LED face masks – or LED light therapy masks, as they’re sometimes referred to – are the result of light therapy becoming mainstream. It was once confined to the walls of only the fanciest salons, but now, the biggest brands in beauty tech from MZ Skin to CurrentBody and The Light Salon stock light therapy devices which can be used at home.
As for the results? Well, they’re nothing more than transformative.
LED face masks are still everywhere on the ‘gram. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past three years, you’ll have spotted them. From Victoria Beckham to Kourtney Kardashian, Madonna and Chrissy Teigen, tonnes of our favourite celebrities and influencers have posted pics posing in their at-home LED masks… and you’d be forgiven for thinking they look kinda scary.
LED face masks use red and near infra-red LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes) to target multiple signs of ageing and revitalise the skin – but since they all have pretty hefty price tags (and all claim transformative results), it can be tricky to know which to purchase. What’s the deal? What are the benefits of LED face mask? Is LED light face mask safe? What LED mask does Kourtney Kardashian use? And, um… What even is light therapy? We’ve got all the intel.
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What is light therapy? How does LED light therapy work?
We’ve already answered all of your “what is light therapy?” questions in some serious depth, so you can head over there if you want a real deep dive. But in short, light therapy is a treatment that has been around for more than 30 years and which is suitable for use on all skin types and tones.
It refers to the process of exposing skin to light that is in the visible spectrum – including red, blue and yellow – and invisible in the spectrum to penetrate deep beneath the skin’s surface. As the light wavelength increases, so does the depth of penetration. Light is absorbed by your skin, and each different colour stimulates a different response – which means every colour boasts different skincare benefits. More on that later.
What does an LED mask do for your face?
When used regularly, there are lots of light therapy benefits. LED light therapy can be used to reduce breakouts, pigmentation, rosacea symptoms, psoriasis and other side-effects of inflammation. If you don’t suffer from the above complaints, LED light therapy can simply help to improve the general appearance of your skin and reduce visible signs of ageing.
And that’s not all. The benefits of light therapy go well beneath the skin’s surface. In fact, LED light treatments have been applauded for improving mental health, too. Client feedback suggests that a short period of time spent under in-clinic LED lamps could dramatically boost our serotonin levels, which in turn lifts mood, spirits and reduces stress levels. Tempted? You bet.
Since the results for your skin and mind are cumulative, you need to have regular treatments to see an effect. If you can’t afford regular LED treatments at your local salon, at-home light therapy could be the answer.
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Are LED face masks safe?
Yes. Most experts agree that LED face masks are safe – since they’re non-invasive and don’t emit UV light – as long as you follow the instructions, use them for the recommended amounts of time only and protect your eyes.
The LED used in at-home devices is much weaker than what it would be in-salon, and actually, the devices often undergo much more rigorous testing because they need to be safe enough to use without the presence of a professional.
To ensure your safety, never buy an LED face mask that hasn’t been FDA improved.
Can I use LED mask everyday?
Every LED face mask has a different recommended usage, but most should be used no more than three times per week for twenty minutes – or five times per week for 10 minutes. For example, No7 recommend that you use their Boots LED face mask for 10 minutes, five times a week.
What should I put on my face before LED light therapy?
Before using your LED face mask, wash your face with your favourite gentle cleanser. Afterwards, reach for your favourite serum and moisturiser.
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What colour LED do I need?
Blue light: this is the bacteria-fighting LED light. It triggers photochemical oxidation in order to kill bacteria living on the skin. This makes blue light an excellent choice for those with acne, eczema or rosacea.
Red light: stimulates our fibroblasts for cell renewal and ATP regeneration.
Near-Infrared: has no colour but it can be used to reduce inflammation and redness in the skin. It also speeds up wound healing and reduces pigmentation.
Amber: Amber LED light is the least common in at-home devices, but works to revitalise the skin, reduce swelling and boost your skin’s radiance.
What is the best LED facial mask?
The best LED face mask for you depends on your budget and the type of treatment you’re after. LED face masks are great for a slip on, sit back and relax approach, but you can also get hand-held light therapy devices that are cheaper and allow you to target your treatment to a specific area.
The most popular LED face mask with GLAMOUR readers is the CurrentBody LED Light Therapy Mask. It’s £275 (usually £349, but it’s on sale rn), which is pretty good since in-house research found it to reduce wrinkles by 35 per cent in just four weeks. What’s more, 95 per cent of users of this LED face mask said their skin tone, texture, firmness and tightness was improved. Sold? Same.
The best LED face mask for combination skin is the MZ Skin Light-Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device. It retails at £385 and is available at Net-A-Porter, Currentbody and the brand’s own website. Developed by Dr. Maryam Zamani: one of London’s leading oculoplastic surgeons and aesthetic doctors, it’s easy to use and should be worn for between 15 and 30 minutes. There are various LED light colours which can be used: red for strengthening and firming, blue for decongesting skin and fighting breakouts and green to reduce the look of hyperpigmentation. And users reported more radiant skin after just one week. Plus, the gold covering looks pretty chic.
- Best LED face mask overall = CurrentBody Skin LED Light Therapy Mask, £265, CurrentBody
- Best LED face mask for combination skin = MZ Skin Light Therapy Golden Treatment Mask, £385, MZ Skin
- Best affordable LED face mask = No7 LABORATORIES Age-Defying LED Mask, £150, Boots
- Best LED face mask for anti-ageing = The Light Salon Boost Advanced LED Light Therapy Face Mask, £395, Net-A-Porter
- Best LED face mask for a salon-standard treatment = Déesse Professional LED Mask Next Generation, £1,680, Cult Beauty
- Best LED face mask for acne-prone skin = Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro, £430, Space NK
- Best LED face mask for pigmentation = CellReturn Platinum by Angela Caglia LED Wireless Mask, £1,750, Net-A-Porter
- Best LED eye mask = SpectraLite by Dr Dennis Gross, £175, Space NK
- Best Korean LED face mask = UNICSKIN UnicLED Korean Mask, £315, Net-A-Porter
- Best LED face mask Amazon = Rio FaceLite Beauty Boosting LED Face Mask, £349.99, Amazon
- Best hand-held LED device = CurrentBody Skin LED Precision, £139, CurrentBody
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