Red Light Therapy Wands: Do They Work?

Red Light Therapy Wands: Do They Work?

Of the many skin care tools available today for anti-aging, few are as eye-catching as red therapy wands. 

RLT wands may seem attractive because they combine portability with the power of red light therapy. 

But, do these small handheld devices actually work to improve the skin? 

You may be better off with a more powerful LED red light therapy device. But, let’s take a closer look at these products. 

What Are Red Light Therapy Wands? 

Light therapy wands are small handheld devices intended for skin care. 

They often feature several LEDs either on the tip or on the side. 

These red light therapy devices are typically battery-powered and intended to provide treatment to smaller, targeted areas. 

They vary in size, but some are as small as a toothbrush, illuminating just several square millimeters of the face at once. Slightly larger wands come in a flashlight form that would also be used manually, to get a bit more coverage. 

Most handheld red light therapy devices feature just one wavelength. That may be red, near-infrared, or blue, although some do emit several wavelengths at once.

Manufacturers have attempted to capture the attention and imagination of consumers by providing RLT in this compact form. But there should be doubts for several reasons when considering their value and effectiveness.  


Do Red Light Therapy Wands Work? 

When it comes down to it, RLT wands are probably not a good use of one’s time or money. 

They tend to be impractical in terms of actual treatment efficacy. Their small coverage area makes it difficult and time-consuming to treat any condition other than tiny targeted applications such as age spots on hands or fine lines. 

The small treatment coverage area means you will have to reposition a red light therapy wand frequently. Treating fine lines on the entire face and sagging skin on the neck in 5-minute treatment increments, for example, could take upwards of an hour.

You can reduce the treatment time by moving the wand further from your face which will slightly expand the treatment area. However, this also diminishes the light energy output and therefore the benefits.



Single-wavelength treatment is not necessarily harmful, but if you’re going to do RLT therapy, you might as well go full-spectrum. Using a broad spectrum of lights is far more efficacious, as it treats a variety of ailments and expands skin exposure depth. 

The bottom line is that red light therapy wands lack the full body treatment and the wavelength variety needed for optimal treatment. RLT wands may seem convenient for trips, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re effective. 

"Ensuring you get the most out of photobiomodulation means using a device that fits the body's perfect light equation. PlatinumLED therapy lights capability to provide both full body coverage and large spot treatments while also delivering the strongest energy output of concentrated light particles is what makes them superior to any redlight hand handheld device." 

Functional Medicine Doctor of Physical Therapy,  Dr. Alayna Newton, PT, DPT, FAFS



Red Light Therapy Wands: Slow and Modest Results

Compared to full-sized red light therapy panels, red light wands are underpowered. They have limited coverage and too few treatment wavelengths. 

Their light output is weak, to begin with. As their batteries become depleted, the light energy output from these devices gets even weaker still, meaning that fewer light photons will be absorbed by the skin. 

Optimal treatment requires a more powerful light source. But not just more powerful, one that emits wavelengths in proportion to the degree to which the body can absorb them usefully and effectively. 

Red light therapy wands may give you some results, but you’ll need to do longer sessions and you’ll have to wait longer to see results. 

The difference won’t be as dramatic as if you were using a powerful LED device to boost the health of your skin.



How to Use Red Light Therapy Wands

Typical red light therapy facial treatments can last anywhere from 3-20 minutes for each treatment area. Remember, since the wand can only treat a small area at a time, you’ll need to reposition the wand several times if you want to treat your whole face evenly. 

Like exercise, red light therapy is most effective when done on a daily basis. A long once-a-week light-based skin care treatment won’t be as effective as short daily red light therapy treatments.

You may experience a feeling of tightness and brief redness after the treatment due to increased blood flow to the area. Other than this minor effect, there are no known side effects to red light therapy.

How long before you will see results? Typically, results become evident after a few weeks of regular use. However, because wands are small and underpowered, expect modest results compared to a larger and more powerful LED light therapy panel.

If your aim is anti-aging, pain relief, or any of the dozens of health benefits offered by red light therapy, then a light therapy wand is not your best option. 



Red Light Therapy Panels for Better Treatment 

Red light therapy panels provide far more value to users through full-body treatment, resulting in widespread stimulation of the mitochondria, which treats conditions effectively. 

There are a number of reasons why larger red light therapy devices are superior to wands. Red light therapy panels feature significantly greater light intensity, so more light photons absorb into the skin.

In the case of the BIOMAX Series, far more wavelengths are provided. These treat the body from the surface of the skin, to deeper into the tissue.

Panels allow for treatment sessions in which users can lay back and relax, rather than holding a wand and performing manual coverage from area to area. They also provide a far stronger light emittance overall, which intensifies treatment. 

With panels, most skin concerns like fine lines, dark spots, and sagging skin can be resolved within 1-4 months. Results continue to manifest with continued use. 

If you're making red light therapy a part of your skincare routine, you'll get the fastest and best results with a larger, more powerful red light therapy device.

We’d recommend checking out the benefits of red light therapy if you’re new to the treatment. 



Red Light Therapy with The BIOMAX Series 

The BIOMAX series red light therapy panels are the most versatile red light therapy panels on the market. 

Each BIOMAX red light therapy device also has traces of 480nm blue light therapy. This provides comprehensive treatment from the skin’s surface to tissues deep in the body, including muscles and joints. 

The panels are modular so you can build an array over time to increase power and coverage. They are also compatible with horizontal and vertical stands which let you choose how you want to take your light therapy treatment.

We have a Learning Center with more info on how red light therapy can change your life.

Check out the BIOMAX red light therapy devices to see which one may be right for you! 



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