The hottest accessory du jour? An LED mask. Forget the latest “It” bag or statement shoe because, right now, the likes of Kim Kardashian, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, and even Madonna are investing in these futuristic face fixers – and for good reason. Harnessing the power of LED – they do (literally) everything, making them a one-stop shop to skin perfection.
Even beauty mogul Huda Kattan has been taking to social media to share her love of LED masks, revealing, “I’ve been using red light for years now, and I can honestly say it’s one of the most effective skin treatments I’ve ever used. It’s done ahhhmazing things for my skin, keeping away fine lines and not to mention the fact it’s my go-to for fading acne scars.” Admittedly, you’ll look more Hannibal Lecter than heavenly when wearing one, but these powerful devices can transform your skin in a matter of weeks, treating everything from signs of aging and pigmentation to acne, scarring, dullness, and sagging skin.
Sound too good to be true? Savoir Flair tapped Dr. Maryam Zamani, a leading oculoplastic surgeon, aesthetic doctor, and creator of luxury skincare line MZ Skin to find out everything you need to know about LED masks – including the how, why, and when of using one. What she had to say might just change your mind.
What is LED?
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, which is a light source – a wavelength of light that’s emitted from a machine. It’s a color-blind light treatment, meaning you can use it on any skin type, one through six, from the lightest of skin types to the darkest. You can also use it under any circumstance: sunburnt skin, acne-prone skin, pigmented skin, and treated skin that has undergone a microneedling or laser treatment. It’s actually helpful on all skins for a myriad of reasons!
What do the different colors do?
There are different lights associated with LED – including red, yellow, green, blue, and infrared – and a whole host of benefits from each one. For example, red is amazing for collagen inducing and plumping, and yellow is great post-treatment to help regenerate and speed up the healing process. Blue is great to decrease the amount of a specific type of bacteria called P.acnes that’s associated with acne. When used frequently, green works wonders for rosacea, redness, and pigmentation. White light, or infrared, goes deeper into the skin to help with rejuvenation.
What other benefits do you get from using LED?
Using LED also helps with the absorption of certain topical serums on the face. It also decreases levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that can wreak havoc on your mental state and your skin! And it’s just a really nice ritual that gives you 10 to 20 minutes of ‘me time’. It’s such a great at-home treatment, especially as we live in a world where we are always strapped for time, so it’s nice to be able to do something for yourself at home and see visible results. LED is also great for SAD – seasonal affective disorder – because it’s a bright light that makes you feel really good and warm and fuzzy.
Does it hurt? Will the lights damage my skin?
None of this treatment is painful, and it’s very easy to use. The masks are totally safe, and there’s no risk of burning yourself. Remember, there are no UV lights inside, so it’s nothing like a sunbed that damages your skin! What’s great is you have the option of using just one color or splitting them up and doing ten minutes of one color, and ten minutes of another – all in the comfort of your own home. It’s nice to combine them. Use them as part as a little at-home spa treatment for yourself! There’s almost no contraindication, except for those with epilepsy as the lights can trigger seizures.
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Are LEDs a new thing?
They’ve been used for ages, but its fairly new for home treatments, as we didn’t have the technology before. But LEDs have been used for years, and there are lots of different kinds – you can use them on your body, too. We’ve always had LED machines in offices, where they’re obviously more powerful because they’re big machines so have a lot more LEDs than a home treatment, which is more like getting a quarter or one-third of an in-office treatment.
How often should I use my LED mask?
As frequently as daily, or as in frequently as you like! And you can use it any time of day. If you have a skin condition like rosacea, acne, or pigmentation, then you need to use it at least four times a week for 20 minutes, for two weeks, to see a noticeable difference. If you want to see general plumping and benefits to the skin, even one treatment makes a difference. You can put it on before you head out at night and it will give you a glow immediately!
When buying an LED mask, what should I look for, and why?
I think fragility is one thing because LEDs can be fragile, so you need something that has a little bit of substance to it. Also look at the number of LEDs – my mask, for instance, has 100. Most other masks have about 70. The more LEDs, the stronger the treatment you’re getting. I also like having a multi-functional treatment.
Sometimes you want rejuvenation, sometimes you want to target pigmentation, so the reason we have the variation of lights is because I think it’s really nice to have the red and the yellow and the blue and the green and the infrared – having more options is great. Mine plugs in as I think it’s nice to have something that’s not battery-operated. Those are the main things that I would advise looking at when buying an LED mask.
On that note: shop the best LED masks in the business, below.
MZ Skin ‘Light-Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device’
Offering not two, not three, but five different colored LED lights, this is arguably the most effective LED mask on the market. Use it two to three times a week for 20 to 30 minutes, and you’ll see visible results in as little as four weeks. And what’s even better is that you can mix and match the LED colors to tailor the experience to your skin needs.
Try the anti-aging red light to stimulate collagen and elastin while reducing inflammation and strengthening, blue light to banish blemishes and bacteria, and green light to calm, treat sunspots and pigmentation, and reduce broken capillaries. Yellow light boosts circulation and reduces redness and sensitivity, while the white (a.k.a. infrared) light promotes healing and repair in both the skin and in wounds. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
MZ Skin ‘Light-Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device’
Dr. Dennis Gross 'SpectraLite EyeCare Pro'
Our eyes age earlier and faster than any other part of our face (the skin is thinner and more sensitive), which is why you need to invest in this peeper-perfecting LED eye mask from Dr. Dennis Gross. Despite its compact size, it contains a whopping 72 LEDs to help combat signs of aging around the delicate eye area. Using a therapeutic red and amber light to penetrate the dermis and stimulate collagen production, it works in just a matter of minutes to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet, leaving you looking bright-eyed and beautiful.
Dr. Dennis Gross ‘SpectraLite EyeCare Pro’
Foreo 'UFO Smark Mask'
There’s a reason this mask is called the ‘UFO’ – it’s seriously out of this world. Using cutting-edge testing and technology along with innovative Korean skincare, it creates a targeted 90-second treatment that’s akin to spending hours at a spa. Inside each powerful pod is a range of LED light-therapy treatments offering three types of photofacial including anti-aging (red LED), brightening (green LED), and anti-acne (blue LED).
But that’s not all. It also uses patented massage technology and a combination of cooling, warming, and pulsating modes to deeply deliver SoKo skincare ingredients into the dermis. Simply select your Korean mask, slot it inside, and let it work its futuristic magic.
Foreo ‘UFO Smart Mask’