You have undoubtedly heard the term “red light therapy” at your dermatologist’s office or your favorite beauty store. Perhaps you have even seen celebrities like Kate Hudson, Victoria Beckham, or Chrissy Teigan on social media wearing glowing, red light-emitting face masks or waving red wands over their faces.
Jodi LoGerfo, D.N.P., A.P.R.N., board-certified dermatologist, explained that red light therapy involves light-emitting diode (L.E.D.) devices that produce varying wavelengths of light that trace acne, psoriasis, fine lines, and wrinkles.”
Red Light Therapy: What Is It And How Does It Work?
Red light therapy involves using a face mask, light panel, or wand equipped with L.E.D. lights, which you place near your skin so your cells absorb the light. LoGerfo explains that red light therapy stimulates the mitochondria in our cells. Red light therapy increases circulation, decreases inflammation, stimulates collagen, rejuvenates your skin, treats acne, hyperpigmentation, and psoriasis, and may also help with hair loss.
Does Red Light Therapy Pose Any Risks?
Wearing protective goggles during red light therapy is considered safe. LoGerfo said, “Long-term exposure to blue or red light can cause damage to the eyes.” Red light therapy’s side effects are minimal, and if they do occur, they’re usually mild, but it might not be recommended for specific conditions. Similarly, Dr. Madfes does not recommend red light therapy for anyone taking a photo-sensitizing medication.
How Effective Is Red Light Therapy?
Researchers are now demonstrating the potential of red light therapy in improving skin health and treating certain skin conditions. A 2014 study found light therapy improved skin complexion and feeling, reduced skin roughness and wrinkles, and increased collagen density. Red light therapy still shows promise in dermatology, but mainly because it is noninvasive and safe.
The use of red light therapy can rejuvenate skin and treat conditions such as acne, psoriasis, hyperpigmentation, and hair loss. It is generally considered safe with minimal side effects and can also be safely practiced at home. LoGerfo recommends consulting a healthcare professional if you have severe acne, skin disease, or hair loss.