Does LED Light Therapy Work?
LED Light Therapy

Does LED Light Therapy Work? (Phototherapy Masks)

Intrigued by the sci-fi looking light masks and wondering if they actually work? Light therapy for skin is becoming increasingly popular and well, to answer your question, they really do work if applied properly and used consistently.

The LED therapy masks are a less powerful version of the devices used in medical and aesthetic professional’s clinics. The professional LED light therapy masks are scientifically proven to work so the home models also work, to an extent.

The key difference between the devices used by medical facialists and the masks you can purchase for at-home use is the amount of power of the light emitting diodes.

This difference in power makes the professional masks more effective in only a few sessions, while the home light masks are only effective as a daily component of your beauty routine.

Benefits of LED Therapy Masks

Need more convincing? Read on to find out how exactly LED light therapy (LED phototherapy) works.

What Do the Different Light Colors Do?

Not just any kind of LED gives your face that desired smoothness and glow. The light emitting diodes used for light therapy are not the same as the ones inside your color changing bedroom light.

The LEDs used in light masks are high power LEDs set at a very specific wavelength. LED therapy is based on the idea that these wavelengths seep through your skin and reaches the skin’s deeper layers.

Each wavelength and the corresponding emitted color has a specific effect on your skin. The main colors used in LED light therapy are blue light and red light but some treatments also use white light.

Light Therapy Color Guide
The chart above shows the different light therapy colors and their benefits

Blue light targets the bacteria that cause acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. Blue light is actually the least penetrating color of LED phototherapy but this is not an issue since the acne-causing bacteria remains in the epidermis layer of the skin.

Red LED light therapy penetrates the skin the furthest, reaching beyond the epidermis. Red light stimulates collagen production which helps to fill in wrinkles and clear up scars and blemishes.

The wavelength of white light reaches somewhere between blue light and red light. White light therapy for skin is used in LED masks for reducing red skin and tightening the skin, as well.

How Does a Professional Light Therapy Session Work?

Going to a facialist’s office for LED light therapy is a different experience to using the light masks at home. The main difference between the devices is the strength of the wavelength with the medical masks being more powerful compared to stay at home light therapy for skin masks.

Since the medically approved LED light masks are more powerful (and penetrate the skin further) there are extra measures taken during the treatment. For example, the eyes are covered with UV-goggles and a light-absorbing chromophore gel is applied to the skin for increased effectiveness.

Professional Light Therapy

Most sessions start with gentle cleansing to clear the skin and remove any make-up or dead skin cells. Then the chromophore gel is applied.

While the specialist is moving the LED light therapy device over your face, you’ll probably feel a warm glow pass over your skin. This is normal and doesn’t pose any risk of burning or irritation.

After the session, which usually lasts less than 20 minutes, your face is cleaned again.

The best part is that the treatment doesn’t leave you with irritated red skin or excessive moisture or dryness. This kind of red LED light therapy treatment is non-invasive and doesn’t have any known after effects.

How Does a Home LED Light Therapy Mask Compare to the Clinic Treatments?

As mentioned, the home versions of LED light therapy masks have less impact compared to the treatment in professional clinics. This doesn’t mean that they don’t work at all, though.

The difference lies in how you are supposed to use light masks. A home light therapy mask is meant to be used daily as part of your regular skin routine.

With daily use, the home light masks do have an effect on your skin, albeit with slower results. Most manufacturers recommend the home light masks as a complimentary skin treatment to the one that you let a professional perform.

A professional LED light therapy treatment is performed over several weeks and needs to be repeated about once a year. While you are not visiting the specialist, using a light mask at home gives you lasting results.

You can also use the home treatment lights masks if you find the facialist treatments too expensive. You will have to be more patient to see results but the effect is definitely there.

LED Face Mask Before and After

You’ll no doubt want to see some LED face mask before and after shots, so we’ve scoured the web to find some of the best examples we could of the improvements you might expect.

LED Therapy Mask Before & After
A big change! Here’s a light therapy before an after shot from Renew Aesthetics
LED Face Mask Before & After
A before and after review of the Neutrogena face mask from popular fashion and blogger Morgan Bullard

LED Light Therapy Mask Benefits

LED light therapy masks are all the rage on social media. This is one of the few viral beauty products that is actually backed by medical research so most models from reputable brands are safe and effective.

The light masks are a great alternative to the more invasive skin treatments like botox for wrinkles or acutane for severe acne. On top of that, there are no painful or visible side effects of LED light therapy so you don’t have to worry about additional skin issues.

Finally, having your own LED light therapy mask is an affordable option. There are many models available under $100 which in the long term is more economical than the skin treatments by professionals.

If you’re currently in the market for an LED light therapy mask, check out our full review. Alternatively, here are our top 3 favorites.

Norlanya Photon LED Facial Mask

  • 3 Color Lights
  • USB Connection
  • Easy to Use
  • Eye, Nose & Mouth Holes

Check Amazon →
Read our review
Newkey Advanced Photon LED Mask

  • 7 Color Lights
  • Smart Design
  • 150 LED Lights
  • Eye, Nose & Mouth Holes

Check Amazon →
Read our review
Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask

  • Utilizes Low-Level Light
  • Great for Sensitive Skin
  • Affordable
  • Battery Operated

Check Amazon →
Read our review

So Overall…

LED light therapy masks emit light at specific wavelengths and frequencies that can penetrate the skin. Each light color targets specific cells and so each has its own results.

Blue light is used to fight acne, red light stimulates collagen production and white light reduces redness from inflammation.

Home light masks are more affordable than professional skin treatments using the same type of technology. However, there is a difference in power between home light masks and professional LED light treatments.

The home versions are designed to be part of a daily skin routine which is also how it will give results. The professional skin treatments are performed over a few weeks and must be repeated each year.

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