Popular opinion has told us that the light from the sun is bad, that it causes wrinkles, skin cancer, and is best to be avoided if you wish for youthful, healthy skin. However, as we discussed in this earlier post in greater detail, these claims are only half true. As the saying goes, a half-truth is nevertheless a whole lie.
You see, natural bright light is actually very healthy for us. In fact, it is possibly the most fundamental energy source and anti-stress factor for the human body. Have you ever noticed how much better you feel in the summer sunlight? Even if you’re not directly in it, but simply capture the light visually, it can lift your mood and energize you. Not to mention, nothing seems to improve our physical beauty and sense of well-being quite as efficiently as a healthy, golden tan.
On the contrary, a chronic deficiency of natural light is one of the quickest ways to deteriorate in age, lethargy, and disease. Sunlight is not just a magnificent source of energy for plants, it activates enzyme-like cytochrome oxidase, which promotes mitochondrial energy production, it inhibits free radical damage, and even boosts dopamine while reducing the chronic production of stress substances.
Beauty Benefits of Bright, Natural Light
Perhaps you’re not familiar with these benefits of natural sunlight as most of the focus seems to only be on the dangerous effects of sunlight. However, you might have heard about infrared light or red light therapy. There is tons of emerging research about the healing benefits of these bright light contraptions, benefiting everything from the health of the skin, hair growth, hormones and more.
Interestingly enough, the sun provides us with natural red light at sunrise and infrared wavelengths at sunset. The problem though is that not many people get to reap the benefits from either of these due to work schedules. It is true that too much direct sunlight, during peak hours may result in burning and photoaging. However, the morning sun and sunrise offers very healing light.
Looking at the specifics, the science strongly suggests that red light, infrared machine or good ole’ fashion sunlight are all very therapeutic. In fact, looking specifically at some of the beauty benefits of bright light, studies confirm that it can:
- Rejuvenate aged skin 1
- Regulate collagen synthesis (anti-wrinkle effect)
- Improve skin appearance in aged/photoaged skin
- Accelerate wound healing
- Reduce scar appearance (anti-fibrotic)
- Promote hair growth - it specifically helps with alopecia areata and androgenic alopecia
- Is anti-inflammatory and can help with rheumatoid arthritis, sore muscles, carpal tunnel syndrome, and low back pain
- Improves thyroid function
- Boosts testosterone aiding in sexual function and exercise performance
- Improves eye health
These are not even all of the known and proven benefits of bright light therapy either, you could easily search the internet for a few hours finding many others. In fact, if you want to do that, just download this spreadsheet that has thousands of documented studies on bright light therapy.
How to Use Bright Light for its Beauty Benefits?
At this point, you’re likely wondering how to reap these benefits. Here are a few simple tips to get you going:
- Replace all your light bulbs in your house with incandescent bulbs. Most of the light bulbs made today, even the “energy-saving” ones, emit harsh light. UV bulbs, LEDs and others contain little to not healing light and usually copious amounts of damaging blue light. Blue light that is emitted from our computers, phones, laptops, and even conventional bulbs has the opposite effect of natural light. So we recommend replacing all these with incandescents where possible. Incandescent light has full spectrum waves and will not damage your health.
- Go outside and bathe in the sun particularly at sunrise and sunset for 15-20 minutes each. If you cannot find a way to modify your schedule to do this, aim to get at least 20 minutes of direct sunlight on your bare skin each day.
- If you can’t access to regular sunlight, at the very least, try a red light therapy machine. Some of these can be very expensive, but there are options. First of all, some tanning salons will replace with UV light with red light bulbs. It’s time-consuming and more pricey, but better than nothing. Another option is to try a red light machine. The higher-end ones are not always the best either. Some of the very pricey ones actually emit a lot of EMF in addition to red light. Try the company Joovv instead, which emit zero EMF. You do not need a fancy machine either, you can simply purchase a bulb, get a chicken brooding lamp and use that!
Despite popular opinion, the natural light from the sun is one of the most healing energy sources we have access to. If you are concerned about photoaging or sun damage, remember, the poison is in the dose. Also, there is more to the picture than sunlight alone, so be sure to read this earlier post for tips on healthy sun exposure. Otherwise, we highly suggest aiming for 15-20 minutes of red light, bright light or infrared light exposure every day, especially in winter to charge up your cells and beautify you from the inside out.