Red light therapy has been extensively studied for its promising results for wound healing, hair growth, hormone balance, sun damage, pain, and inflammation, to name a few. These potential benefits have allowed red light therapy at home to get traction in a market saturated with supplements, herbal extracts and tinctures, and alternative fitness equipment.
To get the most out of trying red light therapy at home, the right type of red light therapy device is necessary. What factors do you need to consider when choosing red light therapy at home? Let’s have a look.
First of all, let’s understand how red light therapy works
Red light therapy is a non-invasive, red and near-infrared light treatment that uses low-level red light to stimulate cellular activity and promote healing in the body. The red light penetrates deep into the skin and can help increase circulation, reduce inflammation, promote wound healing, and encourage the production of collagen and elastin, amongst various other benefits that promote youthful, healthy, clear skin.
Key factors to consider when choosing a red light therapy device:
Irradiance is the amount of energy a specific part of your body receives over a set period while using the device. Think of it as the rate of energy delivered. This is perhaps the most defining factor when considering red light therapy at home since higher irradiance can result in better results in less time.
The most used format to measure irradiance is mW/cm2 or milliwatts per square centimetre, e.g. 80 mW/cm2. However, just stating the irradiance measurement means nothing if the distance is not provided. Some red light therapy devices have a high mW/cm2 reading on the surface of the device and not on the object exposed to it.
The range of frequency used in typical red light therapy devices is from 633 nm (a deep red that penetrates the skin and acts on mitochondria) to 850 nm (a near-infrared light penetrating deeper into tissue). This range is standard in many red light therapy devices because most of the most-desired benefits (like anti-aging) revolve around it.
Generally speaking, red light wavelengths penetrate the skin and promote collagen production and wound healing. On the other hand, near-infrared light can go deeper, which enables it to target deeper wounds and joint or muscle pain.
Note that while lower frequencies, such as blue wavelengths, provide a more superficial penetration, it doesn’t mean they don’t work or have no therapeutic potential. Low-level laser therapy using these frequencies can treat skin issues such as acne and oil regulation.
3. Treatment coverage area
Will the treatment be for the face or the whole body? While many would go for smaller devices to treat wrinkles and stretch marks, others may opt for bigger ones if they want to maximise the use of red light therapy for muscle recovery, hair loss, hormone balance, and even joint pain.
If the budget allows, buying a red light therapy device with maximum coverage is always a better idea, as larger devices emit more light energy and better performance than smaller ones. Larger devices also allow users to access full-body red light therapy at a moment’s notice.
That isn’t to say smaller devices are poor investments. Some red light therapy devices are portable and let users take them to work, a friend or relative’s house, or even abroad.
4. Quality of the product
Quality is not something to overlook when it comes to tools, supplements, and devices designed for the human body.
As such, the rise of trying red light therapy at home has made the market vulnerable to products produced solely for cashing in on the trend. Always look for standards or certificates that attest to the device’s authenticity and safety to prevent buying a fake or unsafe red light therapy device.
Standards to look out for include those relating to the safety of the parts used and those that refer to light calibration.
5. Customer feedback
Lastly, customer satisfaction and testimonials can show how a particular red light therapy device works in real life. Some customers leave details regarding results, ease of use, actual light intensity, and whether the device is prone to damage or requires some maintenance investment.
Customers will also let you know if the company offers customer-friendly returns and replacement procedures.
Our red light therapy devices
Here at Aesthetic Bureau, all of the medical IPL and LED red light therapy machines we manufacture are included in the ARTG (Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration).
Our Xen LED is the only medical aesthetic system in Australia that utilises the latest LED technology. This allows us to pack a much higher density of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on our units than our competitors. While other systems on the market today pack only 1,800 LEDs maximum, the Xen LED packs 10,500 LEDs on ONE head. This gives it the ability to deliver the most optimised and high-intensity treatments with three clinically proven wavelengths.
Pearl Xen is our smaller and more portable system that similarly contains a higher number of LEDs than our competitors. While it is powerful for an LED face mask, its use is limited to the face.
To gain the full health benefits of photobiomodulation (PBMT), a whole-body LED system such as the Total Xen is optimal. Whole body photobiomodulation therapy has been extensively studied in over 5,000 laboratory studies and more than 500 published double-blind, randomly controlled studies.
Experts agree that PBMT offers a wide range of benefits, including:
To learn even more about the research and scientific evidence behind photobiomodulation, head on over to our new Xen website:
I heard that red light therapy is just a gimmick – is this true?
No, red light therapy is not a gimmick. There is a growing body of scientific research supporting red light therapy’s effectiveness for various health conditions. Numerous studies have shown this therapy to promote wound healing, reduce inflammation, improve skin health, and alleviate pain. However, as with any treatment, it’s essential to do your own research and consult with a healthcare professional before starting red light therapy.
Who should not do red light therapy?
Red light therapy has many incredible benefits, but it isn’t for everyone.
People who take medications that increase their sensitivity to sunlight or have a medical history of eye disease or skin cancer are generally unable to undergo LED treatments.
As always, speak to your primary healthcare provider first to determine if it is safe and appropriate for you to undergo red light therapy.
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- Avci P, Gupta A, Sadasivam M, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013;32(1):41–52.
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