Infrared Face Light: How It Compares to Red Light Therapy

By Emily M.| Last updated on August 11, 2023

Infrared face light is a form of light therapy that is often compared to red light. Let’s cover the differences between these two and explain the characteristics of infra red light for face.

infrared face light

Image source: Freepik

In the realm of beauty and wellness, light therapy has gained significant attention for its simplicity and unique transformative benefits.

But among the diverse range of light-based treatments, what each one does can get confusing. A lot of benefits overlap, so what makes infrared face light different from regular red light therapy?

Let’s go over the similarities and differences between these treatments and explain what they address. Here’s all you need to know about infrared light therapy for face.

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What Is Infrared Light Therapy for Face?

Infrared light therapy is a part of the light therapy spectrum, more specifically red light. Currently, there are 3 main types of red light therapy: red, near-infrared and infrared – all of which have different characteristics that can be beneficial for our bodies in various ways.

Wavelengths operate at different levels, interacting with the skin and other tissues differently. The red spectrum goes like this:

  • Regular red light operates between 630 and 660 nanometers
  • Near-infrared falls in the range of 810 to 850 nanometers
  • Infrared waves have even longer wavelengths than near-infrared, at around 900 nanometers.

This means that infrared light can penetrate the deepest, reaching up to several centimeters below the skin’s surface, to the dermis.

It reaches nerves and muscle tissue to help the cells absorb energy and increase blood flow. This can reduce inflammation associated with various conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, so it’s great for pain relief and speeding up the body’s natural healing processes.

This is why infrared therapy is commonly used in saunas along with heat, so it can help improve circulation, boost immune function, and promote relaxation. It can also be used to help with conditions such as chronic pain, muscle spasms, and joint stiffness.

Due to these regenerative properties, many people turn to infrared light for skincare and anti-aging as well, since this treatment can help reverse signs of aging and minimize scarring from acne by stimulating collagen production.

infrared light therapy for faceImage source: Freepik

Red Light vs. Infrared Light Therapy: What Is the Difference?

Red light, infrared light, and near-infrared light facials offer distinct approaches to skincare enhancement. These treatments differ in their penetration depth and primary benefits.

For starters – your eye can’t even see infrared light.

While red light facial employs visible red light wavelengths to stimulate collagen and improve skin texture, infrared light reaches deeper into the skin’s dermal layers, focusing on collagen synthesis and addressing fine lines and sagging.

That’s why the infrared option is preferred for those seeking more intensive anti-aging benefits, while red light is enough for those trying to prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles or are just looking for youthful radiance.

You can learn more about red light therapy here.

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What About Near-Infrared (NIR)?

Near infrared light facial targets cellular repair, inflammation reduction, and tissue regeneration.

Although, that’s not to say it can’t stimulate a renewal of the skin – NIR also leads to an increased production of collagen and elastin, meaning this treatment also aids in refining skin texture, healing, addressing fine lines and wrinkles, and enhancing skin elasticity.

One of the primary benefits of a NIR facial is its ability to reduce inflammation in deeper tissues, depuffing your face. It can also improve circulation which helps oxygen and nutrients function optimally, promoting overall skin health.

Can Infrared Light Therapy Be Combined with Red Light?

Yes, red and infrared lights can – and in most cases are – combined.

Combining them helps deliver maximum results and makes them much more effective in reducing signs of aging and improving the skin’s overall complexion.

One research found significant improvement when these two treatments were combined, most notably in skin texture.

Benefits of Infrared Face Light

There are several benefits of using infrared light on face:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Keeps acne and breakouts at bay
  • Calms irritated skin
  • Improves circulation
  • Skin texture improvement
  • Alleviates scarring
  • Rejuvenates the skin
  • Provides anti-aging benefits
  • Speeds up healing
  • Leads to a brighter, more radiant complexion
  • And increases energy and mood.

Plus, infrared facial treatment is nontoxic, noninvasive, and considered safe for all skin types.

However, most infrared – and infrared with NIR light therapy – benefits are focused on repairing, recovering, and reducing the body’s inflammatory response. Infrared body light treatment is great for:

  • Repairing damaged tissue and promoting cell regeneration
  • Relieving muscle and joint aches
  • Relieves pain and stiffness associated with arthritis
  • Speeding up muscle recovery and healing of wounds

Is Infrared Face Light Safe?

Yes, infrared face light and near-infrared face light are both safe.

Infrared facial treatment is well-tolerated by most people, but it’s still important to check with your GP, especially if you have sensitive skin or a medical condition that affects your ability to tolerate heat.

For example, infrared facial treatment isn’t recommended for people who take certain medications that increase their sensitivity to sunlight, such as isotretinoin and lithium, or for people who have a history of skin cancer and inherited eye diseases.

Also, people with sensitive skin, diabetes, and people who are pregnant should ask their providers before using red light therapy.

Are There Any Infrared Face Light Risks or Side Effects?

The possible side effects and risks aren’t common, but they include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Rash
  • Increased skin sensitivity
  • Heat-related risks and even burns
  • Stinging
  • Peeling
  • Temporary discoloration
  • Damage to your skin or eyes if used incorrectly (too long or too often)

Keep in mind the results (and chances of side effects) can differ depending on where you get the treatment done because the devices and their strength differ (for example clinic’s office or at home).

What Does Infrared Face Light Treatment Look Like?

Light therapy – which includes all red, infrared and NIR light therapy – can be done in pretty much any place that focuses on wellness, like spas, beauty salons, and gyms, as well as in clinics and dermatology offices.

So, the results and the process itself kind of depends on where you go for red light therapy treatment, as well as what area or concern you’re looking to treat. We’ll focus on what infrared facial treatment usually looks like.

  • First step is cleansing to remove makeup, dirt, and impurities from the skin’s surface. Clean skin ensures optimal absorption of infrared light.
  • Eye protection (like protective goggles) to shield your eyes.
  • Emitting infrared light on the skin by exposing your face to the panels of light, or by gliding a handheld device over the face. During this might feel a mild warming sensation on your skin, but it should not be uncomfortable or painful. The duration of the treatment depends on the device used and the targeted skin concerns.
  • Post-treatment care which entails applying a soothing serum or moisturizer to your skin, and a layer of SPF on top since your skin may be slightly more sensitive to sunlight after the treatment.
  • Follow-up and maintenance are recommended since infrared light therapy is usually done as a series of sessions that lead to cumulative benefits over time.

what does infrared face light treatment look likeImage source: Freepik

Infrared Light Therapy for Face Cost

Also depending on the place you get treatment, the cost of a single session can vary significantly. It ranges anywhere from $25 to over $200.

Keeping in mind that you’ll need multiple sessions over the course of several weeks or months, this can be a pretty significant investment which is why most people decide to DIY it.

Infrared Face Treatment at Home

While infrared face treatment at home isn’t as effective as a professionally administered one, it still shows significant improvement when used regularly and properly.

Plus, once you invest in a device, it’s yours to use as many times as you’d like, making this a much more affordable and hassle-free option.

Since this is a very easy and straightforward treatment, doing it by yourself is pretty safe, as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use a safe FDA-cleared/approved device.

Be mindful of mitigating any potential risks by following recommended safety measures like protecting your eyes with appropriate eyewear during treatment sessions and starting with shorter and less intense sessions to prevent adverse reactions.

Also, it’s always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before using any skin tech devices.

Best Infrared Light Therapy for Face

Having knowledge about how red and infrared lights work together allows you to clearly know what to look for in a device. But when choosing, you also need to pay attention to what suits your preferences, treatment goals, and budget.

Here are some of our top-rated, FDA-cleared devices in each category:

Infrared Mask for Face

The infrared LED face mask is designed to provide complete coverage for the entire face at once. It’s equipped with an array of LED lights, which are usually a combination of red and infrared wavelengths.

These masks offer convenient hands-free use and can be very easily incorporated into any skincare regimen.

Infrared Wand

Portable and convenient, handheld infrared devices offer the flexibility of precise, targeted treatment for specific areas of concern. These types of red/infrared devices are great for people who are seeking a personalized and adaptable approach to skincare.

Infrared Face Massager

This type of skincare tool is designed to gently stimulate blood circulation and promote collagen production by combining the benefits of infrared face light with the benefits of soothing, gentle face massage.

This device is small, portable, and very easy to use, yet can still effectively target fine lines, wrinkles, and areas of tension.

Infrared Panel

Light therapy panels are larger and usually stronger than other at-home tools. They are designed for treating larger areas, but can also be used for an infrared facial treatment.

And while most panels are made for professional settings, there are also some available as a home version.

How Soon Can I Expect Results from Infrared Facial Treatment?

Over the following days and weeks, you may start noticing improvements in your skin’s texture, tone, and overall appearance.

But it’s important to note that individual experiences and results may vary. The efficacy of the treatment depends on various factors, including the device used and your skin type.

When done consistently, infrared light therapy can help reduce fine lines, improve collagen production, and address inflammation.

Is There Any Aftercare?

There isn’t any recovery time for LED light therapy since there isn’t any damage to the skin. Besides being careful about sun exposure in the 48 hours after treatment, you can return to your normal routine.

Infrared Face Light – Main Takeaways

To sum up – red light is geared towards surface-level concerns, infrared light concentrates on collagen enhancement, and near-infrared light delves into cellular repair.

This makes infrared facial treatment a great method for improving many skin conditions without causing any damage to the surface layer of the skin, as many other conventional beauty treatments tend to do.

It’s safe for most people, with minimal risks and a surprisingly long list of benefits. Also – compared to other skincare treatments – this one might be the easiest to do by yourself.

Explore more light therapies here.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LED LIGHT THERAPY

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