Can red light therapy really stimulate and improve our own collagen production in skin cells?
Yes, when our cells are irradiated with the wavelengths of red and near-infrared light, they produce more energy, which can lead to benefits such as younger-looking skin, improved muscle function and reduced scarring. Below, we'll go into detail about what happens inside the cells and whether this is really scientifically proven.
Red light therapy, also known as low-level light therapy, emits safe wavelengths of light into the skin to stimulate a kind of chain reaction of regenerative results.
The skin and tissues are made up of different cell types, namely fibroblasts, keratinocytes and immune cells, all of which are important for regeneration. Light can actually support these cells and improve their function. However, it's not just any light that provides this performance-enhancing boost. According to research, light wavelengths 660nm and 850nm can stimulate these cells. 660nm is absorbed more quickly by the skin, making it the first choice for cosmetic treatments to combat signs of aging, while 850nm penetrates deeper into the body to help with muscle regeneration, joint pain and overall body health. That means you can't just plug a red bulb into your desk lamp and expect to get the same benefits. It's just those two specific wavelengths that can accomplish that.
A 2012 study of 136 people looked more closely at red and near-infrared light therapy. The following were to be looked at and studied in more detail: a pleasant skin feeling, improved skin texture, an increase in collagen, and a visible reduction in wrinkles. At the end of the study (after 30 sessions over 6 months), participants in the treatment group had significantly improved skin appearance, tone and texture. In addition, fine lines and wrinkles were reduced and collagen density was increased. This has shown that the two wavelengths of light do indeed provide a benefit.
Many experts offer treatments with such devices that have these exact wavelengths. However, if one wants to buy a device for home use, one should make sure that the radiation intensity of the device is high enough. One should also be wary of tanning salons, as they often advertise "anti-aging" treatments and replace UV lamps with red bulbs in tanning beds. Unfortunately, these bulbs still contain dangerous UV rays.