid injections
- Do not use on open sores, wounds or infected areas
- Avoid using AHA or Glycolic Acid products
- Avoid staring directly at LED's during treatment for extended periods of time