Can Light Therapy be Effective Without Lotions or Creams?

Updated on December 1, 2021

People have been using red light therapy (rlt) to reduce their wrinkles, signs of aging, and also to tighten the skin tone. If you are someone who’s pretty concerned about skincare and beauty, then you must have heard about beauty lotions. These are the lotions or creams that are used on the skin before taking therapy sessions. 

These lotions are believed to prepare the skin before taking light therapy sessions and this can also enhance the effect of the therapy. You can see quite a change to your skin before and after you apply the red light lotion. 

However, according to much research, there’s no particular need for lotion as these don’t have any significant benefits. You can definitely use light therapy without lotions

In this blog post, you’ll know the reasons why light therapy can be effective without the need of lotions. 

Why You Don’t Need Lotions During Light Therapy Sessions?

For many years, red light therapy has been known as one of the best low-level light therapy of all. This is the reason why these therapy sessions are so popular nowadays. 

Moreover, different kinds of skincare treatments can also be carried out with these therapy sessions. Although, it’s always recommended to seek the advice of your dermatologist before you start to take any of these therapy sessions. 

Before delving into the active chemicals in most of the popular lotions, it’s essential to remember that everyone’s skin is unique, including their sensitivity to such products. 

Therefore, if your skin is sensitive to these lotions, there are chances that you might not achieve the desired outcomes and may even encounter adverse effects. 

Numerous lotions are being advertised as increasing the benefits of LLLT and most of these lotions are also pretty expensive. 

Active lotion ingredients such as:

  • Kelp extract, which moisturizes and protects healthy skin from outward indications of aging.
  • Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, will protect your skin from UV damage.
  • Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor that is frequently used to diminish the inflammation appearance. It’s well known to treat eye puffiness with inconsistent results. 

Certain users might also experience eye redness, and those who are extremely caffeine sensitive may develop caffeine poisoning when using excessive amounts of caffeinated cream.

  • Collagen is a structural protein found in connective tissues and skin. In many cases, using collagen as part of an anti-aging program is a waste of money. 

This is because these lotions might temporarily fill the fine wrinkles on your skin, however, they do not promote the body’s collagen production since collagen molecules are too large to pass the skin barrier.

  • Hyaluronic acid, (a kind of component of collagen), may be absorbed into the skin; it improves the skin’s structure and flexibility, but may trigger allergic reactions. 
  • Calendula and aloe both have the ability to heal inflamed skin, however, ensure that these are of good quality, otherwise skin allergies might take place.
  • Green tea essence contains antioxidants and soothes inflamed skin. Here, you also need to ensure that these are of good quality otherwise adverse effects might take place on your skin.
  • The chemical counterparts of vitamin A, retinoids are topical treatments that accelerate the superficial skin cells. Retinoids boost collagen synthesis, encourage the development of new blood vessels, soften your rough skin, and remove age spots– all of which are similar to the effects of red light treatment. 

However, If you have sensitive skin, then you may wish to avoid retinoids due to the possibility of irritation or allergic reactions.

  • Vitamin C is known as an antioxidant that increases collagen formation, decreases inflammation due to sun exposure, and thickens the skin, hence minimizing hyperpigmentation. 

However, cosmetic vitamin C products may interact adversely with other chemicals, especially retinoids, causing severe discomfort. Moreover, product concentrations also vary a lot, so you must exercise caution when selecting products based on the skin sensitivity.

Best Ways to Look After Your Skin

Acne creams and lotions can cause adverse reactions to active and inactive components.

To avoid irritation, use only moderate, non-cosmetic lotions to keep your skin moisturized when using LLLT.

Below are some of the ways you can prepare your skin for red light therapy.

Start by: 

  • Wash your face with a mild, non-drying cleanser.
  • Remove any mineral-based sunscreens and mineral-based cosmetics. This is because sunscreen does not block red/NIR wavelengths. However, fewer beneficial light photons may be accessible to diffuse into the skin.

During the Light therapy session:

  • Begin with a 10-minute session to assess sensitivity. If you are not in pain, you can increase your session to 20 minutes. Repeat it at least twice or thrice a week and be consistent with these therapies. 
  • However, if you face skin irritations and discomfort after the sessions, try applying some non-cosmetic lotions to ease the irritations. Moreover, these reddish skin and irritations last only for some time and then it goes away. 

Bottom Line

Lotions might support your skin during the light therapy sessions, however, it doesn’t have any long term benefits to your skin. 

The cosmetic lotions can even have adverse effects on your skin and it can also cause issues during your light therapy sessions. 

So, it’s recommended that you don’t practice the use of red light therapy lotions, especially if you have sensitive skin. 

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