Red Light Protects Skin From Sun Damage.

Sunlight is critical for good health. UVB wavelengths stimulate synthesis of Vitamin D. Red and near infrared A (IR-A) have many beneficial effects. Increased mortality and higher blood pressure are recorded in winter. UVA wavelengths combined with the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) cause skin aging, particularly in areas where skin is thinner. That same combination causes degeneration of the eye. UVA penetrates glass quite well, unlike UVB. Hormone disrupting chemicals in sunscreens may be more damaging than UVA, they may also lead to a vitamin D deficiency by blocking UVB. Researchers are investigating the “paradox that women who sunbathe are likely to live longer than those who avoid the sun.

Ageing from sun exposure.
Ageing from UV rays. One side has more sun exposure.(*)

Blue light is also damaging to the skin and eye, this band of light has the opposite effect on mitochondria and cytochrome c oxidase compared to red and near infrared A. Sunlight is biased more toward red and infrared in the morning with UV bias peaking in the middle of the day. Red and near Infrared light protects cells from UVB induced mitochondrial and DNA damage and a pre exposure to visible red (660nm) reduced UVB induced erythema (sunburn), offering protection similar to SPF-15 suncreams. Pre and post exposure to red and IR-A wavelengths protects cells from UV damage. These wavelengths reduce wrinkles, restore elasticity and skin volume in PUFA/photo-aged skin.

Pre-Conditioning with Low-Level Laser (Light) Therapy: Light Before the Storm

“Recently it has become apparent that LLLT can also be effective if delivered to normal cells or tissue before the actual insult or trauma, in a pre-conditioning mode. Muscles are protected, nerves feel less pain, and LLLT can protect against a subsequent heart attack. These examples point the way to wider use of LLLT as a pre-conditioning modality to prevent pain and increase healing after surgical/medical procedures and possibly to increase athletic performance.”


“Chronic and excessive exposure to UV radiation leads to photoaging and photocarcinogenesis. Adequate protection of the skin against the deleterious effects of UV irradiation is essential. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a light source in the red to near-infrared range that has been accepted in a variety of medical applications. In this study, we explored the effect of LLLT in human face aged skin and the cell viability of HeLa cells exposed to UV radiation. We found that LLLT significantly reduced visible wrinkles and the loss of firmness of facial skin in aging subjects. Additionally, treatment of cultured HeLa cells with LLLT prior to or post UVA or UVB exposure significantly protected cells from UV- mediated cell death. All results showed the beneficial effects of LLLT on relieving signs of skin aging and its prevention and protection of the cell viability against UV-induced damage.”


UV photo-ageing mirrored.
UV photo-ageing mirrored.

Systemic Protection

Preconditioning these wavelenghts also protects from muscle damage, inflammation, heart attack damage, toxins, wound damage, brain and nervous system damage. Vitamin E protects from UV damage as it blocks the damaging processes caused by PUFA. Coconut oil topically and internally offers some protection, as does caffeine and aspirin.

“Like a good champagne. It invigorates and stimulates; indulged in to excess, it intoxicates and poisons
~Sir Henry Gauvin on Heliotherapy~

Visible light, the textbooks said, was not “chemically active,” and so couldn’t possibly affect animals’ cells. In animals, coloration was seen mainly as decoration and disguise, rather than as a functional part of their biochemistry. (Chemically, the meaning of “a pigment” is that it’s a chemical which selectively absorbs radiation. Old observations such as Warburg’s, that visible light can restore the activity of the “respiratory pigments,” showed without doubt that visible light is biochemically active. By the 1960s, several studies had been published showing the inhibition of respiratory enzymes by blue light, and their activation by red light. The problem to be explained is why the science culture simply couldn’t accept crucial facts of that sort.)
~Ray Peat~

UV photo-ageing - less exposed side mirrored.
UV photo-ageing – less exposed side mirrored.

Multiple roles of cytochrome c oxidase in mammalian cells under action of red and IR-A radiation.

A 69-year-old man presented with a 25-year history of gradual, asymptomatic thickening and wrinkling of the skin on the left side of his face.

Why do sunbathers live longer than those who avoid the sun?

Avoidance of sun exposure as a risk factor for major causes of death: a competing risk analysis of the Melanoma in Southern Sweden cohort

Blue Light Induces Mitochondrial DNA Damage and Free Radical Production in Epithelial Cells

Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring

Aging Eyes, Infant Eyes, and Excitable Tissues

Dosing Low Level Light Therapy

Light Treatment Of Hypothyroidism – Is It Possible With LEDs?

Red and Near-Infrared Light – Buyer’s Guide Part I

Red & Near-Infrared Light Buyer’s Guide Part II – LEDs.

Glycine, Sleep, And Muscle