Beauty bloggers, pro athletes, and clinical researchers alike have all been talking about red light therapy. It’s benefits are well documented and it’s quickly becoming the treatment of choice for a wide range of health and cosmetic solutions.

But did you know that the technology behind it was originally developed by NASA? They were trying to encourage cell growth in plants. But it soon became clear that there was boundless ways this same technology could be applied to human biology, too.

There are now lots of FDA approved at-home devices so you can do it yourself.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy works by increasing energy production in the cells of our skin and other tissue. It sometimes goes by other names, including photobiomodulation (PBM), soft laser therapy, cold laser therapy, and biostimulation.

Devices use different colors (red, yellow, amber) to target different issues in and beneath the skin. Studies have shown that it can produce benefits in areas such as skin conditions, beauty/cosmetic treatments, sleep issues, and wound healing.

It’s popularity comes from the results it produces and as an alternative to more invasive and expensive treatments.

How Does it Work?

Using red or infrared light, the treatment encourages biochemical reactions to strengthen the mitochondria of our cells. 

The mitochondria is like the engine of the cell, storing and producing energy to help cells grow and repair themselves. Mitochondria produce an energy carrying molecule in all living things called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). 

By stimulating the mitochondria, red light therapy helps our cells to function at their best and fastest. It does this by penetrating approximately 5mm beneath the skin to target those cells.

Unlike other laser therapies which work by causing a controlled amount of damage to the skin to encourage it to repair itself, red light therapy gets right to the root of cell energy production without causing damage to the skin.

What Light Color is Best?

Different types of red light are used in different home devices, often using a combination of different shades and depths of color to achieve maximum results. Many devices use light red, deep red, amber, and infrared lights.

This allows the device to penetrate the skin and activate the cells at different levels and depths, ensuring the best results. 

What Light Color is Best?

What Type of Device do you Need?

A lot of at-home devices are available on the market now. They have been created with different light combinations, sizes, and functionalities for targeted red light therapy.

Hand-Held Devices

These types of devices are often small, so you can focus the red light on a specific area of the skin. 

Face Masks

Since red light therapy is great for reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and other effects of aging, some red light face masks have been developed specifically for this purpose. 


Male-pattern hair loss (in both men and women) is another condition that can be treated using red light therapy. Helmets have been designed to target hair loss using RLT.

Full Body Panels

For large areas of the body that require treatment, you can get red light panels that can be mounted or hung for convenience.

There are lots of options among the different types of red light at-home devices. This review from has some great information on specific models to help you decide which one is right for you.

Are There Any Safety Concerns?

It’s important to follow the exact recommended timings of your red light therapy device and not expose the skin for too long. Some devices also come with safety goggles to ensure there is no retina damage as a result of red light exposure to the eyes.

What are the Benefits?

Whether you’re interested in reducing the visible effects of aging or relief from chronic aches and pains, red light therapy encompasses a huge range of benefits including:

  • Reducing fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improving the appearance of acne
  • Reducing the appearance of scars
  • Reducing cellulite
  • Accelerating wound healing
  • Relieving stiffness from arthritis
  • Alleviating symptoms of depression
  • Reducing psoriasis outbreaks
  • Relieving joint pain
  • Improving amount and quality of sleep
  • Boosting weight loss
    What are the Benefits?

How Long Does Treatment Last?

How often you use red light therapy and how long you use it for depends entirely on the reasons you are using it, your device, and the types of results you want to see. It’s best to follow the guidelines given with your device for optimal results. It’s important not to over-expose your skin to your red light device.

So, why wait to try red light therapy at an expensive clinic? With the range of at-home devices available, you can start treatment and see results right from the comfort of your home.