Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation (PBM), is a therapeutic technique that uses red low-level wavelengths of light to treat skin issues, such as wrinkles, scars, and persistent wounds, among other conditions. In recent years, red light therapy has gained significant attention for its potential benefits without the harsh side effects associated with more invasive procedures.

The top 10 Red Light Therapy devices

Product name Image Rating Pros Cons Best Price More information

TOP PICK

PUREWAVE PEMF Red Light Therapy Mat


PUREWAVE PEMF Red Light Therapy Mat
  • Ability to provide non-invasive pain relief potentially reducing inflammation and pain without the need for medications or invasive procedures
  • Promotes Cellular Health and Recovery
  • Used for a range of issues, from promoting bone healing and reducing inflammation to improving circulation and supporting overall wellness
  • Limited Scientific Evidence
  • Significant investment for many individuals
  • Individuals with pacemakers, pregnant women, or those with specific types of implants, are generally advised to avoid using PEMF devices
Coming Soon!

BEST LIGHT PANEL

Lifepro Red Light Therapy Panel


Lifepro Red Light Therapy Panel
  • This panel folds into three sections, allowing for versatile use
  • Customize your therapy sessions with timer settings and adjustable light intensity
  • Lifepro prioritizes safety with automatic shut-off after preset times and overheat protection
  • Compared to some competitors, the Lifepro panel comes at a premium price
  • Although offering red and near-infrared light, it lacks additional wavelengths available in some higher-end options
  • Unlike plug-and-play options, this panel requires assembly and takes up storage space when folded
Coming Soon!

PREMIUM PICK

10X HEALTH RED LIGHT BED


10X HEALTH RED LIGHT BED
  • Offers a non-invasive approach to improve soft tissue healing, reduce inflammation, and aid in acute and chronic pain relief
  • Features a unique 360° light exposure design, offering four deep penetrating wavelengths
  • Has been shown to promote the body’s natural healing processes, increase the rate and quality of tissue repair, improve muscle performance, enhance recovery, and reduce pain
  • Extremely expensive. Affordable only for the ultra rich, luxury gyms, health spas, and various health businesses
  • The bed requires a 220v 30 AMP single-phase power source (NEMA L6-30R)
  • Logistical Considerations for International Customers
Coming Soon!

BUDGET PICK

FXTIAA Red Light Therapy Device


FXTIAA Red Light Therapy Device
  • Offers both red and near-infrared light
  • Combines key nutrients for bone health
  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • Super affordable, making this product an excellent entry point into the realm of Red Light Therapy
  • Handheld design might not be ideal for treating large areas like backs or thighs
  • User reviews suggest weaker light output compared to some competitors, potentially impacting effectiveness
  • Requires frequent charging for extended sessions, which might be inconvenient
Coming Soon!

BEST FOR FACE

CurrentBody Skin LED Light Therapy Face Mask


CurrentBody Skin LED Light Therapy Face Mask
  • Expensive
  • Can feel bulky
  • Might not be suitable for all face shapes
Coming Soon!

Solawave 4-in-1 Radiant Renewal Wand


Solawave 4-in-1 Radiant Renewal Wand
4 and a half star review
  • Multifunctional (red light, heat, vibration)
  • Convenient size, easy to use
  • Good for targeted areas
  • Very Affordable
  • Limited coverage area
  • Some users report short battery life
Coming Soon!

TheraFace PRO Microcurrent Facial Device – 8-in-1


TheraFace PRO Microcurrent Facial Device - 8-in-1
  • Combines red light with microcurrent and massage
  • Multiple heads for different concerns
  • Heated option available
  • Pricey
  • Requires charging
  • Some users find it heavy or difficult to maneuver
Coming Soon!

Dr Dennis Gross Dpl FaceWare Pro


Dr Dennis Gross Dpl FaceWare Pro
  • Powerful LEDs
  • Customizable treatment sessions
  • Good for hands-free use
  • Multiple light wavelengths
  • Very expensive
  • Large and bulky
  • Not portable
Coming Soon!

LightStim for Pain LED Light Therapy


LightStim for Pain LED Light Therapy
  • Medical-grade device
  • Targeted treatment for specific areas
  • Portable and easy to use
  • Clinically proven results
  • Limited coverage area
  • Higher price point
  • Requires batteries
  • Some users reported the device stopped working after 3-6 months
Coming Soon!

Hottoerak Red Light Therapy Device


Hottoerak Red Light Therapy Device
  • Versatile design (floor lamp or handheld)
  • Multiple light settings
  • Includes a timer function
  • Affordable
  • Bulkier design
  • Lower light intensity compared to some options
  • Potential quality control issues mentioned in reviews
Coming Soon!

The Benefits of Red Light Therapy

The core principle behind red light therapy is its ability to induce a natural photo-biochemical reaction similar to the process of plant photosynthesis. The red light wavelengths are believed to penetrate the skin to a certain depth, potentially providing energy that stimulates cellular repair and regeneration. This process is thought to enhance skin health, promote wound healing, and even stimulate hair growth.

One of the primary uses of red light therapy is in the field of dermatology. It is commonly used for improving skin complexion and building collagen, which helps diminish wrinkles and fine lines. Collagen is an essential protein that provides elasticity to the skin, helping it to appear more youthful and healthy. Furthermore, red light therapy is used in treating acne scars, as it may help to reduce inflammation and improve healing.

Beyond skincare, red light therapy has applications in treating muscle aches, joint pain, and inflammation. It is becoming increasingly popular among athletes for its potential to accelerate muscle recovery and enhance performance. The therapy is also being explored for its role in reducing symptoms of certain medical conditions, such as chronic pain, arthritis, and neurological disorders.

The appeal of red light therapy lies in its non-invasive nature and the lack of severe side effects, which are often associated with surgical procedures or pharmaceutical treatments. This makes it an attractive option for those seeking alternative or complementary treatment methods. The therapy sessions are typically short, often ranging from a few minutes to half an hour, depending on the condition being treated and the severity of the issue.

However, while red light therapy is generally considered safe, it is important to use it under the guidance of a qualified professional, particularly when used for more serious medical conditions. The effectiveness of red light therapy can vary from person to person, and it’s essential to have realistic expectations about the results.

In this review we’ve included everything from a simple personalized red light want to the ultra impressive 10x Red Light Therapy bed, and everything in between so that you can pick what option is best for you.

The History of Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation, has a history that spans several decades. Its development and applications in health and beauty can be outlined in several key stages:

Early Discoveries and Theoretical Foundations (1900s – 1960s)

The foundational theories behind red light therapy date back to the early 20th century. However, the significant development occurred in the mid-1960s with the invention of lasers. Researchers began exploring the biological effects of low-level laser light on cells and tissues.

Initial Medical Applications (1960s – 1980s)

In 1967, Hungarian physician Endre Mester is often credited with discovering the biological effects of low-level laser light. He noticed that low-level laser light could stimulate hair growth and wound healing in mice. This discovery sparked interest in using red light for therapeutic purposes.
During this period, red light therapy was primarily used in medical settings to aid wound healing, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain.

Expansion into Dermatology and Cosmetic Use (1990s – 2000s)

In the 1990s, the use of red light therapy expanded into the field of dermatology. Researchers found that certain wavelengths of red light were effective in treating skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and rosacea.
The cosmetic industry also began adopting red light therapy for anti-aging purposes, as it was found to stimulate collagen production, reduce wrinkles, and improve skin complexion.
Technological Advancements and Home Devices (2000s – Present):

Technological advancements led to the development of more efficient and affordable LED-based red light therapy devices. This made it accessible not just in clinical settings but also for home use.
These devices range from handheld units to full-body panels, making red light therapy convenient for personal use.

Current Applications and Research (21st Century)

Today, red light therapy is used for a wide range of health and beauty applications. In the health sector, it’s used for pain relief, reducing inflammation, speeding up wound healing, improving joint health, and even aiding in muscle recovery for athletes.
In the beauty industry, it’s commonly used for skin rejuvenation, combating signs of aging, improving hair growth, and reducing the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
Ongoing research continues to explore the potential of red light therapy in treating various medical conditions, including mental health issues like depression and seasonal affective disorder.

Red light therapy is generally considered safe, with minimal side effects. However, it’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment. The effectiveness of red light therapy can vary depending on the specific condition being treated, the frequency of use, and the individual’s response to the treatment.

Components of Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy uses specific wavelengths of red and near-infrared light to treat various conditions. Here are the key components and characteristics of red light therapy.

The primary component of red light therapy is the light source itself. This usually comes from Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) or lasers that emit light at specific wavelengths. LEDs are more commonly used in consumer devices due to their safety, affordability, and ease of use.

Red light therapy typically involves wavelengths in the range of 630-700 nanometers (nm) for red light, and near-infrared light usually falls within the range of 800-880 nm. These specific wavelengths are chosen for their ability to penetrate skin and tissue effectively.
Red light (around 660 nm) is absorbed more superficially in the skin and is often used for skin health and healing surface wounds.

Near-infrared light (around 850 nm) penetrates deeper into tissues and is used for muscle recovery, joint pain, and deeper tissue healing.

Intensity and Dosage

The effectiveness of red light therapy depends on the intensity of the light (often measured in milliwatts) and the dosage, which is a combination of the light’s intensity, the distance from the light source to the skin, and the duration of exposure.
Devices designed for home use typically have lower intensity compared to professional medical devices, but they can still be effective with regular use.

Treatment Duration and Frequency

The duration of each treatment session and the frequency of sessions can vary based on the condition being treated and the specific device used. Treatment times can range from a few minutes to longer sessions, with frequency ranging from daily to several times a week.
Safety Features:

Good quality red light therapy devices come with safety features to ensure they deliver the correct wavelengths at a safe intensity. Some may include timers, protective eyewear, and adjustable settings.

No Chemicals or Drugs

Unlike treatments that involve pharmaceuticals or topical applications, red light therapy is a physical modality that does not require any additional chemicals, drugs, or external substances.

Who should use Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy is a rising star in the world of wellness, touted for its potential to heal, soothe, and rejuvenate. But is it right for you? Here’s a breakdown of who could benefit most from this glowing treatment:

People who wish to improve Skincare

  • Red light therapy is a favorite among those seeking a radiant complexion.
  • Reduce wrinkles and fine lines by stimulating collagen production.
  • Calm redness and inflammation associated with conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
  • Improve wound healing and minimize scarring.
  • Boost hair growth in those with androgenic alopecia.

People with pain

  • Muscle and joint pain, such as that caused by arthritis or tendonitis.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Neuropathic pain.

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts

  • Recover faster from workouts by reducing muscle soreness and inflammation.
  • Improve performance by boosting circulation and oxygen delivery to muscles.

People who have undergone surgery, or suffer from chronic wounds

  • Speed up healing by stimulating tissue regeneration.
  • Reduce pain and inflammation.

People who wish to improve cognitive function

  • Improving memory and focus.
  • Reducing symptoms of depression.

General wellness

  • Boosting mood and energy levels.
  • Improving sleep quality.
  • Reducing stress and anxiety.
  • Important considerations

    • Red light therapy is generally considered safe, but it’s always best to consult your doctor before trying it, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
    • Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid red light therapy.
    • People with certain skin conditions, such as light sensitivity or melanoma, may not be suitable candidates for red light therapy.

    What this product is NOT intended for

    Red light therapy is a versatile treatment with a range of applications, but there are certain conditions and scenarios where it is not intended or recommended:

    Cure for Severe Medical Conditions

    Red light therapy should not be considered a cure for serious medical conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or other major health issues. It is not a substitute for conventional medical treatment in such cases.

    Acute Infections

    It is not intended for treating acute bacterial or viral infections. Red light therapy can support healing but cannot eliminate infectious agents.

    Deep Internal Issues

    While it can penetrate the skin and superficial tissue, red light therapy is not effective for deep-seated internal issues like internal organ diseases or conditions deep inside the body.

    Psychiatric Disorders

    It is not a treatment for severe psychiatric disorders. While it may have mood-enhancing effects, it should not replace traditional psychiatric treatment.

    Vision Correction

    Red light therapy is not intended for correcting vision problems or treating deep eye diseases. Direct exposure to the eyes can be harmful, and it’s not a substitute for professional eye care.

    Replacement for Surgery

    In cases where surgery is recommended by a healthcare professional, red light therapy should not be used as a substitute.

    Emergency Medical Conditions

    It is not suitable for emergency medical conditions like heart attacks, strokes, severe allergic reactions, or other urgent medical issues that require immediate attention.

    Pregnancy-Related Issues

    Due to limited research on its effects during pregnancy, it is not recommended for treating pregnancy-related conditions unless specifically advised by a healthcare provider.

    Bone Fractures

    While it can aid in the healing of soft tissues, it’s not intended for treating broken bones or significant orthopedic injuries.

    Thyroid Disorders

    Patients with thyroid disorders, especially those with an overactive thyroid, should be cautious, as the thyroid gland can be sensitive to light therapy.

    General Pros and Cons for Red Light Therapy

    Pros

    • Non-Invasive and Safe: Red light therapy is a non-invasive treatment with minimal side effects, making it safe for most people.
    • Pain Relief: It can provide pain relief for conditions like arthritis, muscle soreness, and joint pain.
    • Improves Skin Health: Helps in reducing signs of aging, like wrinkles and fine lines, and is effective in treating acne, eczema, and other skin conditions.
    • Enhances Wound Healing: Accelerates the healing of wounds, burns, and scars.
    • Stimulates Hair Growth: Can promote hair growth and reduce hair loss in some individuals.
    • Muscle Recovery: Assists in muscle recovery for athletes, reducing recovery time and improving performance.
    • Mental Health Benefits: Has potential benefits for mood enhancement and treating conditions like SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
    • Easy to Use: Home devices are generally user-friendly and convenient, making regular treatments more accessible.
    • No Chemicals: Does not involve chemicals or drugs, offering a more natural approach to health and beauty.

    Cons

    • Cost: High-quality red light therapy devices can be expensive, and treatments in professional settings may also be costly.
    • Time-Consuming: Regular and consistent treatments are required to see results, which can be time-consuming.
    • Varied Results: Effectiveness can vary greatly among individuals, and some may not see the desired results.
    • Not a Standalone Treatment: Often needs to be used in conjunction with other treatments for maximum effectiveness, especially for serious medical conditions.
    • Limited Research: While there is significant research, some applications of red light therapy still lack comprehensive clinical studies.
    • Photosensitivity Risks: Individuals with photosensitivity or on certain medications may experience adverse reactions.
    • Requires Professional Consultation: It’s advisable to consult a healthcare provider before starting treatment, especially for specific health conditions.
    • Eye Safety: Direct exposure to the eyes can be harmful, necessitating protective eyewear during use.
    • Regulatory Oversight: The red light therapy device market has varying levels of regulatory oversight, which can affect the quality and safety of devices.

    Studies for Red Light Therapy

    Effect of low-level laser therapy on the healing of chronic venous leg ulcers: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study. (Journal of Vascular Surgery, 2005)

    Efficacy of light therapy for acne vulgaris: A meta-analysis. (British Journal of Dermatology, 2013)

    Photomodulation with 630 nm red light improves human facial wrinkles fine lines and skin roughness. (Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 2005)

    Low-level laser therapy for knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Effectiveness of light therapy for chronic neck pain: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. (Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine, and Laser Surgery, 2018)

    Efficacy of low-level laser therapy in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in women. (Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, 2009)

    The effect of low-level laser therapy on hair growth in males with androgenetic alopecia. (Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, 2004)

    Title: The effect of low-level laser therapy on depression: A meta-analysis. (Journal of Affective Disorders, 2016)

    Effects of red light therapy on cognitive function in healthy adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. (Brain Sciences, 2019)

    Andrew David Huberman is an American neuroscientist and podcaster. He is an associate professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine.