Red vs Blue Light Therapy: Which Is Best for Your Skin?

Red vs Blue Light Therapy: Which Is Best for Your Skin?

person getting red light therapy and someone getting blue light therapy

According to a 2021 report by SkinStore, Americans spend an average of $322.88 per capita on skincare products every year.

SkinStore beauty editor Schané Flowers states that “with consumers now buying skincare from as early as their teenage years, Americans are forecast to buy skincare for 47 years – totaling an incredible $15k on skincare in their lifetime.”

Not only are people willing to invest in the health of their skin and their appearance, but they are increasingly interested in natural ways to prevent aging, reverse sun damage, and treat chronic skin conditions.

LED light therapy is at the forefront of this. Our panels help users enjoy the many benefits of home red light therapy treatment.

For the first time ever, the BIOMAX Series offers combined blue and red light treatment and the synergistic benefits that go along with that unique combination.   

 

 

What Light Therapy Does for You

Light has a biological effect on the human body. The sun, which provides full-spectrum light, provides essential Vitamin D. Sunlight also has lesser-known effects, such as suppression of local autoimmune responses.

This has led to research into how specific wavelengths of visible and invisible light affect the body. 

The most common wavelengths used in skincare are blue, red, and near-infrared (NIR). Red light therapy is a term that encompasses both red and NIR light.

 

 

Red and blue light therapy using LED devices are commonly used to improve skin health, although the two wavelength groups have different effects.

When combined, blue and red light therapy work synergistically. So, we've added a 480nm blue light to our BIOMAX series red light panels, to give users the best of both worlds.  

Let's dive into blue light first, and then explore the ways that combined LED light therapy devices will give you great results.

 

 

Blue Light Therapy

Blue wavelengths range from 450 to 500 nanometers (nm). 

In terms of skincare, narrow-band blue light can be an effective treatment for surface skin conditions such as acne and solar keratoses, among many others.

 

Blue Light Therapy for Mild to Moderate Acne

One of the main benefits of blue light therapy is that it can kill acne-causing bacteria, which makes it a popular way of treating this chronic condition. Blue light may be used in conjunction with other therapies as well, as a non invasive treatment. 

One acne study involved 18 female and three male participants with an average age of 15 years. The study found that LED blue light therapy effectively treated mild-to-moderate inflammatory acne on the face.

Another small study on acne followed 28 participants who applied blue LED light in conjunction with a foam cleanser and a skin rebuilding serum. The study showed that by week eight, nearly all participants reported improvements in their skin's overall appearance, and most were satisfied with the treatment. 

Finally, a small study conducted in 2010 suggests that blue LED light therapy is safe and may promote biological effects similar to UVA light, which has been used as an acne treatment and to treat chronic skin conditions such as rosacea, and psoriasis.

This is far less exposure to blue wavelengths than the average person receives in a normal week, especially if they work in locations with fluorescent lighting or if they often use electronics after sundown.

 

 

Other Uses for Blue Light Therapy

Aside from being a popular treatment for certain skin conditions, blue light therapy benefits include boosting mood and reducing anxiety and depression.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University tested bright blue light treatments in a long-term care facility for dementia patients. Preliminary results indicated that blue light therapy raised activity levels during the day.

 

 

So What’s the Verdict on Blue Light?

While effective on its own, blue light therapy is also a welcome supplementation to red light therapy. 

Dermatologists and oncologists use blue light treatment in clinical practices.

Many of these therapies also use photosensitizing agents to stimulate the destruction of bacteria and malignant cells. In these scenarios, blue light can be beneficial. 

 

 

Red Light Therapy

The use of red light therapy began in the 1980s when NASA scientists were conducting plant growth experiments using red light and made an unexpected discovery. They noticed that any skin wounds or rashes on their hands healed much faster when exposed to the red lights. 

This sparked an interest in what other benefits red light could have for the human body.  

In the years since that discovery, hundreds of studies have confirmed that human cells respond positively to red and NIR wavelengths, and the therapeutic benefits are immense. 

Red/NIR wavelengths fall in the "therapeutic window" of 630–660nm and 810–850nm. One of many research findings is that these wavelengths are highly effective at improving skin tone and reversing signs of aging (such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sunspots) without any known side effects. 

 

 

Red light therapy, which is also called photobiomodulation and low-level light therapy, uses a powerful light therapy device to deliver red and/or NIR wavelengths to the skin.

Red wavelengths are most often used for treating surface conditions, including fine lines and wrinkles, photoaging, chronic skin disorders, and hair loss. Their most notable effect on overall skin wellbeing is increasing collagen production

Meanwhile, near-infrared wavelengths penetrate deep into muscles, joints, and even the brain to support the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Their main positive effect is reducing inflammation deeper in the body.

Inflammation anywhere in the body can manifest on the body's largest organ, the skin where it is a primary cause of many chronic skin conditions including rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema, so in some cases, it may be important to seek treatment if you think you may be experiencing it.  

 

 

How Red Light Therapy Works

Light-sensitive chromophores within the mitochondria absorb red and infrared light photons, and convert this light into energy, much like photosynthesis in plants.

Enhanced energy production within cells gives them the boost they need to perform their functions. 

The outcome is an improvement in normal bodily functions in the treated area and often widespread effects. For example, red wavelengths appear to have a neuroprotective effect on the brain, even when areas far from the brain are exposed to light.

 

 

How Boosting Cellular Energy Helps the Skin

Various types of cell stress including inflammation, chronic psychological stress, or disease can lead to mitochondrial dysfunction, which is a significant cause of accelerated aging. 

Imagine how you feel after a sleepless night or jet lag after a day of travel; you certainly can’t perform at your best. Neither can your cells when their mitochondria can’t effectively convert raw materials into energy. 

Reversing mitochondrial dysfunction can have a dramatic effect on your skin tone and overall health.

Red LED light therapy reduces inflammation by reducing oxidative stress and increasing microcirculation, which brings nutrients and oxygen to the treatment area and removes waste. This can stimulate healthier cell functioning.

 

 

The Synergistic Benefits of Red and Blue Light Therapy in Combination

Red and blue light therapy are effective when used together. 

Some conditions, such as aggressive acne or precancerous lesions, are particularly good candidates for combined therapy. While red light stimulates the cells and builds collagen and elastin, blue light kills bacteria.   

Before recently, it was difficult to find a medical-grade blue light therapy device. Most devices that use blue light are small and low-powered, which means you must use them for extended periods to see results.

Even high-end devices ⁠— including masks that retail for $600+ ⁠— are often very low-powered and driven more by marketing than science-backed research and development. 

The BIOMAX Series panels are the first to offer blue and red light treatment simultaneously in one panel that is affordable and designed for easy, home treatment.  

This can be used for dozens of applications, including skin health, muscle, and joint support, injury recovery, wound healing, pain management, brain health, and much more. 

 

red light therapy device at home

 

At-Home Red Light Therapy LED Devices

The PlatinumLED BIOMAX series offers superior irradiation and a full-spectrum combination array using a patented combination of the most scientifically validated red plus NIR wavelengths.

These panels can be linked and positioned on vertical or horizontal stands for the ultimate in comfort.

Be prepared for the treatment to take effect over time as it helps to stimulate your body’s natural healing capacities. 

Many studies on light therapy for chronic conditions recommend one to four months to see significnat results. Once you see those results, you may wish to continue daily treatment to help keep your cells functioning at their best. 

 

 

BIOMAX Series for Optimal Outcomes

When comparing red and blue light, both have clear, practical benefits for targeted skincare applications and overall wellbeing. 

Check out the PlatinumLED blog to learn more about light therapy and how it can benefit you, and feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions!