A-listers and mere mortals alike have been wowed by the powers of LED face masks, loved as much for their collagen-supporting, acne-soothing powers, as they are for their ability to lift low mood and ease seasonal affective disorder.
Victoria Beckham relaxing in her LED mask
That said, LED masks are undeniably an investment purchase, so read on for your lowdown on exactly what they do, how they work, and which ones are worth investing in.
Do LED face masks work?
They do, although of course the level of result will vary from person to person.
Besides the fact that every man and his dog has bought one, LED light masks are backed by science, after the technology was originally developed by NASA. They work by omitting coloured wavelengths of light that penetrate the skin to bring about the benefits.
What do LED face masks do?
There are (generally, but this can vary from mask to mask) three colours to choose from: blue, red and near-infrared. Each type targets different skin conditions.
Blue light: Blue LED light masks target bacteria that lives within hair follicles and thus combat acne.
Red light: Red LED light masks stimulate collagen to tackle ageing, while reducing inflammation and redness of the skin.
Near-infrared light: This light is near enough colourless. It is proven to increase healing and improve pigmentation.
How do I use an LED face mask?
Most masks are designed to be worn for 10 to 15 minutes per day, while the best results will come from consistent use over several weeks. Some claim to have seen a difference from the masks below in just one use.
The Light Salon Boost LED Face Mask, £395, Net A Porter
Comfort and convenience are what set The Light Salon's Boost Mask apart. It's made from soft, flexible silicone to suit all face shapes, while its strap means you can go about your daily life as you use it.
It omits both red and near-infrared light, and appears to be the celeb favourite with Trinny Woodall, Laura Whitmore, Vicky McClure, Clara Amfo, Victoria Beckham, Chrissy Teigen and Nick Grimshaw all owning one. If that's not proof it works, we don't know what is.
Why The Light Salon Boost LED Mask?
The mask has been designed with comfort and convenience in mind. The soft, flexible and comfortable silicone makes it suitable for any face shape and lifestyle. Eyes are fully uncovered (whilst the outer eye area is treated by LEDs), giving you the choice to go about your daily tasks and chores while you’re wearing it or lay back, relax and take 10 minutes out of your day to unwind.
The benefits of LED are more than skin deep – and using the mask can also help combat stress and anxiety, with the NearInfrared having a balancing effect on cortisol, while ‘happy’ hormones like serotonin and dopamine are triggered by the lights.
Best LED face masks
Angela Caglia CrystalLED Face Mask
Angela Caglia CrystalLED Face Mask, £550, NET-A-PORTER
Celebrity facialist Angela Caglia is known for being the Queen of Glow in Hollywood. Just ask any of her celebrity clients, and yes, even the iconic Barbra Streisand has Angela on speed dial.
In fact it was Barbara who inspired Angela to take her love of skincare and wellness to take the leap and to launch her business, and now, let us introduce you to the world’s first CrystalLED Face Mask, combining cutting-edge technology with old-world rituals for a holistic wellness experience at-home.
This one features the most amount of Anti-Aging RED FDA-cleared LED treatment wavelengths to penetrate the deep layers of the skin and stimulate collagen and elastin production, while real rose quartz crystals provide soothing energy.
While some masks can feel uncomfortable on the face, this one is comfortable to wear. It’s also light so it’s super travel friendly.
MZ SKIN Light Therapy Golden Facial Treatment LED Mask
Dr Maryam Zamani, one of London's top aesthetic doctors, is the brains behind this one. Light intensity can be adjusted accordingly, while it offers five colours: red for anti-ageing, blue for battling blemishes, green to calm the skin and reduce pigmentation, yellow to reduce redness and soothe sensitivity, and white to promote healing and skin repair.
As one of the more pricey buys, reviewers discussed doing diligent research ahead of purchasing, but all concur that it's paid off.
CurrentBody Skin LED Light Therapy Mask
CurrentBody Skin LED Light Therapy Mask, £279, Current Body
CurrentBody Skin's mask has been a hit with beauty bloggers, and it's not hard to see why. It combines red and near-infrared light to bring about firmer, younger-looking skin, and in-house clinical studies found that 95 per cent of users saw an improvement of skin tone, texture and tightness.
Project E LED Face Mask
Project E LED Face Mask, £196.99, Amazon
Project E's mask boasts seven colours that cover all skin conditions from rosacea to acne, while its USP is the fact that it's completely wireless. It's currently rated an impressive 4.2 stars out of 5 on Amazon, with users claiming that results were visible after one use.
Hangsun Light Therapy LED Mask
Hangsun Light Therapy LED Mask, £44.99, Amazon
This bargain LED mask comes in at under £50 and boasts rave reviews on Amazon. Free of chemicals and UV light, it helps clear acne and allows the skin to heal itself. The proof is in the pudding, with five-star reviews across the board. One delighted customer said: "Using it every day has made a huge difference to my skin. Texture and scarring has improved. My skin is a lot smoother, I find it very relaxing and easy to use. I have recommended to everyone that I can think of!".
Dr. Dennis Gross Drx Spectralite Faceware Pro LED mask
Dr. Dennis Gross Drx Spectralite Faceware Pro bundle, £430, Look Fantastic
Inspired by Dr. Dennis Gross' famous facials, this FDA-approved mask has over 150 blue and red LED lights – so it targets a lot of problem areas. It only takes three minutes and you'll see results in three weeks. Plus, it's a regular sell-out, so you know it's a must-buy!
Boots No7 LABORATORIES Age-Defying LED Mask
No7 LABORATORIES Age-Defying LED Mask, £149.95, Boots
Boots also sell a popular LED mask, which promises to give you a radiant and healthier-looking complexion and the power to reduce the appearance of fine lines. The reviews are great, with one delighted woman claiming it visibly faded the sunspots on her face within just two weeks of use. This mask is pretty epic. In just ten minutes, it stimulates collagen, encourages healing, calms redness and evens skin tone. It uses Near infrared which boosts circulation and nourishes the skin, whilst the red lights enhance the production of elastin.
SwearBy Skin LookLit LED Face Mask
For a more affordable LED face mask without the hefty price tag, the LookLit Face Mask by SwearBy Skin is an amazing option. Featuring a selection of three lighting functions, simply slip the mask on like sunglasses and leave for 10 minutes. Promising to treat acne and help pigmentation and redness, the LookLit Face Mask is going straight in our shopping baskets.
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