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What is the Relation Between Red Light Therapy and Collagen Production?

In this article, we’ll discuss the role of collagen in the body and skin, and the benefits of red light therapy for stimulating its production and promoting healing and anti-aging.

RedlightTherapyDigest StaffBy RLTD Staff Updated November 27, 2023
Medically reviewedMedically reviewed by: Carmen Castilla, MD
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What is Collagen?

Collagen is the most plentiful protein in the body, providing structure to the skin, connective tissue, muscles, and bones. This tough collection of molecules supports the construction of the cells, and it’s key for the health of organs like the heart and kidneys.

This protein is key in healing wounds, and its presence draws fibroblasts to the site of the injury to speed up the repair of damage. An article by Shomita S. and Mathew-Steiner, et al in Bioengineering discussed the benefits of collagen in wound healing [1].

Collagen is also essential for hair growth, and for healthy skin free of signs of age. The body produces collagen naturally, but over time levels decline, leading to thinner, looser skin which is more prone to developing wrinkles and fine lines.

In addition, external factors like exposure to UV rays, poor diet, and unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking excess alcohol can also contribute to collagen loss, or sometimes overproduction, which can lead to inflammation and produce tough, wrinkled skin.

According to dermatologist Dr. Ohara Aivaz, “Collagen is what keeps our skin from sagging, giving us that plump, youthful look. Starting in our mid-20s, we slowly begin to lose collagen,” Dr. Aivaz says. “For women, we can lose up to 30% of our collagen production in the first 5 years of menopause [2].”

Fortunately, there are ways of replacing some of the lost collagen, including improving your diet, taking oral supplements, and applying anti-aging creams with ingredients like peptides, which lead to its development. One of the most powerful techniques for boosting levels of collagen is red light therapy.


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How Does Red Light Therapy Affect Collagen, and What Are the Benefits?

Does red light therapy boost collagen? The evidence indicates that with regular treatment LED light has a powerful impact on increasing levels of collagen, replacing the amount lost with age. The primary benefits are as follows:

Decreasing Skin Aging

Red light therapy for collagen production promotes skin which is stronger, tighter, and smooth of wrinkles and lines with consistent treatment.

As cited on our Sola wave reviews, researchers Alexander Wunsch and Karsten Matuschka conducted a study published in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery which showed the great benefits of red and infrared LED light in increasing collagen destiny and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles on the complexion [3].

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Promoting Healing

Red light therapy for collagen production may have a significant impact on speeding up the healing of wounds. It draws fibroblasts to the damaged area, supporting the formulation of new tissue and blood vessels.

A review in the Journal of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology by Maria Emília de Abreu Chaves, et al examined the biological impact of LED light on the treatment of wounds [4].

Repairing Cartilage and Joint Damage

Another powerful benefit of the red light therapy collagen increase is the repair of damage to the cartilage. The cartilage consists of about 60% collagen, so the boost in levels can regenerate damaged tissue. As this tissue supports the joints, the result may be a decrease in arthritis symptoms.

A systematic review by Sofia Oliveira and Renato Andrade, et al published in Cartilage concluded that light therapy may promote collagen increase, regenerate cartilage, and repair damage to knee osteoarthritis [5].

Stimulating Hair Growth

LED light therapy may also lead to an increase of collagen in the hair follicles, which strengthens the hair to slow loss and promote added growth and thickness. A 16-week study on men with androgenic alopecia published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine by Raymond J Lanzafame, et al found that red light therapy significantly improved hair growth [6].

SEE ALSO: Red Light Therapy for Hair Growth

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

LED laser light at various colors and wavelengths sends photons into the body at different degrees of penetration. As we explained in our review of Red Light Man, the photons stimulate the mitochondria of the cells to increase levels of ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

The ATP provides power and energy to all of the cells in the body, for tremendous health benefits which include increasing levels of collagen.

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A study published in PLOS ONE by Harshini Sarojini and Adrian T Billeter, et al concluded that intracellular delivery of ATP led to rapid tissue regeneration and wound healing [7].

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology confirmed the efficacy of infrared and red light therapy collagen production, as well as their benefits in increasing elastin and hyaluronic acid [8].

When it comes to boosting collagen levels, red light rejuvenation therapy or a combination of red and infrared light is most effective. The increase promotes tighter skin, smooths wrinkles and lines, heals wounds and skin barrier damage, grows the hair, and promotes cartilage repair and regeneration. As we documented in an article called Lumigen reviews, which helps smooths fine lines, and wrinkles and prevents acne.

What Other Advantages Does Red Light Therapy Have For the Skin?

In addition to boosting collagen, red light therapy promotes cell regeneration, rejuvenates the complexion, and promotes radiance. Wavelengths of blue light decrease inflammation, repair wounds, and destroy harmful acne causing bacteria on the skin to heal and prevent acne breakouts.

Dermatology family nurse practitioner Jodi LoGerfo of the Orentreich Medical Group explained that red light therapy devices, “produce varying wavelengths of light that treat a variety of skin issues, including acne, psoriasis, fine lines, and wrinkles [9].”

SEE ALSO: Does Red Light Therapy Help Psoriasis and Eczema?

Is Red Light Therapy Safe For the Skin?

The research shows that that red light therapy for skin is a safe technology, without serious associated risks or side effects. You should wear protective goggles over your eyes, and make sure any device you purchase is FDA cleared and has low EMF levels.

There are some skin conditions that preclude using red light therapy, such as tumors, open wounds, or lesions. If you have a medical condition, check with your doctor before you begin treatment.

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In Addition to Red Light Therapy, What Are Other Collagen-Boosting Methods?

Research has established the collagen red light therapy before and after benefits, but there are other methods for boosting levels of the protein which you can use as a complement to enhance the effects.

There are some rich anti-aging skin creams and supplements on the market which include collagen, or strings of amino acids called peptides which promote its production. Include formulas with these ingredients in your skincare routine along with your red light collagen therapy for optimal results.


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*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

We Provide an Array of Light Therapy Devices That Help Boost Collagen Levels

Browse the wide collection of red light therapy devices we present, from beds and large panels to smaller more portable products.

They offer powerful benefits for red light collagen therapy at home, helping to heal wounds, regenerate cartilage tissue, promote hair growth, and smooth wrinkles and fine lines on the complexion. Have a look and find the best red light therapy for collagen production!

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Q: Does Red Light Therapy Increase Collagen?

A: Based on the research, there is a connection between red light therapy and collagen increase. The boost in levels in the skin due to red light face therapy help to heal wounds, tighten the complexion, and smooth signs of age like wrinkles and fine lines.

More penetrative LED light like infrared wavelengths could increase collagen levels in the connective tissue, repairing cartilage damage, and improving the health of the joints.

Q: Which LED Light is Best For Collagen?

A: Generally red light is best for boosting surface level collagen, for example, to decrease signs of age on the face. However, research shows that ideally you should combine red led light therapy and infrared light therapy, which is known to stimulate collagen.

Q: How Long Does It Take For Red Light to Build Collagen?

A: While studies show the benefits of red light therapy in increasing collagen, the results take time and regular treatments to build up levels. You’ll have to carry out consistent treatments for weeks or possibly months before the skin repairs itself and shows visible, significant results, and hair growth takes about 4-6 months.

Q: Does Red Light Reverse Aging?

A: While LED light can’t reverse aging, studies show that red light therapy on the face may be able to decrease some of the signs of age on the skin by replacing levels of collagen that decline over time.

The boost in collagen over multiple treatments can make the skin tighter, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful appearance.

A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology by Daniel Barolet, et al showed that with 12 LED treatments at 660nm red light therapy safely and effectively raised collagen levels in the skin [10].

Q: Who Should Use Red Light Collagen Therapy?

A: Red light therapy is a safe technology and may be effective for any adult who wants to increase collagen levels in the skin, hair, and body for health benefits including healing, hair growth, smoothing signs of age on the complexion, and improving the health of the joints.

While children generally have little use for an increase in collagen levels, with the approval of a veterinarian, light therapy for collagen production may be suitable for pets who have joint health issues.

Q: Is Home Red Light Therapy For Collagen Effective?

A: Research shows that collagen red-light skin-rejuvenation therapy using a home device is effective at tightening loose skin, smoothing lines and wrinkles, and healing wounds if you use a quality device. It may also help stimulate collagen in connective tissue for improved joint functioning.


Research shows the benefits of red light therapy in promoting healing in the skin and body, and that includes increasing levels of collagen over time. With regular treatments over a period of weeks or months, LED light replaces some of the lost collagen in the skin, promoting a former surface and decreasing the depth of fine lines and wrinkles.

However, the benefits do not end there. Heightening collagen levels can promote hair growth, repair damage to the skin barrier, heal wounds, and regenerate connective tissue for an improvement in joint health. The red light collagen therapy reviews for some of the leading devices on the market cite amazing improvements over time.

If you’re in the market for a device to provide some of these benefits, ensure that the product is FDA cleared, manufactured according to strict safety conditions, and very low in EMF levels which could be damaging.

For optimal skin health benefits and collagen increase, have a look at some of the products in our article on the best face light therapy on the market.

By Carmen Castilla, MD

Carmen Castilla, M.D. is a Manhattan-based, board-certified dermatologist specializing in personalized treatment plans in both cosmetic and medical dermatology.

**This is a subjective assessment based on the strength of the available information and our estimation of efficacy.

*Result may vary. The information contained in this website is provided for general informational purposes only. No medical claims are implied in this content, and the information herein is not intended be used for self diagnosis or self treatment of any condition.

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