The 15 Best LED Light Therapy Face Masks for At-Home Treatments, According to Beauty Editors and Experts

Tested and approved tools for treating fine lines, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, and acne.

best led face masks
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I try beauty products for a living—the good, the bad, the life-changing. The most transformative ones I've tested are the best at-home LED face masks, a.k.a light therapy masks. These anti-inflammatory, aging-reducing, acne-fighting light therapy treatments—which were once only available under the practiced hand of a dermatologist—leverage blue light, red light, yellow light, green light, and on occasion, white light to target skin concerns in the short-term (an at-home session takes about 10 minutes) and the long-term. 

The masks are an investment, sure. But if you plan on using one regularly, it's well worth it. Marie Claire talked to the experts, tested the top-rated versions, and combed through every beauty retailer to gather the best at-home LED face masks available to light up your skincare.


What to Look For in an LED Mask

  • Efficacy

Big LED machines in spas and dermatologists' offices are obviously a lot more powerful than little at-home masks. You're going to need a certain level of LED light exposure to see results with your personal tools. "For an LED mask to be effective, it must be at a clinically relevant wavelength, and have a reasonable amount of irradiance or power," explains Dr. Tanuj Nakra, MD, FACS and co-founder of AVYA Skincare. These numbers should be available through the manufacturer or on the product page—below, we dive into what to look for for each color.

  • Colors

Every color of light corresponds with a specific wavelength that directly correlates with specific results. Red and blue lights typically treat hyperpigmentation, visible signs of aging, and acne. Yellow lights can address redness and rosacea while increasing circulation. For repairing slight skin abrasions, white wavelengths are the best option.

Make sure you reference these ranges before you commit to a mask, board-certified esthetician Erica Marie advises. "If the device you’re looking at lists a different nanometer that’s not in range, or mentions a different color, it’s not going to help you achieve your skin goals." She explains that blue light should fall within 445 to 490 nm, green light should fall within 490 to 570 nm, yellow light should fall within 570 to 590 nm, red light should fall within 620 to 780 nm, and white light should fall within 700 to 1000 nm.

  • FDA Approval

While there are dozens and dozens of LED light therapy face masks to choose from, only a handful have FDA approval. "The search for a safe and effective device begins with making sure the device is FDA approved," says Dr. Nakra. You can check this for yourself on the FDA's database.

  • Design

While you might prefer an LED mask that goes on like a pair of sunglasses, others might want a design that straps them in—it's really personal preference. That said, some features are non-negotiable, like the number of LED lights and their distribution. The more LED lights, Dr. Marie says, the better. "In order for the lights to penetrate directly into the cells, they need to be close together and there needs to be a lot of lights, at least 100 or more," she continues. "You also want the lights as close together as possible to get the best results." 

Best At-Home LED Face Masks

Every at-home LED mask on this list has been specifically chosen by Marie Claire's Beauty Editor, Samantha Holender (yes, it’s me) and Marie Claire's Beauty Director, Deena Campbell; or has been hand-selected by a board-certified dermatologist. Each and every one leverages LED technology that is clinically proven to deliver results, feels comfortable when being worn, and is highly rated by reviewers. While the *best* at-home LED light therapy mask for you will depend on your specific skin concerns, personal preference, budget, and skin goals, you’ll be able to find an option that delivers, ahead. For a more personalized recommendation or if you have any concerns, check with your board-certified dermatologist. 

Is LED Therapy Safe?

After years of avoiding the sun's UV rays in the service of healthy skin, treating your face with light can feel counter-intuitive. But facialists, dermatologists, beauty editors, and the American Academy of Dermatology all agree: Generally speaking, LED light therapy treatments are safe and effective, since they don't use UV rays. 

A couple of caveats, however: You should be careful about using LED face masks alongside skincare that makes your face sensitive to light, like retinol or Accutane. "Prescription drugs, including antibiotics, diuretics, and even some over-the-counter medications such as St. John’s Wort can cause sensitivity to LED light therapy," explains Dr. Nakra. "Rare eye conditions including certain retinal diseases can be exacerbated by LEDs as well. If you are unsure, check with your doctor or dermatologist about whether your medication can cause light sensitivity (photosensitivity)." 

You'll also want to exercise extra caution when it comes to blue light. "Using it longer than 20 minutes can cause pigmentation to worsen or appear," says Marie.

The Benefits of LED Therapy

At-home LED therapy devices are less powerful than the treatments you'd get at a dermatologist's office, which means you can use them safely, but it'll take longer to see visible results. The result you'll see, however, depends largely on the type of light therapy you're using. Most of the LED face masks on our list use either red (age-reducing) or blue light therapy (anti-bacterial) to treat several skin woes, but there are also different wavelengths—including white, yellow, amber, and green—that might be featured in your product. "Combining more than one wavelength helps you get the best results," says Marie. "Your skin is always changing, so it’s nice to have options." 

The Benefits of Red Light Therapy

Red light is going to be the most popular color you'll find in LED masks, in part because its benefits are so wide-ranging. "Red LED lights emit energy that travels deep into the skin, and stimulates the molecular pathways inside the cells and mitochondria to produce more collagen, reduce inflammation, and reduce redness," explains Dr. Nakra. “It has also been shown to increase collagen and elastin synthesis and therefore reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles," adds Dr. Anetta Rezsko, a New York City-based dermatologist.

The Benefits of Blue Light Therapy

Unlike red light therapy, blue light therapy “has shorter wavelengths and works best for acne-prone skin,” says Dr. Reszko. It reduces the frequency of new breakouts and treats existing ones, courtesy of a two-step process within the layers of your skin.

First, she says, blue light “decreases the androgenic hormones in the sebaceous glands." In layman's terms, that means means your skin will produce less oil. Less oil equals less clogged pores. Then comes step two: The destruction of bacteria. "Blue LED lights have a high power to treat bacteria on the skin, specifically P acnes, the bacteria that causes acne," adds Dr. Nakra. 

The Benefits of Green Light Therapy

The opposite of red on the color wheel? Green, which is why green light therapy is a saving grace for anyone with unwanted redness or rosacea. "Green LED light penetrates into the intermediate layers of the skin and is absorbed preferentially by minute blood vessels that can cause facial redness and rosacea," explains Dr. Nakra. The result? A more even skin tone. Marie adds that green light "targets dark circles and pigmentation" by preventing excess melanin from being produced. 

The Benefits of Yellow Light Therapy

The benefits of yellow light are somewhat similar to those of green light. While you typically won't find a device with exclusively yellow light therapy, it may be one of your options. "Yellow LED light penetrates into the superficial layers of the skin," explains Dr. Nakra. Marie adds that by doing this, it's able to stimulate blood flow and reduce redness, rosacea, and the appearance of broken capillaries. 

The Benefits of White Light Therapy

"White LED light contains all visible wavelengths, and can be beneficial in treating some types of depression—especially seasonal affective disorder," says Dr. Nakra. "When used in the mornings, white LED light treatments can also help enhance wakefulness and regulate normal circadian rhythms." That's not all though. Marie explains that it also comes along with tightening benefits and reduced inflammation. 

How to Incorporate LED Therapy Into Your Skincare Routine

You can use LED light therapy masks either in the morning or at night, depending on the results you’re looking for. Dr. Reszko says that using a LED face mask in the morning will improve your skin’s appearance by “increasing the glow and overall appearance of the skin.”

However, using a LED device at night will “calm down skin inflammation resulting from daily exposure to skin irritants like pollution, especially in people with sensitive and rosacea-prone skin," she says.

Regardless of when you decide to wear your device, remember that consistency is key if you want to see results. Use the face mask of your choice roughly three to five times a week for around 10 minutes. 

Which LED Masks Are the Most Comfortable?

The most comfortable at-home LED for you largely comes down to personal preference. Because they are heavier devices, chances are they are going to feel a little weighted—it just depends where that weight is distributed. A rubber or silicone option will rub the skin less, a sunglass-inspired mask will likely cause a little ear irritation, and a behind-the-head strap will require you to sit still. 

How Long Does it Take to See Results From LED Therapy?

Like most skincare solutions, it will take some time before you see the substantial long-term effects of using an LED light therapy mask at home. Dr. Reszko asserts that “most clinical improvement of the skin is noticeable after four weeks of treatment with three sessions per week.” 

Meet the Experts

Dr. Annetta Reszko
Dr. Anetta Reszko MD., PhD.

Dr. Resko is a board certified dermatologist and a fellow of The American Academy of Dermatology, The American College of Mohs Surgery and The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. Her practice in Manhattan is focused on early skin cancer detection and treatment and laser surgery. As a respected leader in the science of the skin, Dr. Reszko has published multiple scientific research articles and reviews and has contributed to leading publications in the fields of dermatology and dermatologic surgery. Her mission from day one has been to enhance the overall skin health in every patient through a whole-body dermatological approach to the skin with a focus on skin cancer awareness, treatment, and education. 

Tanuj Nakra, MD, FACS

Tanuj Nakra, MD, FACS is a double board-certified facial & ophthalmic plastic surgeon who has practiced at TOC since 2008. He was born in London, England, and raised in St. Louis. He completed residency and fellowship training at UCLA. After his medical training, Dr. Nakra served on the UCLA faculty and established private practices in both Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara before moving to Austin. He has been consistently recognized as a Top Doctor by Austin Monthly, Texas Monthly, Castle Connolly, and Who’s Who in Medicine for over the past decade. Dr. Nakra serves as Clinical Faculty at the Dell Medical School at UT-Austin, and is the Fellowship Director of an accredited American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS) Fellowship. He has been an invited keynote speaker at major conferences around the world, training other surgeons in the latest techniques, including his own signature cosmetic procedures. Dr. Nakra has authored over 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles and has had numerous grant-supported research projects in the field of reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. He has served on the Executive Committee of the American Board of Facial Cosmetic Surgery, and the Board of Directors of the Cosmetic Surgery Foundation, as well as the President of the Austin Ophthalmology Society. With his scientific expertise in facial aesthetics, he co-founded AVYA Skincare, a medical-grade Ayurvedic skincare brand.  He also recently co-founded Global Cosmetic Surgery, an international medical educational platform.

Erica Marie

Skin health guru Erica’s decade’s worth of experience working as an esthetician and makeup artist has shaped her foolproof, fuss-free beauty philosophy.   She believes that curating thoughtful, streamlined skincare regimens for her clients is key to achieving effortless natural beauty and an overarching sense of empowerment, confidence and well-being.  As someone who loves the outdoors and being active, Erica recognizes the link between health, wellness and beauty and embraces a holistic approach that puts equal emphasis on both an inner and outer glow. Erica honed her talent and channeled her passion under the tutelage of celebrated Los Angeles esthetician Gina Mari after having spent years as a makeup artist.  Acknowledging that the optimal canvas for makeup is clear, toxin-free skin, Erica gained invaluable experience working on a myriad of skin types with a range of needs, while learning from the industry’s top beauty mavens. In 2019,  Erica launched her business EM SKIN, bringing a Beverly Hills medical spa sensibility to the South Bay where clients can always expect highly bespoke, transformational treatments that cleanse, hydrate, detox and sculpt using state of the art machines, the latest technologies, and medical and science-based products.  Stepping into her intimate, beach-meets-chic studio is an experience that is simultaneously spirit lifting, skin firming, and anti-aging.  Erica offers a tranquil retreat in the heart of Hermosa beach that calms both the mind and the skin, while delivering game-changing results far glowier than any filter can produce. 

Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar,,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.

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