Who’s Doing It?
It all started last year with a post by Jessica Alba, but recently Kourtney Kardashian, Kate Hudson, and Kelly Rowland have all posted photos; other celebs are rumored to be fans. Photos of Katy Perry wearing one are floating around, and we heard Emma Stone is such a devotee that she gives them as gifts (emoji hand raise!). Ask any skin expert — and we did, but more on that in a second — and they’ll tell you the science is not new. So why the increase in exposure? L.A. facialist Shani Darden, who treats Alba, Rowland, and Stone, among other stars, is a big proponent of at-home LED masking and has passed it down to her clients.
How Does It Work?
There are a few different types of LED light, all of which the eye perceives differently. Blue targets acne-causing bacteria; red stimulates the creation of collagen and elastin to decrease fine lines and wrinkles; pink boosts the skin's repair function. To that end, combinations of light are marketed to treat pain relief; Darden says LED-light therapy can greatly help clients with psoriasis. The strength of the light is key for efficacy. While weaker — and usually less expensive — models still work, they require more time and patience to see results.
According to the experts, the leading option is the Korean Deesse Premium LED Mask, which rings in at $1,800 — but smaller, handheld devices are available for under $300. “[The Deesse mask] is a little pricey. The cheaper, handheld ones are great; they're just a little bit more work,” Darden says.
I had so much fun sharing my day with you! I hope you had fun too! Thank you @Oprahmagazine for letting me take over! Sidebar, this is how I'm winding down my day. How crazy is this mask that @shanidarden put me on to??? It's amazing for my skin! Alright, I'm out of here! I'm back over at @kellyrowland!❤
We gave both the mask and handheld options a go. They feel incredibly futuristic — and are pretty simple to use. Darden suggests using the mask on a clean, dry face for 20 minutes a few times a week. "Even three weekly treatments will make a huge improvement," she says. As for the handheld version, Dr. Glassman suggests daily three-minute sessions on each section you want to target. (That does add up, we know.) Our only issue? The lights are bright. And, we mean, very bright. One editor [Ed. note: me] tried the Reverse and it was way too bright near the eyes. Even between the brows, the intensity was nearing headache territory. Another editor tried a mask and had the same complaint. This is probably why Darden puts special covers on her clients' eyes pre-treatment.