Curious about what LED red light therapy does? Us too! Luckily, celebrities who have long used the treatment in-office and at home have spilled on some of the benefits, and there’s plenty of research to back up the claims.
Wellness pioneer Kourtney Kardashian posted a photo of herself wearing a $2,000 glowing mask on Instagram way back in 2016, at an appointment with celebrity aesthetician Shani Darden. (Another client of Darden’s? She-of-the-most-glow, Jessica Alba.) Since Kardashian shared that pic, plenty of other stars, including Chrissy Teigen, Kelly Rowland, Lena Dunham, Emma Stone and Real Housewives of New York City’s Carole Radziwill have posted images of similar red and blue light facial therapy sessions. Others, including Olivia Munn, have told Us they have their own equipment set-ups at their houses.
Since Kardashian and Alba shared their first photos, at-home LED light therapy devices have hit the market in growing numbers and at different price points. As Arizona-based aesthetician Cherie Callahan, who’s long used LEDs in her practice tells Us, red light therapy penetrates the skin and works by “increasing blood flow and oxygen, the food of cells.” This speeds up cellular processes including cell turnover while helping to decrease inflammation and enhance collagen. Translation: Reduced fine lines and wrinkles as well as more supple skin. (The spectrum doesn’t include UV light, so exposure is safe.)
Workout warriors are in luck too. The technology has expanded past visage-focused masks to handheld devices and house-friendly hanging panels, which means that you can also direct the light elsewhere on your body to help treat inflammation, joint soreness and muscle aches. To that point, we’re partial to the Joovv Go, a $295 rechargeable, wireless device we recently tested out. (Pro-tip: It’s easy to combine a morning face-plumping session with a daily meditation practice.)
The benefits that red light and near infrared light (NIR) therapy have on the body work in a similar way, as many pro athletes have discovered. “The two most important are the effects on increasing energy within the cell, which in turn allows the cell and the organ to have more energy to perform its function and repair,” Ara Suppiah, M.D., an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida Medical School and an emergency and sports medicine physician, tells Us Weekly. “For example,” he adds, “increased energy within a muscle cell allows it to contract harder and repair itself after training.” Treatments done in-office tend to be more powerful, but at-home devices can help you maintain between session or just give a little boost on their own.
Scroll through to see the celebrities who have used LED light therapy and hear what they have to say about how it helps them!