The benefits of LED masks depend on the color of light used, to give you clearer, smoother-looking skin. Called LED light masks, they are what they sound like: devices illuminated by LED lights that you wear over your face.
Are LED Masks Safe to Use?
LED masks have an “excellent” safety profile, according to a review published in February 2018 in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology.
And though you may have heard more people talking about them lately, they’re nothing new. “These devices have been around for decades and are generally used by dermatologists or aestheticians in an office setting to treat inflammation after facials, minimize breakouts, and give skin an overall boost,” says Sheel Desai Solomon, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. Today you can purchase these devices and use them at home.
Social media is a possible reason you may have seen recent coverage of these otherworldly devices in beauty publications. The supermodel and author Chrissy Teigen hilariously posted a pic of herself on Instagram in October 2018 wearing what looks like a red LED mask (and drinking wine out of a straw). The actor Kate Hudson shared a similar photo a few years back.
The convenience of improving your skin while sipping vino or lying in bed may be a huge selling point — it makes skin care look easy. “If people believe [the masks] work as effectively as an in-office treatment, they save time commuting to the doctor, waiting to see a dermatologist, and money for office visits,” Dr. Solomon says.
What Does an LED Mask Do to Your Skin?
Each mask employs a different spectrum of light wavelengths that penetrate the skin to trigger changes at the molecular level, says Michele Farber, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City.
Each spectrum of light produces a different color to target various skin concerns.
For instance, red light is designed to increase circulation and stimulate collagen, making it useful for those who are looking to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, she explains. A loss of collagen, which tends to happen in aging and sun-damaged skin, can contribute to fine lines and wrinkles, past research in the American Journal of Pathology found.
On the other hand, blue light targets bacteria that cause acne, which can help stop the cycle of breakouts, notes research in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology from June 2017. Those are the two most common and popular colors used, but it also has additional light, such as yellow (to reduce redness) and green (to lessen pigmentation), etc.
Do LED Masks Actually Work?
The research behind LED masks is centered on the lights used, and if you’re going by those findings, LED masks can be beneficial to your skin.
For instance, in a study with 52 women participants published in the March 2017 issue of Dermatologic Surgery, researchers found that red LED light treatment improved measures of eye-area wrinkles. Another study, in the August 2018 Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, gave the user of LED devices for skin rejuvenation (improving elasticity, hydration, wrinkles) a grade of “C.” Seeing an improvement in certain measures, like wrinkles.
When it comes to acne, a review of research in the March–April 2017 issue of Clinics in Dermatology noted that both red and blue light therapy for acne reduced blemishes by 46 to 76 percent after 4 to 12 weeks of treatment. In a review of 37 clinical trials published in the May 2021 Archives of Dermatological Research, the authors looked at home-based devices and their efficacy on a variety of dermatological conditions, ultimately recommending LED treatment for acne.
Research shows that blue light penetrates hair follicles and pores. “Bacteria can be very susceptible to the blue light spectrum. It stops their metabolism and kills them,” says Solomon. This is advantageous for preventing future breakouts. “Unlike topical treatments that work to ease inflammation and bacteria on the surface of the skin, light treatment eliminates the acne-causing bacteria in the skin before it begins to feed on the oil glands, causing redness and inflammation,” she adds. Because red light reduces inflammation, it also may be used in combination with blue light to address acne.
Post time: Oct-03-2021