What does your skincare routine look like these days? Taking good care of your complexion usually involves a mild face wash, a gentle serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen in the morning, with a repeat of your cleansing and moisturizing products before bedtime. You might also include a product with vitamin C for brightening and a form of vitamin A (like retinol) for its anti-aging properties. This twice-daily ritual should have you looking your best—but if you’re not satisfied with the appearance of your skin, you may consider an in-office cosmetic dermatology treatment. Here, I will explain more about the benefits of red light therapy (RLT), a new non-invasive treatment for skin issues like acne and fine lines. Does red light therapy work? Who is a good candidate? I’ll give you all the important details of this new and promising procedure.
- What is Red Light Therapy?
- The Benefits of Red Light Therapy
- Find Help for Your Skin Issues!
- Okay, Now Get Glowing!
What is Red Light Therapy?
If you’ve never heard of red light therapy before, you’re far from alone—it’s still pretty new! RLT is an easy and painless procedure that exposes your body to low-wavelength red light. The idea is for the cells in your body to absorb this light and use it for all kinds of improvements in your health. These can range from more youthful skin to reduced inflammation, increased hair growth, and decreased pain. Much of the current research is preliminary, but RLT is safe to try if available at your gym or day spa. Unlike UVA and UVB rays, which make unprotected sun exposure and tanning beds harmful, the red light is at a level safe for your skin. Your dermatologist may offer RLT as an in-office treatment, but be sure to ask for a price quote before you make an appointment. RLT procedures are generally not covered by medical insurance, at least not now. If doctors can confirm some of its many proposed benefits, it could become an important part of your health and wellness habits.
The Benefits of Red Light Therapy
So what does red light therapy do for your skin, anyway? Again, this technology is still new, but the idea is that RLT can help stimulate collagen production, promote better circulation, and reduce inflammation. Collagen is the primary protein in connective tissues like your skin, and as we age, our ability to produce it decreases year by year. That’s why the skin on your face looks thinner now than it did ten or even five years ago. Any product or procedure that helps to increase the amount of collagen in your facial skin will help it to look plumper, making your fine lines and wrinkles less apparent.
RLT also may target your scars, hyperpigmentation, and acne breakouts and give you the beautiful, glowing skin you’ve always dreamed of. Ask your dermatologist or medical esthetician if they offer it at their practice and whether it’s a good fit for you. While it’s still in the experimental phase, it’s better to undergo RLT under the supervision of a professional rather than trying to do it on your own at home. For now, skip the DIY RLT masks available for sale online and make an appointment with an expert.
Find Help for Your Skin Issues!
Putting your best face forward can help you to feel happier and more confident. A twice-daily skincare routine appropriate for your individual skin type is a great way to minimize issues like pimples, crow’s feet, smile lines, and dark spots. (Bonus—it’s also a soothing self-care ritual that can lower your stress level and improve your mental well-being.) Life can get hectic, but it’s important to take ten to fifteen minutes in the morning and evening to care for your skin. Not only will it help you to look and feel good, but it’s also an important cancer prevention strategy. Remember: The final step in your morning skincare routine should always be applying sunblock or a moisturizer with SPF 30+.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you’re not thrilled with what you see in the mirror. Your perceived skin flaws can make you feel bad about yourself, whether it’s hormonal acne, melasma (hyperpigmentation), fine lines, or deeper wrinkles. I say “perceived” flaws because the people around you probably don’t notice them as much as you do—and, in some cases, they might think your “imperfections” are cute or endearing. For example, one study revealed that some people find crow’s feet attractive. Others will tell you that wrinkles are sexy. Chances are good that the things that make you feel self-conscious about your appearance don’t even register to your loved ones and friends as imperfections.
That said, the most important opinion here is your own. If you’ve been wanting to improve the appearance of your skin, you should know that an expert dermatologist can help you with a variety of common issues. In addition to red light therapy, you could try a treatment like intense pulsed light or Fraxel to address dark spots and acne scars. If fine lines and wrinkles bother you, injectables like Botox and fillers may be the most appropriate for you. Your doctor may also be able to recommend prescription topical creams or gels to help customize your skincare routine to your unique needs, as well as over-the-counter products. Improvement won’t happen instantaneously, but if you’re consistent in your good habits, you’ll see healthier and more beautiful skin in time.
Okay, Now Get Glowing!
Now that you know a little more about red light therapy and some of the other cosmetic treatments available to you, you can take charge of your skincare regimen. If your dermatologist’s office offers RLT, it’s worth asking if you’d be a good candidate to try it. Even if it’s unavailable there, you may get the all-clear from your doc to try it at your gym, sauna, or spa. While it’s still new and experimental, it’s safe and may be just what your skin needs. Go ahead and see how much it helps you!