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Do LED Masks Work?

No, it’s not something out of a sci-fi movie. The glowing masks you’ve been seeing all over Instagram and Tiktok are LED light masks, which have blown up in popularity in the last few years and become an integral part of many people’s skincare routine. This technology is nothing new, but in the past, they were used exclusively at spas. Now, LED light masks can be used anywhere, including the comfort of your own home. 

So what are LED light masks anyway? Do they actually work? And what does LED stand for? Below, we look into one of the hottest trends in skincare.

What’s an LED Light Mask?

Light Emitting Diode (LED) light masks are wearable technology that emit wavelengths of light that help to treat a variety of skin issues. They use different wavelengths of light as they serve different purposes. For example, blue light reportedly helps to kill bacteria that causes acne. Amber light can help to stimulate collagen and firm elastin. Red light can help reduce inflammation while also promoting blood circulation. 

LED lights use far less energy to instigate changes in your skin when compared to a laser. Studies have also shown that LED light therapy can help to enhance your body’s natural wound healing process, beyond skincare. Think of yourself as a plant, and the LED lights as the sunlight plants need to thrive. LED light manages to affect the skin at the molecular level, forcing them to react in specific ways. 

Are LED Light Masks Safe to Use for Everyone?

As we all know, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to skincare for any person. Results will vary depending on one’s skin health and type, and an at-home device will generally be less effective as a clinical-strength device. With that said, LED light masks are safe for most people to use. But there are a few things to look out for when you are looking to purchase your own.

Always Do Your Research

Not all LED light masks are made equally. Recently, a multinational skincare brand had theirs recalled due to concerns of a “theoretical risk to eye injury” from the lights. Though it is hard to predict whether or not a piece of at-home technology will fail you, doing your best to research the product will help ensure that you find the best LED light mask for you. It is important to make sure that you use it properly, too; eye protection, for example, is a good idea when using the mask. 

Speak With Your Dermatologist First

Because your skin is likely different from that of another person, it is crucial to speak to an expert, one that is familiar with your skin and any sensitivities that you may have, before using the product. Bring your mask to your dermatologist, as they are able to discuss whether or not the mask is right for you. They can also help you figure out how to use it properly so you can benefit from it the most.

Those who have a history of skin cancer, systemic lupus erythematosus, and any retina-related diseases such as congenital retinal disorders or diabetes, are advised against using this type of skin treatment. Otherwise, LED light masks are suitable for almost everyone.

Understand That It’s a Growing Science

Though LED light therapies have been around for a long time, scientists are always making new discoveries. A study from 2017 as highlighted in Free Radical Biology & Medicine suggests that blue light might actually cause free radical damage—which can cause the skin to age—while other colours did not. 

Other studies have shown that blue light can in fact improve acne, but topical medications that are available over-the-counter may actually outperform LED light therapy. With that said, those who wish to seek some extra help with acne may prefer to use both topical medications and the LED light mask.

So, before diving head first into LED light masks, one thing to note is that the science around the effects of blue light are still being studied, and this is something to keep in mind. 

A Final Word

When using any sort of skincare equipment, always remember to temper your expectations. Though your skin may improve, the results may not necessarily be drastic. When it comes to things like fine lines and aging, there may be other products that will help you better achieve your goal.

LED light masks are great for upkeep, and though they do not replace the usual skincare practices—like proper hydration, a healthy diet, and facials—LED light masks can still get you closer to luminous, healthy skin.