There are many procedures available for firming and tightening loose skin, but most involve painful and invasive surgical intervention. Red light therapy is a safer and more natural alternative.
It works by stimulating the cells in your skin and triggering collagen-producing fibroblasts. It also reduces cell-damaging oxidative stress and inflammation and improves circulation.
It Increases Collagen Production
There are a variety of products on the market for tightening loose skin, but they’re often very expensive and involve either removing some of your own skin or injecting a foreign substance. However, several natural, non-invasive options can help firm up and tighten sagging skin, including red light therapy (RLT).
RLT stimulates collagen production in your body and promotes healthy cell function by increasing your cells’ energy levels. This can help your skin appear smoother and more radiant. It also helps improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles. However, if you’re dealing with very deep lines and wrinkles, you may need to use other treatments in combination with red light therapy.
In addition to stimulating skin cells and collagen-producing fibroblasts, RLT also reduces inflammation and oxidative stress in your body. The result is a healthier, more youthful-looking appearance – without the risks and side effects associated with other treatments.
Studies are emerging that show that red light therapy can be used to treat other health conditions. For example, it can reduce pain from osteoarthritis and other chronic diseases. In fact, Shepherd University in West Virginia has opened a Center of Excellence in Photobiomodulation to help advance the research on red light therapy for these conditions.
Although more research is needed, some experts believe that RLT could also help with weight loss by influencing your adipocytes, the cells responsible for storing fat. In addition, some researchers have found that a combination of red and near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths can increase muscle mass in elite athletes and decrease cellular inflammation and oxidative stress in muscles.
If you’re interested in trying red light therapy, talking with a doctor first to learn more about the benefits and risks is important. A dermatologist or pain specialist can answer your questions and determine if this treatment is right for you. Additionally, a doctor can help you choose the right wavelengths and devices for your specific needs. For example, PlatinumLED’s BIO MAX series has a blend of wavelengths that includes both red and NIR. This allows users to customize the treatment and target specific issues.
It Increases Oxygen Levels
The light waves used in red light therapy stimulate your cells’ mitochondria or power plants. This boosts your cell’s energy and helps it work more efficiently. As a result, it promotes skin rejuvenation and helps your body heal itself. It can also increase collagen production and help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. And it may be able to help treat other skin conditions, including acne, psoriasis, and hair loss.
Red light therapy is available at doctor’s offices, wellness centers, beauty spas and salons, tanning salons, and gyms. Some people use it at home, either with a professional device that a dermatologist or cosmetic therapist provides or a commercially available device. But if you buy a red light therapy device to use at home, you’ll need to carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid potential damage to your skin or eyes.
It is generally safe, and most people experience minimal side effects. But it’s important to talk with your doctor before trying it, especially if you have any medical conditions, such as cancer or diabetes, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
You may need a series of treatments before you see results, says LoGerfo. He recommends red light therapy three times a week for one month. And he adds that most patients see results after about six weeks.
However, some researchers think visible light can aggravate hyperpigmentation or melasma in darker-skinned individuals, and it may cause dilated blood vessels in sensitive skin. “We do not know how much exposure is needed to affect darker-skinned individuals,” he says.
Another caveat is that although the scientific research supporting RLT is growing, more human studies are needed before it’s widely recommended for all health and skin issues. If you have certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy or photosensitivity, or are taking medications that make you sensitive to light, you should not try it. And you shouldn’t do it near open wounds or lesions, because the lights can be harmful to them. And don’t do it if you’re taking an oral contraceptive, as it may interfere with its effectiveness.
It Increases Energy Levels
Red light therapy increases the energy level of your skin cells, which also helps to energize fibroblasts that produce collagen. It reduces the oxidative stress and inflammation that can lead to the breakdown of these skin-firming proteins. As these processes and systems begin to function normally again, your skin will tighten and firm up, and wrinkles will fade, giving you a more youthful appearance.
You’ll also notice an increase in skin pigmentation and the reduction of blemishes and scars as a result of this increased metabolism. Depending on your complexion, it could take a few months to see results from this treatment, but this is something that you should expect because your skin requires time to regenerate and restore itself to a healthier state.
One of the reasons red light therapy has become so popular is that it’s an all-natural, non-invasive way to tighten loose skin and give your face a more healthy and natural tone. It’s also safer than many other treatments that involve painful surgical procedures, expensive skin creams, or injecting a foreign substance into the skin.
In addition to its anti-aging benefits, this type of phototherapy can also help improve muscle health and decrease pain from conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic lower back pain. Red light therapy can also speed up wound healing and reduce muscle atrophy caused by illness or injuries.
The only downside to this type of treatment is that it can sometimes aggravate hyperpigmentation and melasma in darker-skinned individuals, but more research is needed on this topic. The good news is that you can easily find LED devices that are safe to use on your skin.
For a device that’s safe to use on your face, we love CurrentBody’s TheraFace Pro, which combines the skin-boosting effects of LED treatment with a relaxing facial massage. It also has several different setting options to target specific concerns like fine lines and wrinkles, crow’s feet, dark spots, and more.
If you’re interested in trying out red light therapy, make sure that the practitioner is licensed and has extensive experience with this type of treatment. Also, be aware that there’s still more research to do on the effectiveness of this treatment, and you may not get the same results as someone who has used it for a longer period of time or with a different protocol.
It Reduces Inflammation
Plenty of procedures out there claim to tighten sagging skin, but most involve cutting through the skin or injecting a substance that your body may not accept. On the other hand, red light therapy uses the natural power of your cells to stimulate collagen production and reduce signs of aging, all while healing at a deeper level. It can also increase blood flow, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation and boosting healing in the tissue.
The benefits of red light therapy are vast, but the best way to experience them is to find a qualified practitioner who can tailor a treatment plan that works for you. A trained cosmetic therapist or dermatologist can help you set your wellness goals, determine if you’re a good candidate for this form of light therapy and recommend the at-home device that suits your needs best.
When it comes to the skin, red light therapy can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, fade age spots, and heal scars and blemishes. It can also boost fibroblasts, which are responsible for creating collagen, helping your skin retain its shape and elasticity. It can even promote a healthy circulatory system and reduce the presence of cell-damaging pathogens, which can lead to a gradual tightening of loose skin.
This is because red light therapy can strengthen your mitochondria, the powerhouse of your cells, explains Erum Ilyas, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Schweiger Dermatology. This, in turn, allows your cells to function at their peak and helps them heal faster.
Red light therapy can also activate endothelial cells, which comprise the outer layer of your capillaries and are present in the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems. According to a 2017 study, this can lead to improved circulation, which can support better skin health.
Keep in mind, though, that it takes time for your cells to regenerate, and it can take just as long for sagging tissues to firm up again. As with any other form of therapy, you’ll need to commit to regular sessions over a long period of time to see real results.