Does Red Light Therapy At Tanning Salons Really Work?

While tanning has been around for a long time now, red light tanning is still a confusing concept to many. So, does red light therapy at tanning salons really work?

Unlike regular tanning, where your skin gets exposed to harmful UV light that might cause premature aging and even cancer, red light therapy at tanning salons may help your skin barrier strengthen and improve its overall appearance. 

However, there are a few essential things to know regarding red light therapy and tanning salons, so be sure to read until the end to learn everything you need to know for safe and effective red light therapy treatments.

Does Red Light Therapy At Tanning Salons Really Work


Does Red Light Therapy at Tanning Salons Really Work?

Difference between UV tanning beds and red light tanning beds

With red light therapy being a much newer concept than tanning, it is only natural that so many people confuse these terms and think they mean almost the same. But the reality is different. Red light tanning and UV tanning beds could not be more different. 

First, let’s start with the tanning salons and the type of tanning beds you can find. These tanning beds produce artificial UV light, which has certain possible benefits. However, UV is mostly harmful to the human skin as it can cause premature aging, spots, wrinkles, fine lines, and even cancer.

On the other side is tanning with red light therapy, which is in no way connected to tanning. Unlike UV light, which works its way to the skin from the outside in, red light works the opposite, from the inside out. However, these tanning beds still emit UV light, but there is no clear evidence of how strong or what wavelength the red light beds emit.

Red light therapy at tanning salons

That being said, red light therapy in tanning salons can work, but not for tanning. You can use this light to achieve better, fresher, and more rejuvenated skin, treat wrinkles and fine lines, acne, and eczema, promote faster wound healing, etc.

One thing you need to remember is that even though red light is relatively safe, using it in tanning beds can be as harmful as UV tanning beds.

Therefore, you need to consult your aesthetician and find which red light therapy method would work best for your needs.

Is Red Light Therapy the Same as Tanning?

This is an ambiguity that bothers maybe half of the population. And we are dedicated to putting an end to it once and for all. 

The main thing you need to know regarding red light is that it does not emit UV, meaning it is the total opposite of the classic UV tanning beds.

While the tanning beds in salons can be potentially harmful to one’s overall health, especially skin, red light therapy may be potentially healing and extremely beneficial. 

The red light works by stimulating the mitochondria to produce more ATP, which is the natural energy our bodies produce. The cells’ quality improves with the increased ATP levels and nitric oxide, and the blood flow and circulation also improve.

As a result, the tissues and skin look vital and healthier, heal faster, and feel smoother and fresher. But, one thing you must be aware of is that every cure can be poison, and so is red light therapy.

It can go from beneficial to harmful if you overuse it, especially in tanning beds in salons. That’s why you should always first consult with an RLT professional so that they can decide the optimal frequency of RLT for your skin concern.

How to Properly Prepare Your Skin Before Red Light Therapy Session

One of the biggest factors influencing the quality of the red light therapy sessions is how you prepare your skin before the therapy.

As washing it only with water is not enough, we give you the most efficient skincare routine you need to do before every red light therapy session for the most optimal results.

First, you must ensure that you have a well-formulated cleanser that gently cleanses your skin without drying it.

Then, you need to pat dry the skin and apply an antioxidant-rich toner to return your skin’s pH value to balance and prepare your skin for the treatment.

Make sure to wait ten to fifteen minutes from applying the toner to the red light therapy sessions so that you give enough time to your skin to calm down and absorb the toner.

After you are done with the red light therapy session, you can apply serum and moisturizer to give your skin the proper after-treatment care for the utmost results.

Can Red Light Therapy Change Your Skin Tone?

As we have mentioned earlier, using a tanning bed with red light therapy will not change your skin tone and make you look tanner because the red light does not emit UV. 

However, if you go to a tanning salon where the red light tanning bed also has a UV light, you might tan, but the red light will be useless as UV effects are much more harmful, so you would be tanning just like with the regular red-light-free tanning beds. 

If you decide on a red light tanning bed without the harmful UV, that will not change your skin tone, but it might make it even fresher, with reduced dark spots and age spots, and much more cohesive in general.

How Much Time Until You Notice Change

Seeing the results can vary from person to person, but most people reported seeing results anywhere from one to four months, depending on the particular skin concern they were treating, the severity of it, and the frequency and duration of the red light therapy sessions itself.


Inspired by the confusion behind regular tanning beds and red light tanning beds, we wanted to write this article to uncover does red light therapy at tanning salons really work and what the difference is between these two concepts. 

Moreover, we have covered everything you need to know for safe and effective red light sessions, and more importantly, we have distinguished the difference between UV rays and red light once and for all.

Above all, make sure to consult with a qualified health professional if you have any questions regarding RLT.

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