Red light therapy, like Hansel, is so hot right now. With celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba advocating its skin care benefits, its a small wonder its been gaining so much momentum.
What is red light therapy? Its basically a way to deliver concentrated natural light (specially in the red and near infra red wavelength spectrum) to our cells. By doing this, we are said to receive a host of healing benefits, including better skin. The great thing is, there is considerable body of clinical research to back up the claims.
Studies have shown that red light therapy improves complexion, skin tone and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Studies have even been shown how red light can boost natural collagen density in the skin. Collagen is a protein that holds our skin together, keeping it firm and preventing it from sagging.
During the lockdown, I’ve been able to get into the habit of using my Joovv (no affiliation) twice daily for six weeks, and I’ve noticed improvements in my skin. It looks brighter and more youthful. This below picture is my enjoying my 10 minutes of red light!
How does it work? At a high level, you could say that the photons within the light are able to stimulate our cells, boosting their energy production and activating transcription factors that lead to improved cell survival and protein synthesis.
But how? How can light boost a cell’s energy level? A key mechanism is believed to involve the free radical nitric oxide (NO) and an enzyme called cytochrome c oxidase (CCO). This story takes place inside the mitochondria of the cell, also referred to as the ‘power station’ of the cell because it produces the energy currency of our bodies, called ATP. CCO hangs around the the electron transport chain and plays a key role in ultimately producing this ATP. The trouble is, nitric oxide likes to bind with CCO, therefore leaving less of it to produce ATP.
Red light to the rescue.
It is believed the wave lengths of red light and near infrared light are able to break the bond between CCO and NO, therefore leaving more CCO free to make more ATP.
Better skin is just the tip of the ice berg. It’s also been shown to help with joint pain, inflammation, muscle recovery, physical performance, hair growth, healing wounds among with others!