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It’s no secret why anti-aging is a billion dollar industry; the concept of aging is frowned upon, as we are a culture that prioritizes youth and beauty above all else. Just take a look at the magazine covers in the supermarket or the sponsored posts that occasionally creep into your Instagram feed. Filters and photoshop may erase even the suggestion of wrinkled skin, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Just as the sun will set, your skin will eventually lose its elasticity and become wrinkled. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the transition more graceful.
There are many different products and services on the market that all promise to make you appear younger and slow down the effects of aging; we see countless procedures, such as botox injections or facelifts, being done almost routinely on shows like The Real Housewives, not to mention an entire industry of multivitamins.
While there have been amazing strides in the plastic surgery industry to make these procedures more safe and produce better results, there are safer and more cost-efficient ways to delay time from marching across your face, and improve the overall quality of your skin. One of them is red light therapy.
What Is Red Light Therapy?
“Red Light Therapy is a clinically studied, FDA-approved treatment that can improve the appearance of skin if you have acne, scars, wrinkles, and other visible signs of aging,” says Shane Miller, a licensed esthetician and the owner of the popular Instagram account @howtohydrate.
“As we age, our cells become larger,” Miller explains, “making it increasingly difficult for them to divide and multiply, ultimately slowing our bodies ability to regenerate. Red Light Therapy technology delivers low-wavelength light to energize our skin cells.” In short, the red light produced by the device is absorbed by our mitochondria and keeps our cells stimulated and working hard, improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and your skin’s texture.
In addition to slowing the effects of aging, regular red light therapy sessions can have a variety of other benefits on our skin and overall body, such as reducing skin inflammation brought on by conditions like psoriasis, eczema and contact dermatitis.
When Should You Use Red Light Therapy Devices?
Like everything in life, red light therapy is best used in moderation; be sure to consult the instructions of your particular device for how long a session should last. Miller recommends using it daily, after you’ve cleansed your face and before the application of any serums or moisturizer. If you are using your device during the day, remember to always end your routine with some sunscreen.
“After cleansing, use your red light device on dry skin,” he said. “If your device is a wand or tool, applying a hydrating serum or oil will minimize tugging and allow the device to easily glide across the skin.”
Is Red Light Therapy Safe?
Unlike UVA/UVB rays, red light does not pose a threat to your skin, Miller says. Still, any new treatment should be taken with caution as everyone’s skin and body will react differently.
If you’re unsure of how to integrate red light therapy into your daily routine, Miller recommends consulting with a licensed esthetician or a dermatologist to see if it’s right for you.
Red Light Therapy Device Buying Guide
There are a couple of things to note when searching for the best red light therapy device for you. Here’s what to keep in mind.
Power: The devices with more power are more effective at energizing your cells, meaning you are getting the most out of a red light therapy session more quickly. You might think the device’s wattage dictates its power, but this is a popular misconception; wattage refers to how much energy is being consumed by the device. To assess a device’s power, check out its irradiance, measured in milliwatts per square centimeter.
Size: This will dictate how much of your skin you’ll be able to treat in a session. If you’re just concerned with your face and the appearance of wrinkles, a smaller device will do.
What Are the Best Red Light Therapy Devices?
From full-body red light therapy devices to face masks to help soothe and calm problem skin, we’ve rounded up some of the best red light therapy devices to buy online.
1. Joovv Solo 3.0
The Joovv 3.0’s versatile mounting system and superior optics make it an attractive option for those looking to get started with red light therapy. Whether it’s hanging on your door or fixed on the floor, stand anywhere from 16 to inches away for full body exposure. This device is also extremely energy efficient; the 3.0 exports more red light while consuming less energy. It’s also easy to use; connect your device via bluetooth to the mobile app for added control and keep track of your sessions, create goals and explore everything it has to offer. Start off with 10-minute sessions and gradually build up 15-20 minute sessions as you become more accustomed to it.
The 3.0 is just one of many red light devices Joovv offers; they have a helpful guide and even a quiz to find your perfect match.
2. Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro
BEST FACE MASK
You’ve probably seen this red light therapy mask on your Instagram or TikTok feeds. Created by Dennis Gross, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatological surgeon who has been in practice for over 25 years, this FDA-cleared device allows for a hands-free, full-face treatment. You can switch between three different light options: red light, blue light or a combination of the two. Simply fix the adjustable head strap for a universal fit.
Miller recommends this mask for those experiencing fine lines, wrinkles, age spots or discoloration. This is also a good option for those suffering from mild to moderate acne who are seeking a smooth, even and clear complexion. A storage bag comes included, and it’s available in three color options.
3. Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite EyeCare Pro
BEST EYE MASK
If you’re looking to ease into red light therapy, or not looking for a full-face treatment, Miller recommends the SpectraLite EyeCare Pro.
“This is perfect for those whose main priority is to treat crow’s feet, elevens, fine lines, and wrinkles around the eye area,” Miller says. “This FDA-cleared light therapy eye device has been proven to stimulate the natural production of collagen while reducing fine lines and wrinkles.”
4. SolaWave 4-in-1 Red Light Facial Wand
BEST FACIAL WAND
This award-winning red light therapy device just so happens to be coveted by celebrities like Sydney Sweeney, Nicole Kidman, Lil Nas X, Aubrey Plaza and Debbie Ryan, just to name a few. Boasting patented technology and clinically proven results in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes, this wand provides targeted treatment to both your face and neck. In addition to red light, this wand can also give your skin a microcurrent facial, massage and even therapeutic warmth. The results? Smoother, tighter and healthier skin.
5. Lua Red Under-Eye Patches
EASY TO USE
If you’re looking for a more targeted solution for the skin under your eyes, these patches are a great option. By helping your body produce collagen and elastin, the red light can help refresh the skin and combat crow’s feet and dark circles. Simply place them under your eyes for a few minutes and let them work their magic. After you’ve used them, gently wash them off with lukewarm water and a towel. A micro USB charger is included for when it’s time to recharge your patches.
6. Hooga Red Light Therapy Device
One of the easiest ways to get started with red light therapy is with a portable red light therapy device, like this one from Hooga. At just a little over 12 x 8 inches, this box-style light combines 60 5W LEDs that emit both red light and near infrared light to help stimulate collagen, increase energy and help decrease inflammation.
We like to set the device up a feet or so away from us on a table in the morning while we drink our coffee and have breakfast. You can also hang the device up with its included hook. A few minutes a day goes a long way towards improving skin health and overall vitality. Don’t take our word for it: the Hooga Red Light device boasts a 4.5-star rating (out of five) from more than 300 reviewrs online.