INFRARED, ULTRAVIOLET, BLUE, YELLOW & RED LIGHT THERAPY 101
Light therapies have been getting a lot of attention lately, as consumers seek everything within their power to enhance their health and wellness. But what are the different types of light therapy? And what can they be used for? And how is light therapy related to infrared? Let’s shine a light on the different light therapies and discuss different types and applications so you have everything you need to know about light therapy.
What is Light Therapy?
Light therapy is using a certain wavelength of light to achieve a certain therapeutic outcome. Light therapy is used to treat everything from depression, to skin conditions, to cancer. The different wavelengths of light that are commonly used and have been shown to produce effects on the human body are:
- Ultraviolet light (UV)
- Blue light
- Red light
- Infrared light
Visible light is only a small part of what is called the electromagnetic spectrum, the entirety of which also includes wavelengths such as UV light and infrared light. So infrared light is very close to red light, but with longer wavelengths, making it invisible to the human eye and allowing it to penetrate deeper into the skin and muscle tissue. The type of electromagnetic radiation is determined by its wavelength.
Light Therapy for Mental Health and Sleep Disorders
Light therapy uses bright (approximately 10,000 lux is recommended), visible light that filters out the UV light and mimics the benefit you would normally get from exposure to the sun. This is easily done in your own home with what are commonly known as ‘sun lamps’ and exposing yourself to their light for 30 minutes, typically in the morning. Light therapy is used to help treat a number of mental health issues and sleep disorders. Primarily it’s used to help treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) because it’s thought that SAD is caused by a lack of exposure to sunlight in the autumn and winter months. Light therapy is becoming the first line of defense against SAD because it has been shown to boost serotonin levels and slow the production of melatonin, helping you feel more alert in the day.
What is UV Light Therapy?
UV light therapy, also called phototherapy, is used to help treat a range of conditions because UV light is germicidal, can inhibit an immune response, helping to reduce inflammation, and can damage human cells — both healthy cells and harmful cells. UV light therapy is mainly used to treat:
- Mycosis fungoides
- Sézary syndrome
- Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
- Bacterial or fungal infections of the skin
What is Blue Light Therapy?
Blue light therapy uses blue light primarily to help with skin conditions. You may be familiar with blue light, because we hear a lot about it being emitted from the screens of our electronic devices, which can be hard on the eyes and disrupt our ability to achieve restful sleep. The time of day for exposure to blue light is very important, in the morning it improves mood and performance, but in the evening it reduces melatonin and disrupts sleep. However, when used in a targeted manner for the skin, it has been found to be helpful in some cases. Blue light is used to treat:
- Some types of skin cancer
- Actinic keratoses
Blue light phototherapy has also been used to treat newborns with jaundice, helping to reduce the red-yellow pigment.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy uses red visible light to treat wrinkles and other signs of aging in the skin, as well as sun damage. Since red light is close to infrared light on the electromagnetic spectrum, red light also can increase circulation and help cells get more oxygen in the same way that infrared does. Specifically, red light therapy has been used to treat:
What is Yellow Light Therapy?
Yellow light therapy is visible yellow light that is used to help wounds heal faster, boost collagen production, help the skin stay more hydrated and helps with the overall health of the skin.
What is Infrared Light Therapy?
Infrared light therapy uses infrared, which is not visible to the human eye but is close to red light on the electromagnetic spectrum. It has a longer wavelength than red light and is generally broken into three categories: near infrared, mid infrared and far infrared. These categories are defined by the wavelength with near infrared being closest to red light and far infrared being furthest. Some infrared wavelengths can penetrate deeply into the muscles and tissues, allowing for benefits of the light to affect organs within the body. Many powered infrared sources are available, including infrared heat lamps, infrared saunas, and LED (light emitting diode) arrays often combining red light and near-infrared light.
However, many users find it much more convenient to wear garments made of fabrics designed to emit infrared light in response to the wearer’s own body heat. CELLIANT is the leading infrared solution for textile-based products.
Benefits of Infrared Light Therapy
Infrared light therapy has been shown to cause the following benefits:
- Improved sleep patterns
- Eased muscle tension
- Soothed joint pain
- More energy and less fatigue
- Better appearance of skin and cellulite
- Weight control and loss
- Less stress and more relaxation
For example, you may seek these benefits by spending time in an infrared sauna to absorb infrared light therapy. Wearing CELLIANT® for approximately 22 hours a day can be equated to 20-30 minutes of time in an infrared sauna.
What is Light Therapy Used For?
Light Therapy for Skin Care and Beauty
As we’ve seen, different light therapies can be helpful for different skin conditions, skin care, and beauty. However, since they are so closely related, it can be confusing as to which light therapy is right for which skin condition.
In general, light therapy and their applications breaks down as follows:
- UV light helps reduce inflammation
- Blue light therapy helps kill bacteria that causes acne
- Red light therapy helps reduce wrinkles, fine lines and sun damage
- Yellow light therapy helps with the overall health of the skin
- Infrared light helps reduce inflammation, increase collagen production and stimulate healing of damaged tissues
Light Therapy for Mental Health
Light therapy that uses bright, visible light (with UV light filtered out) is used to help treat mental health issues such as Seasonal Affective Disorder and insomnia.
Light Therapy and FemTech
Infrared and red light therapy can be helpful in the FemTech space. Both of these light therapies have been shown to help with menstrual cramps as they both work to increase local circulation.
Light Therapy for Improved Circulation
Infrared light and red light have both been shown to improve local circulation where the light is applied to the body. Increased circulation causes many benefits, such as improved cellular oxygenation, thermoregulation and increased endurance, stamina and strength.
Infrared light does have a few advantages over red light therapy, however. First, because infrared light has longer wavelengths than red light, it can penetrate more deeply into the tissue and therefore have a greater localized effect on circulation. Secondly, near infrared light can be absorbed by cytochrome aa3 or cytochrome C oxidase located within the mitochondria in human cells. When the mitochondria are exposed to near infrared light, it raises the transmembrane electrochemical potential of the cell, essentially allowing for more efficient energy production. Moreover there is a systemic effect whereby the benefits can be transported around the body, presumably by elements within the bloodstream.
Infrared Light Therapy in Textiles
CELLIANT is a form of infrared light therapy that uses a blend of natural minerals embedded into textiles. These minerals capture and convert body heat into infrared light and reflect it back into the body. In essence, you get the benefits of infrared light therapy just by wearing clothes infused with CELLIANT, sleeping with a blanket, a mattress or sheets infused with CELLIANT, or even sitting in an upholstered chair infused with CELLIANT.
The Benefits of CELLIANT
CELLIANT has been shown to provide the following benefits:
- Increase local circulation
- Improve local cellular oxygenation
- Improve temperature regulation
- Promote restful sleep
- Enhance performance
- Speed recovery
Is CELLIANT Scientifically Tested?
CELLIANT works hard to back its claims with scientific evidence that is specific to CELLIANT’s textile application. To date, we have conducted nine peer-reviewed studies showing the efficacy of CELLIANT’s benefit claims. To learn more about our testing process, watch our short educational testing video.
If you are interested in learning more about incorporating CELLIANT into your own brand’s products, please fill out the form below to connect with a business development representative from our team.