When people talk about "the future of acne treatment" I don't think any of us predicted something quite so futuristic. Yet here we are with Blue LED Light Therapy Masks for acne. Whether you're a serial Instagram and tiktok-scroller or just have your thumb on the pulse of the newest, coolest skincare innovations, it's likely that you've heard a little something about LED skin therapy for acne. In the past, these fancy treatments were only available under the practiced hand of your aesthetician for in-office treatments. Now, this luxury is available for you to use at your leisure when your skin is in the mood for something fancy.
LED light therapy is actually a NASA technology that was adopted by the skincare community when its ability to heal wounds and tame inflammation was noticed.
Today we're here to talk mainly about blue light frequencies which are typically used to treat acne. The best part about blue light therapy for acne is that it kills bacteria that causes acne in the first place. Effectively preventing most of it from happening in the first place. Additionally, blue light facials also shrink the oil glands in your skin, so your skin makes less pore-clogging oil.
Most LED face masks have pretty hefty price tags, and nearly all of them claim transformative acne reduction results. So what’s the deal? Do they work?How do they work? Are they worth the money? And, um… What is light therapy? We’re here to dish the dirt.
What is light therapy?
In short, light therapy is a treatment which has been around for about 30 years. It's the process of exposing skin to blue, red, green, cyan, yellow, orange/amber, purple, white, and near-infrared LED light which each have various skincare benefits. These other colors are good to know just in case you're wanting to bask in some additional benefits.
What does light therapy do?
When used regularly, LED light therapy can be used to reduce acne breakouts, pigmentation, rosacea symptoms, bags under eyes, psoriasis and other side-effects of inflammation.
LED LIGHT THERAPY COLOR CHART
BLUE LIGHT THERAPY
BLUE: Is for anti-acne primarily. It kills the bacteria that causes acne in the first place. It's also been shown to help with those who have psoriasis and reduce damage caused by the sun. This is the favorite for those who have been struggling with Acne and have a hard time with ingredient based solutions.
RED LIGHT THERAPY
RED: Is the anti-ager color of choice. Studies have shown it reduces fine lines and wrinkles. In addition to this, the body produces more collagen and elastin equating to healthier and younger looking skin. It can also improve overall facial texture and reduce scarring. This is the most common color users select.
ORANGE/AMBER LIGHT THERAPY
ORANGE/AMBER: Is used for firming up the skin and reducing dullness. Users will often report their skin "glowing" when used regularly and is one of the favorites used leading up to a special occasion.
GREEN LIGHT THERAPY
GREEN: Is for reducing dark spots as well as balancing out skin levels for those with oily skin. Studies have also shown it aids with hyperpigmentation and reducing inflammation. However, the it's most commonly known for reducing bags under eyes by users.
YELLOW LIGHT THERAPY
YELLOW: Is used for calming inflammation and reducing redness. Studies have shown it's a great option for users specifically looking to reduce the redness caused from the sun. It also boosts lymphatic flow which helps remove toxins and increases skin hydration/circulation.
CYAN LIGHT THERAPY
CYAN: Is used for reducing swollen capillaries as well as inflammation. Studies have shown it has also been used to treat mild forms of acne.
WHITE LIGHT THERAPY
WHITE: Is used for accelerating skin metabolism and firming up the skin. It also has many of the same benefits of red such as reducing fine lines, reducing wrinkles and inflammation.
PURPLE LIGHT THERAPY
Not on our chart but...
PURPLE: Is simply a combination of red and blue light therapy together. It shares both benefits of each at the same time.
And the benefits go well beneath the skin’s surface. In fact, LED light treatments have been applauded for their mental health benefits, too. Client feedback suggests that a short period of time spent under in-clinic LED lamps could dramatically improve mood, lifting spirits and reducing stress levels. Need proof? LED light therapy boosts our ATP so that it can fuel other cells with energy and boost our serotonin count. Needed.
Since the results for your skin and mind are cumulative, you need to have regular treatments to see an effect. If you can’t afford regular Blue Light LED treatments at your local clinic, spa, or salon, at-home light therapy for your acne could be the answer. And that’s where the best LED face masks for acne come in.
If you're curious about the light therapy face masks that will up your skincare game, read on for some of the best on the market that we have tested..
BEST KNOWN: DR. DENNIS GROSS SPECTRALITE FACEWARE PRO
This Dr. Dennis Gross creation mimics the kind of light therapy treatments you can get in your aesthetician's office. It features red and blue light, so you can either choose your area of concern or use both at the same time. Red light diminishes signs of aging, while blue light kills off acne-causing bacteria. It's easy to use, and will make you look like a gorgeous, clear-skinned robot while it's on.
Pros: Easy to use, short treatments, wireless.
Cons: Pricey, doesn't always cover the whole face depending on your face size, feels like it could break easily, the strap is always too loose.
BEST ALL AROUND: CLEOPATRA LED LIGHT THERAPY MASK
This ironman-looking mask not only treats your face with blue LED light therapy, but includes neck coverage so you can look forward to no longer having neck wrinkles. It has 192 LEDS and 7 different light modes to treat every ailment from acne, aging, scars, dullness and more. These spa-esque light treatments with 4 different power levels are completely wireless which means it's time to indugle in some me time from anywhere.
Pros: Easy to use, neck coverage, wireless, 7 colors, 4 power levels, comes with an app.
Cons: Finding where to tap exactly, easy once you know after 1st use, optional adjustable strap could be improved but at least it's sturdy.
BEST IN TECH: ALURALIGHT
This space age Daft Punk looking mask hails from the beauty capital of the world Seoul. It has an incredible array of 1070 high powered LEDS. It's truly a remarkable acne and anti-ager that keeps on giving with each use. It's no wonder why users of this tech have glass skin. It features a smart chip that takes you through 3 different modes for a picture perfect 20 minute session.
Pros: Easy to use, neck coverage, modular (attach and detach neck piece), wireless, charger base, straps were not an afterthought.
BEST BUDGET OPTION: REGENALIGHT LED MASK
This Jason esque looking mask will spook your skin into better condition. It has 7 colors including blue with wireless portability. It's hard to go wrong with this one especially for those new to light therapy or those testing the waters.
Pros: Wallet friendly, easy to use, literal tap here button, wireless, 7 colors.
Cons: The optional adjustable strap could be improved but it is secure at least.
BEST ACCESSORY: SOLAWAVE
These may look like razors but they are actually spot treatment LED wands that can be used for anti-acne and anti-aging. Both sold separately/
Pros: Easy to use, wireless, lightweight
Cons: Arms can get tired easily in the recommended 5 minute treatment. Built to turn on when it touches your skin but it should really have an on/off switch.
BEST FOR EYE BAGS: DR. DENNIS GROSS EYECARE PRO
This one almost looks like a futuristic visor that can shoot lasers. But nothing says tired or lack of sleep like eyebags. Worry not though, these glasses have built in LEDs to target those dark circles and puffiness especially if combined with your favorite eye cream.
Pros: Easy to use, wireless.
Cons: Could be a bigger size in our opinion.
BEST FOR TEETH: SNOW TEETH WHITENING KIT
This glowing teeth whitening kit utilizes light therapy to brighten up those pearls of yours. Whether we like to admit it or not, our teeth's color has a large impact on what we consider beautiful. It should go hand in hand with your day and nighttime routine.
Pros: Easy to use, Original or wireless kit options.
Cons: Wired kit is a bit ackward with the three ends for different devices.
STAY CLEAR OF THESE
Masks with microcurrents can be dangerous and definitely aren't for everyone. They are also uncomfortable and should be avoided when possible. Masks that look like face shields from our tests virtually do nothing and don't protect the eyes. The Zoidberg looking masks that are made from silicone while comfortable, often lack full face coverage and we've also found them to be weak with typically only 66 bulbs and a bit cumbersome with the remotes. Not to mention no eye protection which is something you want for blue light. (That's why companies make blue light glasses)
WHICH IS BEST FOR YOU?
Like many things in this world, it's situational. In fact it's NONE industry wide if you are sensitive to light or take any medications that increase light sensitivity. That aside, if you can afford the best in class technology then go for the Aluralight. It doesn't dissapoint. If you can't quite justify splurging on the apple of beauty you can opt for the most well rounded Cleopatra Mask. We really do like having the ability to take care of our neck at the same time and both of these two masks do it. Then you have your budget option the Regenalight which works well especially for the price. While we do like the Spectralite, we feel like it's too much of a hit and miss depending on your face size. This is something we don't have to worry about with the other masks mentioned and you're better off making your own strap or simply lying down with it only. It's hard to ignore the reviews on Sephora outside of our own tests. If they ever come out with a second version and listen to the complaints it will surely be a hit.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Outside of my practice, there's nothing more that I enjoy than Yoga and a glass of wine. Sometimes together.
- Kathryn Shaffer