Red Light Therapy for Wrinkles: Your Anti-Aging Secret Weapon
Wrinkles have long been considered an inevitable part of aging. But do you have to be stuck with wrinkles just because they’re so common? No! Have you ever noticed how some people just don’t seem to age? Their skin retains youthful plumpness and elasticity, and their faces remain smooth and wrinkle-free.
Some are genetically blessed with great skin; but for many, it’s not just their calendar years that put wrinkles on their faces—it’s chronic stress. Stress could be physical (too much sun, for example), environmental (toxins and cigarette smoke), dietary, or emotional, all of which affect the organs and accelerate aging.
However, stress relief and positive lifestyle changes won’t get rid of wrinkles that are already in place. For that, LED light therapy is worth a look to help make your face look as young as you feel inside.
Why Wrinkle Creams Don’t Work
The cosmetics industry wants you to believe that creams and oils are the best way to reduce wrinkles. But the skin is a barrier, and is not designed to absorb things with large molecular structures. Even water can’t penetrate the skin! Most moisturizers will temporarily give the skin a plumper and smoother appearance, but they won’t stimulate the cellular-level healing necessary to actually restore youthful skin tone.
If you’re going to use a topical treatment, one popular ingredient that appears to have the most measurable effect is Retinoic acids, which are derived from Vitamin A. Retinoic acids stimulate collagen production, remove dead skin cells, and reduce age spots. Available as OTC or prescription, Retinoic acids take at least 3-6 months before any visible improvement is seen. However, many people stop using Retinoic acids because they are irritating to the skin and can leave the skin feeling burned: red, flaking, and painful.
Other ingredients commonly used in wrinkle creams include hydroxy acids (to exfoliate the skin); hyaluronic acids (to plump and moisturize skin); and peptides (to boost collagen production). These may somewhat improve texture and appearance to some extent, but do not erase wrinkles. And, people with sensitive skin may have adverse reactions.
Because topical wrinkle creams are so ineffective and may cause allergic and sensitivity reactions, LED red light therapy for wrinkles is an effective option to consider.
How Does Red Light Help the Skin?
Red light therapy—also called low-level laser light therapy—uses LEDs to expose the skin to a spectrum of visible light with long wavelengths (630nm to 700nm). Like natural sunlight, red light has the ability to penetrate the skin to promote collagen production, increase circulation to improve oxygen and nutrient delivery to the cells, and most importantly, stimulate the production of energy within skin cells. Energized cells are high-functioning and more resilient to the many stressors that affect the body’s largest organ: the skin.
And the benefits extend beyond just anti-aging. A 2014 study found that red light therapy stimulated “increased tissue repair and healing…[and has] beneficial effects on wrinkles” as well as other skin conditions. It can even help heal skin wounds, clear up acne, and provide relief from chronic skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis.
Illuminating The Science Behind Red Light Therapy
Red light penetrates the skin and is absorbed by the cell’s mitochondria, which stimulates increased production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). As ATP production increases, cells essentially gain energy, which allows them to regenerate rather than just fighting for survival.
Red light therapy also stimulates the production of new capillaries, which increases circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system for more efficient waste removal from the body. Waste materials interfere with organ functioning: one sign that your lymphatic system is not functioning perfectly is the presence of puffiness or inflammation (redness of the skin).
Red light therapy also boosts the production of collagen and fibroblasts. Collagen and elastin are responsible for firm, elastic, and full skin. As collagen production slows over time, skin can become saggy, papery, and thin. By increasing collagen fibroblast production, fine lines and wrinkles smooth out, pore sizes diminish, and the texture of the skin improves. In one study, subjects experienced significantly improved skin complexion and skin feeling and collagen density.
In short, red light therapy improves every aspect of your skin. The process starts with cell function, and results in a better complexion, resistance to blemishes, and a reduction of wrinkles and fine lines.
Administering Light Therapy
You can get light therapy done professionally at a clinic, or you can do it yourself, with the right technology and know-how. And contrary to what you might think, doing it at home can be the more economical option, especially if you continue with the treatment for an extended period. Here’s how it works:
Option 1: Go to a Clinic
Red light therapy can be administered in-office by dermatologists and aestheticians using LED panels. You will need to commit to 3-5 visits per week for a period of several months, depending on the condition of your skin. Each session lasts about 15 minutes, and costs anywhere from $25 to $100 if you are combining red light with other treatments.
Over the course of a typical treatment program, you may be looking at well over a thousand dollars; and since follow-up maintenance treatments are necessary to maintain the results (the frequency of maintenance treatments depends on the individual), the lifetime cost of in-office red light therapy is significant.
The other alternative is to do red light therapy at home.
Option 2: Anti-Aging Light Therapy At Home
If multiple visits to the dermatologist doesn’t sound appealing, you can certainly use red light therapy at home. If that’s your preference, remember that the most important contributor to your success is using the right equipment.
Wands and masks, for example, are an inexpensive option, but also the least effective. They do not generate the intensity of light necessary to affect much more than the outermost layers of skin. Since easing wrinkles depends on deep light penetration that stimulates collagen production, you are unlikely to see satisfactory results.
A better option is a quality device that delivers high-intensity red light via light-emitting diodes (LED). These allow you to self-administer several short treatments each week at your convenience. The initial investment in a high quality red light device might be a few to several hundred dollars, but the technology easily pays for itself over time as you save on dermatologist visits.
With several sizes available, you can choose a small device perfect for targeted areas such as the face; or, a large device that allows you to improve skin tone everywhere on your body. Just make sure to do the research, and ensure that you’re buying from a reputable company.
DIY Light Therapy: Step-By-Step
To use red light therapy at home, first remember that everyone reacts differently depending on the condition of their skin and their sensitivity, so you may need to adjust these steps. With that in mind, here’s what you should do:
- Make sure your eyes are protected with goggles,
- Start with very short daily sessions of 2-5 minutes to test your reaction;
- Gradually work up to 15 minutes per session (try 5 minutes, then 10, then 15); and finally,
- Continue treatments 3-5 times per week for the first month, 2-3 times per week for the next 1-3 months, and then 1-2 times per week as maintenance.
The best results will become apparent after 8-12 weeks (again depending on your starting point). After the initial treatments you can back off a bit, but when it comes to wrinkles, it’s important to keep doing the maintenance treatments to ensure lasting results.
The Fountain of Youth?
It would be misleading to say that LED light therapy for wrinkles is a fountain of youth, because stress management, diet, environmental conditions and exercise are also vitally important for optimal skin health. However, since red light therapy is a painless, non-invasive treatment with no side effects—and because the cost of wrinkle creams can run into the many thousands of dollars over a person’s lifetime (not to mention the potential of allergic reactions and limited effectiveness)—red light therapy may be the closest we can get to consistently regaining youthful skin tone.
If you’re ready to start reversing the signs of aging with high quality LED red light devices, check out our complete line of devices. Choose from the BIO Series, which comes in red, or infra-red light varieties, or, the BIOMAX Series, which offers both, with industry-leading irradiance levels.
There’s no reason to feel old because of wrinkles. With more and more research emerging to support the therapeutic use of red light, LED light therapy is a worthwhile option to reduce wrinkles and improve skin tone.