Does Red Light Therapy Really Work To Remove Wrinkles?

red light therapy anti aging skin care remove wrinkles

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You may be wondering, does light therapy really work to remove wrinkles?

First and foremost, results from a controlled trial study showed 'significantly improved skin complexion and skin feeling'.  

As a matter of fact, the subjects in the study showed an increase in collagen and a decrease in the appearance of wrinkles as a result of receiving red light therapy.

It's so gentle, red light therapy can be used to reduce wrinkles on the forehead, face, neck, chest and around the lips/mouth.

Importantly, all the subjects in the study enjoyed the red light therapy results with no adverse effects!

What's exciting is red light therapy (RLT), or LED light therapy, has emerged as a simple, safe and cost-effective anti-aging approach that you can do at home.

In this article, we'll deep dive into the benefits of red light therapy for anti-aging skincare and youthfulness.

We'll get started right now...

study_red light therapy to help reduce wrinkles

What Is Red Light Treatment?

human cell

Light therapy (or phototherapy) has been around for thousands of years.

Actually, 3,500 years ago the Egyptians harnessed the power of sunlight (heliotherapy) to heal skin conditions.

In fact, doctors successfully used heliotherapy during the pandemic of 1918.

In Massachusetts, the doctors moved patients outside into the sun and fresh air. 

According to a report, the heliotherapy approach helped to lower the death rate from the virus and keep medical staff healthy.

In 1993, NASA used red light therapy to help grow plants in space.

NASA scientists also wanted to see if red light therapy could also address common physical problems astronauts experienced while in space.

Later on, the Navy SEALS used red light therapy to heal wounds faster.  

How does red light therapy remove wrinkles?

Collagen is created by fibroblast cells that use amino acids and other minerals and vitamins to create new collagen protein. 

Needless to say, the process to create new collagen protein needs a lot of energy. The energy comes from the mitochondria, which is part of the cell.

Because red light can penetrate the dermis and skin tissue, the theory is that red light can help create new collagen through the activation of the energy center in skin cells.

To explain further, the red light helps strengthen the mitochondria in cells without inflicting skin damage.

it should be noted, the mitochondria are where your cells' energy is created and stored. The molecule in cells that carries energy is called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

In fact, if cells have more ATP, they will function better and be better able to repair any 'damage' to the skin such as wrinkles, scars, age spots--just to name a few.

Alternatively, we've included an excellent video below that will help you better understand red light therapy not only for anti-aging skincare but also for the overall body.

What Are Red Light Therapy Skin Benefits?

Although red light therapy's effectiveness is still a debatable subject, red light treatment does really work to remove wrinkles.

Let's refer to a 2014 study that showed positive results from red light therapy treatment.

After the protocol of treatments, the subjects in the study realized 'significantly improved skin complexion and skin feeling' along with increased collagen density.

In addition, another study showed a reversal in collagen down-regulation and slowed down MMP-1, an enzyme that breaks down collagen Types I, II and IIII. 

Alternatively, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has ruled that there aren't enough examples or studies to show that red light therapy is a better alternative than current treatment approaches. 

These are some of the ways anti aging benefits of how red light therapy really works to remove wrinkles and more:

Is Red Light The Same As Infrared Light?

Basically, yes--the difference is red light is at a wavelength that is visible with very little heat.

Alternatively, infrared light is invisible and there's a bit more heat.  

As such, both types of red light penetrate the skin's dermis levels, although infrared penetrates deeper.

For example, red light therapy usually ranges from 620nm-750nm where infrared ranges from 700nm-1mm.

You see infrared in your life today.

For example, infrared light is used in heat lamps and toasters in your home. It's also used in the TV remote to change channels.

For collagen-producing and skin-healing purposes, a study showed red light between 620nm and 670nm wavelengths was the most effective for participants.

Interestingly, the researchers in the same study also noted female participants showed a higher collagen density post-treatment than men. 

In addition, infrared wavelengths can help improve conditions such as inflammation, aches and pains, tennis elbow, muscle pain and arthritis and more.

Finally, if you'd like to increase collagen to help lessen wrinkles and lines and treat other injuries and conditions, you can find devices on the market that offer both red and infrared wavelengths in one.

Is Red Light Therapy Safe?

In general, red light therapy treatment (RLT) for wrinkle reduction and other skin conditions is known to be safe. The treatment itself is non-invasive, pain-free and doesn't require recovery time.

In fact, you can rest assured that red light contains no harmful UV rays like the sun.

Also, there are no needles involved (like microneedling) and your skin doesn't peel off post-treatment like with chemical peels.

Importantly, do not confuse laser therapy with red light therapy. They are two different treatments and laser therapy has more potential risk.

Although there is little risk from RLT, someone could over-use the treatment and cause tissue and cell damage. 

Finally, we would recommend speaking with your dermatologist or healthcare provider before starting red light therapy.

Where Can I Get Red Light Therapy Treatments?

Most recently, spas, tanning, salons, gyms, wellness centers and dermatology offices have begun to offer treatments through red light lamps or beds.

Currently, insurance companies don't generally cover the cost of RLT treatments.

However, if you have a specific ailment that requires targeted light therapy treatment (cancer treatment for example), consult with your doctor and dermatologist to see if it might be covered.

Also, you can choose a red light therapy device such as lamps, bulbs, masks and wands are available for purchase for at-home use. 

If you're serious, you can also add a tanning bed or an easily-assembled infrared sauna to your home.

The general cost for a home red light therapy device ranges from $25 to $250 plus. If the device offers infrared wavelengths along with red light, the price tends to be higher.

You may want to consider a professional treatment or two, then continue a maintenance schedule at home.

When choosing a red light therapy product to help rejuvenate skin and soften wrinkles, ensure the wavelength range is between 600 to 750 nm. This is the range that encourages collagen production, tissue repair and skin rejuvenation.

Where Can I Purchase A Wrinkle-Reducing Light Therapy Lamp?

Red light therapy devices (as well as infrared) for home use can easily be purchased online.

The costs for red light therapy devices range from $25 to $250 plus.

Today, there are many red light therapy device types you can use at home. They include wands, masks, panels, lamps and bulbs, tanning beds and saunas.

Also, although eye protection is not needed, many prefer and recommend using goggles or glasses during treatment. 

By the way, we did a complete review of the best red light therapy devices and masks for face you'll want to check out.

How Often Should You Do Red Light Therapy?

As with most facial treatments, consistency is key.

In general, most skincare professionals suggest 2-3 treatments every week for an average 5-20 minutes for up to 2 months.

Afterward, you will want to have a regular maintenance schedule.

You could opt to have professional treatments and add in-home treatments to keep your progress going and reduce costs.

Or use the in-home treatment route to answer the question does red light therapy really work to remove wrinkles.

Again, we recommend checking with your healthcare professional and the directions that are included with home devices so you get the best results. 


Does red light therapy really work to remove wrinkles? Our article gave you the information you need to answer that question. 

Red light has been especially useful for anti-aging skincare by helping to increase collagen production which can soften wrinkles, rejuvenate skin, lighten age spots, help wound healing and treat skin conditions such as psoriasis.

(Infrared light, the invisible wavelength of the color red, can also help people find relief from chronic pain from aches, pains and injuries such as tennis elbow, arthritis or knee and hip pain.)

In fact, since red light therapy is non-invasive with no recovery time needed and reasonably priced, why wouldn't you add red light or infrared therapy sessions to your self-care routine?

Finally, you'll want to be prepared for all the compliments you'll receive after you start using red light for wrinkles! 

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