How red light therapy works
RLT works its magic by delivering concentrated wavelengths of natural light into your skin where it’s absorbed by your cells. This stimulates the production of collagen, elastin, and fibroblasts. That, in turn, enhances ATP, the source of energy for every cell in the body.
RLT also boosts circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to your cells and tissues. When your cells are hit with the red light wavelengths, regenerative effects occur, leading to younger-looking skin, enhanced muscle repair, and diminished scarring.
Plus, there’s no fear of overdoing it. “You could use RLT for 24 hours as day and wouldn’t damage the skin," says Dr. Hamblin, M.D., an associate professor at Harvard Medical School. "It’s almost impossible to cause any harm.”
Benefits of red light therapy
A 2014 study found red light therapy promoted “increased tissue repair and healing…[plus] beneficial effects on wrinkles, acne scars, hypertrophic scars, and healing of burns.”
Muscle repair and recovery
Evidence suggests RLT has benefits when used both pre- and postworkout. A 2014 study found that the therapeutic technique led to reduced muscle strength loss, less muscle soreness, and fewer range-of-motion impairments for up to four days after exercise. A more recent 2018 study also proved that RLT both before and after exercise reduces knee muscle fatigue.
RLT has the potential to reduce inflammation and pain. Researchers have found that RLT exposure can help reduce pain for osteoarthritis knee pain, meniscus tears, general knee pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and back pain. The data on red light therapy for pain relief is so convincing the FDA has approved it as a therapy for treating minor pains and arthritis.
One of the most popular uses of RLT is to clear up skin issues like acne. The skin-clearing secret lies in RLT's anti-inflammatory effects. It also helps naturally decrease oil production and bacterial levels in your skin.
Several studies support RLT’s antiaging benefits, such as a 2014 study that determined that users of RLT experienced significantly improved skin complexion and an increase in collagen. Red light therapy protects existing collagen and boosts new collagen production. It also helps with texture, tone, pore size, and wrinkles.