Red Light Therapy vs. Botox Injections

Red Light Therapy vs. Botox Injections

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People everywhere have tried all sorts of therapies and tools in their quest to achieve perfect skin. Among the options, Botox and red light therapy have emerged as two of the top contenders. In fact, over 8.7 million Americans get Botox or similar injections each year, making it the most popular cosmetic procedure in the United States.1

Although Botox is technically considered non-invasive, it still involves having a toxin injected directly into your muscles and skin. So, as innovative treatments like red light therapy emerge, you may wonder if Botox injections remain necessary to achieve your dream complexion. 

Fortunately, we’re breaking down the science of Botox injections and red light therapy treatments for skin health and appearance so that you can discover which option can help you tackle your skin concerns and improve your skin while minimizing potential risks. Explore our guide below for a full, in-depth comparison of red light therapy vs. Botox.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Did you know that simply shining red light on your skin can facilitate skin rejuvenation and improve your complexion? Red light therapy, also known as cold laser therapy, is a treatment that uses red light wavelengths to target your skin cells, promoting cellular regeneration and reducing inflammation.2 As such, red light therapy benefits both the health and appearance of your skin. This includes: 

  • Reducing the appearance of acne scarring, redness, and wrinkles
  • Encouraging a luminous, firm complexion

Learn more about red light therapy for wrinkles in our blog.

Mechanism of Action

Red light therapy works by activating the mitochondria in your skin cells so that they produce more adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a compound that gives your cells the energy they need to grow and heal.3 As a result, your skin cells can produce more collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin, which are key substances that promote skin nourishment and hydration.4 Collagen, in particular, is a powerful tool for maintaining the structure and elasticity of your skin, preventing sagging, wrinkles, and other signs of aging skin. If you’re considering trying out a light treatment, first dive deeper into infrared vs. red light therapy

Benefits of Red Light Therapy

If you’re looking for ways to upgrade your skincare routine and enhance your skin, there are plenty of reasons to choose red light treatments. Most notably, red light therapy allows you to achieve more youthful, vibrant skin with minimal risk. 

Compared to other treatment options, red light therapy offers three key advantages:

  • Noninvasive treatment – Red light therapy uses electromagnetic light waves to penetrate your cells, so you can improve your skin without the need for injections.
  • Cost-effectiveness – You can purchase an introductory red light therapy device for under $100, like an LED light therapy mask designed specifically for the face. Once you make that one-time investment, you’re able to give yourself at-home red light treatments whenever you want!
  • Versatility – Red light therapy works on all skin types, skin textures, and skin tones, including mature skin, oily skin, and both dark and light complexions.5

Along with its cosmetic benefits, the healing power of red light can also target other issues, such as muscle tension and joint pain. So, with red light therapy, you can enjoy cosmetic effects while also experiencing physical rejuvenation and relaxation.

What is Botox?

Botox is one of the brand names for the botulinum toxin, which is an injectable substance that paralyzes nerves. It’s a popular solution for both reducing the appearance of existing wrinkles and preventing new wrinkles from forming. It keeps your facial muscles from moving and creasing your skin, making your skin look smoother until it wears off. 

How Botox Works

When you inject Botox, it temporarily weakens or paralyzes the muscles in the injected area, which can instantly reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Wrinkles form when you make facial expressions that crease your skin—when you remove the movement, the creases can look much less prominent or completely disappear. 

To treat wrinkles, you can inject Botox into localized areas throughout your face and neck, including6:

  • Forehead
  • Between the eyebrows
  • Under and around the eyes
  • Chin
  • Jawline
  • Lips
  • Neck

The Botox treatment process requires a quick, in-office procedure conducted by a medical professional or licensed injector. Your provider will inject Botox into the target area, repeating injections as needed. Patients typically see full results within a week, and these results will usually last for three to four months.7

Common Uses and Limitations

Botox injections can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, sharpen your jawline, and even adjust the shape of your smile. However, you’ll need to repeat the procedure every few months to maintain the effects. 

It’s also important to note that not everyone is a candidate for Botox, and having pre-existing medical conditions like muscle, nerve, or bleeding disorders can disqualify you from the treatment.8

Red Light Therapy vs. Botox: Comparing Efficacy and Benefits

Botox and red light therapy can both have a positive, noticeable impact on your skin’s appearance. However, there are some major differences between red light therapy vs. Botox. 

For instance, while it can take time for the skin tightening effects of red light therapy to appear, Botox can give you results right away. However, Botox is only effective as long as you keep getting regular injections; your wrinkles may return if you stop. On the other hand, red light treatment can provide consistent, long-term benefits for your skin. Learn more about red light therapy for skin tightening in our blog.

Let’s look at a few other considerations in the red light therapy vs. Botox debate.


Botox is always an in-office procedure, so you’ll have to take time out of your day to visit your injector. Although many aestheticians offer red light therapy, you can also get your own device to do it at home, making it a convenient choice for long-term use.

Treatment Duration and Frequency

It’s important to note that you’ll need additional units of Botox for each area you want to address, and it can take up to 40 units of Botox to treat wrinkles across your whole face.9 Although you need to get Botox every three to four months, the procedures are quick and usually take less than 15 minutes.

Reaping red light therapy benefits requires a bit more consistency. You’ll want to use your red light therapy device one to three times a week in 20-minute intervals. Wearable red light therapy devices can make it easy to complete your treatments during your downtime, so you can improve your skin while watching TV or doing chores around the house.

Overall Cost-Effectiveness

The average cost of a Botox session is $528 per session, which can quickly add up if you’re getting multiple injections per year.7

Because you can buy your own at-home red light device, it’s typically the more cost-effective option. Red light devices can range from under $100 to hundreds or thousands of dollars, but you’ll be able to use your device for years. Plus, many red light devices have warranties to ensure you get your money’s worth.

Side Effects and Risks

Before starting any new skin treatment, you want to confirm that it’s safe. Exploring the short-term and long-term risks of both Botox and red light therapy can help you make the right decision for you.

Immediate Side Effects

After getting Botox, you may experience some side effects right away. Because the procedure involves an injection, you might experience some initial bruising, redness, or discomfort. Some people also get headaches, nausea, or flu-like symptoms. In rare cases, the toxin can travel away from the injection site, which can cause muscle weakness that affects your speech, breathing, and ability to swallow.7

Red light devices don’t have any major side effects when used properly. However, if you use your device for too long in one session, you could experience some skin irritation or even a burn. Setting a timer can help you safely breeze through each treatment without worrying about damaging your skin.2

Long-Term Health Implications

Because Botox keeps your muscles from moving, using Botox long-term can cause your muscles to weaken over time. However, there’s limited research on this, as well as other long-term side effects. 

Currently, red light therapy isn’t associated with long-term problems, but scientists are still learning about this emerging treatment.

Red Light Therapy for Holistic Skin Health

Put simply, red light therapy is a safe, affordable, and convenient way to take charge of your skincare journey. Whether you’re trying to address troublesome skin concerns or just want to support your long-term skin health, red light LED therapy can help.

Healing and Repair

Some studies have shown that red light can help speed up the wound healing process due to its regenerative properties.10 The boost in collagen production may even be able to prevent scars from forming or thickening. If you already have scars, stretch marks, or discoloration from acne, red light therapy has the power to lighten these imperfections over time.11

Preventative Care

You don’t need to have active skin issues to benefit from red light therapy. 

As you age, your body naturally makes less and less collagen.12 Red light can help combat this decrease in collagen production by keeping your cells active and energized. By proactively treating your skin with red light, you can ensure that your cells produce enough collagen to keep your skin bright and supple, slowing down the visible effects of aging.  

Heal and Rejuvenate Your Skin with Lifepro Red Light Therapy Devices

Although Botox is a popular treatment, red light therapy is making waves in the skincare world as a Botox alternative that can provide similar results with less risk and more convenience and for a more affordable price. 

Want to experience the difference for yourself?

At Lifepro, we offer a range of red light devices designed to deliver brighter, healthier skin. Give yourself an extra boost of confidence by incorporating Lifepro red light therapy devices into your routine today. 


  1. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. American Society of Plastic Surgeons Reveals 2022's Most Sought-After Procedures. 
  2. Healthline. What Is Red Light Therapy and How Does It Work? 
  3. News-Medical. Red light therapy lowers blood sugar and mitigates glucose spikes. 
  4. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Low-level red and infrared light increases expression of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid in skin. 
  5. National Library of Medicine. Safety of light emitting diode-red light on human skin: two randomized controlled trials. 
  6. Cosmetic Skin Clinic. Where on the Face Can BOTOX® Be Injected? 
  7. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Botulinum Toxin. 
  8. Debra Jaliman MD. WHO SHOULD NOT GET BOTOX? 
  9. Healthline. Proper Dosage for Botox Treatment on the Forehead, Eyes, and Glabella. 
  10. National Library of Medicine. Effects of low-power light therapy on wound healing: LASER x LED*. 
  11. Forbes. Red Light Therapy: Benefits, Side Effects And Uses. 
  12. Plastic and Aesthetic Research. Skin collagen through the lifestages: importance for skin health and beauty. 


Joel Gottehrer

Joel Gottehrer is the Co-Founder of Lifepro Fitness and has dedicated his life to helping people transform theirs. With over 12 years of experience in the fitness industry as a personal trainer and owner of two personal training studios, Joel has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to helping transform lives. After suffering from physical injuries, Joel and his business partner, Abraham Brach, came together with a common goal to alleviate the pain caused by their injuries.

They continued to find themselves disappointed with the results stemming from various products promising to relieve their pain, and with that – Lifepro Fitness was born. Joel's mission is to have a positive impact on millions of lives with the Lifepro brand. Whether it's finding new and innovative ways to help people recover from injuries or developing products to improve overall wellness, Joel is always looking for ways to push the boundaries. Thanks to his commitment to help people live their lives free of pain, Lifepro has been able to do this for thousands of people since its founding in 2017.

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