Red Light Therapy at Tanning Salons

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Previously, red light therapy devices were primarily located in high-end spas, wellness centers, and fitness facilities. However, its growing popularity and the expanding body of research highlighting its numerous benefits have made it more accessible in places like rehabilitation facilities, holistic centers, weight loss clinics, and tanning salons, and for home use.

It’s becoming normal to see red light therapy panels alongside traditional tanning booths, as both utilize light therapy to alter skin conditions to achieve specific results. However, it’s important to understand that red light therapy and tanning operate differently, which can guide your skin care choices during your next visit to a tanning salon.

Red Light Therapy at Tanning Salons

What Is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy is a type of treatment known as photobiomodulation therapy, which involves the use of low-level, non-thermal LED light to change cellular function.

As reported by Forbes, red light therapy is based on the principle of visible light penetrating biological tissues like muscle, cells, and nerves. Research shows that red and near-infrared lights can penetrate deeper than other colors, such as green, blue, or violet light.

Unlike UV rays, red light therapy employs infrared light to enhance skin health. Its powerful wavelengths penetrate deeply into the skin without causing damage like UV rays can, improving both the skin’s appearance and health. This treatment is typically delivered through a bed similar to a tanning bed but utilizes a different type of light.

Red Light Therapy and Tanning Salons

The Skin Cancer Foundation states that there is a 75% higher risk of developing life-threatening melanoma from just one indoor tanning session before age 35, leading experts to recommend avoiding indoor tanning beds. Outdoor tanning carries similar risks but to a lesser extent.

Simply put, tanning is an indication of skin damage. Although often associated with health and vitality, tanning actually signifies DNA damage to the skin. Tanning accelerates aging and harms skin cells.


Tanning with UVA rays can lead to numerous skin issues. Although many seek the “sun-kissed” look, tanning can increase the likelihood of skin cancer and accelerate premature aging, causing the skin to lose elasticity and wrinkle.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy

  • Skin Health: It is believed to boost collagen production, which can lessen fine lines and wrinkles, giving the skin a more youthful appearance.
  • Healing and Repair: Red light therapy can help the healing process by reducing inflammation and boosting circulation, aiding skin repair and reducing scar visibility.
  • Promotes Deeper Sleep: It can also aid relaxation in the evenings, leading to deeper, more restful sleep. Red light’s longer wavelengths have a soothing effect on the body, and studies suggest it can improve sleep quality and duration and boost melatonin production.
  • Athletic Performance & Muscle Recovery: Recent research indicates that red light therapy can enhance muscle repair, athletic performance, and recovery after physical activities. It also helps maximize the benefits of exercise, including muscle growth and fat loss.
  • Versatility: This non-invasive method can address various skin issues, including acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
  • No Tanning: Red light therapy does not tan the skin, making it an appealing option for those looking to enhance their skin without the risks of UV exposure.
  • Added Value: Offering red light therapy can attract clients interested in skincare and wellness, expanding the clientele base of salons beyond those seeking traditional tanning.


Many tanning salons now integrate red light therapy into their offerings as a skin-supportive, non-tanning alternative to conventional UV tanning.

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