What Exactly Is Red Light Therapy?

What Exactly Is Red Light Therapy?

Every so often, a new skincare trend surfaces on our social media feeds that seem equally as satisfying as it is promising. In this case, red light therapy has been gaining popularity due to its non-invasive and painless approach. With benefits like reduction in wrinkles, acne scars, and fine lines, it has us asking: Is red light therapy (RLT) the beauty secret that you should know, or just a passing fad?

What Is Red Light Therapy? 

Red light therapy (RLT) is a treatment that uses low-level red light wavelengths to help promote skin health, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain. The treatment is typically performed by exposing your skin to a red light lamp, device, or laser to your skin.

Within the cells of our skin are tiny powerhouses called mitochondria that soak up the red light and generate more energy. Experts say the benefits of red and near-infrared light therapy on a cellular level, include promoting the growth and function of mitochondria and promoting wound healing.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work? 

Red light therapy works by penetrating the skin at a depth of around 5mm, where it stimulates the production of collagen and ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Collagen is a protein that gives skin its elasticity and helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, while ATP is a molecule that provides energy to cells, which helps them to function more efficiently. So you can kiss those acne scars, and premature fine lines goodbye.

Westend61/Getty Images

What Are The Benefits of Red Light Therapy? 

One of the most significant benefits of RLT is its ability to improve skin health. It has been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve the texture and tone of the skin. It can also help to reduce the appearance of scars, stretch marks, and age spots.

RLT has also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce pain and swelling in joints and muscles. This makes it an effective treatment for conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other chronic pain conditions.

Beyond the enhancements it can make to your skin, RLT can also help to improve sleep quality. We know that getting our beauty rest is just as essential to our skin health as our skin routine, so using red light to stimulate the production of melatonin, can be an impactful way to regulate sleep patterns and reduce insomnia.

Is Red Light Therapy Worth Trying?

Although there is promising research and results around the usage of, according to experts, it is still uncertain whether red light therapy (RLT) is effective for all of its claimed uses. Despite this, the benefits that have been linked to this device are reason enough to test it out on your own.

If you’re looking to get try red light therapy for yourself, there are many at-home devices that you can use to test out the treatment. However, it’s always recommended that you consult a board-certified dermatologist prior to attempting red light therapy on your own.

Still, if red light therapy sounds like it could be the next best skincare treatment you need in your routine, we’ve provided a list of the best masks, wands, and devices to get your hands on.

Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Featured image by Westend61/Getty Images



Stacey and Dalen Spratt

How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.

I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.


Oh, the infamous man-child. Some of us have had the pain of encountering a man who has the mental and emotional maturity of a petulant child. I know I have. Between the weaponized incompetence, arrested development, lack of self-awareness, lack of impulse control, and lack of introspection that tend to come with this type of partner, the jokes can write themselves in the pursuit of a relationship with an evolved man who can actually meet you at your level.