Red Light Therapy is taking the world by storm – but can the application of low wavelength red light really be a viable treatment for everything from hair loss to ageing skin to joint health? The short answer is a qualified yes! What this means is that whilst a lot more research is needed, there is early evidence that the topical application of red light can indeed have a beneficial effect on a number of conditions. So how does it work? Well, red light is believed to work by stimulating a biochemical process in cells, which strengthens mitochondria – the powerhouses of our cells – which in turn produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) – an energy-carrying compound found in all living things. With a boost in ATP, cells are better able to repair themselves.
At least that’s the theory! Some of the more extreme claims around RLT such as treating cancer (there are early signs RLT can ease inflammation) require much more research – but if you’re looking to improve skin elasticity or even treat hair loss, RLT might be worth a try. It can get expensive though. LED face masks – which make you resemble a rave-version of Jason from Halloween – cost from around £150 – £1500. They’re often sold in conjunction with skin creams to increase their efficacy – you should definitely avoid using anything containing sunscreens before a treatment though, as these can block the beneficial light waves.
There’s a wealth of information online that’s worth reading up on before you take the plunge – and be sure to read beyond the beauty websites trying to sell you the next great miracle treatment.
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