With so many light therapy devices for skincare and wellness, it can be challenging to decide which type of light therapy is best for you. Red light therapy and infrared light therapy each offer powerful treatment solutions for skincare and even for pain relief.
Before you begin exploring red and infrared LED devices, it’s important to understand the benefits of each type of light. That way, you can choose the light therapy solution that’s right for your skincare and overall wellness goals.
Red Light Therapy vs. Infrared: Definitions and Benefits
What is red light therapy, and what are the benefits?
Light therapy products are often categorized by their color because each type of light has a certain wavelength that produces different effects on the body.
In light therapy, these wavelengths matter. Red lights have an ideal wavelength for treating wrinkles and fine lines, as well as the color, texture and overall complexion of the skin. It does not penetrate as deeply as other types of LEDs, like infrared light, which is why you’ll commonly see red light therapy devices for skincare.
At the cellular level, red lights help promote blood circulation to bring more oxygen and nutrients to your skin’s surface, which helps create a radiant glow. Additionally, the increased blood flow contributes to collagen and elastin production, which can help minimize signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines.
Even though red light therapy is most well-known for its anti-aging benefits, you will also find red lights used in pain relief products. Although pain relief light therapy devices for muscle soreness tend to deliver a higher ratio of infrared lights, the benefits of red lights work very well in tandem for a strong soothing, regenerative effect on sore muscles.
What is infrared light therapy, and what are the benefits?
Light in the infrared range of the spectrum can penetrate more deeply to reach muscle tissue and nerves. Infrared lights have a longer wavelength than red lights, so they are best suited to reach deep inside the body’s muscles. As the muscle’s cells absorb energy from infrared lights, they become more active and increase blood flow.
Increased blood flow is shown to help reduce inflammation, and this action also supports natural cellular regeneration. This extra support speeds up the body’s natural healing processes and has been shown to help promote wound or injury healing. This is why infrared lights are an ideal choice for pain relief products. They help athletes speed up the muscle recovery process and help those who struggle with sore and tight muscles or achy bones.
Due to the regenerative properties of infrared lights, they are also commonly used in anti-aging skincare devices. The right dose of infrared lights can help reverse signs of sun damage or acne scarring.
Can Red and Infrared Light Therapy Be Combined?
Yes, red and infrared lights can, and in most cases, should be combined.
These two types of lights, when used in tandem, are a power couple. One example is anti-aging light therapy devices, where the most effective solutions will nearly always be designed with a combination of red and infrared lights. Wrinkle reduction devices that contain solely red LEDs are not as effective at reducing signs of aging or improving the skin’s overall texture and complexion.
And when it comes to light therapy devices designed for pain relief, most are also designed with a combination of red and infrared lights.
Choosing the Best Light Therapy Device for You
Understanding the unique benefits of red and infrared lights, and how they work in conjunction with each other, is important when it comes to finding the right product for your skincare and wellness aspirations. The next time you are shopping for light therapy devices, remember to take into consideration the colors of LEDs the device uses so you can get the best value on your investment.
Along with the types of lights used, you should also take some time to understand how those lights are used. reVive Light Therapy® uses deep penetrating light (dpl®️) technology that works from the inside out to enhance the body’s cellular repair mechanism. This dpl®️ technology is used on many reVive Light Therapy® devices, from red light to blue light. Incorporating dpl®️ allows the light to treat skincare concerns at a depth that many traditional topical solutions, like acne or retinol creams, cannot reach. Infrared lights to reach deep into joints and tissues, generating increased circulation, oxygenation, cellular repair and reproduction. All these factors help clear the skin of toxins and other unwanted cellular matter.
Once you’ve taken a look at the types of lights used and how they are used, you’ll want to consider other features like functionality, price and portability. Below are some of our top-rated selections that can help you narrow down your options.
If you are seeking multi-purpose, flexible pain relief…
The dpl® Flex Pad may be the right fit for you. It touts a powerful combination of infrared and red lights to relieve muscle spasms, achy joints, and stiffness. With a large 8” x 3.5” treatment area, you can use the flex pad on your neck, shoulders, back, legs, and other areas of your body. Plus, it’s FSA and HSA approved.
If you want pain-relief you can easily take on the go…
The reVive Light Therapy®️ Clinical—Pain Relief Light Therapy should be a good match. It uses infrared and red lights to help relax muscles and relieve muscle or joint pain. Best of all this powerful entry-level device is FSA and HSA approved.
If you want a complete anti-aging system…
The dpl® II delivers a masterful combination of infrared, red and amber lights with a large surface area that makes it easy to treat all your worry-areas in just minutes. Unlike other light therapy devices that only target the face, you can use the dpl® II anywhere, like on the hands or chest area. Infrared waves reach deep into the joints and tissues to increase circulation, oxygenation, cellular repair and reproduction. This helps remove toxins and unwanted cellular matter.
If you want to test the waters with light therapy for anti-aging …
The reVive Light Therapy® Essentials and Glō by reVive Light Therapy® Portable Anti-Aging Light Therapy Device are perfect for beginners. They are small but mighty, delivering both red and infrared lights each treatment session. If you decide you want to upgrade to a larger device down the road, these portable devices are great for stashing in your purse or travel luggage for quick treatments on the go.