Skincare enthusiasts are sometimes seen wearing an illuminating mask, as they go about their chores. It's a fascinating technology that's no longer exclusive to a specialist's office. You too can leverage the proven benefits of LED (light-emitting diode) light therapy at home. As your face bathes in different wavelengths over time, you'll be able to boost existing treatments for acne, wrinkles and even hair loss.
How does LED light therapy work?
Our skin expert, Dr Samar Khalil, general and cosmetic dermatologist at Skin Experts Polyclinic in Dubai, puts light therapy to use in her office quite often. "The procedure is very safe, and side effects are rare. We usually use light therapy post-treatment, after the patient has done laser, chemical peels or microneedling, to calm the skin. There is no downtime, either, so it's easy for people to do it and go on with their lives," she explained.
While the equipment at your doctor's is going to be much more powerful and effective, at-home devices are still beneficial, says Dr Khalil. They might be worn as masks or illuminate the skin using an overhead panel.
"Different wavelengths of visible light penetrate the skin to varying depths, and alter the activity of skin cells underneath to get the desired outcome," said Dr Khalil. Red and blue lights are most commonly used, with near-infrared penetrating deeper than both.
You can use red light to improve blood circulation, stimulate collagen production and cut down inflammation of the skin. If you have acne-prone skin, use blue for oil control and an anti-bacterial effect. Dr Khalil adds that it can prevent new acne lesions.
Who can use LED light therapy?
It's essentially safe for all skin types and tones, since the treatment is non-invasive. However, Dr Khalil says if you're taking medication that increases photosensitivity or if you have any known eye diseases, then it's best to consult your doctor.
Can your at-home LED mask replace your acne treatment? Not quite, because light therapy is not enough on its own. Rather, it's a handy tool to add to your skincare routine for a quick pick-me-up.
Dr Khalil advises light therapy before you apply any skincare product - your mask should go on a clean face. "Session duration varies by machine, but generally you let the light work for 10 to 20 minutes, three to five times a week. Increase your usage time and frequency gradually," she explained.
You can try LED light therapy from Amazon to get started right away. We compiled a handful of LED facial masks below based on reviews and ratings to help you along. With a Prime membership, you can get Prime-eligible products delivered to you as soon as today!
1. Best Overall: Aphrona Moonlight 3-Colour LED Facial Mask
- Deeper skin penetration with 150 light chips
- Reduces fine lines, acne, discolouration using three lights
- Auto-shut off function
- Fast results, per reviews
- Mask might be uncomfortable for noses with a higher bridge
The Aphrona LED facial mask is a medical-grade device approved by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration). It targets blemishes, discolouration, fine lines and acne using three lights via 150 narrow-spectrum chips. Blue destroys acne bacteria, green regulates melanin production, and red is meant for cell renewal. Cleanup is super easy - simply wipe the inside of the mask with a soft cloth after every use. The tool shuts off on its own once done, so you don't have to keep an eye out for the clock. Reviews note impressive results with hormonal acne, scars and fine lines. They report seeing results within a few days, let alone after a month of use. Plus, customer service is quick and responsive, in case of replacements.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh77.86 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty.
2. Best for Comfort: Emberela Aura Light Therapy Mask
- Soft and flexible - comfortable to wear around the house
- Four lights, from yellow to multicolour, targeting dry skin, too
- Auto-shut off function
- Noticeable results, say reviews
- Recharges via USB
- Velcro straps have a loose hold, say reviews
Most hard LED masks can get bulky and uncomfortable on the face. Meet Emberela's Aura device, which is made of food-grade silicone, making it soft and lightweight. Fix it around the head with the adjustable straps, select your treatment from the mini remote and go about your day as usual. You benefit from four lights - red, blue, yellow and multicolour - where yellow works great for dry skin types and multicolour targets a bit of everything, from ageing to inflammation. Its anywhere-anytime convenience makes this mask ideal for busy individuals. The package includes a stand for hand application, too. Reviewers have cleared their chores around the house with this device on, and leave five stars for comfort. Some use this as a maintenance tool between aesthetician visits, commenting on how refreshed and rejuvenated their skin feels.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh54.75 for 12 months with select banks.
3. Best for Coverage: Hime Sama LED Face Mask
- Light therapy extends to the neck
- Seven coloured lights to choose from, including purple and white
- Has an option for stronger penetration
- Brightens dull skin, say reviews
- Quite heavy on the face
Hime Sama's LED facial mask comes with a neck attachment, so it covers more surface area. It delivers the effects of seven lights, including white for repairing tissue, teal for inflammation and purple for circulation. With a wider range of colours, you can target an increased number of skin concerns, like oil control and boosting collagen. However, those with sensitive skin should avoid the micro-current function, which enhances wavelength absorption. Most reviewers find the mask bulky on the face, and this is because the device carries 192 lamp beads. If you can bear the weight for 15 minutes every other day, buyers say it's visibly helped with acne, skin texture and age spots.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh65.02 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty.
4. Best Budget: HXDZFX Led Face Mask Light Therapy
- Uses seven lights to reduce dark spots, wrinkles and acne
- Neck attachment
- Pick duration and intensity levels through remote control
- Value for money
- Heavy facial mask
Another mask that comes with a neck extension, this LED tool also delivers seven lights, but is more cost-effective than Hime Sama. Some skin concerns you could target are wrinkles, enlarged pores, loose skin and signs of ageing. You can control the brightness, timer and colour treatment through the remote control. The mask adapts to various face shapes, thanks to the side flaps. Like other hard masks, reviewers note that it sits heavy on the face, particularly on the nose bridge. Otherwise, the device has successfully reduced sunspots, wrinkles, breakouts and pores.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh44.66 for 12 months with select banks.
5. Best for Near-Infrared Light: GYH Wireless High Dose Light Therapy Mask (Cloud S)
- Emits three main lights - blue, red and near-infrared
- Wireless and rechargeable
- Brightens skin, reduces wrinkles and calms skin
- Works quickly with professional-grade lamp beads
The only device in our list that employs near-infrared light, GYH's light therapy mask has been rigorously tested by the Korea Institute of Dermatological Sciences. Dr Khalil says near-infrared, which has the longest wavelength, is used to calm the skin post-treatment. You also have the option of blue and red lights. It's wireless, with a built-in rechargeable battery, so it allows for a true hands-free experience. The 120 professional-grade lamp beads are powerful enough to deliver results within five to 10 minutes. Its design includes chin and forehead support, along with soft silicone eye pads, for a comfortable fit.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh78.63 for 12 months with select banks.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.