The 14 Best LED Light Therapy Face Masks Worth Every Penny

Masking at home: So hot rn.

woman wearing a led light therapy face mask
(Image credit: Getty Images/Westend61)

When people talk about "the future of skincare," they probably couldn't have predicted something quite so futuristic. Whether you're a serial Instagram scroller or have your thumb on the pulse of the newest, coolest skincare innovations, you've probably heard a little something about light-emitting diodes, a.k.a. LED light therapy. These fancy treatments were once only available under the practiced hand of an aesthetician for in-office treatments. But we're in the year of our lord 2022, and LED light therapy masks are now a luxury available for you to use at your leisure when your skin is in the mood for something fancy.

Ahead, we broke down everything you need to know about the best at-home LED light therapy masks and devices so that you can get glowing skin from the inside out in 2022. 

What does LED light therapy do to your skin?

LED light therapy is a NASA technology adopted by the skincare community, thanks to its ability to heal wounds and tame inflammation. 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. An additional benefit: At-home devices like LED masks "can offer complementary benefits to your topicals and help them do a better job," to quote Joshua Zeichner, M.D.

Is LED light therapy safe?

After years of avoiding the sun's UV rays in the service of healthy skin, it can feel counter-intuitive to treat your face with light purposefully. But facialists, dermatologists, beauty editors, and the American Academy of Dermatology agree: LED light treatments are safe and effective treatments for your complexion, since they don't use UV rays. In fact, LED light therapy masks are beloved by celebrities with some of the best skin around, including Chrissy Teigen, Jessica Alba, and Kate Hudson.

A couple of caveats, however: You should be careful about using LED masks alongside skincare that makes your face sensitive to light, however, like retinol or Accutane. Side effects of LED light therapy masks are rare, but they have been reported in clinical trials.

What do different LED light colors do to your skin?

Most LED face masks on the market use either red or blue light therapy to treat a plethora of skin woes, but they shouldn’t be used interchangeably. “Red Light Therapy has a longer wavelength that penetrates deeper into the skin and helps reduce inflammation and redness,” says Dr. Anetta Rezsko, a New York City-based dermatologist. “It has also been shown to increase collagen and elastin synthesis and therefore reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.” 

Dr. Reszko says that Blue Light Therapy, however, “has shorter wavelengths and works best for acne-prone skin.” It does this 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.” These androgens actually stimulate your sebaceous glands so that they produce more oil and sebum, which cause acne on the skin. Dr. Reszko says that “the absorption of blue light leads to bacterial destruction” within the skin, which can help eliminate your acne.

How should you use LED light therapy masks?

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

However, she says that 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.” 

How long does it take to see results from LED light 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.” 

Shop the best LED light therapy masks:

Julia Marzovilla is an E-Commerce Writer at Marie Claire covering all things fashion, beauty, and entertainment. Offline, she’s most likely browsing the web for another pair of black boots or listening to music too loudly—often at the same time.