The lowdown on LED Face Masks. What are they? What do they do? (And most importantly, do you need one?)
LED Face Masks are a form of LED Light Therapy, which has been around for a very long time – over 30 years in fact. NASA were the first to use it in the eighties in an effort to stimulate plant growth. During the experiments one of NASA’s scientists noticed that his skin lesions had started to heal faster, and so began the era of LED Light Therapy.
LED Light Therapy is widely used today in hospital and clinic settings. So much so, that if you have visited a skin clinic for a facial or treatment in recent years, you’ve probably spent some time under an LED light.
So, what does LED stand for exactly?
The answer is Light Emitting Diodes. These are the red and near infra-red lights that are absorbed by your skin cells when you have a treatment in a clinic (or when you wear an LED mask).
LED lights or wavelengths (blue, red, yellow, infrared, etc.) target a vast array of skincare concerns at the same time, which is why they’re incredibly popular (even more so since they became widely available for home use).
The Different Types of LED Lights and What They Do
Blue light works on the top layer of the skin. It’s ideal for those who suffer from rosacea, eczema, acne and general breakouts (research has shown that it actually causes a chemical reaction in the skin which kills c.acnes – the bacteria linked to acne).
Red light penetrates the deeper layers of the skin. It’s stimulates the production of collagen, and helps to soothe inflammation and redness. If you’re suffering from inflammatory acne, if your skin produces excessive oil, or if your skin is generally very sensitive and easily irritated, this is the one for you.
Infrared Light is probably the most popular light as it penetrates deeper than any other. It targets fine lines and wrinkles, stimulates collagen and elastin, reduces the appearance of pigmentation and speeds up skin recovery.
Green Light targets age spots, pigmentation and broken capillaries in the skin. It’s also known for its positive effect on treating dark skin in the under-eye area.
This light isn’t as common in at-home LED devices, but if you’re someone who suffers from swelling, rosacea, and general sensitivity and inflammation, it might be worth tracking one down, as this is where it excels.
Using LED at home
At-home devices are less powerful compared to those used in a clinical setting and as a result are very safe to use and suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive.
LED is a big part of my at-home skincare regimen. I use an LED Face Mask at least once a week, sometimes more if I have time. A couple of months ago I also started using a neck and decolletage LED to help with fine lines and reduce the appearance of sun spots on my check and neck.
Questions put to me frequently about using LED at home; is an LED mask worth the investment? Do at-home LED devices actually work? The answer to both questions is yes, however, you must use the device consistently. And I mean consistently 🙂 We’re talking at least once a week (preferably twice) for a four to five week period (minimum), as you will not see results otherwise.
LED devices are expensive and definitely an investment. They also take time to work which can sometimes cause frustration and/or inconsistent use.
LED is truly incredible for general skin rejuvenation, for rosacea, for controlling acne breakouts, and for reducing the appearance of pigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles, among many other benefits – but they take time to work, so patience is key. There are plenty of great options on the market if you are thinking of taking the plunge, from reputable brands like Current Body (code SIMONE15 for 15% off), Dr. Dennis Gross, and MZ Skin.
For more deep-dives into skincare trends, devices and ingredients, take a look at the Skincare Guides section of my website or follow me on Instagram or Tiktok.