SHEFFIELD VILLAGE -- Wrinkles, crows feet and sagging skin are all signs of aging. Given the billions spent on creams, injections and surgery, there's no denying people will spend the money to look younger.
Now you can add something called Red Light Therapy to the list of anti-aging, and image-improving treatments.
Debbie Smith, owner of Northern Lights Tanning in Sheffield Village, began offering Red Light Therapy last year. The tanning industry is in the midst of change.
Under House Bill 119, minors would be prohibited from tanning without a doctor's prescription. Debbie says its impact would hurt, but not as much as the 10 percent federal tanning tax she much now charge.
"I have to charge a 16.25 percent on all my packages," Debbie said.
Rolling with the punches and recognizing the desire her clients have for looking better and feeling better, Debbie is diving into the world of Red Light Therapy.
"The light is actually stimulating the body's collagen, and elastin production," Debbie explained.
Her customers stand in a booth that synchronizes visible red light, non-UV wavelengths. The red light is designed to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Some clients report improvement in breakouts and acne . A vibrating platform is also designed to enhance muscle tone, and improve circulation.
Red Light Therapy has actually been used in a medical setting for several decades. In combination with medicine and called Red Light Photodynamic Therapy, it treats certain cancerous and pre-cancerous skin lesions.
"We noticed that patients that get this have some improvement in fine lines and wrinkles and age spots on their face. This is sort of the added cosmetic benefit," according to Dr. Angela Kyei, Chief Resident at the Cleveland Clinic's Institute of Dermatology.
That added benefit has found its way to salons like Northern Lights and is already popular with customers.
Laura Griffith has been using Red Light Therapy for two months to treat her fine lines and tighten her skin. She's pleased with the results.
"I'm very excited with the results for far. I've noticed an overall difference in the appearance of my skin," Laura said.
Debbie says it takes 2 to 3 sessions a week, for several months to achieve a noticeable change. This consumer use is new and long-term effects aren't yet known.
"Some case reports suggest that if you use the red light by itself, for 2 to 4 sessions, every 2 weeks or so, you can expect some improvement in your fine lines. They just don't tell you how much," according to Dr. Kyei.