Everyone ages; it's an inevitable part of life. The question isn’t if you will age; it is how you will age. Living a healthy lifestyle is an important part of looking young; however, there are other things you can do to keep your appearance youthful. Red light therapy offers a new tool you can use to keep yourself looking and feeling younger.
Aging is a natural process that brings with it changes to our skin's health and appearance. Over time, aging causes fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone to develop. While countless treatments claim to combat these signs of aging, red light therapy (RLT) has recently gained attention as a promising and natural solution. In this blog, we delve into the 'why' and 'how' of RLT, helping you understand its potential for reversing the effect of time.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy or photobiomodulation, has its origins in medical research conducted by NASA in the 1990s. It involves exposing the skin to specific wavelengths of red and near-infrared light that penetrate the skin and stimulate cellular activity.
The science behind red light therapy revolves around the use of specific wavelengths, usually between 630 and 850 nanometers. These wavelengths can transfer energy to mitochondria, the energy centers of cells, promoting various beneficial effects. By stimulating mitochondria, red light therapy is thought to improve energy production in your cells, simultaneously improving their functions while suppressing inflammation.
People use red light therapy to improve sleep quality, enhance athletic performance, minimize chronic pain, and improve their skin. Red light therapy devices are growing in popularity, and the recent emergence of professional-grade red light therapy panels has made this treatment accessible to everyone.
Why Does Red Light Therapy Work for Anti-Aging?
Aging affects your appearance by changing your skin and hair. Aging makes your skin thinner, less elastic, and less full, ultimately creating wrinkles and uneven skin coloration. Your hair changes by becoming thinner and losing its pigmentation.
Red light therapy can help improve each of these effects of aging, with the sole exception being that it will not reverse the change in the color of your hair. There are several effects of red light therapy that can help promote a youthful appearance. Red light therapy can boost collagen production, increasing cell turnover and skin elasticity, and reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. These all contribute to reversing the effects of aging.
Boosting Collagen Production
Collagen is a protein found in our skin and plays a crucial role in maintaining its structure and firmness. Collagen acts as an elastic connector for skin cells and tissues. This protein is what keeps skin attached to the tissues under it and helps the skin maintain its shape. Collagen is what makes your skin return to its normal shape when you pinch it and then let go.
As we age, collagen production decreases. With less connective collagen, your skin starts to develop fine lines and wrinkles. Because collagen anchors your skin, decreased collagen causes sagging and allows your skin to move more freely, increasing age-related deformities.
Improving collagen levels is quite difficult, as it is something that your body has to make itself. Collagen creams may contain collagen, but the collagen itself doesn’t actually absorb through your skin. Collagen powders, pills, or other collagen supplements also contain collagen, but the collagen is broken down in your digestive tract before it is absorbed. This can provide your body with the nutrition it needs to build collagen; however, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will produce more.
Red light therapy helps to improve collagen production by stimulating cells called fibroblasts. These cells make collagen, and stimulation of these cells can help increase the amount of collagen your body naturally makes. Unlike collagen supplements, which simply provide the building blocks of collagen, red light therapy can actually boost collagen production.
Increasing Cell Turnover
Cell turnover is the process of shedding old skin cells and replacing them with new ones, which is crucial for maintaining youthful skin. As you age, your body replaces skin cells more slowly. This contributes to uneven skin tone, thinner skin, and decreased skin elasticity.
Red light therapy boosts cell turnover by stimulating the production of new cells and promoting elastin, a protein responsible for the skin's elasticity. Increased cell turnover can help your skin to be more elastic and have a more even skin tone. The smoother, firmer skin that results reverses the appearance of aging.
Improved cell turnover also helps your hair to grow. Red light therapy can stimulate hair follicles to work faster and better, leading to improved hair growth. This can improve hair thinning that occurs as you age.
Reducing Inflammation and Oxidative Stress
As you age, your skin is exposed to more and more stress, especially if your skin is frequently exposed to sunlight or chemicals. This stress builds up over time, leading to inflammation and damage that can cause discoloration or impact your skin quality.
Red light therapy fights against these factors by increasing the production of antioxidants and reducing inflammation, resulting in healthier, more resilient skin. This effect helps to slow the aging process by reducing the stress and damage that your skin experiences.
How Red Light Therapy May Make You Look Younger
We’ve looked at how red light therapy works on a more technical level, but what should you actually expect to see when you start using it?
Reduced Fine Lines and Wrinkles
As you begin consistently using red light therapy, one change you will likely notice is improved fine lines and wrinkles. As collagen production increases and cell growth occurs, fine lines will start to disappear. You shouldn’t expect your wrinkles and fine lines to disappear overnight, but as the biological effects of red light therapy begin to work, your skin will slowly start to become smoother and firmer.
Improved Skin Tone
Red light therapy can improve hyperpigmentation and improve skin clarity. As skin cell production increases and the underlying structure of the skin becomes stronger, it can better resist the formation of age spots and other pigmentation issues. The increased cell turnover promoted by red light therapy can contribute to a more even skin tone and smoother texture, resulting in a more youthful complexion.
As you start to see the benefits of red light therapy, one change you will likely notice is thicker, fuller hair. Red light therapy can help stimulate hair follicles, improving growth that is already occurring and stimulating new growth. Your hair will likely begin to grow faster and thicker, gaining a more healthy and more youthful appearance.
While your skin will likely become smoother and more even, most people notice improved fullness of their skin. Improved cell turnover can make skin thicker, plumper, and more full. This makes the skin more resistant to damage, more elastic, and ultimately more youthful.
Red Light Therapy vs. Other Anti-Aging Treatments
Compared to popular anti-aging treatments like Botox, dermal fillers, and chemical peels, red light therapy offers several advantages. It's non-invasive, has minimal side effects, and is generally more cost-effective. Red light therapy is also natural, mimicking the effects of the red light found in sunlight without the potentially harmful effects of ultraviolet light that is also in sunlight. The natural benefits that red light therapy offers can improve aging skin without appearing artificial, as many other treatments can.
You can also integrate red light therapy into your daily routine with minimal disruption. Red light therapy is easy to use and offers a simple way to enhance how young you look and feel. The natural, easy-to-use benefits that red light therapy offers make it an ideal anti-aging treatment when compared to other artificial treatment possibilities.
How to Incorporate Red Light Therapy into Your Skincare Routine
To incorporate red light therapy into your skincare routine and see the anti-aging effects it offers, there are some simple steps that you should take:
- Select the right red light therapy treatment
You will want to research and compare different red light therapy devices to find the one that best suits your needs. Professional treatments at dermatology clinics offer higher intensity and tailored treatments; however, they are expensive and use the same type of equipment that you can purchase for yourself. Increasingly, people are turning to the convenience and affordability at-home devices provide. You can use professional at-home devices whenever you want while seeing the same benefits you would with using expensive in-office treatments.
- Make a plan
Red light therapy plans will differ for everyone based on their schedule and needs. Generally, it's recommended to start with 10-15 minutes sessions 3-5 times per week, gradually increasing the duration as necessary. The key, however, is consistency. While you could see effects after your first treatment, red light therapy generally is most effective over weeks, not days. Having a plan to use red light therapy regularly will help you to see maximal benefits.
- Combine RLT with a well-rounded skincare routine
To achieve the best results, incorporate red light therapy into your existing skincare routine. This includes cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and applying sunscreen daily. Combining red light therapy with a comprehensive skincare regimen will help you maximize its anti-aging effects and maintain a youthful appearance.
Mito Red Light
Not all red light therapy panels are effective. For red light therapy to be worth it, you need high-quality, professional light panels from a reputable dealer. Getting the right wavelengths of light at the best intensity possible will be key to seeing the best results as quickly as possible. Mito Red Light is a top red light panel provider, with our therapy devices recognized as the best there are.
We are confident that our devices are the best you’ll be able to find. We welcome you to review our selection of high-quality red light therapy devices or to contact one of our representatives at 1-866-861-6486 to learn more about how our devices can help you achieve your health and wellness goals.