Infrared vs. Red Light: What's the Difference?

Posted by ReSet Lounge
Posted on: Oct 20, 2022 3:06:25 PM

Large sauna - RedOur bodies require many things to achieve and maintain optimal health and wellness. We all know the importance of eating well, getting a good night’s sleep, and exercising. But have you ever considered how your consumption of light affects your overall health? New studies suggest that you should.

It has been known for decades that the human body needs sunlight to produce vitamin D, but too much sun exposure can leave you vulnerable to the effects of harmful UV rays. So how do we get the benefits of sunlight without damaging our skin in the process? We are beginning to understand and harness the powerful healing capabilities of certain beneficial wavelengths such as red light and infrared. But what exactly do they do and how are they different? Let’s take a look.

Understanding Light Wavelengths

Our bodies interact with different wavelengths of light in a variety of ways. All light falls on a spectrum that classifies the wavelength of light in nanometers. The spectrum is used to decipher the different wavelengths' effects on our bodies. Because of where it falls on the spectrum, red light is a form of visible light, and its effect can reach only the surface of the skin. The wavelength of red light allows it to be seen but not felt.

Infrared light, on the other hand, is invisible and affects not only the surface of the skin but penetrates about 1.5 inches into the body. Because it has a longer wavelength, infrared light can be felt in the form of heat.


The Effects of Different Light

When the body is exposed to infrared light, most likely in an infrared sauna, the light is able to penetrate into muscles, nerves, and even bone allowing the cells to absorb the light’s energy, stimulating cellular activity and increasing blood flow. When blood flow increases because of cellular stimulation, the body begins to heal itself. And an increase in blood flow is so healing! It helps reduce inflammation, regenerate cells, promotes wound and injury healing, aids muscle recovery after a workout, reduces signs of sun damage and scarring, promotes cellular detoxification, and more.

In comparison, red light alone is not capable of working on the body at this level. Red light can be effective on the surface of the skin, which is why red-light masks are gaining popularity. But it’s not enough to help with healing on its own. For deep, cellular effects to take place, infrared light must be used. 

Infrared’s ability to penetrate the tissues and work on a cellular level makes it a superior choice for skincare. In a session in an infrared sauna, the body’s tissues are heated from the inside, which stimulates healing and improved cell function. The application of infrared waves to the body causes a release of nitric oxide and stimulates the production of adenosine triphosphate. Nitric oxide is responsible for collagen production, which is crucial in maintaining youthful skin, muscles, bone, cartilage, and tendons. Adenosine triphosphate provides the energy needed to improve cell function, which is why unlike red light treatments infrared can increase overall healing and health.


Consider a Infrared Therapy Treatment

Science has proven that infrared treatments are not only safe and free of side effects but also deeply effective. Infrared therapy allows you to harness the healing powers of the sun, without the harmful effects of UV rays. Infrared therapies are so safe and effective, they are even used on infants in neonatal intensive care.

 Our infrared sauna at ReSet Lounge offers a unique combination of three different types of infrared light. Near, Mid, and Far infrared each offer unique benefits while working together for increased effectiveness. You can learn more about the benefits of each type of infrared in our Infrared Sauna Deep Dive.


Topics: Restore, Recovery, Infrared Sauna, Wellness, Whole Wellbeing, Stress, Self-care, Pain Management, Relaxation