Improve the Health of Your Skin with Red and Near Infrared Light Therapy
An undeniable part of life for everyone is aging. What differs for each person, especially a woman, is how we age. It’s ideal to age gracefully and not look as old as we are. Women especially want to strike this balance, which may be hard to reach.
As you age, the cheeks deflate, and with gravity, fat moves down. Your body makes less collagen, and the collagen it does make is less elastic, which means your skin becomes less thick, less firm. Your bones thin, which causes the cheekbones to shrink further. Excess skin moves to the jaw. The widest part of your face is now at the jawline—the triangle of youth is flipped upside down. After a certain point, collagen no longer undergirds the architecture of the facial skin and bones.
In short, few things reveal our age, as well as our health status as conspicuously as our skin and thus it should come as no surprise that in our youth obsessed society the demand for better-looking skin is at an all-time high. In fact, the number of spa visits per year across the globe has surpassed the 200 million mark. And it’s estimated the “beauty and anti-aging” market is worth nearly 100 billion dollars. We all want to look our best and to delay the aging process as long as we possible can and our skin is a prime target.
That said, there’s more to our skin than just aesthetics and rather the skin is the ultimate multi-tasker, performing many of functions that are essential to our overall wellbeing. It protects your body from environmental influences, helps control your body’s temperature and fluid balance, it acts as a reservoir for the synthesis of Vitamin D, and provides other key functions. But unfortunately, age takes its toll on all of us, including our skin. In addition to natural aging, which is accentuated by outside factors, other skin-related problems can ensue – things like infections, cancer, scars, and other various conditions from acne to psoriasis.1
Chances are you’ve experienced some type of skin issue during your lifetime, and as you’re probably aware, skin conditions can be painful, uncomfortable, and adversely impact one’s self-esteem. It’s quite common to seek a medical treatment to relieve the problem. Within traditional medicine, the therapeutic options depend on the type of skin problem you’re attempting to address. In most cases, in order to improve skin conditions and signs of aging, a practitioner will use some type of topical treatment and/or procedure, such as microdermabrasion or chemical peels. And is the case with other health issues, many people suffering from skin problems will also turn to natural remedies to find relief. These include essential oils, salt baths, herbal teas, vitamin and nutritional supplements, and compresses.
Another option which has been growing in popularity within the aesthetics field is red and near infrared light therapy. This treatment has been extensively studied for improving the skin and has become a prominent treatment within the dermatology arena. Light therapy is an effective treatment that can help address a wide variety of skin conditions and is backed by a robust amount of clinical evidence. While many traditional skin treatments provide temporary relief, these studies have demonstrated real, lasting skin changes resulting from light therapy.
A Wealth of Clinical Research Finds Significant Skin Improvements From Light Therapy
You may have heard that light damages the skin. While this is true of excessive UV light exposure, red and near infrared light therapy can actually positively impact your skin in dramatic ways. Research shows that light therapy can enhance the look of skin, while healing the underlying issue that is causing the condition. When red and near infrared light are absorbed by the skin, they stimulate new skin cells to grow in a healthier way, providing protection against damage, and helping to heal a variety of skin problems.2 If you want to go deeper, you can read more about the mechanism of action at a cellular level in a previous article we published.
Not surprisingly, there’s a robust amount of clinical research that has demonstrated specific benefits of light therapy related to the skin. An extensive meta analysis in a 2013 issue of Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery evaluated many of the ways in which light therapy can be used to improve the health of the skin, some of which are outlined in the proceeding paragraphs.2
Specific to anti-aging, this meta analysis discussed numerous studies showing that LED light therapy can actually reduce and counteract signs of aging in the skin. Red and near infrared light has been shown to boost collagen, smooth wrinkles, improve clarity, balance and enhance tone, fade scars and stretch marks, as well as a host of other benefits. Also of note, while light therapy boosted positive skin results, it also reduced an enzyme that contributes to skin damage.
A 2014 controlled trial in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery also backed up the use of red and near infrared light therapy to treat skin aging. The treatment boosted collagen and participants experienced a better look and feel in their skin, which was documented by photographs of study participants and their results. Overall, researchers found light therapy to be safe and effective.3
Regarding acne, the previously mentioned 2013 meta analysis highlighted studies finding red and near infrared light to be effective for the treatment of acne. Of note, it explained that red light impacts sebum production, which contributes to acne, in addition to the control of cytokines, which impacts skin inflammation.2
The meta analysis also showed that light therapy resolved psoriasis in patients that were not helped by traditional treatments, improved pigmentation in patients with vitiligo disorder, and reduced episode of herpes. It also boosted healing and improved scars and burns. Overall, the authors of the meta analysis noted that light therapy could be used for many skin concerns due to its wide range of positive results. It was particularly effective for healing and skin regeneration, as well as reducing inflammation and cellular necrosis.
The Consensus is Clear: Numerous Clinical Studies Provide Solid Evidence that Light Therapy is an Effective Skin Treatment
An abundance of clinical studies have demonstrated that red and near infrared light therapy benefits the skin while reducing potential issues. But, it’s essential to use the right wavelengths within the red and near infrared spectrum, along with optimal power output. A device like the Opera LED Light Therapy Mask or the Joovv Red and NIR Light will allow for short and effective treatment times in the comfort of your own home, or here at our salon. Skin rejuvenation has never been easier and we encourage you to experience it’s many benefits!
(1) MacNeal, R J. Overview of the Skin. Merck Manual.
(2) Avci P, Gupta A, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. Mar 2013; 32(1): 41-52.
(3) Wunsch A and Matuschka K. A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. Feb 2014; 32(2): 93-100.