Skin rejuvenation using Red (630nm) and Infrared (830nm) LED light therapy - What is the science behind the claims?
juni 02, 2023
Light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation, is a method of treatment that utilizes specific wavelengths of light to penetrate the skin and cause various reactions at a cellular level. When it comes to skin rejuvenation, two specific wavelengths have been shown to produce significant benefits – 630 nanometers (nm) which is in the red light spectrum, and 830 nm which falls in the near-infrared light spectrum. These wavelengths are known to stimulate healing, reduce inflammation, and promote anti-aging effects, such as reducing wrinkles and fine lines.
To understand how light at these wavelengths helps rejuvenate skin, it's essential first to understand the structure of the skin and its components. The skin comprises three layers: the epidermis (outermost layer), the dermis (middle layer), and the hypodermis (the deepest layer). The dermis contains fibroblasts, a type of cell that produces collagen and elastin – proteins responsible for the skin's strength and elasticity. Aging and environmental factors such as UV radiation, pollution, and lifestyle choices can cause collagen and elastin degradation, leading to the visible signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
Red light at 630 nm penetrates the skin to a depth of about 1-2 millimeters, making it beneficial for treating issues affecting the skin's epidermis and dermis, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and superficial blemishes. Near-infrared light at 830 nm penetrates much deeper, up to several centimeters, reaching the dermis and hypodermis layers. This deep penetration can stimulate cellular activity in the deeper layers of the skin and the underlying tissues.
Light therapy acts primarily through a cellular process called photobiomodulation. This process involves the absorption of light by mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles in our cells. Mitochondria contain a protein called cytochrome c oxidase, which absorbs light in the red and near-infrared spectrum. Upon absorption of this light, cytochrome c oxidase activity is stimulated, leading to an increase in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. ATP is essentially the fuel for our cells, driving many of their essential functions.
Increased ATP production improves cellular metabolism and promotes a cascade of beneficial biochemical effects. Here's how the processes work:
Enhanced cellular function and repair: Increased ATP levels result in enhanced cellular function and repair. Cells can work more efficiently and effectively, repairing damage and regenerating more quickly. This includes fibroblasts, the cells that produce collagen and elastin. Enhanced fibroblast activity leads to increased collagen and elastin production, helping to improve the skin's structure and elasticity, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Increased circulation: Light therapy also stimulates the formation of new capillaries, tiny blood vessels that improve circulation in the treated areas. This increase in circulation brings more oxygen and nutrients to the skin's cells, enabling them to function more effectively and promoting skin health and rejuvenation.
Inflammatory reduction and wound healing: Both red and near-infrared light have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, reducing swelling and inflammation. This can be particularly beneficial in conditions such as acne, rosacea, and other inflammatory skin conditions. In addition, by promoting cellular repair and increasing circulation, these wavelengths of light can help speed up the wound healing process.
Stimulation of antioxidant production: Exposure to these wavelengths of light can also stimulate cells to produce more antioxidants, compounds that protect the skin from damage by neutralizing harmful free radicals. This helps to further protect the skin from aging and environmental damage.
Regulation of immune response: Near-infrared light in particular has been shown to modulate immune responses, which could contribute to its benefits for skin health. It can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing, both key factors in maintaining healthy, youthful skin.
By stimulating cellular metabolism, improving circulation, promoting collagen and elastin production, reducing inflammation, and increasing antioxidant production, these wavelengths of light can help to combat the visible signs of aging and promote healthier, younger-looking skin. It is hardly surprising that light therapy using red light at 630 nm and near-infrared light at 830 nm has become so widely talked about as it offers for the first time a science-based key to skin rejuvenation.
It's worth noting that while light therapy can be a valuable tool in skin rejuvenation, it's also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate hydration, and protection from excessive sun exposure, to support overall skin health. As with any treatment, the effects of light therapy will vary depending on individual factors such as skin type, age, lifestyle, and the specific skin concerns being treated. Also with many products now on the market it is also important to check that the levels of red and infrared light emitted from the device are adequate to deliver the claimed benefits, that’s a whole ‘nother story!
Rio offers some of the most credible LED light therapy devices, supported by independent clinical studies and ethical reports. View the range here.
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