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Illuminating the Truth: Understanding Red Light Therapy

Oakland, CA

For individuals interested in the realm of beauty, red light therapy is likely a familiar treatment. Influencers on popular platforms like TikTok and YouTube have been seen endorsing the use of red light therapy masks to attain improved skin texture. They often highlight its potential to create a more youthful appearance. However, the question arises as to whether red light therapy genuinely produces youthfulness or if it is simply a deceptive marketing tactic.

Red light devices

What Is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy (RTl), also referred to as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), low-power laser therapy (LPLT), and photobiomodulation (PBM), occurs when one's skin is displayed in the presence of a device that produces a red light. The mitochondria of one's cells react to this light by absorbing it and generating more energy. By gaining energy, cells can perform their tasks more effectively. This response allows professionals to conclude that red light facilitates cell repair, resulting in the improvement of both skin and muscle tissue.

What Are the Benefits of Red Light Therapy?

Despite the long-standing awareness of red light therapy among specialists, there remains a scarcity of studies conducted on the subject. It is believed that red light therapy possesses the ability to treat dementia, dental pain, hair loss, wrinkles, and other skin conditions.

Fortunately, red light therapy, when used appropriately, appears to be safe and free from any adverse effects. Nonetheless, improper or excessive use of this therapy may put users at risk of skin or eye damage.

A representation of how red light impacts cells

What Are the Limitations of Red Light Therapy?

The potential benefits of red light therapy are not fully supported due to the lack of sufficient knowledge about the treatment. As a result, RLT is not widely endorsed for most of its applications. Furthermore, the existing studies on RTL lack reliability due to their limited participant groups, focus on animal subjects, absence of a placebo group, or restriction to cell tissue research.

An individual exposed to red light


Red light therapy appears to be a potential treatment for skin conditions and medical conditions. While some believe in its potential benefits for various conditions, the lack of sufficient research limits its widespread endorsement. Overall, more high-quality studies are needed to determine its true efficacy.


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Pagán, Camille Noe. “What Is Red Light Therapy?” WebMD, 18 Oct. 2019,

Professional, Cleveland Clinic Medical. “Red Light Therapy.” Cleveland Clinic,

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