Those who follow the latest beauty trends have probably heard about LED face masks, as quite a few celebrities have been promoting them recently. And no, I’m not talking about Halloween purge masks.
These sci-fi looking devices are a part of a skin treatment method known as light therapy which has been gaining ground worldwide in the past year or so. The therapy endorsers claim that it has many beneficial effects on one’s skin, with acne reduction being one of them.
I got so intrigued with this sensation that I decided to dig into it more to see what’s it all about, and today, I’m going to present what I’ve discovered. So, if you want to know whether light therapy will help you with your skin problems, then please, read on.
What is light therapy and what are LED masks?
Light therapy is a method that uses devices which have clusters of tiny LED bulbs that emit light of varying wavelengths with the aim of improving blood circulation, reducing acne, and stimulating collagen production.
LED face masks are one of the most popular products from this branch of skin treatment methodology. They are plastic masks that have their inner side covered with LED bulbs which one places on their face to begin treatment.
Why try LED face mask light therapy?
Judging by the before and after photos from companies that make LED masks, these products are effective in reducing acne on certain individuals’ faces. Also, other skin conditions like wrinkles and inflammation can also be significantly mitigated.
Now, a traditional way to deal with these issues is to use various creams and lotions, which is also a cheaper solution short-term. Despite being relatively expensive, LED masks will pay off in the long run as they will last you much longer than the previously mentioned cosmetics.
Besides, it can be a real hassle to apply topical products daily, in a scheduled manner, often several times a day. Most masks don’t have to be used more than 2-3 times a week, and it’s up to you to decide what time of the day you want to do it.
Another great thing about these masks is that they often have eye holes, which means that you can read a book, or watch your favorite show all while purging your acne with LED lights.
Professional vs. at-home light therapy
In case you didn’t know, there are many salons and beauty professionals that perform light therapy. They usually use expensive, sophisticated devices which have a higher success rate than home-based products like LED masks.
I’m mentioning this for you to understand that the masks, just like many other DIY treatments, are an inferior option to professional skin care and the apparatus utilized by these people.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that home therapy is worthless, as there is quite a bit of evidence that it produces results. I just feel that it is essential to have your expectations in place when deciding to buy a product which offers a home-based alternative to an expensive professional service, because it’s rarely going to be as good.
Types of light
When speaking about types of light, I’m talking about different wavelengths. Each one is good for treating a specific skin condition, so let’s learn more about this.
This is a wavelength which will penetrate the skin the deepest. It is most often used for treating inflammation and removing redness, but some utilize it for anti-aging purposes. The red light reaches deep layers of the skin, and by doing this, it stimulates skin cell and collagen regeneration.
Aside from making your skin prettier, red light can also have some other medical benefits. Those who suffer from arthritis or skin conditions like eczema can use it to reduce the inflammation deep under the surface.
Blue light is the best option for acne removal. The reason is that it can kill the bacteria which clogs the skin pores and causes all sorts of trouble.
Since light can reach deeper levels of the skin than topical treatments, it can remove the bacteria below the surface and prevent further acne from forming. However, in very severe cases, light therapy alone will probably not be enough to solve the issue.
Some LED masks can emit both red and blue light, as well as an entire specter of other colors like green, purple, white, etc. Each wavelength yields a different benefit, so if you want to try them out, get a mask that has all of them.
How do you use an LED mask?
As you could have guessed from what I wrote so far, an LED mask is a very simple tool and using it is very straightforward. Here’s what you need to know:
- Wash your face before putting the mask on
- Turn on or plug in the mask to begin operation
- Keep the mask on for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer
- Use it several times a week
Even though LED light therapy is safe, there are a few things to know before deciding to try it.
People with conditions like skin cancer, lupus, diabetes, and migraine should not do light therapy. Also, taking certain medications might make you unfit for LED light treatments. Your best bet is to consult a doctor if you have any doubts.
Protect your eyes and do not stare directly into the LED lights. Staring into bright lights for longer periods of time is not advisable.
What to know before buying an LED mask?
As with any other product, there are several considerations that you need to make before giving your money to any retailers. You’ll find that all the points below are common sense and easy to remember.
LED masks come with one or several power sources. The most common is, of course, a power cord, and if you go for this one, make sure that you have a power outlet close to the spot where you’ll be doing the therapy.
Other options include battery powered devices. These will remove the dependence on the proximity of an outlet but will require battery changes every now and then.
Type of light
The kind of light that you’ll need depends on the skin problems that you’re trying to get rid of. In case of acne and bacteria-induced skin issues, choose the blue light.
If you’re worried about wrinkles, redness, or have very sensitive skin, then go for a red light.
Some manufacturers started including other lights into their masks, such as green, amber, yellow, or light blue. These are said to be good for things like pigmentation balance, oxygen distribution, and so on.
Those who are unlucky enough to have all of the problems mentioned above, or want a more versatile LED mask, can always buy one with combined light.
The design of the mask is a crucial factor because it will greatly determine whether your light therapy session is going to be enjoyable or not.
Most people choose masks that have eye, nose, and mouth openings as this will make the entire experience more dynamic. By this, I mean that you’ll be able to speak, breathe normally, read, or watch TV while the mask is operating.
Also, the way a mask is worn differs from model to model. Some have a rubber strap that holds it on your head while other models have temples that are held up by the ears, just like glasses.
Price should never be the single determining factor of whether you buy or don’t buy something, but it is, nevertheless an important thing to consider. LED mask prices go from less than a hundred to several hundred dollars, and I suggest that you go for a device that is in the mid-price range.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How long does one session take?
- This depends on the mask. Usually, a single therapy will take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.
How long until I see the results?
- This largely depends on the individual and their specific skin condition/type. Some will get results within a few days while others might take weeks.
Is it possible to get burnt by these lights?
- No, LED lights will not burn your skin as they are simply not strong enough to do that. You should protect your eyes, though.
Are there any side effects?
- Generally speaking, no. No side effects have been reported.
Alternatives to LED masks
If masks are not your thing, there are several alternatives that you can check out.
One option is a handheld device that resembles a showerhead by design. This thing will allow you to treat individual areas on your face or any other body part where the skin needs some rejuvenation.
Panel-like lamps are another alternative. They are hands-free, stand-alone devices which require you to be still and lay down or sit through your session.
Top 4 LED Face Masks for Acne
1. Neutrogena Light Therapy Mask
This particular product has been at the forefront of the LED mask industry for quite a while now. Let’s see what it’s all about.
Neutrogena is a mask designed explicitly for facial acne reduction. It has both blue and red light so that you can get full treatment.
The mask is powered by an activator - a battery/remote control device which is only good for 30 light therapy sessions. After you use them all up, you’ll have to buy a new one.
The design of the mask features only one opening, which is a shaft for your eyes. That means there aren’t any nose or mouth holes. A convenient thing about this model is that you can wear it on your ears just like a pair of glasses and this will give you a lot of flexibility.
As for the price, Neutrogena is one of the cheaper products of its kind, and it can be bought for less than fifty dollars. However, be reminded that you’ll need to buy a new activator each month.
- It has both red and blue light
- Effective in removing acne
- Requires a new activator after 30 uses
- No mouth and nose openings
2. Rejuven Mask
If you’re looking for a mask that’s versatile, then do not skip this one, as Rejuven might be just what you need.
This mask comes with seven different colors, including red, blue, green, yellow, white, purple, and soft blue. All those wavelengths can be used to treat various skin problems, so you get a good bang for your buck here.
Rejuven is powered through a power cord, so you won’t have to waste money on batteries. It has a controller which plugs into a wall and then connects to the mask via a USB cable.
The controller can be used to adjust the time as well as the power and type of light.
The mask has eye, nose, and mouth holes, so it gives your face a lot of freedom. It is held up by a stretchy strap that grasps the back of your head.
The price of this product is more than decent, especially concerning that it doesn’t require batteries or additional accessories.
- It has seven different colors
- Powered through a cord
- Eye, nose, and mouth holes
- Reports of USB port breaking down easily
- Heavy for some users
3. Norlanya Photon Therapy Mask
Here, we have another multi-light LED mask that’s going to help you resolve your acne as well as a few other issues.
Besides, the usual red and blue, Norlanya’s product also has a green light option. This one is used to balance out your pigmentation in areas which need it, and to rejuvenate the skin.
Its power system is very similar to that of the previously reviewed product. You have a remote control which plugs into the wall as well as into the mask. Set the time, color, and intensity, and you’re ready to go.
Same as Rejuven, this mask too is held up by a strap, and again, some folks complained that it is too heavy to be worn in an upright position.
Norlanya falls into the mid-price range, just like Rejuven, which I believe is a fair deal for this kind of products.
- It has three different colors
- Powered through a cord
- Fair price
- Eyes, mouth, and nose holes
- Too heavy for the strap to hold properly
- Complaints of it being uncomfortable
4. Project E Beauty Wireless LED Mask
Last but not least, Project E beauty offers a mask for those who want more light options, and now I’m going to inspect it a bit closer.
Same as Rejuven, there are seven different colors of light available. Just choose the one that suits you and begin the session.
The mask has a pretty standard shape with holes for eyes, nose, and mouth. What makes this model different than the others is that it also includes a part for neck treatment. This can be beneficial for those looking to mitigate those nasty neck wrinkles.
The device gets its power from a remote controller which is chargeable. Connect it to the neck light, and the mask and everything is set.
Now, speaking of price, Project E beauty is the most expensive product in today’s article, so if you feel like spending a few extra dollars on a neck piece and wireless controls, I say that’s fine.
- It has seven different colors
- Wireless controls
- It includes a neck piece
- Slightly expensive
- Heavy for upright wearing
Ok, all you beauty fanatics, it’s time for me to wrap this article up. But, before I do so, I need to tell you which product I liked the most.
In my opinion, the Rejuven Mask takes the first place for the following reasons: good price, multi-color options, and power cord. You don’t have to buy any additional parts or batteries, and its users seem to be pretty satisfied with it.
If acne is your main problem, any of the products from today’s list will help you, so feel free to choose the one that you like the most.
Overall, LED light therapy is a relatively new movement, and we are yet to see where it will lead. All I know for now is that it works, and there’s no reason for you not to try it.