Skin Benefits of Light Therapy: Why I Wear A Glowing Mask and Visit Infrared Saunas

Light Therapy for Skin

I recently featured a trip to an infrared sauna pod on Instagram Stories and you babes sent in so many questions about it! Light therapy is a newer addition to my skincare routine…partially because, before doing the research, I kind of thought it was bullshit.

Relaxation and sweating are good for your skin, of course, but I was curious about the specific benefits of light therapy. You know I love bringing science into the wellness discussion, so if you want to do a deep dive, here’s a primary research article on the benefits of infrared sauna skin therapy (and another here). If that isn’t your thing, keep reading for the highlights:

How Infrared Saunas Help Your Skin

  1. Infrared light has a few major benefits:
  2. — Reduces inflammation
  3. — Boosts collagen and elastin production

These two benefits = powerful anti-aging. Collagen and elastin are the components of skin that keep us looking young and bouncy. Who doesn’t want that boosted?! Inflammation is so bad for your skin that it’s been nicknamed inflammaging. Don’t get mad at me for that one, I didn’t make it up.

Infrared sauna pods at SaunaBar
Infrared sauna pods at SaunaBar

When you’re in an infrared sauna, you also get the bonus benefit of an intense sweat. This purges your pores and reduces acne. I heated my pod to a toasty 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The sauna pods use infrared wavelengths of light to heat the body itself, rather than heating the space around it. This makes the pods cozy and dry, not smothering musty heat like a traditional sauna.

I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t want improved skin tone and firmness + acne reduction + wrinkle prevention, can you? I love SaunaBar in Los Angeles, but most major cities have infrared saunas available. Do a search in your area to check!

How Red and Blue Light Therapy Helps Your Skin

Light therapy is clinically proven to be an effective acne reduction treatment, and dermatologists have been using it for YEARS. I took a peek at some services offered in my area and sure enough, light therapy is an option included on a ton of facials!

Red and blue light therapy targets the bacteria that cause breakouts. Light therapy is UV free and chemical free, making it a nice option for those who are tired of smearing harsh acne-fighting products on every day.

How to Do Light Therapy at Home

What if I don’t have an infrared sauna near me? What if I can’t get to a dermatologist?”

Girl. I hear you. Even in Los Angeles, these saunas and treatments are often cost-prohibitive. The only way to get the full-body benefits of light therapy is to visit a sauna, but you can get the facial acne fighting benefits at home with this $30 mask from Amazon.

Light Therapy for Skin


Nordstrom also carries a small LED device for $249 (on sale right now for $165!). This product focuses on wrinkle treatment and prevention. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m all about investing in skincare! If you really want to commit, you can even get an infrared sauna installed in your home for around $1000. Jennifer Aniston and Selena Gomez reportedly have them, so you’ll be in good company.


Have other questions about light therapy for skin? Have you tried it?