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What Does Red Light Therapy Actually Do?

A woman using an advanced red light therapy panel, the REDi Relieve, in front of a LED light.


In the ever-evolving world of health and wellness, red light therapy (RLT) has garnered significant attention. But what is it, and what is it actually good for? From pain relief to skin rejuvenation, this non-invasive treatment offers a myriad of benefits backed by scientific evidence. Let’s dive into the therapeutic uses of red light therapy and explore the studies supporting its effectiveness.

The Science Behind Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy involves exposing the body to low levels of red or near-infrared light. Unlike ultraviolet (UV) light, which can damage the skin, red light and near-infrared light help cells generate more energy. This boost in cellular energy is believed to enhance healing and reduce inflammation.

Types of Red Light Therapy Devices

Most common are red light panels. But other options are specifically targeted devices such as lasers, and a range of beauty enhancement devices.

Pain Relief

One of the most well-documented benefits of red light therapy is pain relief. Studies have shown that red light therapy can effectively reduce pain in patients with chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis and tendinitis. A systematic review published in The Lancet concluded that low-level laser therapy (another term for RLT) significantly reduces pain and improves functionality in patients suffering from chronic joint disorders​​.

Skin Health

Red light therapy is widely celebrated for its skin-rejuvenating properties. It is believed to stimulate collagen production, which can reduce wrinkles and improve skin elasticity. A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that RLT improved skin complexion and texture, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles after just 12 weeks of treatment​​.

Hair Loss

For those struggling with hair loss, red light therapy offers a ray of hope. Research indicates that RLT can stimulate hair growth in individuals with androgenetic alopecia (pattern baldness). A study published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine demonstrated that participants who underwent RLT experienced a significant increase in hair density compared to those who received a placebo treatment​​.

Dementia and Cognitive Function

Emerging research suggests that red light therapy may also benefit brain health. Studies involving patients with dementia have shown promising results, indicating that RLT could improve cognitive function and slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. A trial published in Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine, and Laser Surgery reported that red light therapy enhanced memory, attention, and mood in individuals with dementia​​.


Arthritis sufferers may find relief through red light therapy, which has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain in joints. A meta-analysis in the Journal of Rheumatology revealed that patients with rheumatoid arthritis experienced significant pain relief and improved joint function after consistent use of RLT​​.

Weight Loss

While more research is needed, some studies suggest that red light therapy may aid in weight loss by enhancing mitochondrial function and increasing metabolic rate. A study in Obesity Surgery noted that participants who received RLT treatments lost more body fat compared to a control group, indicating its potential as a supplementary weight loss tool​​.

Acne Treatment

Red light therapy is also effective in treating acne by reducing inflammation and bacteria on the skin. Research in the British Journal of Dermatology showed that RLT significantly reduced acne lesions after several weeks of treatment, making it a viable option for those seeking non-pharmaceutical acne solutions​​.

Depression and Anxiety

In addition to its physical benefits, red light therapy has shown promise in alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety. By modulating brain activity and reducing inflammation, RLT can enhance mood and reduce anxiety levels. A study in Behavioral and Brain Functions found that participants who received RLT reported significant improvements in their mood and overall sense of well-being​​.

Additional Benefits

Beyond the aforementioned uses, red light therapy has been explored for various other health conditions. These include improving wound healing and reducing scar formation. Studies continue to explore the vast potential of this versatile therapy, shedding light on new applications regularly.


Red light therapy is a promising and versatile treatment backed by a growing body of scientific research. From alleviating chronic pain to rejuvenating the skin and even potentially improving cognitive function, RLT offers a range of benefits. As research continues to evolve, it’s likely that we will discover even more applications for this non-invasive, therapeutic light.

If you’re pregnant or have chronic health concerns and considering red light therapy, consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it’s suitable for your specific needs.

Also, make sure you are buying a high quality red light therapy device as they vary greatly. Of course, we favor our own REDi line of cutting edge red light therapy products.

Whether for skin health, pain relief, or beyond, red light therapy could be the illuminating solution you’ve been searching for.