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As the weather gets chillier, we’d all rather be tucked under a beach umbrella in the south of France or soaking at a Turkish hammam, but those destinations have never seemed so far away. While nothing truly replaces the post-vacation relaxed and rejuvenated glow, the results from an LED mask can come close.
The technology behind these devices originated with NASA, who first started growing plants on space shuttles using LEDs—light-emitting diodes—more than three decades ago. More recently, scientists have discovered their benefit to the human body, and the technology moved into salons and spas, where treatments often include spending time under a panel of light. Though the glow is reminiscent of a sunbed, the effects are far different. Rather than damaging the skin, like UV light does, LED lights have been shown to treat acne and rosacea, heal wounds, and soften fine lines and wrinkles.
Now, many brands have turned toward consumers, offering devices for home use that boast a list of benefits from anti-aging to mood-boosting. These LEDs are user-friendly, as well as more easily transported and stored compared to previous generations of in-spa devices. With the pandemic, their availability couldn’t have come at a better time. Scroll through for five of the best home-use LEDs to incorporate into your routine.
Omnilux Contour FACE
Omnilux has been a popular choice for salon-based treatments for some time, but their latest product, the Omnilux Contour FACE, is a perfect at-home, quarantine alternative. The flexible silicone mask wraps around the face and secures with two straps, sitting directly on the skin for a treatment time of ten minutes. This mask uses red and infrared wavelengths, focusing specifically on anti-aging. It’s also soft, lightweight, and portable: because it uses a chargeable controller, it can be worn while doing tasks around the house. As a bonus, the kit comes with multi-country adaptors, making it perfectly transportable for when international travel is on the cards again. Try it with their hydrating, jelly-like masks to maximize benefits.
To buy: $395, omniluxled.com
The sleek, tube-shaped LYMA Laser has four blue LED lights used for killing surface bacteria, but they’re only a small part of what’s responsible for delivering jaw-dropping outcomes. The technology behind the laser—the first of its kind for home use—was discovered in a German lab, where they’ve been researching medical uses for lasers for some fifty years. Having regenerated the cartilage in a patient’s knee, one doctor noticed the effect the laser had on skin rejuvenation. LYMA, known for their industry-disrupting supplements, harnessed that technology, pairing it with a diffuser system to make the laser safe for non-professionals to use, and brought it to market in September. The device penetrates the skin at deeper levels than those using only LED, and paired with a proprietary serum and mist—both of which offer stabilized oxygen at high levels—works to treat acne, rosacea, elasticity and wrinkles, with truly unprecedented results.
To buy: $2,499, lyma.life/laser
Déesse Pro Mask
The appearance of this mask might be a bit startling at first—for the uninitiated it’s slightly reminiscent of those worn by guests in the immersive theater experience Sleep No More—but for skincare aficionados, its appearance has become emblematic of dewy, smooth, youthful-looking skin. Its proponents include top estheticians Shani Darden and Melanie Grant, as well as a slew of celebrities. The Déesse Pro has four wavelengths and six treatment modes, including rejuvenating, purifying, brightening, post-procedure healing, calming and anti-aging. Given it’s designed for use in spa or at home, featuring a range of 770 LEDs, those treating from the couch can rest assured they’re getting a highly effective treatment.
To buy: $1,900, shanidarden.com
Treatment with this device begins on the app, where users are guided through a set of ten questions on skin sensitivity and appearance, goals, sleeping habits and product routines. The app then suggests a program and syncs with the device. The ring-shaped light offers five colors, and because of the range, the device touts benefits including collagen production, anti-inflammation, wrinkle reduction and even mood-boosting. Additionally, the red light pulses at a rate that reflects the human heart, promising to bring a sense of calm. Dr. Ellen Marmur, the dermatologist behind the MMSphere, recommends using the sphere three times each week for twenty minutes each session to achieve results.
To buy: $795, mmskincare.com
Celluma is a dark horse when it comes to consumer-level LEDs, but that’s only because they prefer their recommendations by word-of-mouth. (Incidentally, that’s how we first discovered the device, having watched a friend’s stubborn skin troubles clear nearly miraculously in less than a week.) The brand is popular with estheticians: Glowbar, the results-oriented New York City facial studio that delivers seriously improved skin in 30 minute appointments, uses the Celluma Pro as part of their treatment. The Celluma LITE offers the same light range as the PRO (treating acne, pain, and aging) but in a smaller size. Part of the appeal is that the devices are flexible, meaning they can as easily wrap around the thigh to promote injury healing as they can create an arc over the face.
To buy: $995, celluma.com