Red light works through a phenomenon called photobiomodulation. “This is where different components of our cells are activated or respond to different wavelengths of light,” board-certified dermatologist Erum Elias, MD, MBE, FAAD mbg says.
The exact mechanisms of photosynthesis are not fully understood, however The effects have been studied clinically1. “Studies seem to show that light affects the mitochondria in cells, leading to increased production of various factors that increase proteins and factors that allow cells to communicate,” Elias explains.
By allowing cells to communicate, red light therapy essentially helps your skin The job more effective. “This may help stimulate the production of collagen and other factors that help remodel the skin,” says Elias.
And one of the easiest ways to explain how red light (RLT) and other low-level light treatments work is to compare it to other traditional skin care devices such as lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL).
“Lasers traditionally work by causing controlled damage to the skin in an attempt to cause an inflammatory reaction,” she notes. This can lead to positive changes such as reducing wrinkles, Improve hyperpigmentationOr reduce redness, says Elias.
“Red light treatments and other LLLTs are different in that they are non-traumatic to the skin,” she says. Meaning, instead of creating micro-traumas that lead to healing, they begin to positively affect the skin immediately. Cool, isn’t it?
The best part? “The effects are seen without the discomfort, recovery time, and potential reactive swelling that can be seen with traditional lasers and IPL pads,” she notes. Translation: You tend to skin on a cellular level without a host of negative side effects—more on that in a bit.