5 Benefits of Red Light Therapy: Should You Add it to Your Self-Care Routine?

By Krista


Last Updated: December 21, 2022

If you’ve been looking to ramp up your health and wellness routine or hunting for ways to combat age-related effects, you may have come across red light therapy.

Amongst health enthusiasts, red light therapy has quickly become an easy go-to at-home remedy that may help reduce wrinkles and enhance relaxation.

As a non-invasive and drug-free approach to various ailments, it’s benefits go beyond the physical and beyond mere relaxation in the evenings.

  • So, what should you know?
  • Is this something you should consider adding to your self-care routine?

In this article, we go over everything you need to now about red light therapy.



What Does Red Light Therapy Do?

Red light therapy usually involves a light device, such as the red light man device, which emits low wavelength red light.

To reap the benefits, it’s usually recommended to use this device for 15-20 minutes three to five times a week, with morning and evenings generally being the best times, as this is when we naturally receive red light waves from the sun.

Most people report feeling warmth coming from the device as they do their session, as well as report feelings of relaxation (a huge plus if you’re trying to wind down after a busy day!).

However, it can take upwards of three or more months to notice any benefits in terms of reduced wrinkles, decreased scarring, or other skin improvements.

Surprisingly, red light therapy has been around for over 50 years. In fact, Endre Mester was the first to report its benefits when studying rats and noticed red light caused hair growth and healing to take place. 

Basically, it heats up the internal temperature of the body, causing certain physiological changes to occur which leads to the many discussed benefits. In particular, it is thought to improve the health of the mitochondria, the powerhouses of the body’s cells.

So, what are all of these benefits exactly?

Related Article: Top 5 Simple Ways to Start a Self-Care Routine in Your Life



5 Red Light Therapy Benefits

Red light therapy is powerful! Many people use it post-surgery to promote better wound healing and reduce scarring. Yet, there’s so much more to it than that. Some of the benefits further include:

1. Improved Hair Growth

For individuals with androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness, it has been shown to enhance the function and health of the hair follicles, reversing certain processes of androgenetic alopecia.

2. Improves Skin Appearance and Health

Red light therapy has been shown to enhance collagen production, which plays a major role in the structure and integrity of the skin. In turn, this may help reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin appearance and texture.

3. Reduces Sun Damage

Unfortunately, too much time spent in the sun has seriously negative repercussions on our skin.

In fact, it can drastically age the skin and reduce its integrity, hydration, and structure. Luckily, some studies show that red light therapy might just help decrease any sun damage, improving your skin health and appearance! 

4. Decreases Pain and Improves Joint Health

Specifically in those with osteoarthritis, red light therapy is shown to help reduce pain and even reducing disability. But it’s not only those with osteoarthritis that might find pain relief with this therapy.

Individuals with pain caused by conditions, like tendonitis, may see significant improvements in their pain with consistent use.

5. Improves Mood

Red light therapy is further thought to help individuals overcome depression, anxiety, and other low moods. In fact, it’s well-known to enhance relaxation and even improve sleep. Using it in the evenings can offer the perfect wind-down routine, ensuring you get a good night’s rest.

Related Article: Here Are 5 Helpful Ways You Can Recover From Another Sleepless Night



What is the Best Way to Get Red Light Therapy?

Many spas and gyms have saunas which you can use to gain all of the above benefits.

However, there are many home devices on the market today, making this type of self-care very accessible. Most devices tend to cost between $100-300, which after a few months of use pays for itself.

As previously mentioned, it’s best to use in the morning or evening as this can mimic the natural wavelengths found in the sun during these times of the day. In turn, they support your body’s natural rhythms, giving way to potentially even more benefits.



Should You Add Red Light Therapy to Your Routine?

If you’re looking for an easy way to relax, this might be just what you need.

The best part is that a red light therapy evening or morning routine only takes 15-20 minutes. 

In other good news, there’s basically zero downsides to using red light with tons of upsides. The key to receiving the benefits its staying consistent by using your red light at least a few times a week. Another few tips: Don’t wear sunscreen, stay hydrated, and track your progress. 

Even though it is generally accepted to be safe for use, it's always a good idea to check with a health professional before use, such as a dermatologist. Doing your research before trying new medically related treatments is always recommended. 

You may even want to create a “red light therapy journal” where you track how you feel after each session and note any improvements over time. So, if you’ve been on the fence about this one, it’s about time you try it! Maybe it’s the addition your self-care routine has been craving.

Read Next: 7 Simple Types of Self-Care & How They Bring About Success

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