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Our newest bed here at Universal Tan is the Ergoline Vitality Total Light 3

which offers red light and blue light LED therapy.

What is Red Light and Blue Light and how is it beneficial to us?


What is red light therapy?

Red light therapy (RLT) is a treatment that uses low wavelength red light to reportedly improve your skin’s appearance, such as reducing wrinklesscars, redness and acne. It’s also touted to treat other medical conditions.

To date, there’s a lot of ongoing research, publication of small studies and a much discussion on the internet about the effectiveness of red light therapy for all types of health uses. Results of some studies do show some promise, but the full effectiveness of red light therapy has yet to be determined.

Other names you might hear to describe red light therapy include:

  • Low-level laser light therapy.

  • Low-power laser therapy.

  • Non-thermal LED light.

  • Soft laser therapy.

  • Cold laser therapy.

  • Biostimulation, photonic stimulation.

  • Photobiomodulation and phototherapy.

How does red light therapy supposedly work?

Red light therapy is thought to work by acting on the “power plant” in your body’s cells called mitochondria. With more energy, other cells can do their work more efficiently, such as repairing skin, boosting new cell growth and enhancing skin rejuvenation. More specifically, certain cells absorb light wavelengths and are stimulated to work.

Red light therapy may work in skin health to:

  • Stimulate collagen production, which gives skin its structure, strength and elasticity.

  • Increase fibroblast production, which makes collagen. Collagen is a component of connective tissue that builds skin.

  • Increase blood circulation to the tissue.

  • Reduce inflammation in cells.

For what skin conditions is red light therapy being tried?

Red light therapy is promoted as a treatment for some common skin conditions, including to:

  • Improve wound healing.

  • Reduce stretch marks

  • Reduce wrinkles, fine lines and age spots.

  • Improve facial texture.

  • Improve psoriasisrosacea and eczema.

  • Improve scars.

  • Improve sun-damaged skin.

  • Improve hair growth in people with androgenic alopecia.

  • Improve acne.

Is red light therapy effective?

Most experts say that they don’t know yet if RLT is effective for all its claimed uses. Most say that the studies published so far show some potential for certain conditions, but that more studies need to be conducted. Red light therapy is still an emerging treatment that’s generating growing interest. But at this point in time, there’s not enough evidence to support most uses.

The gold standard of studies to determine if a product is effective is a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. This means that a certain number of people with the same range of characteristics (age, weight, race, gender, etc.) get either the study treatment or a placebo (fake or “sham” treatment) for treatment of the same condition. Some studies also include a comparison to another commonly used treatment. Results can then be compared between the emerging treatment versus no treatment (the placebo group) or versus a “current standard” treatment.

Many of the published studies using RLT included only a small number of people, didn’t include a placebo group, weren’t conducted in humans (animal studies) or were limited to cell tissue itself. Most researchers say results so far look promising, but that more quality studies with larger numbers of people are needed.

Is red light therapy safe?

Red light therapy appears to be safe and is not associated with any side effects, at least if used short-term and as directed. This therapy is not toxic, not invasive and not as harsh as some topical skin treatments. Unlike the cancer-causing ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or tanning booths, RLT doesn’t use this type of light.

However, if products are misused — perhaps used too often or not according to directions — there’s a chance your skin or eyes (if not protected) could be damaged. The long-term safety of devices that use red light therapy is not yet known.

Your safest option is to see a dermatologist or qualified, trained, cosmetic therapist. A dermatologist can make sure your skin condition is what you think it is and can discuss the merits of red light therapy and other treatment options.


What is blue light therapy?

Blue light therapy uses specific wavelengths of light, ranging from 400 to 500 nanometers on the electromagnetic scale. This treats a variety of skin conditions with a light therapy device that emits what we perceive as the color blue. Certain cells  in the body are highly sensitive to blue light. These include some strains of bacteria, including acne-causing bacteria and cancer cells. Blue light wavelengths are very short, so they don't absorb very far into the skin and for this reason are very useful for treating acne, inflammation, and a variety of skin conditions. 

For what skin conditions is blue light therapy being tried?

Blue light can be an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne. Light therapy for acne is nothing new. Dermatologists have been prescribing sun exposure to reduce symptoms for ages. 

However, sun exposure comes with UV light, which is known to be harmful to the skin after a prolonged time.

In cases of mild to moderate acne, blue light treatment reduces the number of acne lesions and improves skin condition. It works by:

  • Reducing the production of oil from the sebaceous oil glands

  • Killing acne-causing bacteria

  • Reducing inflammation

P. acnes, the primary acne-causing bacteria on the skin, is highly photosensitive to blue light. Acne can be treated with exposure to sunlight, and now researchers know why. P. acnes are destroyed when they come into contact with blue light. This is because it reduces the inflammatory response (which occurs in response to bacteria) that shows up as redness, pimples, and swelling.

Blue light treatment can be applied to all areas of the body, reducing the reddish appearance of acne scars. If you have widespread acne, be sure to use a high-quality blue light panel rather than a wand or mask. 


While blue light therapy and red light therapy have many benefits of their own they are most powerful when used together.

The two work together naturally due to the fact that blue light therapy treats the surface of the skin and just below it, whereas red light wavelengths penetrate significantly deeper. 

The two combined help clear up bacteria on the skin, treat acne effectively, reduce inflammation with skin treatment benefits, help heal wounds faster, and promote blood flow to support skin health. Their collagen synthesis also helps reduce acne scarring.  

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