The Best At-Home LED Devices For Every Beauty Concern
LED Light Therapy is probably one of those things you’ve heard of, or think you should start doing, but you’re not quite sure why. Or, maybe you’ve tried it during an in-office facial (remember those?!), and want to start back up again. Whatever your existing (or non-existing) relationship with light therapy is, it’s never been easier to start taking advantage of this skin-replenishing technology at home.
“By definition, LED Light Therapy, or light-emitting diode, is a treatment that uses different wavelengths of light to help with varying skin concerns,” explains Greenwich, CT dermatologist Dr. Kim Nichols. “It was originally developed by NASA for plant growth experiments, but it has since been found to help revitalize and regenerate the skin.”
Another bonus to trying LED light therapy is that it works for all skin types and tones, so you don’t have to worry about having a bad reaction to this no-risk treatment. And for anyone suffering from maskne, you’re in luck. LED therapy can help with this pesky skin condition caused by breakouts forming underneath facial coverings – and it’s a problem solver for everything from tiny pimples to persistent acne.
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“Considering the unprecedented time we are living in now, many patients are not able to see their dermatologists for routine visits, can’t refill their prescriptions, and don’t want to be bothered with a three or four-step daily facial routine,” explains NYC-based Dr. Nicole Ruth, DO. “Finding what works best for you can take some time and become frustrating with trial and error, which is why I’ve been recommending LED therapy for maskne.”
Given that LED light therapy is also non-invasive, and there’s no downtime after using it, we’re seeing more and more benefits to investing in a personal device. What was once a pricey treatment only offered by estheticians and derms via appointment can now – like everything else in life – be achieved at home. And when you purchase your own self-care machine you’re one and done in the coins department, instead of shelling out big bucks every time you want to go to the spa.
Before we delve into some of the best LED instruments money can buy, we have to address their efficacy factor. “In-office LED lamps can deliver red light, blue light (or a combo of the two) and home devices can as well, but generally that means they deliver less energy and less effectiveness for the skin’s target,” says board-certified dermatologist of Riverchase Dermatology in Miami, Dr. Lucy Chen.
This isn’t exactly shocking news though, since most in-office skincare treatments tend to produce longer-lasting, more visible results. But to put things in perspective: When you can’t get to said office (or can’t afford to go), giving LED light a go in the comfort of your own living room can still be great for your skin!
Read on to determine the best LED light therapy gadget for you.
What Does LED Light Therapy Do?
According to Shani Darden, Beverly Hills-based celebrity esthetician and creator of Shani Darden Skin Care, LED Light therapy is a low-level light therapy that’s used to treat the aforementioned wrinkles and acne but also has transformative powers beyond the physical. “It can speed up healing and reduce pain, plus boost circulation, and your immune system,” says the facialist to stars like Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Chrissy Teigen, and Jessica Alba.
What Do the Different LED Light Colors Do?
Confused between red, blue, and green light therapy? Darden explains further…
- Red light mode penetrates the skin at a deeper level than blue light to increase cellular activity and boost collagen in the skin, which plumps, firms, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles over time.
- Blue light therapy kills acne-causing bacteria to minimize current breakouts and prevent new ones from forming.
- Green light therapy can help to reduce pigmentation for more even-toned skin.
- Near-Infrared Light repairs cells and optimizes cellular functions, to speed up healing and improve the appearance of scars for healthier skin overall.
LED Light Therapy Devices We Love:
Before looking into the below, it’s important to note that there are lots of cheaper LED light devices available online, but these often don’t have the correct wavelength or power to be truly effective. While many of the products below are a splurge, depending on your concern, the results are often more visible and effective than you can achieve with skincare, which means that in the long run, a good light device can be more cost-effective, especially as the pricey tools often come with lifetime warranties, and should last at least a few years!
LED Light To Treat Acne
When it comes to banishing troublesome blemishes, Dr. Chen likes the fan-favorite, Dr Dennis Gross Drx Spectralite Faceware Pro, $435. This was one of the first at-home acne-fighting devices on the market and we have to admit, we were all jealous of the celebs and influencers posting their rose gold, robotic Faceware pics in bed. Yes, it comes with a hefty price tag, but you can always set up Afterpay installments and just think of how happy your face will be when you start to see clearer skin in days.
The other tool we’re big fans of is the Quasar MD Clear Rayz, $199, which offers blue and red light, so the blue light can be used to fight acne, while the red light helps to clear up post-pimple marks. We like to alternate blue and red light treatments every other day to see consistent results and long-term benefits.
LED Light To Treat Dark Spots, Loss of Elasticity & Stretch Marks
Repêchage LED Radio Frequency and EMS Skin Tightening Machine, $150. We like to call Repêchage’s newly-launched machine the do-it-all wonder, since it has five different modalities to treat varying parts of the face and body. This state-of-the-art, hand-held device uses LED light to reduce the appearance of dark spots, sun damage, stretch marks, and redness, but it also offers Radio Frequency (RF) to stimulate collagen growth for taut AF skin. Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) improves skin elasticity while Electroporation and Mesoporation round out the list of perks to help to deliver skincare ingredients deeper into the dermis.
LED Light To Diminish Wrinkles
Although Darden offers sessions in her full, FDA-cleared Lightstim LED Bed at her studio (starting at $175 for 45 minutes), you sadly can’t buy this bad boy unless you’re an industry pro. For daily LED benefits at home, she uses the LightStim for Wrinkles, $249, for 20 minutes, which features 72 LEDs in Amber, Light Red, Dark Red, and Infrared, to boost collagen and minimize fine lines for more youthful, glowing skin.
We swear by the Quasar MD Baby Quasar Plus, $249, which we’ve been using for years and have seen incredible results with. When used four times a week as part of our evening routine, it rapidly speeds up skin recovery from post-pimple marks and helps to keep skin tone looking more even and clear, while also helping to diminish fine lines around the eyes and mouth. The other benefit is that the longer you use it, the greater your collagen levels, and therefore it can help to stave off fine lines forming more rapidly.
LED Light To Relieve Pain
If you can’t make it to Bev Hills to see Darden for some solo time in the bed, but want to heal chronic pain, sports injuries, or soothe soreness after a tough workout, try LightStim for Pain, $249. By moving the light around the areas that hurt, you can relieve arthritic pain and increase blood circulation. It can even correct ‘text neck.’
LED Light To Treat Puffy Eyes
Dragging after a big night? This portable, razor-sized wand works magic on puffy peepers. Trophy Skin BrightenMD, $99, was developed to rehabilitate tired, sagging skin in need of a pick-me-up with 4-in-1 features. The tool combines microcurrent stimulation, a lovely therapeutic warming sensation, red light therapy for cell turnover, and ultrasonic waves to enhance absorption of your go-to creams and serums. Plus, a smart sensor makes it turn on when it comes in contact with your skin. Now if it would just sign on to our Zoom calls for us…
Have you ever used LED light or considered it?
Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. We never take payment to review products, although some brands allow affiliate links, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.