As well as encouraging skin cells to speed up repair, LED face masks are also said to improve blood flow and tissue oxygenation. This boost in hydration and firmness is good news given skin begins to get drier after the age of 30 and gravity colludes with the natural breakdown of collagen, causing skin to start drooping.
The most proven of these LEDs is red and infrared light, which support your skin’s natural collagen and elastin-producing efforts like a high-tech cheerleader.
Of course, no at-home LED device is going to be as powerful as a professional treatment. But using an LED mask regularly has cumulative effects, notes Dr Granite: “LED masks are generally safe to use everyday; in fact consistency yields the best results. Some recommend use for as little as five minutes a day, others require up to 20 minutes.”
Here Dr Granite breaks down the benefits of each coloured light:
Boosts collagen and elastin production, improves microcirculation and has anti-inflammatory effects.
NIR (Near InfraRed)
Penetrates deeper than any of the other lights, stimulating collagen and elastin production and improving cell turnover.
The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects help to improve breakouts.
Stimulates the production of red blood cells and improves circulation.
Helps to reduce the appearance of pigmentation and brightens skin.
My experience with an LED mask
For me, at least, the most satisfying part of any facial is the moment a pair of goggle-like protectors are placed over my eyes and I feel the relaxing warmth from the LED device hovering above my face. So yes, using an LED mask at home is going the extra mile but as I’ve discovered, it’s worth it.
I tried three different wireless LED masks over the two months, all of which have pros and cons. The first was The Light Salon Boost LED Mask, a good entry-level device and a best-seller at Selfridges. The only trouble is, because I have quite sensitive eyes, I found the light too bright and had to lie down with them shut for 10 minutes every time I strapped myself into the mask – something that required too much effort when all I really wanted to do was watch another episode of Hijack.
There was the Dennis Gross DRX Spectralite Eyecare Max Pro, too, which looks like light-emitting VR goggles. Pre-programmed for just three minutes, it was simple to use and I found it incredibly soothing after a day staring at a computer screen. But I couldn’t quieten the niggling voice telling me that the rest of my face was missing out.
I was then sent the Foreo FAQ 201 LED Mask, which boasts 8 different wavelengths and 600 light points, but also the highest price tag of the bunch at £449.
When I unpacked the mask, my first thought was that sticking my face in it would be the beauty equivalent of pouring jello into a mould. But it was actually deceptively comfortable on – an adjustable strap kept it secure at the back of my head, it was fairly lightweight and cupped my facial contours so I could sit upright on the sofa while it got to work.