The advancement of science and technology has helped transform the beauty industry, shaping it with more personalised experiences that can now be brought home as well. From facials to derma plating, treatments that were once restricted to the four walls of a beauty treatment room, can now be done at home with ease and minimal risks. One of the more popular salon-at-home trends includes the buzzing LED face masks.
These LED masks are the beauty industry’s new favourite toy. Designed like an actual mask, the LED mask resembles a wielding mask that covers the entire face, along with an opening or a protective section for the eye area.
To know more about the effectiveness and uses of these masks, LuxeBook spoke to expert dermatologists Dr Jamuna Pai – Cosmetic Physician, Author and Founder of SkinLab, Dr Noopur Jain – Founder and Consultant Dermatologist at Skinzest, Dr Saloni Vora – Senior Consultant, Clinical and Cosmetic Dermatologist at Dr Rekha Sheth’s Skin and Hair Clinic, and Vibhuti Arora – Director at House of Beauty.
LED Light Technology
The main science behind LED masks is the LED light technology. An abbreviation for light-emitting diode, LED light treatment that uses light of varying wavelengths to target specific skin cells, which can help to heal and improve the skin.
According to Dr Noopur Jain, “LED is a type of light treatment in which the skin is exposed to a specified wavelength or colour band of light, often red or blue light, for a set amount of time in order to have a biological effect on the skin tissue and cells.”
Upon exposure, LED light gets absorbed into the skin at different depths which encourages cell turnover and development, giving you healthy-looking skin.
Before getting its safety tag, LED light therapy was thoroughly tested and validated by hundreds of Universities, Medical Labs, and by NASA as well. “With a total of over 2000 reports and documents written on this technology, LED light therapy is the best non-invasive treatment for pretty much all skin problems such as acne, suntan, scars etc,” says Vibhuti Arora.
LED light therapy is not really a new concept and has been available at high-end clinics and dermatologists around the country. Aside from the treatment, Arora says that educating the consumer about the treatment and at home beauty routines is just as important, as these have the power to transform your skin.
LED therapy at home
Making LED light therapy convenient and easy to use, the industry transformed these therapies into LED facemasks that project the same treatment, delivering similar results within the confines of one’s home.
“LED face masks are usually coupled with in-clinic medi-facials and can now be done at home too. These stimulate collagen, improve blood circulation, reduce skin inflammation, kill acne causing microbes, stimulate repair and rejuvenate skin,” says Dr Saloni.
Safe convenient and portable, LED face masks can be used two to three times a week. Vibhuti Arora believes the new technology to be a real boon for the beauty industry. “Incorporating LED Light Technology into beauty has been a boon for the industry. Instead of treating skin concerns topically, the wavelengths present in lights penetrate deep into the skin, catering to the root cause of the skin problem,” says Arora.
Dr Jamuna on the other hand believes that while these are efficient, the effects aren’t as dramatic as an LED light therapy treatment in a clinic. “LED faces masks have a milder wavelength wherein the results won’t be as dramatic as in-clinic LED light treatments.” But just a word of caution – as safe as the LED masks are, over exposure to the LED light can cause skin cells and tissue damage. It is imperative to use the masks for a controlled time of only 15-20 minutes.
The Science of LED
LED light therapy technology branches out into Face Shield and Face Maks. While both tools radiate lights which help treat skin issues, they differ in terms of intensity. The LED face shield has a comparatively mild intensity while face masks include different levels of brightness which penetrate deeper into the dermis. This promotes mild micro-currenting which stimulates the facial muscles creating the appearance of a natural face-lift.
Like LED light therapy, LED face masks too, have different wavelengths emitted from different coloured lights that target specific skin concerns. These include blue light green, red and yellow light.
Blue light is perfect for acne-prone skin thanks to its strong antibacterial properties. This not only depletes bacteria collected in the pores and deeper layers of the skin, but also improves the texture and appearance of congested skin. It works by decreasing activity in the sebaceous glands, which includes controlling the production of sebum – the main cause of acne, while fighting acne causing bacteria.
The green light works towards improving skin tone while reducing pigmentation. It effectively reduces melanin production, to lighten and reduce existing pigmentation. Additionally, the green light effectively treats concerns like redness and skin irritation as well.
The red light has often been regarded as the anti-aging hero. It works by increasing the circulation of blood which in turn stimulates collagen, improving the overall appearance of the skin. This reduces the appearance of fine lines and pore size giving you smoother, rejuvenated skin.
Yellow light has a high penetration rate. This stimulates the lymphatic system, which aids in the removal of toxins from the treated area. It also works towards reducing inflammation, healing the skin and aiding in healthy, hydrated skin.
According to our experts, there aren’t too many risks attached to using LED face masks at home. However, it is of utmost importance that one use the right colour light for their specific skin concerns.
“While LED face masks are comparatively easy to use, it is important to know which colour caters to which concern. For multiple skin concerns people can use a combination of one or two lights at most,” says Dr Pai.
When trying out an LED face mask for the first time, it is important to start with a well cleansed face. “Starting with a clean face is important because it is necessary to decongest and cleanse your pores before using the LED face mask,” says Dr Noopur.
Dr Saloni stresses the importance of protecting your eyes during the treatment “…with protective eye gear or soaked cotton gauze to prevent eye irritation and damage.”
Most LED face masks come with instructions regarding their time and frequency. While some suggest a mere 10-15 minutes, others suggest keeping the mask on for 20 minutes. However, our experts believe that the mask shouldn’t stay on for more than 30 minutes regardless of what the instructions say. For beginners, the LED mask can be used once or twice a week for shorter periods, which can be regulated after regular use.
Dr Noopur suggests wrapping up the treatment with a hydrating facial oil or serum, which isn’t mandatory but can considerably improve the skin, adding radiance and suppleness. This can be followed with a regular skincare routine, without any active ingredients.
While the risks aligned to LED face masks are minimal, Dr Saloni points out that in very rare scenarios, people may experience symptoms like redness, dryness and tenderness, which is mostly limited to those with sensitive skin. Dr Jamuna adds to this cautioning those with sensitive skin to beware and not overuse LED face masks.
In more serious scenarios, Dr Noopur claims that extended eye exposure to blue and red light without proper protection can potentially damage the eyes causing problems like hazy vision, eye discomfort, eye irritation, or visual alterations. However, it is important to note that proper eye protection is mandatory and can help prevent the above-mentioned problems.
Just another trend?
Social media has played a huge role in promoting newer trends, be it fashion, beauty or technology. With new trends clouding social media each day, one might wonder if LED face masks are just another trend.
Vibhuti Arora believes that skincare trends are either based on facts or mere fads, which eventually disappear, but trends like LED face masks are here to stay. “A skin tech tool like the LED face mask raises the standard of the beauty industry, because incorporating photon lights into the skincare routine lays the foundation of skin technology which can only transcend with the advancement of technology.”
Trend or not, Dr Jamuna believes that LED face masks are a step in the right direction, that is, if used the right way and in combination with the correct treatments and product ingredients. “With continuous advancements in technology, come various options to choose from. It can get really overwhelming to find the right product, or the right treatment, or the right at-home device to achieve a healthy skin. So, it is important to first identify the skin concern, and then know what would best suit your skin. It is always recommended to take a skin expert’s advice in understanding the correct treatments, ingredients and even at-home devices.”
While some believe the industry is developing with at home tools, others believe them to provide only temporary results that aren’t as powerful. “To be honest, home devices are not as powerful. One will have to use it consistently for 12-15 weeks to see actual visible results. Even then it does not replace one’s skin routine or in-clinic treatments by dermatologists.”
Dermatologist approved LED masks
Dr Dennis Gross Pro Led Face Mask
Inspired by American dermatologist, Dr. Dennis Gross’ famous facials, the Pro LED Face Mask uses a combination of over 150 blue and red LED lights. These effectively improve skin elasticity and is said to help reduce the appearance of fine lines in under two weeks.
Éclair’s LED therapy mask uses about 96 LEDs in red, blue and orange light placed optimally to improve effects. Using it regularly for 15 minutes is said to help improve skin elasticity and skin tone while battling wrinkles and enlarged pores.
One of the most popular LED face masks in the market, Erikka’s LED therapy mask comes with seven different lights, each serving its own benefit. The most widely used lights are the red and blue ones which help prevent skin aging and acne-causing bacteria. The lights can be used in combinations to multiply skin benefits as well.
A 7 Color LED Photon Light Therapy Treatment, this face mask from House of Beauty is perfect for all skin types. The 7 different light settings work towards improving blood circulation, reducing acne, treating pigmentation and inflammation resulting in smooth, supple skin.
The Protouch LED face mask is one of the most seamless LED masks in the market. Its 3 in 1 design spectrum combines orange, red and blue lights improve blood circulation and tighten and tone the skin, giving it a refreshed and rejuvenated feel.