At Refinery29 Australia, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but we may earn commission or other compensation from the links on this page.
In the annals of popular beauty Instagram posts, selfies with LED light therapy masks have become as time-honoured as swatch-loaded arms and pigment-mixing videos. But aside from providing Freddy Krueger-from-the-future photo ops, LED light therapy masks promise a more lasting impression: glowy skin with less acne.
The technology has been around for decades and is commonly used by dermatologists and aestheticians as an in-office treatment to help reduce inflammation after facials, minimise breakouts, and give an overall boost.
“LED light is one of my absolute favourite treatments because it boosts collagen in the skin, minimises fine lines and wrinkles, speeds up healing, and increases circulation to give you an amazing glow,” says celebrity aesthetician Shani Darden, who boasts Jessica Alba, Kelly Rowland, Chrissy Teigen and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley among her clients. “Blue LED light kills acne-causing bacteria to clear up existing breakouts and prevent new ones from forming.”
But while LED masks may not kill the degree of acne-causing bacteria or stimulate collagen at the rate an in-office treatment might, dermatologist Dr Joshua Zeichner says there are still benefits to lighting up at home. “At-home devices can give modest improvements and are most beneficial for people with modest or mild skin challenges,” he says. “They're also useful as maintenance between professional lasers treatments done in the office and can typically be used alongside traditional topical creams.”
Still, the derm warns that LED light therapy isn't for everyone, as people with sensitive skin or rosacea are often not advised to undergo the treatment and those who are prone to hyperpigmentation or melasma. He advises people to chat with a dermatologist before making a DIY light therapy treatment plan at home.
If you're ready to take the LED plunge, selecting the right device is crucial. For her part, Darden relies on the Deesse Pro mask, which uses a robust 770 LED lights and costs a whopping $4350. Of course, few of us are working with a celebrity dermatologist-sized bankroll to try light therapy at home. For the rest of us, read on for a few more budget-friendly options.