anti aging

The Role of Heat Shock Proteins in Skin Health: Implications for Red Light Therapy

The Role of Heat Shock Proteins in Skin Health: Implications for Red Light Therapy

Skin health is determined by age, cell turnover, and genetics. The human body has several functions to repair and rejuvenate each cell while getting rid of toxins and dead cells. Heat shock proteins(HSPs) are one such element that determines the body's cellular health. 

HSPs are triggered as a response to proteotoxic factors and stress-related physiological conditions. These conserved proteins control various cellular and physiological functions in the body. Epidermal HSPs help maintain the skin barrier, protecting it from dehydration and infections. Another essential function of this protein is to deliver an immunological response and prevent any irreversible damage due to aging or UV radiation. 

This regeneration is at its prime at a young age and may decline due to factors such as aging, poor diet, and lifestyle. The degeneration of the dermis results in an aged protein network with signs such as wrinkles and fine lines. One way to trigger heat shock protein in the skin is to apply external heat therapy and red LED therapy. Keep reading to learn the science behind it in detail for forever glowing skin. 

Role of Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs)

Heat shock proteins are released in all cells when subjected to heat above their normal growth temperature. As the name suggests, they are induced by temperatures above 42 degrees. These proteins strengthen the cells while protecting them from stress and external injuries. Our skin has transient receptor potential (TRP) channels to protect the cells. 

Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the skin help in achieving temperature sensitivity to internal heat balance when this heat is applied. TRP works to reach thermal homeostasis when applying external stress using infrared (IR) or near-infrared (NIR) radiation. 

Hence, there is a relationship between TRP channel activation and Hsp production. Red LED, IR, and heat therapy may be used to release the HSPs in the skin. The IR rays penetrate deep into the skin to trigger a heat shock response. Although these rays scatter and make it hard to determine the exact spot, they still release the proteins. 

Triggering heat shock proteins is a non-invasive technique that may help combat aging signs. Scientists have hypothesized how the heat shock protein response in the skin may stimulate collagen synthesis in the skin. As you know, the structure of collagen is the protein that maintains skin tightness and youthfulness. With the thermal energy application on the skin, a photochemical reaction creates dermal fibroblasts, further generating collagen. 

In a study, human dermal fibroblasts were exposed to heat shock pulses at 45⁰C and 60⁰C for 2 seconds. The shock resulted in type I collagen synthesis. Besides, the optimal collagen synthesis was at 8 to 10-second pulses at 45⁰C. 

In a similar experiment, ex‐vivo human skin samples were kept immersed in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) at 45⁰C and 60⁰C. Both temperatures resulted in procollagen type I synthesis. Overall, 45⁰C was the ideal heat shock temperature exposure for 8-10 seconds, as 60⁰C revealed some skin damage. 

What is Red Light Therapy for Skin?

The skin is exposed to low red or near-infrared light levels in red light therapy. With a wavelength ranging from 620 to 750 nm, these lights may penetrate deep into the skin, leading to healing and collagen production. 

When applied to the skin, red light stimulates the mitochondria, the energy-producing structures within cells. This boost in cellular energy is believed to promote several beneficial effects on the skin.

Red LED treatment is non-invasive, using a wand or mask emitting low-wavelength red light. The light reaches deep into dermis layers to address multiple skin concerns and promote overall skin health. 

Red light therapy has gained popularity as it may be deemed as a potential solution for various skin issues. With consistent use, you may be able to combat fine lines, age spots, wrinkles, acne, scars, and redness.

Benefits of Red LED Therapy

Depending on aging signs and current skin, red LED therapy may benefit in the following ways. 

Collagen Production

Red light therapy may stimulate collagen production, which is essential for maintaining skin structure, strength, and elasticity. As we age, collagen decreases, leading to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. Red light therapy may encourage collagen synthesis and reduce these signs of aging.

Improved Circulation

The treatment enhances blood circulation to the skin tissue, ensuring a better supply of nutrients and oxygen to the cells. Improved circulation can lead to a healthier complexion and faster healing of wounds or blemishes.

Reduction of Inflammation

Red light therapy is studied for having anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, it may benefit conditions like acne and age spots. By reducing inflammation, red light therapy may help calm irritated skin and promote healing.

Enhanced Wound Healing

Studies have shown that red light therapy may enhance the healing of wounds, cuts, and surgical incisions. The therapy may also help reduce the formation of scar tissue.

Minimization of Sun Damage

We all are aware of how exposure to the sun's UV rays causes skin damage and premature aging. Red light therapy may help counteract some of the adverse effects of sun exposure, promoting skin healing.

Using At-Home Red LED and Thermal Therapy

Red light therapy for skin holds promise as an emerging treatment for various skin conditions and signs of aging. Its non-invasive nature and potential benefits have generated considerable interest among individuals seeking alternative solutions for their skin concerns. However, investing in a certified device is crucial before starting red light therapy or any other skin treatment.

EvenSkyn Mirage: Pro LED Phototherapy Face Mask offers a professional-grade light therapy skin face mask with non-heat 204 individual Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). It has red, yellow, and blue light settings for various benefits. The mask is FDA, CE, RoHS, Health Canada, and BSCI certified, so you can rest assured of its skin safety.

The LED mask is easy to use and control with an LCD remote control. Wear it for 25 minutes for each session to get the benefits. Red light may help collagen synthesis, blue may reduce acne, and yellow may rejuvenate skin by wound healing. You may combine a thermal therapy device with red LED therapy for maximum benefits. 

Wrapping Up

Understanding skin at a cellular level does give insight into how to rejuvenate it for an everlasting glow. Collagen formation and skin rejuvenation from heat shock proteins may help diminish aging signs. Since red LEDs can penetrate the skin, using it may make your skin firmer and youthful with consistent use. Red LED masks are non-invasive, easy to use, and mess-free for a quick at-home treatment. So, you don't have to book treatments or go to spas for glowing skin. 


  1. Wen-Li Hsu, and Tohru Yoshioka. "Role of TRP channels in the induction of heat shock proteins (Hsps) by heating skin" 2015 Feb 
  2. Qiaochu Sun, Ok-Su Kim, Yuzhu He, Wonbong Lim. "Role of E2F1/ SPHK1 and HSP27 During Irradiation in a PMA-Induced Inflammatory Model" 2020 Aug
  3. Dorota Scieglinska, Zdzisław Krawczyk, Damian Robert Sojka. "Heat shock proteins in the physiology and pathophysiology of epidermal keratinocytes," 2019 Nov
  4. S.D. Dams. "The effect of heat shocks in skin rejuvenation" 2010
  5. Chen Hu, Jing Yang, Ziping Qi. "Heat shock proteins: Biological functions, pathological roles, and therapeutic opportunities" 2022
  6. Mengxiong Wang. "Proteotoxicity and endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated cell death," 2022 
  7. M. Ponomarenko, I. Stepanenko, N. Kolchanov. "Heat Shock Proteins" 2013
  8. Michael J. Caterina and Zixuan Pang. "TRP Channels in Skin Biology and Pathophysiology" 2016
  9. N C Martin, A A Pirie, L V Ford. "The use of phosphate buffered saline for the recovery of cells and spermatozoa from swabs" 2007
  10. Rana Begum, Karin Calaza. "Near-infrared light increases ATP, extends lifespan and improves mobility in aged Drosophila melanogaster" 2015
  11. Alexander Wunschcorresponding and Karsten Matuschka. "A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase" 2014
  12. Agnes Keszler, Brian Lindemer. "Red/Near Infrared Light Stimulates Release of an Endothelium Dependent Vasodilator and Rescues Vascular Dysfunction in a Diabetes Model," 2017
  13. Michael R Hamblin. "Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation" 2017
  14. Maria Emília de Abreu Chaves, Angélica Rodrigues de Araújo. "Effects of low-power light therapy on wound healing" 2014

Reading next

Ionic Infusion Technology: Enhancing the Penetration of Active Ingredients in Skin Tightening
Transcriptomics and Skin Tightening: Gene Expression Profiling of Microcurrent Effects

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.