• 11/11/2023

Red Light Therapy at Home: Is It Safe? What Are the Benefits?

A woman being treated in the face using red light therapy

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Many skin care services you can get at a spa can now be done conveniently and safely at home. Thanks to technology, you can buy a handheld or portable device to elevate your skin regime to a spa-like level daily without breaking the bank. 

You can now get red light therapy at home and achieve the radiant and healthy skin you’ve always wanted. Read this article to learn more about how safe red light therapy is, its types and its benefits. 

What Is Red Light Therapy?

In skin care, red light therapy uses low levels of red or near-infrared light to treat acne, wrinkles and other skin imperfections. You’ll often find the device in spa centers, but it has now made its way to American homes with online and beauty stores selling it.

It’s a portable device that generates red light when turned on. You expose your skin to this light to get the benefits. 

Is It Safe to Do Red Light Therapy by Yourself at Home?

Red light therapy has several names, and you may hear people call it using the following terms.

  • Photobiomodulation (PBM)
  • Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) 
  • low-power laser therapy (LPLT)
  • Biostimulation, photonic stimulation
  • Soft laser therapy
  • Non-thermal LED light
  • Photobiomodulation and phototherapy
  • Cold laser therapy

It has several medicinal uses besides improving skin conditions like acne and fine lines. Its other potential benefits include:

  • Promotes hair growth
  • Lessens skin redness
  • Helps heal wounds
  • Reduces pain
  • Assists in sports injury rehabilitation

Red light therapy is generally safe to use at home, as it’s noninvasive, nontoxic and painless. However, you need to use it according to directions. Each product has a manual you can read for proper use. 

What Are the Types of Red Light Therapy Devices?

Red light therapy devices come in various types and shapes. It’s also worth noting many of these devices are multi-functional. They don’t just emit red light but also green, yellow, purple and other light colors with corresponding wavelengths of light. Each color solves a particular skin concern. You can change the red light to another wave depending on what your skin needs. 

1. LED Face Mask

As the name suggests, this is a red light therapy device with a mask shape. It covers your entire face except the holes for the eyes. You wear it and turn it on to operate. Some masks are battery-powered, while others have wires you need to plug. 

One tip when picking a red light therapy mask is to choose a brand with adjustable straps. As each person has different face sizes, straps ensure you can adjust the mask to fit your face. 

LED face mask: $59.99 on Amazon

2. LED Panel

This device covers your entire head and is more versatile than the LED mask, as you can use it on your arms, legs and other body parts. However, it also takes up more storage space than the mask.

It comes in different shapes, such as a foldable tool that opens up to a half-circle or half-square LED device. Like the mask, it also is multi-purpose and often features other lights. 

Red light therapy panel: $34.99 on Amazon

3. LED Wand

A wand option is the most compact of all LED light therapy types. It’s often wireless, either operated with a battery or rechargeable. With similar functions as the first two, it can reduce wrinkles and improve absorption of skin products — but without the need for bigger storage space. You can hold it in your hand and keep it in the corner of your vanity until your next use. 

The cost of devices can vary between less than $100 to over $1000, depending on the type and model. Wands are typically more affordable than masks and panels. 

LED light therapy wand: $49.99 on Amazon

What Are the Benefits of Red Light Therapy at Home? 

The benefits of red light therapy started when NASA scientists experimented with it to promote plant growth in space and accelerate healing in astronauts. Eventually, they discover further potential uses of red light and continue investigating its application in other medical conditions. 

Red light is used to stimulate the body cells called mitochondria. These cells absorb the near-infrared light and are revitalized to work more efficiently to repair skin issues and boost cell growth. 

Here are its other advantages if you use it at home.

  • Promotes collagen production
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Reduces cell inflammation
  • Increases fibroblast production necessary to make collagen

Who Can Benefit From Red Light Therapy at Home?

You may consider buying a red light therapy device to use at home if you want the following skin benefits:

  • Improve skin texture, scars and acne
  • Reduce the appearance of stretch marks
  • Minimize fine lines, wrinkles and age spots
  • Improve the condition of sun-damaged skin
  • Promote hair growth

While all of these skin merits sound amazing and getting them from home instead of a spa is more affordable, you should only buy a brand cleared by the FDA or deemed safe for personal use. 

As several LED light devices now swarm online stores, research and read reviews and brand specifications to ensure you’re purchasing an effective and legit device. 

What Do Experts Say About the Efficacy of Red Light?

Experts have done studies about the effectiveness of red light, but the results are inconclusive. Experts have conducted studies of LED lights on skin treatment only recently. As research is ongoing, scientists cite it’s too early to conclude whether LED devices are effective for acne, scarring and other skin problems.

What is known is LED lights work by stimulating the skin cells known as fibroblasts, which help the body produce collagen needed for cell regeneration. Based on this, experts theorize red light could reverse the indications of skin photoaging. Moreover, it may also help promote hair growth for those with androgenetic alopecia or hair loss concerns. 

How Long Should You Do Red Light Therapy at Home?

Each red light therapy product has an instructional manual that includes how long and often to use the device. 

Some models have an automatic power-off feature set to a certain number of minutes. The device switches off automatically after it reaches the limit time. Some brands may require you to use the wand on your face or put on the mask or panel for 15 to 20 minutes and three to five times a week to get results. Always refer to the instruction manual for correct use. 

Use Red Light Therapy at Home for a Healthier Skin

If you frequent spas to get red light therapy treatment, investing in a device you can use at home may work in your favor. Spa treatments are on the costly side. You can save money if you get the same quality of pampering conveniently at home. 

Red light therapy devices are generally safe, have no toxic side effects and are noninvasive. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use. It’s also essential to only buy FDA-cleared models. 

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