What is Red Light Therapy? Shedding Light on This Skincare Innovation

a woman with glowing skin in red light therapy

Skincare has transcended simple regimes to become a field filled with advanced techniques, devices and procedures. Among these, red light therapy stands out as a noteworthy innovation. I get questions about this all the time on social media, so I wanted to take some time to explain--what is red light therapy, how does it apply to skincare, and should you consider using it?

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

Red Light Therapy, also known as Low-Level Laser Therapy or Photobiomodulation, is a non-invasive treatment that uses specific wavelengths of red or near-infrared light, directly influencing the way cells function. The range of wavelengths typically falls between 630-700 nm, which stimulates and strengthens the mitochondria in the cells to promote healing and reduce inflammation. Different wavelengths can penetrate the skin at various depths, allowing the therapy to reach different layers of the skin. The visible red light improves the cellular functioning of visible cells, which is why it’s gaining so such traction in skincare, as it tackles numerous issues related to skin health, from sun damage and dry skin, to eczema or psoriasis, scarring and wound healing, acne, wrinkles, etc. The non-visible light is working to improve functioning of non-visible cells like those found in the blood, organs, tissues, muscles, joints, etc. The treatment has gained traction in both cosmetic and therapeutic sectors, and understanding how red light therapy works can demystify this popular trend and shed light on why there is so much buzz about it in the skincare world.

Interaction with Cells

At the core of red light therapy is its interaction with the skin cells. The red light is absorbed by particular components within the cells, which stimulates a variety of responses. One of the primary reactions is an increase in energy production within the cells. This energy boost helps cells perform their functions more efficiently, helping them to repair, regenerate and increase the cell turnover rate, which in turn leads to healthier cells, faster recovery, improved performance and overall increase in wellness.

Stimulating Natural Processes

What sets red light therapy apart from other treatments is its ability to stimulate the body's natural processes without the need for chemicals or invasive procedures. By enhancing the cells' energy production, red light therapy supports the natural growth and repair mechanisms of the skin. This means the skin can heal itself more quickly and maintain a healthier appearance, all without any artificial interventions. Red light therapy is scientifically and specifically known for its ability to target specific skin concerns, that encourages the skin's natural ability to heal and rejuvenate itself, rather than forcing changes through aggressive means.

A significant aspect of red light therapy's appeal is its reputation for being safe and comfortable. The treatment doesn't rely on harsh chemicals or abrasive techniques, and it usually doesn't cause any discomfort. It's a gentle approach, stimulating your body's natural healing and rejuvenation processes.

The Skin Benefits of Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy has been gaining attention for its wide range of applications in skincare. From tackling wrinkles to soothing acne, it has become a sought-after treatment. Its ability to target a broad range of concerns makes it a unique addition to the skincare world.


Fights Wrinkles and Signs of Aging

Who doesn’t want to keep their skin looking youthful? Red light therapy may be an answer. It helps the skin produce more collagen, a vital component that keeps the skin smooth and firm. More collagen leads to reduced appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, giving the skin a fresher and younger look. It’s like encouraging the skin to turn back time, working on those areas that show age the most.


Reduces Blemishes & Skin Conditions

Acne is a stubborn problem for many, but red light therapy can offer relief. By reducing the redness and swelling associated with acne, while also increasing blood flow to affected areas, it promotes quicker healing.

It's also helpful when clearing up inflammatory skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis. This means those troublesome spots can clear up more quickly, leaving behind smoother, clearer skin. It's not an instant fix, but it's a gentle way to help the skin heal itself.


Helps to Renew Cuts, Burns, and Scars

The skin's natural ability to heal can be a slow process. Red light therapy can assist in faster healing by increasing cell turnover rate, which helps the body create new, healthy skin cells more quickly.

This can be particularly helpful for reducing the appearance of scars or aiding in the healing process of cuts and burns. It’s like giving your skin a helping hand, guiding it to heal and renew itself faster.


Uneven Skin Tone and Dark Spots

Uneven skin tone or dark spots can be frustrating, but red light therapy may offer a solution. It works on the darker parts of the skin, helping them blend better with the rest of the complexion. It’s a gentle approach to balancing out the skin color, making the complexion more even and radiant.


Dry and Flaky Skin

Dry or flaky skin is more than just an annoyance; it can be uncomfortable. Red light therapy might be the soothing solution needed. By helping the skin retain moisture better, it can leave it feeling softer, more hydrated, and more comfortable. It's a kind and natural approach to helping the skin stay moist and nourished.


To Use? Or Not To Use?

Red Light Therapy brings an exciting addition to the skincare world, providing a non-invasive, low-risk method to enhance skin appearance and heal various conditions, as it encourages the skin to heal and rejuvenate itself. Its scientific backing adds credibility, but individual experiences may differ, and it might not be a fit for everyone. Consulting with a skincare professional is advisable if you are considering this treatment, as they can ensure it aligns with your specific needs and goals. Red light theory for skincare holds great promise, but thoughtful consideration and professional guidance remain essential for achieving the desired results.


Red Light in Tandem with Trifecta

Red Light Therapy undoubtedly marks an exciting addition to the skincare world, offering a natural, scientifically-backed means to enhance skin appearance and facilitate healing through the body's inherent restorative processes. Its ability to encourage the skin's self-healing and rejuvenation is compelling, as it spans such a vast range of concerns and applications. And the good news is, red light therapy is accessible, with many at home devices you can incorporate into your skincare routine. However, it's imperative to remember that while red light therapy devices hold promise, they are not a panacea. The key to unlocking their full potential lies in complementing them with a consistent, comprehensive skincare routine working in tandem.

The Trifecta, used alongside red light therapy, serves as a well-rounded strategy for optimizing skin appearance, texture, and longevity, and will ultimately help you to achieve and maintain healthy, radiant skin. Combining high-quality skincare ingredients with innovative technology like red light therapy, they will help to enhance each other's benefits, leading to a more comprehensive approach to skin health. Maintaining healthy skin through consistent, daily skincare routines and sun protection ensures that the results achieved with red light therapy are preserved and prolonged.

Amir Karam MD

Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon
Founder / Creator of KaramMD Skin

Dr. Amir Karam is a renowned facial cosmetic surgeon and an authority in his field. With over two decades of experience helping patients achieve a younger, refreshed appearance. In addition to surgical procedures that sculpt a youthfully-defined facial shape, Dr. Karam takes the quality of the skin into account.


Carmen E Rosenblum

Please clarify: Do I used Trifecta BEFORE Red LED Therapy?
KaramMD Skin replied:
Hi Carmen—You can find the answer to this, and other Red Light questions on Dr. Karam’s follow-up article "Red Light Therapy: 5 FAQs + The Answers You Need to Know” which you might find interesting. In short, for best results make sure your face in cleansed with Rinse, so there is no residue blocking your skin from the light, and then after you finish your Red Light session follow-up with Quench and Illuminate. There are mixed reviews about whether or not products interfere with the light. While sunscreen, mineral-based make-up, and clothing do not allow the light to pass through, it can depends on the product, and there is always a chance the light could cause irritation with active ingredients depending on the sensitivity of your skin. We say, to be safe, just use red light on freshly cleansed skin so there is not interference with the light and products, and follow with the rest of your routine after.


I need facelift Iam 39 years how much it cost
KaramMD Skin replied:
Hi Amal—Thank you for your interest in Dr. Karam! The most efficient way to get all the information for Dr. Karam’s procedures, you will need to go to his webiste: www.drkaram.com/getting-started/ <https://www.drkaram.com/getting-started/> and request a virtual consultation. Hope that helps have a lovely rest of your day!


I have the Omnilux red light facial mask. Would love some comments on it. Dr Karam did my face surgey years ago !
KaramMD Skin replied:
Hi MLB—The Omnilux Red Light Face Mask check all of the boxes mentioned in my Red Light FAQ article. It is a great choice for your at-home device. If you would like more information, you can search for “Red Light” in the upper right corner of our website and read the “Red Light Therapy: 5 FAQs + The Answers You Need to Know” to see if that helps answer any of your questions. Hope you enjoy!


I purchased your Vitamin D and LOVE the texture. It’s weight is perfect and absorbs nicely. I’d like to know an approximate percentage of Vitamin C it contains. While I appreciate the explanation of different C’s combined I feel sure your experts can provide this information. This product is delightful and I hope to be purchasing more of your products. I am however very conscientious of what I’m putting on my face and am a “need to know” woman. Thanks in advance!

Customer Support

Hi Mitchelle—There is quite a range of red light devices, but there are some other options that will cost less than $499. You could consider some red light wands and red light masks which are usually available at a lower price point. You might have to do a little research, but I’m hopeful you can find something that meets your needs and budget.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.