Jennifer’s seeing red: I’ve got a gizmo called the “Red Light Therapy Wand With Infrared and Magnetic Massage Function” or something like that. It’s supposed to stimulate the skin to grow new collagen by zapping the dermis with a combination of red visible light and infrared waves. This is the first I’ve heard of using red light bulbs to rejuvenate skin. Is there anything to this? If so, couldn’t someone just make their own “red light therapy wand” by strapping some red cello over a flash light and basking in its glow?
The Red Brain, uh, I mean Right Brain responds:
Believe it or not, shining a light on your skin can reduce wrinkles. Provided, of course, that it’s the right kind of light!
Intense Pulse Light Technology Fights Wrinkles
Intense Pulse Light (IPL) technology involves using a special type of laser light on skin to stimulate collagen production. This process has been proven to make your skin tighter and less wrinkley but it’s expensive and it takes a while to work. (For more details, you can read our previous post on photofacials.) “Regular” red light (visible or infrared wavelengths) does not have the same effect on the underlying layers of skin as IPL does, so your “Red Light Therapy Wand” is not the real deal.
Because of the specialized laser equipment required for a photo facial, this kind of treatment has been available only through derms or professional spas. That is, until now: Cosmeticdesign.com reports that P&G is looking at a home IPL device that can “simultaneously harness bi-polar and optical energies to overcome the safety and operating limitations that, until recently, has meant other IPL therapies have had to be carried out by professionals.” Sounds better than another worthless wrinkle cream, doesn’t it? And definitely better than putting red cellophane over a light bulb!