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Being able to get pro results from the comfort of your couch is a win in any beauty lover’s book. One way to do just that is with the best LED face masks, a great beauty gift idea for women or men in your life who could use some self-care time.. They sound — and look — futuristic, with the results to match. It used to be that you had to go to a derm’s office to experience LED light therapy masks, but now the skincare trend can come to you. LED face masks and devices have come a long way and now offer the same professional technology at home. (But keep in mind that treatments at the doctor’s office typically have stronger results, so it’ll take longer to see that with at-home devices.) We tapped the pros to answer all of your pressing questions about LED face masks.
What is LED Light Therapy and How Did It Start?
“LED, or light emitting diode therapy, is a skincare treatment that uses varying wavelengths of light,” explains Laurence Newman, CEO of CurrentBody, and the therapy overall has a truly remarkable history.
“It was discovered about 60 years ago when NASA engineers were approached by Johnson & Johnson to create medical equipment involving red LED light, knowing the range of the wavelength would get into your dermis, because that’s where collagen synthesis happens,” explains Joanna Czech, one of the most celebrated aestheticians in the world, who says she’s been using LED light therapy for the better part of 22 years.
And what, exactly, was NASA’s intent? To discover how to get the body to absorb medication via LED light therapy.
“They wanted to use it for chemotherapy patients who could not swallow medication because of nausea and who were very fragile,” says Czech. “They applied it on the skin via medicinal patches, and doctors would shoot the patches with red light, and when patients returned for check-ups several sessions later, doctors noticed a different quality of skin where the patches were. Skin was tighter, brighter and skin markings were more shallow.”
Now, research linking LED light therapy with the medical world abound, with one of the more recent studies confirming that light therapy accelerates the healing of skin damage from cancer radiation therapy by up to 50%, so even if you were skeptical about the efficacy of these buzzy, futuristic-looking light therapy masks, you can’t argue with science.
What Does Light Therapy Do to Your Skin?
“That really depends on the color of the light,” explains Czech.
There are four main types of LED light therapy — red, blue, yellow and green — and each color treats a different skin concern, especially when it comes to discoloration. “We have so many different forms of pigmentation,” says Czech, from hormonal to sun exposure, and there isn’t just one type of light that will resolve all types of hyperpigmentation. Below, she walks us through every type of LED light.
- Red light is used to stimulate collagen production and ATP energy within cells, strengthening them. “If we increase the elasticity of the skin, we reduce the appearance of fine lines, scarring, stretch marks and enlarged pores,” says Czech. “Every single person can benefit from red light — it doesn’t matter if you are 30 years old with acne or 70 — and you use it across your body, wherever you need increased elasticity, like your face, hands, and skin above your knee.” She adds that red light also makes the skin healthier overall.
- Blue light has antibacterial properties, according to Czech, and is best for someone with blemishes, acne or rosacea. “It surprises people, but rosacea is a bacterial condition, usually from stress, diet or lifestyle that brings it to the surface.” It’s often used during facials after the extraction phase to zap any lingering bacteria on the skin.
- Green light “inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase, which is responsible for the synthesis of melanin, so it prevents hyper-pigmentation from starting internally,” says Czech. “It’s also known as a calming light and works on vascular systems, so it’s an anti-redness light as well, like for acne scars.”
- Yellow light prevents photoaging, meaning from the sun or other external factors, like environmental stressors or smoking, and works to evens out skin tone.
Top LED Face Masks of 2022
- Best Budget Mask: Project E Photon Skin Rejuvenation Face & Neck Mask
- Best Brand: HigherDose Red Light Face Mask
- Best for Targeted Goals: Foreo UFO 2 Power Mask & Light Therapy Device
- Best Aesthetician-Approved Mask: Lyma Laser
- Best New LED Face Device: TheraFace Pro
- Best Overall: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro LED Light Therapy Device
- Best Mask for Fast Results: CurrentBody Skin LED Light Therapy Mask
- Best Portable Mask: Priori Skincare Unveiled LED Face Mask
- Best for a Fickle Complexion: Skin Gym WrinkLit LED Mask
- Best Basic Model: Beautimate Facial Skin Care Mask
- Best Mask for a Secure Fit: Omnilux ContourTM Face
- Best Twofer: Hime Sama LED Skin Mask-CE Cleared Pro 7
- Best for Ease of Use: The Light Salon Boost Advanced LED Light Therapy Face Mask
- Best Multilight Face Mask: MZ Skin Light Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device
- Best for Lips: Revive Light Therapy Lip Care
- Best for Acne: LightStim for Acne LED Light Therapy Device
- Best for Neck, Décolletage, Hands, and Back: Revive Light Therapy dpl II-Professional Anti-Aging Panel
- Best Splurge: Déesse Pro Déesse Professional LED Mask Next Generation
- Best for the Eyes: Skin Inc Optimizer Voyage Glasses for Bright Eyes Custom LED Light Treatment
Can You Combine Light Therapies?
Czech reassures us that it is safe to combine different light therapies. You could easily use a red LED face mask on a Monday and safely use a blue LED face mask the next day without a hitch. But, Czech asks, “how many conditions do you really want to address at once, really?”
How Do You Use an LED Face Mask?
Before using an LED face mask, make sure your skin and the device are clean. “Avoid using sunscreen before use as it can block the red and near-infrared light,” says Dr. Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD. “You can apply the mask directly to your clean skin. For a deeper clean, treat your complexion to a detoxifying face mask before using the device.”
LED face masks work best with regular use. “There really should be a program,” Czech says. “You need to do it four times a week minimum, for about two to four months. The start-up needs to be a little more intense and definitely consistent.”
Dr. Engelman suggests applying a moisturizer to hydrate and nourish the skin, post-treatment.
How Long Does It Take to See Results From Using an LED Face Mask?
This depends on the device itself and your skin type. “With at-home LED face masks, you might notice your complexion has an inner glow after use,” Dr. Engelman says. “Other results will take longer and depend on the individual. With regular use, you might start to notice changes after around four months.”
In clinical trials for the CurrentBody Skin LED mask, Newman says users saw results from four weeks of use three to four times a week, though it can be used more often.
Is LED Light Therapy Safe?
You should not be using LED light therapy if you are pregnant or have a Pacemaker, but other than that, Czech doesn’t know of a single negative side effect for any of the four light therapies, but it’s key to look for the mask’s FDA seal of approval first before starting any regimen.
“I’ve been using LED light therapy for almost a quarter of a century and I chose to work with it because they were used on chemotherapy patients with challenged immune systems,” she says. “So I thought, well if they can use it, anyone else can use it and benefit, too.”
Give your skin a boost with the best LED light therapy face masks.
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Project E Photon Skin Rejuvenation Face & Neck Mask
Best Budget LED Face Mask
This affordable mask offers every LED light color you can think of with seven different choices, so it can tackle practically any skin-care issue. There’s red light to boost blood flow and collagen; blue to calm and tighten skin; green for pigmentation, fine lines and anti-aging; yellow to reduce redness and smooth skin; purple for an allover relaxing boost; light blue to soothe; and white to improve skin color.
HigherDOSE Red Light Face Mask
Best LED Brand
HigherDose has long been loved for their infrared sauna blanket and they recently added an LED face mask. “One of my favorite LED light therapy masks is the HigherDose Red Light Face Mask,” says Dr. Engelman (who works with the brand). “This mask is high-quality and delivers red and near infrared light to the complexion in a safe and effective way. These devices are only as good as how often you use them, which is another reason why this mask is a good choice. The comfortable material, eye holes, straps, and cordless design make regular use easy as you can wear it anytime, anywhere.”
Foreo UFO 2 Power Mask & Light Therapy Device
Best for Targeted Goals
Designed to activate the effects of a single-use UFO Activated Mask (which are sold separately), this professional-grade device only takes 90 seconds to work its magic. It relies on heating, cooling and T-Sonic pulsations to drive the ingredients deep into skin to maximize benefits of the specific masks, including deeper hydration and smaller pores.
Best Aesthetician-Approved Mask
Czech says that she is “in love” with the medical-grade Lyma laser from the UK. “And everyone knows I hate lasers!”. One reason she loves the Lyma is because it’s not just a laser, it’s also an LED device, featuring four high-intensity blue LED lights to eliminate surface bateria-causing acne, strengthen skin elasticity and tighten cellulite, as well as neutralize the appearance of rosacea and hyperpigmentation. Dr. Engelman is another fan of the Lyma, calling it “an absolutely amazing tool that gives anyone the power to substantially improve their skin’s appearance at home.”
Best New LED Face Device
Finally, the brand that healed and recharged our bodies has launched an all-in-one facial device, the TheraFace Pro, letting us receive the very best the tech world has to offer. This handheld device combines LED therapy, percussion, microcurrent and cleansing to treat both your complexion and your facial muscles. The LED ring encircles the device’s entire head, so you can cover a lot of facial real estate fast, and you can choose your LED light therapy color — red, blue, and red + Infrared light — to reduce wrinkles around the eye, banish acne and blemishes, or a provide warming sensation to temporarily reduce irritation and discomfort.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro LED Light Therapy Device
It only takes three minutes for this FDA-approved LED red and blue light mask to zap fine lines and the bacteria that causes acne. You can opt for just red or blue light or use both. Taking inspiration from the laser treatments in Dr. Gross’ dermatological practice, this mask delivers the at-home version. In addition to its anti-aging perks — including reducing wrinkles and dark spots as well as firming —i t’s been clinically proven to clear acne in two weeks. If you’re all about a spot treatment, downsize to the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare SpotLite Acne Treatment Device instead.
CurrentBody Skin LED Light Therapy Mask
Best LED Face Mask for Fast Results
“Our CurrentBody mask is a celebrity due to the flexible silicone and how easy it is to use,” Newman says. “Fans include Kate Hudson, Renee Zellweger, and Kaley Cuoco. It is flexible silicone and doesn’t need to be plugged in to a power supply, so once you put it on, you’re free to carry on your day as you wish! It has a 10-minute treatment timer so you know when to take it off — it really does the thinking for you.” Designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles in just four weeks, this anti-aging LED light therapy mask firms and tightens the skin to create a more toned, lifted and rejuvenated-looking complexion thanks to its anti-aging red and near-infrared light therapy technology.
Priori Skincare Unveiled LED Face Mask
Best Portable LED Face Mask
Since you can juice up this LED face mask by Priori Skincare thanks to its rechargeable battery, it doesn’t have to be plugged in to use it, giving it bonus points for portability. It only takes one 10-minute session to see results, specifically plumper, brighter skin with improved texture. The FDA-approved mask is made out of a very flexible and lightweight material that wraps around the face, making it comfortable to wear.
Skin Gym WrinkLit LED Mask
Best for a Fickle Complexion
If you’re battling breakouts one day and dullness the next, then this is the best LED face mask for you. This Skin Gym smart mask is designed to change with your skin, since it has blue, red, and orange lights to treat different conditions. You can choose whichever your complexion is calling for that day. Even better, the wireless shield works anywhere.
Beautimate Facial Skin Care Mask
Best Basic Model
Perfect for those who don’t need all the bells and whistles, this Beautimate LED face mask gets the job done while going easy on your wallet. You can choose from seven different settings to warm up (pun intended) to the sensation of using a LED light therapy mask. Each treatment only takes 10 to 15 minutes to soothe your complexion and boost blood circulation and cell growth.
Omnilux ContourTM FACE
Best LED Face Mask for a Secure Fit
To ensure this won’t budge during 15-minute treatments, this Omnilux LED face mask is sculpted to fit your face, while the straps on the back ensure a snug yet comfortable fit. After four to six weeks of use, dedicated fans can expect to see minimized redness, pigmentation and fine lines and winkles. Skin is left looking younger and healthier.
Hime Sama LED Skin Mask-CE Cleared Pro 7
Get two for the price of one with this Hime Sama LED light therapy mask that comes in two separate pieces to treat your face and neck. The options don’t end there — there are five levels of seven different color lights to choose from. There’s red light to increase blood flow and collagen, blue light to calm and tighten, green to improve pigmentation and fine lines, yellow to smooth and reduce redness, purple to relax, light blue to soothe, and white to accelerate tissue metabolism.
The Light Salon Boost Advanced LED Light Therapy Face Mask
Best for Ease of Use
What makes this one of the best LED light therapy masks is the fact that it’s flexible, so it’s easy to shape the soft silicone design to your face. It brings The Light Salon’s signature Skin Health & Rejuvenation Treatment into your home to deliver the same perks for your skin: brightening, rejuvenating, lifting, plumping and strengthening. The FDA-approved device has both LED red and near-infrared light to get the job done. To reap all the rewards, do a 10-minute session three to five days a week for four to six weeks.
MZ Skin Light Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device
Best Multilight Face Mask
The MZ Skin Light-Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device has unique light settings to bring in-office treatment results at home. It has red light for a collagen and elastin production boost, to reduce inflammation, help improve the appearance of scars, and heal sun damage and blemishes. There’s also clarifying blue light as well as green light to calm, minimize pigmentation and home in on broken capillaries and sun spots. Yellow light brings down redness and ups circulation, and white light gets deep into the skin to help heal wounds and repair skin. The mask can be used two to three times per day, gradually working your way up from 10- to 30-minute sessions.
Revive Light Therapy Lip Care
Best LED Light Therapy Mask for Lips
Turn back time to get fuller, smoother lips with this LED light device that is just for your pucker. Red LED lights trigger collagen production in the lips to increase elasticity and circulation, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and increase firmness. Its clever design is hands-free, as you can keep it in place with your bite.
LightStim for Acne LED Light Therapy Device
Best LED Light Therapy Mask for Acne
When zapping zits is your main goal for LED light therapy, then reach for this little guy that treats current breakouts and prevents future ones, too, by killing the bacteria that causes breakouts. The combination of red and blue light also brings down redness and inflammation, and works just as well on blackheads as it does for cystic acne — or even backne. Best of all, it only takes one minute a day.
Revive Light Therapy dpl II-Professional Anti-Aging Panel
Best for Neck, Décolletage, Hands, and Back
Stocked with three settings that target the common signs of aging and treat breakouts, this Revive LED light therapy panel emits medical-grade infrared lights to promote your skin’s natural regeneration process and stimulate collagen production. Its oversized panel design makes it great for treating wrinkles, discoloration, uneven texture and acne on the neck, chest, hands and back as well.
Déesse Pro Déesse Professional LED Mask Next Generation
Offering red, blue, green and near-infrared light wavelengths, this luxury, celebrity-favorite LED light therapy mask provides a solution for everything from dark spots and acne scars to wrinkles and sun damage with its powerful and collagen-stimulating technology. Equipped with six treatment modes, this mask visibly reduces skin damage as it strengthens, firms, brightens and smooths away imperfections.
Skin Inc Optimizer Voyage Glasses for Bright Eyes Custom LED Light Treatment
Best for the Eyes
Tackle dark circles, crow’s feet and other under-eye woes with this convenient LED eye mask, which uses NASA-inspired LED chromatherapy to provide a rejuvenating treatment for the eyes. Designed to fit like a standard pair of glasses, this innovative device emits red light to increase suppleness, yellow light to reduce the appearance of dark circles and orange light to minimize puffiness so you can enjoy brighter and firmer-looking under-eyes.
Meet the Experts
Joanna Czech is a world-renowned aesthetician to some of the world’s most famous faces. With studios in New York City and Dallas — along with the celebrity house calls she regularly makes — her clientele is loyal, discerning and of course, they all have impossibly gorgeous skin. And rumor has it that her wait list is six months long.
Dr. Dendy Engelman is a New York City-based dermatologist. She’s also a regular on morning shows, giving her expert medical opinion on all the latest and greatest in dermatology.
Laurence Newman serves as the CEO of CurrentBody, one of the leading companies that offer salon-quality treatments via luxury at-home beauty devices.