First off, what is LED?
“LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. The benefits are all a result of the light, which emits therapeutic wavelengths of energy to energise the cells, stimulating the production of everything from elastin to collagen. There’s no prep required. You don’t need to do anything special before or after it. This makes slotting it into your day easy as can be – it doesn’t matter what condition your skin is in, or what you plan to do directly after using an LED mask. Also, unlike other treatments, it doesn’t sensitise your skin to UV, so you can head outside afterwards, too.”
How does it treat the skin?
“LED is used to ‘re-charge’ the skin cells ‘energy’ battery. The skin is then able to use this energy as a fuel to repair and rejuvenate damaged cells. Your cells can’t be overcharged by light – once their batteries are at full capacity, they will store the energy and use it as required. A skin cell that’s been charged by light is able to perform 150-250% more efficiently.”
What do the different colours do?
“As a general guide:
Red light will stimulate collagen, encourage healing, calm redness and even skin tone, making it an excellent treatment for slowing the ageing process and repairing of the damage caused by the sun or lifestyle factors, while also improving superficial inflammation.
Blue light targets the surface of the skin to kill bacteria, so it’s great if you suffer from acne (this you would use in conjunction with red and/or near-infrared, for the treating and healing of blemishes).
Near-infrared (white light) is the most powerful of the wavelengths and penetrates deep into the skin. It benefits the skin as a whole, supporting the ageing process, stimulating healing and regeneration, improving blood and lymph circulation (delivering nutrients and oxygen to the area, while removing toxins), and correcting vulnerable and inflamed skin.
Finally, do LED masks deliver the same quality as salon treatments?
At-home devices don’t have the same power of a professional machine, but with meticulous engineering, the creators of most of these masks have done everything possible to optimise the dose and absorption of light into the skin, in order to deliver comparable – and impressive – results. Our mask [The Light Salon Boost LED] delivers the equivalent cumulative dose of light as one salon treatment per week over a four-week period – in other words, you still yield great results, just at a slower pace, which is what makes the price tag justifiable.”
Want to give one a go? Here are five of our favourites…
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare SpectraLite FaceWare Pro, £430
Best For: Anti-Ageing Results
If you’re looking to up your anti-ageing regime, this well-loved mask should be your port of call. Combining red and blue lights, it focuses on blurring the appearance of wrinkles, sun spots and uneven tone, while also destroying acne-producing bacteria, too. We’ve tried it and noticed surface changes and reduced redness within two weeks. We love how it improves the appearance of pores, too, while boosting an even, smooth glow.
Available At CultBeauty.com
MZ Skin Light Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device, £385
Best For: Temperamental Skin
This clever mask was designed to replicate MZ skin founder Dr. Maryam Zamani’s salon treatments. With five different light settings – red, blue, green, yellow and white – it treats just about every skin concern, and quickly, too. Expect broken capillaries, dark spots and redness to be visibly improved after just a week, while the white light minimises any inflammation or sensitivity, so you never have to worry about any aggravation post-use. A must-try if you’re serious about healthy, clearer-looking skin.
Available At MZSkin.com
Light Salon Boost LED Face Mask, £395
Best For: Overall Benefits
Industry insiders – including Bobbi Brown and make-up artist Adeola Gboyega – swear by this LED mask. Using red light therapy, it boosts skin health and strength, while stimulating collagen and calming redness, too. You only need to use it for 10 minutes a time – for a maximum of three times a week – to notice the benefits within a few weeks. It’s suitable for all skin tones, too.
Available At TheLight-Salon.com
No7 Laboratories Age-Defying LED Mask, £99.99 (was £150)
Best For: Those On A Budget
While still expensive, this is a much more affordable option for those on a budget. Inspired by the LED used in clinics, this impressive mask uses intensive wavelengths of light to penetrate the skin deeply, boosting elasticity and brightness, while reducing scarring, too. It’s flexible too, moulding to your face shape for a comfortable experience. We love that it helps speed up the healing process, as well as improving blood and lymph circulation, too.
Available At Boots.com
Project E Beauty Skin Rejuvenation Photon Mask Treatment, £107.95
Best For: Dark Spots
Just like MZ Skin, this mask has an array of lights which target a number of skin concerns. Notably, it uses yellow light to gradually break down dark spots over time. While it doesn’t get rid of them entirely, you’ll see they’re much more diffused, while skin has a smoother, firmer feel to it. It’s not a quick fix, but in the long-term, you’ll be pleased you stuck with it. Plus, it’s much more affordable than weekly LED facials.
Available At Amazon.co.uk