Red Light vs Blue Light Therapy

Red Light vs Blue Light Therapy

In recent times, light therapy treatments have taken the medical and skincare industry by storm thanks to their various therapeutic benefits. This non-invasive treatment focuses on exposing the human skin to certain useful wavelengths of light, which may help treat skin conditions, hair loss problems, and mental health disorders. The therapy does all this without putting the individual at risk of any severe side effects.

However, an important decision to make before starting your light therapy journey is deciding on what type of light might work best for your condition. While visible light can be categorized into four main types being red, blue, yellow, and infrared, blue and red light have since long been deemed as the ideal choices for treating issues related to the skin and widely used for LED light therapy.

But how do each of these types differ from one another, and what issues are they best at treating? To answer this question, let's break down the differences between red light and blue light therapy and determine which option may be best suited for you.

Blue Light Therapy and Its Benefits

You have probably heard about the harmful effects caused by excessive exposure to blue light emitted from digital devices, but a much lesser-known fact is that, at specific wavelengths, blue light can also be beneficial for your body.

Blue light therapy (BLT) makes use of wavelengths between 415 to 500 nm to treat superficial skin conditions. The light penetrates the sebaceous glands and kills the harmful acne-causing bacteria residing on the skin’s surface. 

In addition, blue radiation helps lower inflammation in the keratinocytes to calm the skin, get rid of acne scars, and accelerate the skin healing process. A study conducted in 2010 also stated that the use of blue LEDs promotes similar biological effects to those produced by UVA light which are effective at treating psoriasis, rosacea, and other chronic skin diseases. 

Moreover, BLT is commonly incorporated with aesthetic treatments such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion for better effectiveness. Apart from this, blue light can vastly improve the individual’s mood and activity levels, making it the recommended choice for those suffering from anxiety and depression.

However, treatment using this wavelength must be used with extreme care and only in prescribed dosages. This is significant as overexposure to blue light can lead to critical problems such as uneven pigmentation, melasma, and sped-up signs of skin aging. As a general rule, we recommend getting a low-powered device that emits about 415 nm.

All things considered, with the right source, duration, and intensity selected, BLT can prove to be greatly beneficial for treating surface-level skin problems and is widely used by dermatologists and oncologists during clinical practice.

Red Light Therapy and Its Benefits

In contrast to the narrow band of wavelength used for BLT, red light therapy, also known as low-level light therapy, works with a wider light spectrum ranging from 630 to 670 nm and 810 to 850 nm (near-infrared).

The therapeutic benefits of red light therapy (RLT) were initially discovered in 1980 when NASA scientists were experimenting to monitor plant growths under red light. They noticed that any present rashes or skin wounds on their hands seemed to heal much faster when exposed to the red radiation. From there onwards, multiple studies were conducted that concluded that human cells seem to respond positively when exposed to red and NIR wavelengths

To understand how RLT works, let’s take a closer look at how it affects the human body. Red light photons penetrate the mitochondria in the cells and are absorbed by the light-sensitive chromophores within the mitochondria. These convert the light into energy, stimulating the cells so that they can perform bodily functions like cell rejuvenation and damage repair with better effectiveness. 

Another prominent advantage of red light is its ability to increase the body's collagen production. By doing so, RLT is able to reverse the signs of aging, such as dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. Additionally, this treatment increases the blood flow to the scalp and stimulates the hair follicles's metabolism to eliminate hair loss problems.

Meanwhile, near-infrared rays, due to their higher wavelengths, are able to penetrate deeper into the muscles and joints to promote the natural healing processes. Near-infrared light is also effective at reducing inflammation by lowering oxidative stress and boosting microcirculation activity, thereby treating chronic skin diseases, including eczema and rosacea.

In addition, the benefits of RLT are not limited to skin diseases but extend to other organs as well. According to a study, contact with red and near-infrared wavelengths of light is said to have a neuroprotective effect on the brain and can encourage nerve regeneration functions, reducing chronic psychological stress. 

Simply put, the benefits of RLT extend way beyond just treating skin conditions and are an effective option to enhance your overall well-being by facilitating healthier cell functioning.

Red Light vs Blue Light Therapy - Which Is Better?

Having provided a detailed overview of each type, there is only one question left unanswered: red light vs blue light therapy - which is better? 

While red and blue light therapy are used similarly and share the same efficacies for dealing with mild to moderate acne vulgaris, they have vastly different effects on the human body. 

Blue light is ideal for targeting harmful bacteria on the skin's surface and dealing with acne, blemishes, blackheads, and any other hormonal changes. On the other hand, red light's ability to penetrate deeper into the skin makes it suitable for rejuvenating aging skin and dealing with pain relief. 

However, RLT’s diverse therapeutic advantages combined with fewer adverse side effects in comparison to BLT give it the upper hand to a certain extent. Moreover, blue light therapy devices are usually so small and low-powered that they need to be used for extended intervals before their results start showing on the surface. 

Our advice? Use a combination of both treatments to get optimal results in no time.

Combination of Red and Blue Light Therapy and Its Benefits

Red and blue light therapy, when used together, can have synergistic effects on the human body, producing the best results for a myriad of conditions, such as aggressive acne and precancerous lesions. 

They do this by targeting the outer and inner levels of the skin at the same time. The blue light deals with conditions and bacteria lying on the superficial skin layer; meanwhile, red light penetrates the inner layers to energize the cells, reducing sebum production and promoting the growth of collagen and elastin. 

The synergizing effects of using both red and blue light together are best used for treating skin conditions. This combination also works for boosting injury recovery, joint support, wound healing, and mental health conditions amongst other applications.


Both red and blue light therapies are known to have a positive effect on your skin. RLT serves best for chronic diseases like scarring and loss of elasticity, whereas BLT is ideal for acute conditions like breakouts and oil production. When used in conjunction, red and blue light therapies can transform your skin and bring the best results in due time. 

No matter which type of therapy you decide to go for, make sure to do your research, seek your dermatologist’s opinion, stay consistent, and ensure that your skin responds positively to the treatment. With regular use, you may start seeing your desired results in just a few weeks.

Regardless of which light therapy you choose, one thing is guaranteed: with the right LED device, focus and time, progress is inevitable. So, what's the wait?

Browse through our wide collection of high-irradiance RLT devices to reap the benefits of red light from the comfort of your home.

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