When people talk about "the future of skincare," they probably couldn't have predicted something quite so futuristic. If you have your thumb on the pulse when it comes to skincare innovations, you've probably heard a little something about at-home LED face masks, a.k.a. light therapy masks. These anti-inflammatory, acne-fighting LED treatments were once only available under the practiced hand of an aesthetician. But we're in the year of our lord 2022, and just like your favorite everyday face mask, LED light therapy masks are now a luxury available for you to use at your leisure.
To get in on the at-home LED mask action, we've talked to the experts, tested our favorites, and combed through the big wide web to gather all the information you need to know. Ahead, find the best at-home LED face masks available for purchase.
Best Black Friday Sales on LED Light Therapy Masks
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SolaWave Advanced Red Light Therapy Skincare Device |
$149 $127 (opens in new tab)
This petite LED device is the perfect way to dip your toe into the sea of LED devices. It's portable, more affordable than the full-face options, and can be held up to any part of your face that needs a little extra TLC. Not to mention, it's on sale for Black Friday.
FOREO UFO™ 2 | Sephora
$300 $150 (opens in new tab)
One of the best finds at Sephora's Black Friday sale (opens in new tab) is this FOREO tool, which uses LED light to enhance the benefits of your favorite serum, moisturizer, or face mask. And it's 50% off!
Omnilux Contour FACE |
$395 $345 (opens in new tab)
This top-tier LED mask is the closest thing you'll find to an in-office LED light therapy treatment, and utilizes professional-grade light sources. For Black Friday, Omnilux is taking $50 off all of its devices.
What are the benefits of LED light therapy?
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 face masks "can offer complementary benefits to your topicals and help them do a better job," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, M.D.
Is LED light 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: 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 face masks alongside skincare that makes your face sensitive to light, like retinol or Accutane. Side effects of LED face masks are rare, but they have been reported in clinical trials.
Best At-Home LED Face Masks
- The Best Professional-Grade At-Home LED Mask: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite™ FaceWare Pro (opens in new tab)
- The Comfiest At-Home LED Mask: Omnilux Contour Face (opens in new tab)
- The Best At-Home LED Mask for Redness: MZ Skin Light-Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device (opens in new tab)
- The Best At-Home LED Mask for Acne: LightStim for Acne (opens in new tab)
- The Best At-Home LED Mask for Aging: Shani Darden by Déesse PRO LED Light Mask
Comfiest LED Face Mask
This mask from Omnilux—which Dr. Reszko refers to as "one of the pioneers of light-based devices"—is designed to fit your face better than other options on the market. It straps on across the back of your head for a snug fit that will feel comfortable while you wear it for each of the 15-minute treatments. She also notes that Omnilux designs "office and professional-grade light sources," so every at-home spa night will feel expert-approved.
Pros: Comes with a head strap for comfortable wear; Professional grade
Cons: Needs to be plugged in to outlet during use; Bulky
Best Customizable LED Face Mask
Some days, you might notice your skin looks duller than usual. On other days, you wake up with a smattering of zits that have you running for your medicine cabinet. Skin changes, but this mask will adapt to it. Its blue, red, and orange lights work to treat different conditions, and you can switch them depending on the state of your skin that day. Its blue, red, and orange lights all work to treat different conditions, and you can switch them depending on the state of your complexion. It's also more affordable than many of the options on this list.
Pros: Dual-action lights; Wireless; Affordable
Cons: Not as powerful as others
The Best LED Face Mask for Beginners
If you're still dipping a toe into the LED mask world, this is the mask for you. It comes with several heat settings, so you can decide which level of intensity you want to feel on your skin. To sweeten the customizable deal, there are also seven different light options to choose from. They can help soothe the skin, accelerate cell growth, and increase blood circulation for skin that looks younger in only 15 minutes.
Pros: Completely customizable; Multiple light therapies
Cons: Not as powerful; Minimal light diodes; Heavy
Best LED Face Mask for Acne
Whenever I sense that a juicy red pimple is going to take up residence on my face, I grab LightStim's handheld LED device. Its small and compact design makes it ideal for targeted treatment. Plus, it leverages blue light, which has been shown to kill acne-causing bacteria, as well as red light, which can be beneficial at reducing inflammation. I promise, using this religiously will significantly reduce the lifespan of your pimple—and prevent new ones from popping up.
Pros: Good for acne; Targeted treatment; Compact
Cons: Can't multi-task while using
Best Professional-Grade LED Face Mask
This FDA-approved, easy-to-use Dr. Dennis Gross creation is the gold standard for LED light therapy masks. It mimics the kind of light therapy treatments you can get in your aesthetician's office, so you know it's the real deal. It's equipped with both red and blue light, so you can target your area of concern or use both simultaneously. Red light diminishes signs of aging, while blue light kills off acne-causing bacteria.
Pros: Easy to use; Professional-grade; Dual-action lights
Cons: Expensive; Bulky
Best LED Face Mask for Redness
Like most LED masks, this fancy gold mask emits classic red and blue lights to address aging and acne. But it also has a little something extra-extra: It's also designed to feature yellow and white light. What do they do, you ask? Well, yellow wavelengths are going to treat redness and increase circulation; it's great for anyone dealing with rosacea. White wavelengths can help repair wounds to the skin, meaning this is an excellent post-treatment tool.
Pros: Variety of lights; Customizable
Cons: Bulky; Expensive
Best LED Face Mask for Beginners
While a big and sturdy LED mask has its benefits, you may not want to deal with such a bulky tool if you're pressed for space. That's where this flexible one comes into play. Not only does it lay nice and flat for storage purposes, but it also has the added benefit of adhering nice and snug to the skin. It features red and infrared light, which work together to powerfully improve blood circulation, treat damaged skin, and combat signs of aging.
Pros: Compact; Comfortable
Cons: Needs to be plugged into the wall; Expensive
The Best LED Face Mask for Glow
In addition to its popular infrared sauna blanket (opens in new tab), HigherDose has a LED face mask in its buzzy lineup. It's crafted from medical-grade silicone with red and near-infrared light-emitting diodes on the interior to mimic low-level rejuvenating wavelengths found in natural sunlight. The result? A relaxing and warming boost to your skin (and mood!), that enhances your natural glow. Perhaps the most enticing part here is that the mask, powerful as it may be, doesn't need to be plugged into a wall during use.
Pros: Comfortable; Warming; Cordless
Cons: Not as powerful as other options; Only one type of light
Best LED Face Mask for Travel
While LED treatments are amazing and the benefits are plentiful, more time under the light isn't always better. You only want to use a mask for the instructed time. One of the best features on this compact Priori mask is that it automatically shuts off after the 10-minute treatment is up. And, while the results will only increase over time, you will notice plumper, more hydrated, and glowier skin after just one use.
Pros: Easy to store; Automatically turns off
Best Handheld LED Face Mask
Ease into LED therapy with a handheld device, like SolaWave's multifunctional facial tool. With microcurrent, facial massage, and therapeutic warming functions, this easy-to-use design helps smooth the appearance of blemishes and fine lines, minimizes breakouts, decreases puffiness and the appearance of dark circles, and stimulates facial muscles for tighter-looking skin. Bonus: It's portable and super easy to use around the house, on the go, or during travel.
Pros: Compact; Easy to travel with; Affordable
Cons: Not as powerful; Can't multi-task while using
Fastest Acting LED Face Mask
This mini high-tech tool allows you to get a spa-like facial at home in only 90 seconds. All you need to do is apply a face mask or serum and press the on button. This tool uses red, blue, and green light to drive the actives in your skincare products that much deeper into your skin. I also have to give a shoutout to the FOREO app. While it's not necessary in order to use the tool, it can guide you on a customized facial journey.
Pros: Fast-acting; Multiple light options; Cordless
Cons: Can't multi-task while using
Best At-Home LED Mask for Lip Aging
I’ve professed my love for this little guy before (feel free to read my ~comprehensive~ review), so it’s only natural to include it on our best at-home LED masks list. The small but mighty tool is infused with both red and infrared light therapy to target signs of aging (read fine lines), plump the lip area, and even tone. While it does take a minimum of four weeks to notice any results and the full effect doesn’t kick in until eight weeks in, this treatment does work. You just need to make sure to treat the area for three minutes, day in and day out.
Pros: Targeted treatment; Easy to store
Cons: Slightly uncomfortable to wear
The Best LED Face Mask for Uneven Skin Tone
With Carey Mulligan, Kayley Cuoco, and Kristin Davis among the mask's fans, it shouldn't be a shocker that this product delivers big time results. Part of the efficacy is rooted in the fact that flexible material ensure the red and infrared lights hit and treat every contour of the face. As a result, it's more effective for improving skin tone, texture, and the appearance of fine lines.
Pros: Form-fitting; Easy to store; Powerful
Cons: Doesn't have lights placed by upper lip or upper forehead
Best Luxury LED Face Mask
If you want to recreate in-office results at home, and on a regular basis, there’s no better option than this luxe mask by Shani Darden. The blue and red lights target three concerns: aging, pigmentation, and acne. To see the best results, you’re going to want to sit with this mask four to five times per week. Our favorite part about this product though is that it doesn’t just target the face—it has a separate attachment to address your neck.
Pros: Professional-grade; Customizable; Targets neck
What do different LED light colors do to your skin?
Most LED face masks use either red or blue light therapy to treat a plethora of skin woes, but there are also different wavelengths—including white, yellow, amber, and green—that might be featured in your product.
The Benefits of Red Light Therapy
“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.”
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 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 adds 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 at home?
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.
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.”