Granted, these look like something out of Blade Runner, but advances in the use of LEDs (light emitting diodes) have led to their clinical application in various medical and cosmetic practices, all of which you can now enjoy from the comfort of your own living room.
“LED phototherapy uses lights that penetrate the skin at different depths to help target all kinds of skin concerns,” says aesthetic doctor Lauren Hamilton. The treatment is non-invasive and suitable for all skin types, though it’s worth seeking medical advice if you have a known skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis.
How does it work?
Light alters the skin in a process that’s called photobiomodulation and, just as UV rays from the sun can be harmful, some wavelengths of visible light alter skin for the better. This is the goal of LED masks, which emit visible wavelengths of light that sit between 400 and 700 nanometers on the electromagnetic spectrum, with the colours that sit at the higher end penetrating the skin the most deeply. Blue light sits around the 400 mark and its antibacterial properties make it useful as an acne treatment; red light penetrates deeper into the skin to boost collagen production by increasing blood circulation, as well as reduce inflammation by stimulating the skin’s mitochondria. Infrared light starts at 700 on the spectrum, meaning it penetrates the deepest.
“As a result, it has anti inflammatory, anti-ageing properties and wound-healing effects,” explains Hamilton. Intriguing stuff.
What’s the pro alternative?
“In-clinic LED devices are more powerful than at-home ones,” says Hamilton. However, if you use the masks more regularly at home, they’ll have a cumulative benefit. It’s worth noting
that you should avoid these masks if you have underlying eye conditions or are taking meds that make skin more sensitive to light, such as certain antibiotics, as they can potentially cause eye injuries. Talk to a specialist if you’re unsure.
Looking to get in on the action? We explore three price points above.