The Incredible Benefits of Red Light Therapy: What It Is + How It Works

As a holistic skincare company, we’re always on the lookout for the latest + greatest forms of therapy to level up your health – and, of course, your skin. 

One of our latest obsessions for complimenting your holistic skincare routine is red light therapy. This gentle form of therapy is an incredibly effective, simple, and science-backed treatment that anyone can safely experience. 

Red light therapy is proven to heal, boost, and rejuvenate your body at a cellular level. 

In contrast, many other skincare + health-related treatments and therapies pose various long-term risks or complications. So we can’t wait to introduce you to all the benefits of red light therapy. It’s painless + free from any known side effects.

Because at Primally Pure we pride ourselves on staying up to date with the latest trends and studies, we brought in an expert in all things biohacking – especially red light therapy. Our good friend, Andy Mant from Bon Charge, helped us fact-check and teach us more about the incredible benefits of red light. You'll find his professional input sprinkled throughout this blog.

What Is Red Light Therapy? 

The light we’re exposed to daily (both synthetic and natural) is composed of various colors and wavelengths along a spectrum – including red light. But here’s why red light benefits you from head to toe.

Red light therapy can be used as a non-invasive treatment that supports overall health in your body, skin, and, yes, even your mind. At a basic level, red light therapy devices emit red light that is absorbed through your skin. The light is usually delivered via low-level lasers or LED lights. 

It’s a quick, easy way to support full-body health with proven results and no known side effects. This seems to be too good to be true, right? 

So, we asked Andy about any potential side effects. Here’s what he said: 

“There are no studies showing any harmful effects from using red light therapy that I have seen. People often ask about whether it's damaging for the eyes. But in fact, studies show red light therapy is good for the eyes. Check out my medically reviewed article.”

You’ve probably done some of your own research on red light therapy but felt confused with all the terminology. A quick Google search provides a wide variety of terms, like: 

  • Low-level laser therapy
  • Low-level light therapy
  • Photobiomodulation (PBM) 
  • Infrared light therapy 
  • Red light therapy

So, we asked an expert for clarity on this. What do all these terms mean? 

→ Andy told us that there aren’t any significant differences between these terms, and for simplicity’s sake they can be used interchangeably. 

Regardless of the name you use, red light benefits you + kickstarts healing in your body naturally. But here’s how it works inside your body.

How Red Light Therapy Works

You know we’re all about healing the body on a cellular level – which is just what red light therapy does. There’s a lot of scientific jargon to explain how red light therapy works, but here’s a simplified explanation from Bon Charge: 

“Red light therapy works by targeting the mitochondria within the cells. The mitochondria are the part of the cell which produces energy. When your skin encounters RLT, the mitochondria absorb the light, causing them to increase energy production.”1

When your cells have more energy, they can deliver more focused attention to healing – whether that’s your skin, inflammation in your body, muscle recovery, etc. 

This can be done by low-level lasers or LEDs. But there's an important distinction to make with the term “laser therapy” using red wavelengths vs. actual laser treatments.

Is Low-level Laser Therapy Similar to a Laser Treatment?

This is a fair question! They do sound similar. And some red light devices use low-level lasers to deliver the red wavelengths.

But here’s the scoop: Though red light therapy is excellent for skin health, it shouldn’t be confused with red cosmetic laser treatments. 

Cosmetic laser treatments stimulate a wound-healing response. This means, they actually damage your skin to kickstart your body’s healing. (You can read more about our thoughts on that here.) 

However, red light therapy is non-ablative, non-invasive, and non-thermal. Here’s how Andy describes the process + why it’s not harmful to your skin: 

“Red light therapy does not damage the skin. It activates more energy production at a cellular level…More energy = greater and more efficient healing.”

The healing power of red light encourages balance throughout the body to support your best health – without damaging your skin. So no, they are not the same thing. 

Andy went on to explain in greater detail that when red light is absorbed by your skin, it creates a specific type of reaction in the cell energy production process. This reaction frees up more oxygen and increases the efficiency of energy production.

The possibilities and benefits are endless when you support your body at a cellular level. Here are some of the best benefits of red light you can experience yourself.

Health Benefits of Red Light

We weren’t kidding when we said that the possibilities are endless with red light therapy. Truthfully, we might be here all day if we tried to cover all the benefits of red light.

One of the biggest overall impacts on your health with red light therapy is balancing/counteracting excessive blue light exposure. This is important because too much blue light can disturb your circadian rhythms, hormones, eye health, and more. 

Here’s what Andy had to say about blue light exposure + how red light therapy can help: 

“Blue light causes damage at a cellular level. 

Think of the sun, when we always lived outdoors, we would receive balanced blue and red light. Now, we are indoors most of the time with LED lighting, which is high in blue light and low in red light so we are out of balance. 

By using red light therapy, you can counter the harmful effects of blue light in isolation from our modern conveniences.”

Plus, when red light therapy is paired with other topical products or facial tools, results are visibly enhanced. Here are some of the most notable red light benefits. 

  • Improved TMJ pain, as well as joint pain2,3
  • Better hair growth (even with autoimmune conditions like alopecia)4  
  • Reduced inflammation in the body5
  • Improved + deeper sleep
  • Less oxidative stress on the body6
  • Reduced abdominal fat5
  • Increased circulation + blood flow, as well as lymphatic flow
  • Supports your body’s ability to detox (healthy cells can remove waste)

We’d encourage you to do more digging into the benefits of red light. There’s a whole world of opportunity for healing + rejuvenating your body with this holistic therapy. You won’t be disappointed in what you find. 

Up next: Our favorite category – red light therapy skin benefits. (You didn’t think we’d leave you hanging, did you? ;))

Red Light Therapy Skin Benefits

Say no more, right? We love that this holistic modality nourishes your body on a cellular level for tangible healing and is highly effective for glowing, youthful skin.

But why is red light therapy so good for your skin? It makes sense when you think about it this way: 

Skin aging stems from the loss of cellular function, and is often increased by external factors.7

So, as you can imagine, increasing cellular function through red light therapy is extremely beneficial for fine lines, wrinkles, and signs of aging.8

But let’s nerd out for a moment on the red light therapy skin benefits, shall we? 

Here are all the red light therapy skin benefits you can experience for yourself:

  • Increased collagen production8
  • Diminished signs of aging8
  • Improved general texture of skin8  
  • Faster healing with acne or “lesions” (aka, inflamed skin)9  
  • Increased tissue repair (whether from UV, acne scarring, or other)10
  • Reduced inflammation in skin diseases like psoriasis (+ better regulation)10
  • Counteracting the effects of blue light and oxidative stress on your skin11  
  • Better flow for better glow: lymphatic, circulation, microcirculation, and blood flow

Bottom line: You don’t want to miss out on the red light therapy skin benefits. Red light therapy actively targets many of the specific factors that can “make or break” the health of your skin. 

So, if you’re going to purchase a red light device, how do you choose? 

Choosing the Right Red Light Therapy Device

Like many things, which device is right for you depends on your goals. Some devices deliver only red light, others have infrared light (invisible), and some offer both. Each form of red light therapy serves different purposes. 

And yes, red light therapy is totally safe to do at home, as long as you have devices that are science-backed and transparent with their data. (We know and trust Bon Charge products!)

Here’s what you need to know about different forms of red light when buying a device:

  • Visible red light (shorter wavelengths) is absorbed on a more superficial level. 
  • Invisible near-infrared light (longer wavelengths) is absorbed by deeper tissue.

Different devices send various lengths + strengths of red light from the “red” light spectrum. So, if you’re looking for skin-focused healing, you may opt for a red-light-only device. If you’re focused on muscle recovery, pain relief, or better sleep, you’ll want to choose a device that includes infrared rays. 

For what it’s worth, we say you might as well choose a device that does it all. Red light therapy devices that create red and near-infrared light = double the benefits. ;)

But how do you know if the device is safe – and legit? We got some tips from Andy at Bon Charge. 

Here’s what you should look for in a red light therapy device to ensure you get the highest quality product + best results: 

  • Flicker-free lights. Flickering LEDs can cause migraines + ocular damage.
  • Low EMF. Many panels emit unsafe levels of EMF radiation. (Bon Charge products emit <0.16Mg compared to the average level of 2.0.)
  • Bioactive frequencies of light. Without the right frequencies, the red light won’t be as effective because it won’t be as biocompatible. Andy explained that the best-studied frequencies are 630nm and 660nm for visible red light and 850nm for invisible NIR light. (these are the frequencies they use in their products because it’s the most efficient treatment – at a cellular level!)
  • Irradiance. For simplicity’s sake, this refers to the intensity. Anything under 100mw/cm2 won’t be effective.

With an at-home red light therapy device, you can boost your health from the comfort of your home (goals). But we’d be remiss not to mention there are a few other forms of light therapy you may be curious about, too. Don’t worry, we’re one step ahead. ;)

Other Light Therapies

Light therapies have become increasingly popular in the skincare industry, so you might wonder if you should explore other forms of light therapy before making a decision. Here are a few other common light therapies known for their benefits – plus what their potential downsides are: 

→ Blue Light

  • Pros: Can be used to treat skin cancer spots + acne.12
  • Cons: Treatment can cause peeling, flaking, sensitivity, and irritation. In addition, there’s no guarantee that it‘ll clear acne since acne can be complex.

→ Green Light

  • Pros: Has a relaxing effect on the mind + body. It can help with pain relief, migraines, hyperpigmentation, sunspots, and loose skin.13
  • Cons: Can lead to loss of retinal cells + poor vision.13

Here’s our take on other light therapies: 

There are indeed other safe options for light therapy that could benefit your skin or complement a red light therapy routine, but they come with potential risks. In our opinion, none of the options prove to be as safe, successful, + widespread as red light therapy. 

The Healing Power of Light

Red light therapy is an excellent way to boost your health at a cellular level. How many therapies can do that? We love that this holistic practice harnesses the innate healing capabilities your body already possesses.

With far too many drastic (and damaging) treatments available in the skincare industry, it’s refreshing to see such a powerful yet gentle treatment. 

And better yet, red light therapy is absolutely stacked with scientific research + results to back it up. And with no known risks, you’ve got nothing to lose – check it out yourself.

Get that red light glow on! ;)



  1. Bon Charge | Red Light Therapy vs Infrared Sauna | What Is the Difference?
  2. National Library of Medicine | Do TMJ Symptoms Improve and Last Across Time After Treatment With Red (660 NM) and Infrared (790 NM) Low Level Laser Treatment (LLLT)? A Survival Analysis
  3. National Library of Medicine | Improvement of Pain and Disability in Elderly Patients With Degenerative Osteoarthritis of the Knee Treated With Narrow-Band Light Therapy
  4. Wiley Online Library | Dermatologic Surgery | Low-Level Light Therapy for Androgenetic Alopecia: A 24-Week, Randomized, Double-Blind, Sham Device–Controlled Multicenter Trial
  5. National Library of Medicine | Mechanisms and Applications of the Anti-inflammatory Effects of Photobiomodulation
  6. National Library of Medicine | Evaluation of Inflammatory Biomarkers Associated With Oxidative Stress and Histological Assessment of Low-Level Laser Therapy in Experimental Myopathy
  7. National Library of Medicine | Mitochondria’s Role in Skin Ageing
  8. National Library of Medicine | A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase 
  9. National Library of Medicine | Topical Aminolevulinic Acid-Photodynamic Therapy for the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris
  10. National Library of Medicine | Low-Level Laser (Light) Therapy (Lllt) in Skin: Stimulating, Healing, Restoring 
  11. National Library of Medicine | Evaluation of Inflammatory Biomarkers Associated With Oxidative Stress and Histological Assessment of Low-Level Laser Therapy in Experimental Myopathy
  12. Cleveland Clinic | Blue Light Therapy for the Skin: What Can It Do?
  13. Heliotherapy Research Institute | Green Light Therapy: Doctor’s Review, Before & After Pictures

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Looking for a gentle, non-invasive therapy? From skin-healing powers to inflammation squashing and pain relief – red light is sweeping the holistic health world. | Primally Pure Skincare


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