By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
April 8, 2022
It wasn’t that long ago that red light therapy was something you could only find at dermatologist offices and luxury spas.
The claims were that it could make skin firmer and reduce fine lines to make you look younger. It could fight off eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and other skin problems. It could regenerate and repair aging skin.
Needless to say, there were a lot of skeptics. It sounds like snake oil, right?
But keep this in mind. Light affects our bodies more than most people realize.
Our biological rhythms are set by the sun. Sunlight stimulates the production of vitamin D. It increases our levels of nitric oxide, which is critical to ensure health blood flow to the heart, brain and other organs. It modulates our brain chemicals and hormones.
It’s good for us… unless we get too much of it.
While blue light from the sun is necessary for life, today we’re getting too much artificial blue light from our smartphones and other electronic devices. It damages the retina. It prematurely ages your skin. It suppresses melatonin production and makes it hard to sleep.
And what about red light?
Change the Way Your Skin Ages
Twenty years ago, the use of low-level red light as an anti-aging therapy was relatively unheard of. But that doesn’t mean the therapy didn’t exist.
The effect of low-level red light on skin was discovered by accident back in 1967. A Hungarian physician by the name of Endre Mester was experimenting with the effects of “ruby” laser on skin cancer.
And while he didn’t cure cancer, he did discover that the treatment improved wound healing and enhanced hair growth.
The concept wasn’t widely accepted at the time. But since then, research into light therapy has grown by leaps and bounds
It turns out that low-level red light is absorbed by the mitochondria. These are like mini power plants in your cells that are responsible for energy production. Your cells soak up this energy up and use it to promote new cell growth and repair skin. This helps…
- Give skin more strength and elasticity.
- Make more collagen and plump your skin up.
- Reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
- Improve age spots, scars and sun damage.
- Smooth the texture of the skin.
- Improve eczema, psoriasis, rosacea.
- Aid in wound healing.
So yes! All of those claims made by dermatologist offices and luxury spas were correct.
What Else Can Red Light Therapy Do?
Red light therapy might also help you grow more hair. It helps hair follicles move out of the resting phase and into the growing phase. This increases the thickness of hair and, in one study, the thicker hair was also more pigmented.
Because of the way red light works with the mitochondria, it can also be helpful when it comes to easing some of those aches and pains. It works by reducing inflammation, improving blood flow and increasing oxygen delivery to tissue.
In fact, it’s so effective at healing and regenerating damaged tissue that some question if the use of it should be banned in athletic competitions.
The nice thing is that these days, you don’t have to shell out a lot of money and go to weekly appointments to gain the benefits of low-level red light therapy. The technology has advanced enough that you can buy affordable LED red light devices that you can use in your own home.
These lights don’t contain any ultraviolet light and won’t hurt you. If you can find one that’s not too expensive and has the right wavelengths, you should get it and use it every day.
Wavelengths of 660 nm red or 850 nm infrared LEDs (or a combination of the two) will provide the best results. (The 660 nm is best for reducing signs of aging, while 850 nm penetrates deeper for muscle recovery and joint pain.)
I have one that I use about five minutes a day to support the healthy growth of my skin and hair. And I have to say, it’s helped me keep a thick head of hair at my age.
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