Red Light Therapy and Skin Care

One of the most trending industries today is the skincare industry. The market is flooded with products ranging from beauty regimen creams and moisturizers to skin malady and disorder fighting prescriptions and skin rejuvenating treatment devices.

Anywhere in the world today, regardless of skin type and color, it seems that everybody wants to look better and feel better. Not bad because if you take care of your skin, your skin can help take care of you too.

In this post, we will explain why skin care is vital for our general health and well-being as well as give an overview of why and how red light therapy works wonders in enhancing skin health.

The skin is the largest and the heaviest organ of the human body. Covering an average area of about 20 square feet, it serves as a protective shield against formidable forces outside the body like heat, light, injury, and infection. [1]

Human skin consists of two layers – the epidermis which is the outer layer and the dermis which is the inner layer.

Lying beneath the dermis is a subcutaneous fatty tissue interlaced with blood vessels and nerves called the hypodermis. This tissue serves as the main structural support for the skin and helps insulate the body from cold. It also helps the body in shock absorption.

The skin has three important functions. These functions involve sensation, regulation and protection.

The most well-known function of the skin is its sensory function. As an organ of sensation, the skin contains an extensive network of nerve cells or neurons armed with unique receptors for heat, cold, touch, and pain.

The nerve cells or neurons in the skin are able to sense, detect, and relay stimulus received by the brain from the environment.

When the nerve cells of the skin are damaged or injured, sensation is loss. This condition is called neuropathy.

Another function of the skin involves attaining homeostasis for the body. Simply put, homeostasis is a property of cells, tissues, and organisms that allows the maintenance and regulation of the stability and constancy needed to function properly.

As an organ of regulation, the skin regulates the temperature of the body, maintain water and electrolyte balance in the cells and participate in the synthesis of vitamin D, a nutrient that is needed by the body for the proper development and nourishment of bones.

Another common function of the skin involves safeguarding the body from outside threats.

As an organ of protection, the skin forms a protective barrier against pathogens and injuries from the environment. Moreover, it also plays a role as the first line of defense in the immune system hence, protecting us from disease-causing microorganisms. [2]

The Science of Skin Care

The skin is a very important organ of the body that needs to be protected in order to stay healthy. As we previously said, if we take care of our skin, our skin can take care of us too.

This is why skin health and skin care are important concepts for someone who is concerned of his or her general health. It is something that must not be neglected or overlooked.

But what is skin care? What do we really mean when we say, “skin care?”

Skin care literally means the basic care and keeping of the skin in order to keep it functioning properly. Its meaning is broad because it covers both cosmetic and medical concerns.

Cosmetically, skin care means keeping our skin smooth and healthy. It is about improving the look of our skin through the use of skin care products, treatments, regimens or devices.

Skin care, when we talk about it cosmetically, means reducing as much as possible the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and sun damage in our skin. It also means effectively managing or preventing minor skin concerns such as dryness or oiliness.

Marie Jihn, a dermatologist at Premier Dermatology in San Carlos, California [3] said that any act of skin care can also be considered self-care. Even when it is done in a cosmetic or vain sense, it can be an important step to possibly improving one’s mental health.

We can therefore say that even when used in a cosmetic sense, skin care touches important medical concerns like a person’s mental health. Skin care helps ease stress which makes one feel better in the process.

Medically though, skin care actually means treating skin maladies and disorders. The Healthline [4] website features a comprehensive list of the most common maladies and disorders affecting human skin. The list includes, among others, the likes of psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, and acne.

Skin maladies and disorders may vary greatly in symptoms and in severity. They can be temporary or permanent. They may be painless or painful.

Some skin maladies and disorders have situational causes, while others may be genetic. Some skin conditions are minor, while others can be life-threatening.

Regardless of symptom or severity, proper and effective skin care and skin health treatments are a must for optimal skin cell rejuvenation and repair.

 

Red Light Therapy and Skin Care

There are various products and techniques being promoted in pursuit of effective skin care both cosmetically and medically. One of the most promising and science-backed ways is through red light therapy.

The most well-known benefit of red light is improved skin health. Red light therapy increases collagen production between layers of the skin. It is also vital for the improvement of skin as well as reduce the signs of skin aging.

Other positive effects of red light therapy to the skin include its ability to heal sun damage and its effectiveness in reducing wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.

In contrast to popular anti-aging therapies like dermabrasion and chemical peels which work by causing controlled damage to the outer layers of the skin in order to stimulate collagen production, tissue repair, and rejuvenation; red light therapy causes no damage to the skin.

Red light therapy takes what can be described as an inside-out approach to skin health and rejuvenation by stimulating natural, healthy skin regeneration at the cellular level. It accomplishes this by increasing cellular energy synthesis and collagen production.

How Red Light Therapy Works?

Red light therapy is also known as photobiomodulation (PBM) or low-level laser therapy (LLLT). It is a simple, non-invasive treatment that uses wavelengths of red and near-infrared (NIR) light from light emitting diodes (LEDs) to the skin and cells. [5] You can read more about red light therapy here. [6]

Red light therapy involves two forms of electromagnetic radiation – red light and infrared light. To learn more about the difference of red light and infrared light, read a related post here. [7]

According to the Healthline [8] website, red light helps reduce cosmetic skin issues, like stretch marks and wrinkles. Moreover, it may be used to treat more serious conditions, like psoriasis, slow-healing wounds, and even the side effects of chemotherapy.

Red light therapy works by inducing a biochemical effect in skin cells. This biochemical effect strengthens the mitochondria, a part of all cells including skin cells known to be the powerhouse of the cell. This part of the cell is where energy, in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is synthesized.

By enhancing the function of the mitochondria using red light therapy, research suggests that a skin cell can make more ATP which means that the cell has more available energy for all its functions. With more energy, the skin cells can then function more efficiently, rejuvenate themselves, and repair damage. [9]

Scientific studies on the effect of red light therapy to skin cells in recent years prove the effectivity and efficiency of red and near infrared light therapy for skin rejuvenation as well as in treatment of various skin disorders and maladies.

For instance, according to a study conducted in 2014 among 136 volunteers, [10] light in the spectral range from 600 to 1300 nanometers is useful for promoting wound healing, tissue repair, and skin rejuvenation.

A 2013 study focusing solely on the effects of LLLT in skin [11] demonstrated that red light therapy has beneficial effects on wrinkles, acne scars, hypertrophic scars, and healing of burns. It further established that red light therapy is effective even for pigmentary disorders such as vitiligo as well as in inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis and acne.

An earlier study in 2006 [12] on 36 subjects reported statistically significant improvement in wrinkles. The majority of the subjects reported improvements in softness, smoothness, and firmness of the skin after combined 633-nanometer and 830-nanometer light-emitting diode (LED) treatments.

Another study in 2005 [13] which involved eight patients with mild‐to‐moderate acne vulgaris on the face were treated with red light. The research concluded that red light was found to be effective in the reduction of the number of inflamed lesions in patients with mild‐to‐moderate acne vulgaris. Most importantly, red light therapy has no significant short‐term adverse effects.

In that same year, the Wiley Online Library [14] published a 1984 study involving a psoriasis patient treated with hematoporphyrin derivative (HPD) in combination with red laser light (630 nanometers) therapy. Results showed that the psoriatic zones responded vigorously to the HPD + red light treatment.

Red light therapy was not only proven to have positive effects on common ailments and disorders of the skin, research even showed that it has potential in treating various types of skin cancer.

A 2004 review study [15] reported the potential of using light‐emitting technologies and photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and actinic keratoses (AKs).

Hence, red light therapy research has shown many significant benefits of red light. These medical and scientific studies reveal that red light therapy is a natural, safe, and effective treatment for a variety of skin conditions.

Are Red Light Therapy Devices Safe?

The various medical and scientific studies mentioned earlier established the overwhelming science behind the effectivity and efficiency of red light therapy in promoting skin care. Hence, it is not totally surprising that more and more people are now turning to red light therapy devices for their skin care needs.

But are these red light devices safe?

Red light therapy uses LED devices which do not make use of harmful electromagnetic radiation like ultraviolet rays, so it is safe. Moreover, the procedure in itself is simple and non-invasive. This means that there is no need for a recovery time after treatment. Once you are done with the red light therapy, you can continue doing your daily activities without worry.

How to best proceed with red light therapy?

If you have a skin malady or disorder like what we have described above or if you just simply want to improve your skin health, visit our shop here [16] to learn about the amazing selection of red light therapy devices that we offer.

We have captured in our devices both the power and the efficacy of clinical treatments, but in a compact and affordable package that you can try in the convenience of your own home in your own free time.

With our red light therapy at-home device, you can commit to a consistent red light therapy regimen to achieve the best and the most amazing results.

Here’s a post script though:

Remember that red light therapy works at the cellular level. Therefore, the best results of your red light therapy sessions may take several weeks or months to manifest. You will surely experience some immediate result but be patient. Consistent use of our red light therapy devices over time will give you the best and the most amazing results.

Remember also that every individual and every condition will respond differently to red light therapy. To each his own. How fast you see results will most absolutely depend on the severity of your skin condition and some other factors like your age, your overall health, and your immune system’s health. Most importantly, it will depend on your ongoing lifestyle choices.

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