BENEFITS OF RED LIGHT THERAPY
Bachelor of Science
Everybody knows that the sun and sunlight is essential for optimal health and beauty. So why do we not just bask in the hot sun to achieve the desired results we are all looking for? Well unfortunately the sun has an evil side – meet our unpleasant friend called ultraviolet light! It is not news that this particular aspect of the sun’s rays can be devastating to our precious skin after prolonged exposure over time. Devastating how? Well it causes the dreaded premature aging of one’s skin for one and I won’t even mention the C-word!
So how do we overcome this dilemma, must we choose to accept forever dried, pruney like, cracked skin just so that we can obtain the miraculous benefits of the other side of the sun’s spectrum? Well I have very good news for you. What if I told you that you can reap all the amazing benefits of our beautiful sun and still keep your youthful and well moisturized skin!
People! Please meet a very, very good friend of mine, a friend I can rely on & has never let me down day in and day out – RED LIGHT THERAPY!
What is red light and what are the benefits?
The sun’s light is composed of all the colours of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Each colour has a very specific wavelength with a very specific benefit to the body and all living creatures. Scientists have discovered that it is the red component that is associated with healing & rejuvenation. The absorption of this red light from our sun or an artificial light source such as LEDs can restore, repair and protect tissue. It does this at the cellular level, through the cell mitochondria located no deeper than 4-5mm below the skins surface. The mitochondria are the cells powerhouse, responsible for the cell’s energy production. Red light stimulates the synthesis of new proteins (collagen + elastin) and encourages greater energy production than normal resulting in excess energy which will most often always be used to repair and rejuvenate tissue. Of course, this leads to overall better functioning cells and aesthetically pleasing skin – reduction in wrinkles & improving skin elasticity.
Method of application
Two of the most popular ways to receive the beneficial treatment of red light are by either going to your local clinic or purchasing what is called an LED mask. LED masks emit visible wavelengths of blue to red light. There are pros and cons to both methods and which one you choose will most definitely depend on your current circumstance.
LED MASK CONS:
- LED masks cannot match the level of intensity from clinical treatments (but that is not to say they are not as effective if used for longer)
- Treatments are more frequent
LED MASK PROS:
- Can be used at any time of the day
- One time purchase and you own your mask forever
- Very easy and cheap to operate
- Treatments can be done anywhere (you can even take it with you when you travel!)
- Treatments are shorter in duration.
- With proper eye protection there is little to no risk using LED masks.
- Treatments can be done while you are doing something else like listening to podcasts or if you are like me doing yoga/meditation!!:)
CLINICAL TREATMENT CONS:
- Appointments for multiple sessions at your beauty clinic can be quite costly
- Greater risk of complication because of increased intensity.
- Must organise your treatments around the discretion of your local clinic schedule.
CLINICAL TREATMENT PROS:
- Highest level of intensity - lesser number of treatments required to achieve same level of results from mask.
The showdown – Just how effective is the therapy? Let’s see some results!
A controlled trial to determine the efficacy of red light treatment on 144 volunteers was conducted in Germany, February 2014. The trial emphasis was to examine the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, and intradermal (skin layers) collagen density increase.
Experiment parameters were as below:
The results of this trial when compared to that of the control group indicate significant improvements in all the volunteers personal assessments.
Those assessments seem to be very accurate when viewing the below results of randomly selected patients A & B, both of who show signs of clearly visible reductions of lines/wrinkles
Patient A collagen ultrasonography scans are also shown below clearly demonstrating the collagen density increase
It was evident from this trial that the application of red light therapy provides a safe treatment of skin tissue with high patient satisfaction.
Using an LED mask from home gives the benefits of red light and other colours which I will discuss in another article.