Which Red Light Therapy to Buy? An Expert's Guide

Shining a red light on your face for skin benefits may sound like a trick that couldn't work, but it's actually a proven method with several benefits. Dr. Jagdeo and Dr. Ingleton both use red light therapy as an adjunct to other advanced treatments, such as medical facials, microneedling and microdermabrasion, to help speed up the healing process after the procedure.

Red light therapy is used to treat signs of skin aging, such as wrinkles, hair growth and acne, and that list could continue to grow. It is also being investigated for its use in treating scars and skin diseases. For any kind of noticeable difference, Dr. Jagdeo recommends supplementing in-office treatments with home red light therapy for the best outcome.

However, don't just buy a red bulb and hope to achieve a significant effect on your skin. Phototherapy treatments use light across the entire visible spectrum, including blue, yellow, amber, and red, and light beyond the visible spectrum, that is, infrared. Infrared light has a longer wavelength than red light (600 to 750 nanometers vs 750 to 880 nanometers). While infrared can penetrate deeper into the skin, that doesn't necessarily mean it's better than red light.

Different wavelengths produce different biological effects, so choosing the best light depends on what you want to achieve. If your goal is to reduce signs of aging or redness, then red light or a combination of red and infrared light is your best bet. If you are more interested in muscle recovery, it is recommended that you opt for a professional infrared treatment instead. When you visit a professional for a red light therapy treatment, you can expect a device that uses one of the most optimal wavelengths as these devices are much more powerful than your standard over-the-counter purchases.

If you prefer to do red light therapy at home, make sure you specify an output intensity that is capable of achieving the benefits you want. Even so, investing in an FDA-approved device is recommended to ensure its quality and safety. When using these devices at home, always follow the manufacturing guidelines regarding use. Since these light devices are not as intense as laser light, the risk of overuse is likely low; however, at some point, more treatments may not result in a better outcome.

Red light therapy is fast, safe, easy and 100% painless procedure that requires no downtime. You may experience a slight feeling of warmth on your skin but it should not hurt or burn. For those interested in the skin rejuvenating powers of red light therapy, an LED face mask or a targeted wand can provide the benefits they are looking for and at a fraction of the cost. When deciding which home red light therapy device is best for you, consider what you're dealing with, the light you're using and the emission of that light.

With daily use of an FDA-approved device such as DRx Spectralite FaceWare Pro users typically see a reduction in acne within a few days and a mild to moderate acne removal within two weeks.