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Red Light Therapy vs Tanning Bed: Difference Explained


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In the modern age, people will do many things to improve their health—whether physical or mental. Over the last few years, one thing that’s become far more prevalent is the use of red light therapy. It has quickly become the latest ‘trend,’ with the majority of folks using it to fix any lingering injuries or ailments they may have.

On the flip side, you have tanning beds, which focus more on the art of relaxation. It’s about making yourself look good and feel good. Alas, while these two practices may seem quite different, they’re often used in the same breath because of their appearance. As such, we thought it’d be a good idea to break down their comparisons and differences.

So, without further ado, it’s time to dive into red light therapy and tanning beds.

What is red light therapy?

Red light therapy is a kind of photomedicine that uses low-intensity red and near-infrared light to improve well-being. The aim is to give you the best chance of fully recovering from any physical problem you may have. It works on the skin and heads deep into your cells, and while it may not be an overnight fix, it’s certainly something that’ll leave you feeling satisfied.

This emerging treatment treats skin conditions, arthritis, deep muscle problems, and so much more. It’s noninvasive, painless, and verified by a parade of studies that indicate it is completely safe to use. You should follow specific guidelines along the way, but trust us when we say that now is the time to jump on the train.

What is a tanning bed?

Tanning beds have been around for quite some time,, and by the name alone, you’ve probably gathered that the goal is to give you a tan. The purpose is to make your skin a bit darker for whatever purpose you desire, stimulating the skin to release melanin. More often than not, the ‘bed’ factor is the key, as you’re lying horizontally and letting the magic do its thing.

It’s been given a controversial tag in some spaces, but if you want a quick and efficient way to get your skin looking how you want it to, then this is the route forward you need. They are often found in gyms, spas, sometimes in the comfort of your own home, and most frequently in a dedicated salon that focuses on tanning.

Red light therapy vs tanning bed: how do they compare?

Red light therapy involves using red or infrared light as the predominant method of providing care for patients. Tanning beds emit UVA, also known as ultraviolet rays or tanning rays, which are less likely to cause sunburn. Regarding the safety regulations within this, it really comes down to the amount of time you spend under the bright lights.

Your skin is obviously a huge factor here, and you’ve often heard that regular tanning can lead to your skin becoming more ‘leathery,' which tends to be the case. As for red light therapy, it’s all about taking care of your skin’s presentation and ensuring it remains intact and stable.

The timeline for positive results (depending on your definition) varies between the two. You’ll get what you’re looking for far quicker with tanning beds than with red light, but if you show some patience, you’ll soon see a big change not so long after consistent treatment.

The advantages of red light therapy

The benefits of red light therapy have been evident for a long time now. One study has suggested that RLT can help with increased blood flow, reduced inflammation, increased production of fibroblasts, and the boosting of collagen levels. It’s all a process, of course, and different products work in various ways, but it’s all about finding the answer to your individual problem.

In addition, another study has found that it can help with the pain that stems from chronic joint disorders, such as arthritis, as we mentioned earlier. If using this over a prolonged period of time, you could genuinely change your quality of life and give yourself a whole new outlook.

Final thoughts

Red light therapy serves as the future in more ways than one. Every single day, we see new results and strategies being put together with the hope that they can drive forward the overall success of RLT. There are many different ways in which it can enhance your life, and in our view, it’s something that everyone should test the waters with.

With tanning beds, it really comes down to your own perspective. Yes, they can be valuable and practical, but some may prefer different methods. Overall, these products serve very different purposes, and whether or not you use them in association with one another is entirely down to you.

If you need any further help or advice about red light therapy, feel free to check out our website. Or, if you have any questions, get in touch!


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Pascal Le Maréchal

As the Founder and Chief Engineer of NovaaLab, I set out on a mission driven by personal experience. Struggling with severe pain and finding no relief through traditional methods, I explored red light therapy. Seeing its potential, I founded NovaaLab to create precise devices for pain relief and recovery. With a dedicated team, we design FDA-cleared, scientifically-backed solutions, ensuring they're safe and effective. Through our blog, I'm excited to share my journey and help others discover the benefits of red light therapy.