Which LED facemask is best - the one that costs $750 or the one that is $75: Read our long-term test

Compiled by Alice Robertson. Fernando Gomez/Trunk archive

In the 1990s, Nasa discovered, by accident, that the light-emitting diode (LED) technology their astronauts were using to grow vegetables in space also slowed down the ageing of skin, muscle and joints.

Fast-forward to today and the benefits of LED are being sold to us via face masks, and many aesthetic clinics now offer LED therapy as a treatment. At-home face masks are particularly popular – Cult Beauty reports that sales of its bestselling Dr Dennis Gross one (see below) are up 65 per cent year on year.

But can they really deliver? According to aesthetics doctor Ifeoma Ejikeme, founder of London’s Adonia Medical Clinic, studies consistently demonstrate LED’s ability to stimulate collagen, accelerate wound healing and improve skin texture and tone.

The masks’ light wavelengths are measured in nanometers (nm) and Dr Ejikeme adds, ‘The efficacy of these, usually 630nm to 850nm, is well established in both clinical and at-home settings.’

The latest glow-to is a spinoff from space science - light-emitting diode (LED) technology used to grow astronaut's vegetables

The latest glow-to is a spinoff from space science - light-emitting diode (LED) technology used to grow astronaut's vegetables

While there are masks that tout the advantages of different coloured light, the effectiveness of blue, red, and near-infrared is most proven (with blue light being shown in clinical trials to reduce acne lesions by targeting the bacteria responsible, as well as easing inflammation and regulating sebum production).

While the higher LED strength used in clinics will have quicker results, home tech is still a great option. Here the YOU team, who tested multiple masks over several months, reveal which ones delivered real improvements...

Alice Robertson, 33, combination skin

MZ Skin Lightmax Supercharged, £750

Skin issue: Redness, blemishes and fine lines.

Types of light: Red, near infrared and blue.

Session time: Ten minutes, four times a week.

Alice says: ‘It may be scarily expensive, but it works – my redness is down, hormonal spots are gone and I’m glowing. It’s also clinically proven to reduce wrinkle depth by 36 per cent in four weeks – yep, my crow’s feet are less noticeable. Who needs Botox?’

 

Jessica Carroll, 27, combination skin

 Magnitone GetLit Tri Colour, £75 (available at boots.com)

Skin issue: Uneven skintone and fine lines.

Types of light: Red, yellow, blue.

Session time: 15 minutes, daily.

Jessica says: ‘Despite using it correctly, I’ve not really seen much difference. In fact, this plastic visor sticks out diagonally so I don’t think the light even reached my jaw, which perhaps explains why I’ve not noticed huge changes. Also it’s hard to store because it’s rigid.’

 

Sophie Dearden, 33, combination skin

Dr Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro, £465 (available at cultbeauty.co.uk)

Skin issue: Uneven texture and tone, as well as blemishes.

Types of light: Red and blue.

Session time Three minutes, daily.

Sophie says: ‘This has genuinely changed my life. My skin is looking the best it ever has – really smooth and even, with a seriously noticeable glow, and now I rarely get blemishes. In fact, I am getting compliments everywhere I go – I’m so pleased I discovered it before my wedding day.’

 

Leo Walstow, 52, normal skin

Qure Skincare Q-Rejuvalight Pro LED, £265 (available at cultbeauty.co.uk)

Skin issue: Dullness.

Types of light: Blue, amber, red, deep red, infrared.

Session time: Three minutes, daily.

Leo says: ‘Just a few minutes a day of looking like I’ve been cast in a slasher movie and glowing skin will be mine. Well, that’s what I thought – the truth is, I look no different. On the plus side, donning it and scaring my sleeping teenagers awake has proved endlessly amusing.’

  • Compiled by Alice Robertson. Fernando Gomez/Trunk archive

 

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