Four Infrared Light Doses for Better Skin (study summary)


Infrared and skin: Friend or foe

Daniel Barolet, François Christiaensc, Michael R.Hamblin

Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
February 1, 2016


Photobiomodulation researchers examined near infrared (NIR) studies that had resulted in damaged skin. The researchers determined that near infrared caused damage when applied in strong doses. Low dose NIR spread over time reduces wrinkles, produces collagen, and causes no harm.


Previous studies found near infrared photobiomodulation (PBM) damage because the doses were too high.


In a review of Near Infrared photobiomodulation (PBM), use of near infrared light only caused damage when the dose was too high.

Near infrared light between 760 and 1,400 nm wavelengths rejeuvanates skin when applied in low (but not too low!) doses over time.

For more collagen and fewer wrinkles, use

any of these wavelengths

  • 600 nm
  • 805 nm
  • 830 nm
  • 900 nm

as frequently as once per day, at a dose of 20 to 50 mW/cm^2.


Examine PBM studies that showed near infrared light skin damage to correlate light doses with skin damage.


“The body will absorb only so much energy before that energy damages the cytochrome cells.”

In every study reviewed, IR-A induced damage when the total energy absorbed was higher than one would receive from morning or evening sun.

Sunlight infrared is healthy when the shadows in the morning and evening, when the shadows are long. Noontime infrared creates oxidative stress. To get healthy artficial  infrared light, use no more than 50 mW/cm^2 of 660 nm, 805 nm, or 830 nm wavelength light.


Ultraviolet (UV) and some infrared light frequencies are always harmful to the skin. Near infrared with wavelengths between 760 nm and 1,400 nm is healthy when administered in a dose of 50 mW/cm^2 using any of these wavelengths: 660 nm, 805 nm, 830 nm, or 900 nm.

Each of these induced more collagen and elastin; better skin tone; and fewer wrinkles.

Use no more than 50 mW/cm^2, once a day or less.


NIR frequencies can penetrate epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue.

To visualize what this means, the NIR light reaches all of this:

  • epidermis: immune system and pigment cells
  • dermis: hair follicles, nerve endings, sweat glands, oil
  • subcutaneous tissue: connective tissue, fat, blood vessels

You can’t see infrared light. If you can feel it as heat, you’re getting too much.

Interestingly, if you use a high dose but simultaneously cool the skin, you can prevent thermal damage.

But this method isn’t tested for creating a healthy response. We just know that it prevents damage, not if it creates collagen and smoother skin.


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