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Red Light Therapy for Wrinkles

Kristina Cadwell  
June 12, 2024  

Red light therapy involves using a laser or LED device that emits light in the red or near-infrared spectrum on the skin. Red light has the longest wavelength range and the deepest skin penetration potential of all visible light. Scientists discovered its wound-healing properties decades ago, and now the treatment is popularly used to decrease wrinkles, inflammation, and other skin concerns.

This article explains how red light therapy affects wrinkles and what results to expect from the procedure.

Red light therapy for wrinkles

How Does Red Light Therapy for Wrinkles Work?

Red light therapy works through a process called photobiomodulation, in which the light waves penetrate the skin to reach deep dermal layers and stimulate cell proliferation. Scientists speculate that the following mechanisms during red light therapy help reduce wrinkles.

Increased Fibroblast Production

Red light stimulates the synthesis of fibroblasts, the cells responsible for forming connective tissue and collagen. Collagen is the body’s primary skin-building protein, giving it structure and resilience. It degrades with age, leading to wrinkle formation, so stimulating fibroblasts and collagen production can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Increased Collagen Density

Research shows patients treated with red light exhibit increased collagen density, resulting in improved skin elasticity, smoother texture, and fewer wrinkles.

Increased Blood Circulation

Red light also improves blood circulation, enhancing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to cells and tissues. This contributes to improved fibroblast activity and collagen production.

Improved Metabolic Function

Mitochondria, also called the cell’s powerhouse, generate energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Research suggests red light stimulates mitochondria to produce more ATP, promoting cellular proliferation and function – including that of fibroblasts. This enhances skin repair and wrinkle reduction.

Reduced Inflammation

Inflammation can accelerate collagen loss and lead to premature aging signs, including wrinkles. Red light has anti-inflammatory effects on the skin, reducing inflammation and creating a more favorable environment for fibroblast activity and collagen synthesis.

Do I Need to Prepare My Skin for Red Light Therapy for Wrinkles?

There are no special instructions for preparing for red light therapy. Your medical provider may advise you to avoid certain cosmetic products prior to your appointment and drink more water.

What Can You Expect During Red Light Therapy for Wrinkles?

The medical provider first cleanses your skin to remove makeup, oil, and impurities. They give you goggles to protect your eyes from the light. Then, they use a hand-held laser or LED device or seat you in front of a panel with light-emitting diodes for 15-30 minutes. The session is painless. Some patients report feeling slight heat or a pulsing sensation, but it’s not uncomfortable.

The treatment is gentler, with fewer potential side effects, than laser resurfacing and intense pulsed light.

How Close Should Red Light Therapy Be to Your Face?

The optimal distance between the device and the skin varies depending on the type of device, wavelength range, and the patient’s skin condition. Many companies recommend keeping the source of light 6-12 inches from the skin.

How Often Should You Do Red Light Therapy for Wrinkles?

Red light therapy requires repeated sessions. Patients usually start with at least three weekly sessions for several weeks or months and continue with touch-up treatments to maintain results.

The Results of Red Light Therapy for Wrinkles

Red light stimulates collagen production to soften the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Building collagen takes time, so patients may expect to see results after several weeks. The skin is tighter and smoother, with significantly less pronounced fine lines and wrinkles.

Can You Do Red Light Therapy for Wrinkles at Home?

Red light therapy devices are available for at-home use. The benefits of the DIY treatment include saving time and money. However, at-home devices use lower-level frequencies than red light machines in medical spas, so results are less dramatic. Also, product misuse may cause damage to the skin and eyes.

If you opt for at-home red light treatment, buy an FDA-cleared device and follow product instructions closely.

For safer and more reliable results, schedule your treatment with a board-certified medical provider.

Should Anyone Avoid Red Light Therapy for Wrinkles?

Red light therapy is considered safe and non-invasive, rarely causing any side effects.

However, certain conditions may make the treatment risky. They include:

  • Pregnancy and nursing
  • History of cancer
  • Eye disorders
  • Use of photo-sensitizing medications
  • Open wounds

Disclose information to your provider about your health condition, current medication and supplement regimen, and if you’ve had recent medical and cosmetic treatments to ensure you are a suitable candidate for red light therapy.

The Cost of Red Light Therapy for Wrinkles

The cost of red light therapy for wrinkles depends on your medical provider’s location, qualifications, and experience.

At Vibrant Skin Bar, a red light therapy session costs $45. It lasts 20 minutes and helps tighten and rejuvenate the skin.


Red light therapy is a gentle, non-invasive cosmetic procedure popularly used for wrinkle reduction. The sessions are quick and don’t require downtime, making red light therapy a convenient option for people with busy schedules.

Contact our friendly team at Vibrant Skin Bar for more information about red light and how it can help decrease wrinkles and other problematic features.

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About the Author:
Kristina Cadwell
PA Kristina Cadwell graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She then completed the Physician Assistant program at A.T. Still University graduating with a Masters of Medical Science degree. Kristina has been working in the Aesthetic Medical field for over 10 years. She is certified in neurotoxin cosmetic injection, dermal fillers, Plasma Pen skin tightening, chemical peels, and laser therapy. She is known for producing natural results and has extensive knowledge in diet and exercise allowing her to help you achieve vibrant skin from the inside out.
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