The Aesthetic, Psychological and Therapeutic Benefits of Light Therapy


Natural light, supplied by the sun to our planet for thousands if not millions of years, is an integral part of our well-being. It supplies the plant life we heavily rely on for our food supply with vital nutrients to survive and thrive via photosynthesis. It supplies us with life-extending vitamin D and mood elevation just by looking at it for a little while every day.

Beyond the obvious benefits of natural sunlight, through the advent of modern science, we have found many more important applications for replicated spectrums of light. In short, these various spectrums can really have an impressive biological impact on the human body and mind. We’ll talk about a few of these spectrums below.

Blue Light Therapy

Blue light therapy is often used as a means to treat acne. This is because this spectrum of light kills the bacteria that causes acne, P. acnes. This type of treatment is available is aestheticians and Doctors offices, but it is also now widely available for home use as well since it is so safe and has almost no side effects.

Studies have shown up to a 64% reduction in acne lesions when patients are treated over a five week course, with at least two treatments a week. Treatments usually range from 15 to 30 minutes in duration, with an individual simply sitting in front of, or under, a visible blue light source (usually with protective eye gear). Blue light has also shown efficacy in speeding wound healing as well as preventing bacterial infections since it can also be effective against other types of bacteria.

So how does blue light actually kill bacteria? The bacterial cells have pigments in their membrane that are broken down by the spectrum of the blue light. When these pigments are destroyed, the bacterial cell itself breaks down since its protective membrane has been compromised, and dies. Repeated exposure targets and kills many of these bacteria on the surface of the skin, and this is what can make it so effective against acne and infection, since the bacterial piece of the puzzle that causes and/or aggravate the infection are now gone or greatly reduced.

Red Light Therapy

Another spectrum widely used therapeutically for topical skin complaints is red light therapy. Red light has more of a healing, rejuvenating effect than blue light. The two are often used together for those who suffer from skin complaints from acne to rosacea. Red light therapy is often used to help speed wound healing, and even muscle healing since it penetrates deeper than blue light.

Red light therapy has gained a reputation for rejuvenating aging skin and helping to soften the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and in some cases age spots as well. Red light also helps relieve inflammation, which is why it can be useful as an adjuvant therapy in wound healing and acne as well.

This spectrum of light works by stimulating the fibroblasts at a cellular level to help increase collagen production and decrease the enzyme activity that breaks down collagen. In order to see benefit, one must continue to maintain red light therapy “photo rejuvenation” type treatments if they are doing so for anti-aging or skin rejuvenation/beautification purposes.

Bright Light Therapy for SAD and Other Disorders

Artificial sunlight therapy has become quite popular over the past several years as well. It is a common go-to treatment for SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder for those whose moods are greatly influenced by the reduction in natural sunlight and sunlight exposure that inevitably comes with the winter season.

Light boxes emit a bright light that mimics that natural light of the sun. This light travels through our eyes, and researchers believe this exposure to light triggers chemical changes in our brain that lead to mood elevation. It also is believed to help us synch up with our natural circardian rhythm again, so it can impact how well we sleep at night as well.

Treatment usually consists of exposure for about 30 minutes each morning, sitting near the light source, but not looking directly into it so the eyes are protected from overexposure. Many find this simple treatment to be effective for their seasonally related change in mood until they can get out and enjoy the real thing in the spring time.

In addition to helping treat SAD, light therapy is used as a supplementary treatment for general depression, eating disorders, dementia and ADHD as well.

Danna Norek is the founder of

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Danna Norek
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Danna Norek founded AuraSensory, a line of naturally inspired and effective hair, body and skin care products free of harmful chemicals.