With the holidays just around the corner, there are pops of neon lights everywhere. Yellow, green, blue, red, you name it!
While the stockings or the tree ornaments are an integral part of Christmas decoration, it truly feels incomplete with the bright Christmas lights.
This holiday season, we have something new for you to try out. A different set of lights to brighten up your holidays with – LED treatment lights! More specifically, red and blue therapy lights.
And no, these are not for decoration. These treatment lights have multiple benefits that will help to lift your spirits and bring in the holiday cheer!
Let’s start by giving a brief overview of what red light therapy and blue light therapy are, and how they work. I want to also dive deep into the misinformation around red light therapy side effects too, but that will be later on.
What Is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy is a treatment procedure that involves red and near-infrared lights at low wavelengths. Wavelengths ranging from 620nm to 650nm are the most commonly used wavelengths for red light therapy treatments.
The procedure is painless, non-invasive, and does not involve the use of any harmful chemicals. It works on a cellular level to aid in treating your health concerns from within.
To reap the benefits of red light therapy, even blue light therapy, you must expose your skin to the light; more specifically, the area you are targeting. LED lights will not be able to address the issues you are trying to treat if they cannot come in direct contact with the target areas.
When exposed to red light, the light seeps into your skin, just below the epidermis and dermis (layers of the skin). The mitochondria – the powerhouse of the cell – absorb the red light which recharges their productivity. It increases the production and flow of energy, through the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules – energy-carrying molecules.
The increase in energy production leads to collagen production and healthier cells.
For red light therapy, the recommended treatment time ranges between 10-20 minutes, depending on your condition, and the intensity of the device being used.
Benefits Of Red Light Therapy Treatment
Starting from treating acne and hair loss all the way to providing relief from chronic pain, red light therapy treatment yields a wide array of benefits.
As mentioned previously, red light therapy treatment helps to boost the production of collagen. So, what is collagen?
Collagen is a protein that is found in our skin. It provides the skin with elasticity and structural integrity.
Not only does collagen help to rejuvenate the skin, making it plumper and healthier, but it also helps in the production of healthy tissues and cells.
Cells have the tendency to mimic the characteristics of the surrounding cells while reproducing. Therefore, if the neighboring cells are damaged and inefficient, the newly generated cells will adopt the properties of those cells and be less productive themselves.
Red light therapy helps to increase cellular productivity and repair damaged cells and tissues. Thus, aiding in the production of new, healthy cells and tissues.
Other contributing factors include the flow of blood and oxygen, which is also stimulated by red light therapy treatment.
Our skin can benefit from red light therapy in many ways. Some of these include:
- Reduction in inflammation
- Subdued redness
- Mitigating signs of aging
- Undoing sun damage
Bonus Tip: Green tea and red light are a miracle duo. Apply cotton pads soaked in green tea on your skin, prior to subjecting yourself to red light therapy treatment. This fastens the results by 10x!
If you would like to broaden your horizon regarding the benefits of red light therapy, check this article out: Red Light Therapy Pros & Cons: Health Benefits & Risks.
What Is Blue Light Therapy?
Blue light therapy treatment involves the usage of blue and violet lights to address skin issues, such as acne and acne scarring. It uses a wavelength of approximately 415nm to treat acne from within the skin.
Unlike topical treatments, such as treatment serums and moisturizers, blue light and red light therapy treatments penetrate the skin and help to address skin issues from within.
When the blue light is absorbed into the skin through the pores, it helps to fight the acne-causing bacteria, known as P. acnes.
These bacteria tend to build up and clog our pores and hair follicles. This prevents our skin from being able to breathe. Thus, it leads to inflammation and acne.
Similar to red light therapy treatment, blue light therapy treatment also calls for direct exposure to the target area. For the LED lights to show results from the treatment, it has to make direct contact with the skin, which will allow the lights to penetrate through the skin barriers.
After being exposed to blue light, the P. acnes absorb the light which causes a reaction in their molecules. This reaction entails the production of oxygen and free radicals – unpaired atoms or molecules that help to kill bacteria – which helps to kill the P.acnes bacteria.
Blue light therapy treatments tend to be longer than red light therapy treatments. In contrast to 10-20 minute red light therapy sessions, blue light therapy sessions may even prolong to 90 minutes. The treatment time depends on the user’s specific needs based on their condition, as well as the intensity of the device.
Benefits Of Blue Light Therapy Treatment
Blue light’s bad reputation precedes itself. I’m sure you are aware of the harmful blue light emitting from the screens, that we spend hours gawking at. Lack of sleep, vision impairment, etc.
However, it is not all bad. The benefits it provides for our skin cannot be overlooked. Also, eye protection during blue light therapy treatment sessions is a given. So, you do not have to worry about it affecting your eyes.
As mentioned before, it helps to fight the acne-causing bacterias, P.acnes. While some bacteria are necessary for the betterment of your skin, some are not. Bacterias like bifidobacterium and lactobacillus help to make the skin more resilient and fight acne and redness.
Blue light therapy helps to mitigate this issue on a cellular level. When the light is absorbed by the P. acnes bacteria, a chemical reaction takes place. This chemical reaction dismantles the protective barriers of the bacteria, which vitiates the problematic cells disabling them from causing acne.
Blue light therapy treatment is ideal for addressing minor acne problems, such as red bumps or fungal acne.
These types of skin issues can be hard to get rid of with the sole use of topical treatments. Which makes blue light therapy an ideal candidate for the treatment of acne.
It can also help to treat sun damage.
Similarities And Differences Between Red And Blue Light
|LED light treatment.||Red light therapy uses red and near-infrared light. Blue light therapy uses blue and violet light.|
|Reduces acne, scarring.||Red light therapy uses 620nm to 650nm wavelengths. Blue light therapy uses 415nm wavelengths.|
|Painless, non-invasive, and chemical-free.||Red light therapy is used to treat multiple health issues. Blue light therapy is primarily used to treat skin problems.|
|Requires direct exposure to the skin.||Red light therapy can treat severe acne, cysts, nodules, etc. Blue light therapy is ideal to treat mild acne, such as papules or fungal acne.|
|Helps to address health concerns from within.||Red light therapy treatment sessions take 10 to 20 minutes. Blue light therapy treatment sessions can range from 15 to 90 minutes.|
|No harmful UVA or UVB rays.|
Red And Blue Light Therapy
Red light and blue light therapies use natural light for the treatment procedure. Unlike the sunlight, red and blue lights do not possess harmful UV rays. You can read more about natural sunlight versus red light therapy here.
The benefits of red light therapy treatment and blue light therapy treatment are backed up by science. Both red light therapy and blue light therapy are stand-alone treatments to tackle skin problems. They are an excellent addition to one’s skincare regimen.
That being said, the concomitant benefits that can prevail from the usage of red light and blue light in conjunction, are far more effective than using these treatment devices on their own.
You may use these treatments alternatively. We recommend starting with blue light therapy devices.
Once the P. acnes bacteria absorbs the blue light, it helps to demolish the acne-causing bacteria. However, it does release some free radicals in the process. While free radicals can sometimes help to kill the bacteria, they can also cause harm to the molecules, and increase oxidative stress.
Red light therapy helps to reduce oxidative stress and fight against free radicals. Therefore, going in with red light therapy afterward will help to undertake these issues.
The red light will help to balance out the cellular activities and result in healthier skin.
This makes red light therapy and blue light therapy a great combo to tackle many skin-related problems. Such as:
- Acne scarring
- Fungal acne
- Excessive oil build up
- And many more.
At-Home LED Devices
Red light therapy treatment is more commonly available in comparison to blue light treatment. For example, you might find red light saunas at your local gym, or salon. Although, traditionally people seek dermatologists and skin experts to obtain LED light therapy treatments.
Nevertheless, there are many at-home devices available in the market for you to choose from – both blue light therapy devices and red light therapy devices.
We recommend the Mini Portable device from Solas, for red light therapy. Its compact size and stature make it ideal for treating acne.
LED devices that are used in professional clinics are usually very intense and have a stronger wavelength. Whereas, the at home LED light therapy treatment devices are less intense.
So, does that mean it is less effective? No, absolutely not.
These devices have been curated for the use of non-professionals. Thus, it has a lower intensity for the safety and convenience of the users. This also means that these devices are ideal for daily use.
In-office LED light therapy treatment requires you to come in once or twice a week, during your recommended treatment period. Each session can take up to 10-15 minutes for red light therapy treatment, and 15 to 90 minutes for blue light therapy treatment.
However, due to its less intensity, the at-home LED light therapy devices can be used more frequently. You may use these devices 5 to 7 times a week, for 10-20 minutes in case of red light therapy, and 20 to 60 minutes in case of blue light therapy.
Attending your weekly treatment appointments on time, while maintaining a busy schedule, can be very discouraging. This makes at-home LED light therapy devices all the more desirable.
You can use these devices from the comfort of your home, according to your convenience.
Red Light Therapy Side Effects
With over 3000+ peer reviewed studies on red light therapy, the majority of researchers agree that there really is no side effects to red light therapy. If used correctly, red light therapy side effects do not happen. That is because the light emitted is natural to our world. I would suggest trying red light therapy and seeing how safe it can be.
Using red and blue light therapy devices is a very convenient way to address many skin issues. Using these devices in addition to your regular skin care regimen will take you one step forward towards achieving your skin goals.
Put on your Christmas playlist, lean back, and bathe in the LED lights. You can just pretend that they are ‘non-traditional Christmas lights’!