Why LED masks are the skincare solution of the future

It’s the wellbeing trend that launched a thousand selfies, but the LED face mask has far more to offer than merely upping your social media game. With the masses swearing by its power to work wonders in terms of anti-ageing, skin hydration, wound healing and tone levelling, LED is currently the most cutting edge way to overhaul the visage.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) masks, for those who are still yet to become acquainted, are masks that emit varying wavelengths of light to the face, penetrating the skin and spurring on its natural healing process — and the technology is fascinating. Typically, there are three different wavelengths that are utilised: while the blue light reduces large oil glands and eliminates acne-causing bacteria, the red light can activate collagen production, increase hydration levels and accelerate the process of skin repair — it’s often used as a medically-approved treatment for rosacea. Infra-red light has the deepest penetration of the three and the most absorbed wavelength, which improves the skin’s elasticity, reduces its inflammation, smooths lines, accelerates wound healing and increases the skin’s cell permeability and absorption. 

It’s an incredible bunch of benefits for something that requires no effort at all. Like a regular face mask but without the obligatory post-treatment scrub, those of the LED variety can be popped on and left in place while the wearer goes about their business. Thus, it’s possible to annihilate acne while doing nothing but sprawling on the sofa and bingeing on the latest Netflix addition. The entire at-home treatment is non-invasive and has zero side effects. In fact, the feeling on the face is akin in warmth to that of the sun, minus the redness and risk of irritation. That being said, group movie nights could well be out of the question unless there’s an aim to terrify friends — most masks wouldn’t look out of place on the film sets of Friday the 13th or Halloween

Before these at-home devices hit the beauty shelves, LED light was only available to those willing to make tracks to the nearest dermatologist. These in-clinic LED treatments, can be tailored to each individual skin concern, are longer and more hard-hitting than the DIY masks, but they are expensive and, above all, they require the act of leaving the house. The biggest benefit that the LED masks provide is convenience and, given we’re living in a time where we’re ordering anything from food to chauffeurs to our homes at the touch of a button, convenience has never been met with such open arms. 

There’s more to the trend than just masks, handheld devices and in-house treatments, too: the whole wellness industry is delivering when it comes to light therapy. Now the beautifying technology is being harnessed as a full-blown body treatment, with futuristic-looking LED pods and infrared saunas being the beauty treatment of choice for cultivated aesthetes. Overseas, infrared ‘blankets’ are bringing the benefits of the full body treatment into peoples homes, ensuring body-conscious folk can enjoy the full treatment from the comfort of their own homes. It seems the future of LED is a very bright one indeed.

Spectralite Faceware Pro by Dr. Dennis Gross
The face mask that kickstarted it all. Dr. Dennis Gross’ Spectralite device harnesses the power of 162 red and blue LED lights, is sleek, practical, not too terrifying to look at and, thanks to the adjustable straps, rests on the face comfortably.

Cellreturn LED Wireless Mask by Angela Caglia
Using the same near-infrared technology that NASA and medical institutions use for its profound healing effects, it goes without saying that the Cellreturn mask by Angela Caglia is undeniably powerful. As a bonus, the patented wireless design targets your neck and ears, too.

Light-Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device by MZ Skin
By emitting all five colours of light — red, blue, green, yellow and white — MZ Skin’s gilded LED face mask can be used to treat a miscellany of skincare gripes, from discolouration and pigmentation to blemishes.

Wellbeing


Skin Saviours: Denizen’s guide to Auckland’s best facialists

I tried to rid my skin of pigmentation over lockdown, and here’s what happened

From Barre to HIIT, get a sweat on with these at-home workouts