While plenty of skincare trends have their time in the spotlight, light-emitting devices are well on their way to becoming red carpet staples.
The at-home treatments — which employ various light wavelengths to target skincare concerns — have gained traction among the A-list set in recent years, with stars like Kourtney Kardashian, Kate Hudson and Chrissy Teigen all adding the glowing gadgets to their prep processes (and behind-the-scenes selfies).
“LED is an incredibly effective treatment option for our patients and the at-home masks have improved over the years,” Dr. Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Entière Dermatology, tells Page Six Style of the trend, noting the devices are “[penetrating] the market at higher numbers” these days.
What’s more, unlike many of stars’ skincare standbys, you won’t need a glam squad on payroll to get these tools for yourself.
To shed some light on what the treatments actually do — and which star-loved options are expert favorites, too — keep reading for dermatologists’ insights on the buzzy beauty tech.
What are the benefits of LED face masks — and how should you pick one?
Since the masks employ different types of light with varying wavelengths, the exact benefits “may relate to the type of light emitted,” board-certified dermatologist Marisa Garshick tells Page Six Style.
Red light, for instance “can stimulate collagen production,” which in turn “may help to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time as well as improve the overall texture of the skin.”
Meanwhile, blue light targets an acne-causing bacteria which “grows and multiples, causing inflammation” — in the form of a pimple — when a “pore or hair follicle gets clogged,” says Levin. (When the groups of proteins naturally formed by the bacteria, called porphyrins, absorb blue light, “it causes the bacteria to die,” she adds.)
“Therefore, the combination of … blue light-killing the bacteria and red light to reduce inflammation is the most ideal [for the treatment of acne],” adds the derm, who also tells interested patients to always opt for an “FDA-approved and dermatologist-recommended” option.
How to use LED face masks
Both doctors stress the importance of consulting your own dermatologist to make sure the treatment is right for your routine and that it’s used properly to “avoid any complications or lack of a significant improvement,” in Levin’s words.
“When using an LED mask, consistency is key,” she adds. “It’s important to understand that they often need to be used daily, and the time spent ranges from six to 20 minutes.”
After all, as Garshick adds, “while there are some great at-home LED light treatments, it is important to note it is not necessarily going to replace in-office procedures or a skincare routine.”
What are some of the risks of LED face masks?
While Levin says LED treatments “are generally safe and well-tolerated for most individuals,” she notes it’s best to “err on the side of caution” and avoid them when pregnant.
Additionally, she advises “individuals with epilepsy or a history of seizures” refrain from using the devices — and recommends that patients “taking medications that increase sensitivity to light,” such as Accutane, “consult with a dermatologist before undergoing [the treatments].”
For all users, Garshick also recommends being sure “the skin is properly cleansed prior to use” and that the mask “ensures proper eye covering is in place.”
Below, shop a range of celebrity-loved masks that experts have also name-checked in interviews with Page Six Style.
CurrentBody is a hit with “It” girls both on-screen and off; Lily Collins’ Emily squeezes in some self-care in “Emily in Paris” using this mask, while Kate Hudson, Carey Mulligan and Halle Berry have all used the tool to get red carpet-ready.
Both Levin and Garshick also mentioned the brand’s devices, with the latter saying they come from a “reputable, proven team with [a] track record of creating safe and effective devices” and feature a “higher power than most LED devices with red and near-infrared wavelengths.”
“It can be used for 10 minutes 5 times per week and is considered safe for all skin tones,” Garshick adds of the device, which also comes in a version targeting the neck and décolletage — the Nec and Dec Perfector ($339) — as well as a smaller version for the area surrounding the eyes, the Skin LED Eye Perfector ($249).
Dr. Dennis Gross’s skincare products have racked up as much of a celebrity following as the dermatologist himself — and his LED mask is no exception. Kris Jenner reportedly shared a snap of one on her Instagram Stories, while Lucy Hale and Rita Ora are also fans.
“Using a combination of red and blue light, this mask works to support collagen production as well as reduce acne-causing bacteria and inflammation,” Garshick says. “For best results, it is important to use [it] for at least 10 weeks.”
If you’re after a handheld tool rather than a full-face mask, Garshick also name-checked Foreo’s UFO. (The company has a long history in Hollywood, as celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigen have praised versions of its Foreo Luna cleansing devices.)
As for how this portable device works? It “combines LED light therapy, thermotherapy, cryotherapy and T-sonic massage to help rejuvenate the skin,” says Garshick.
“It is easy to use and uses a full spectrum of LED light, including blue and red, to target all skincare concerns ranging from acne to wrinkles.”
Celebrity aesthetician Lord Gavin McLeod-Valentine previously told us he uses this mask on his A-list clients for a pre-red carpet “guided meditation,” while Paris Hilton said she was considering gifting the men’s version, the Omnilux Men ($395), to husband Carter Reum.
“We love our wellness routine,” she told us of the luxe present pick.
While not a full mask, Solawave’s buzzy beauty tool has been making waves in Hollywood lately; famous fans include Sydney Sweeney, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Megan Fox.
“This wand incorporates a combination of red light therapy to help rejuvenate the skin, micro current, facial massage and therapeutic warmth to improve the overall appearance of the skin,” Garshick says of the trending tool.