With spas closed and their beloved facialists temporarily off speed-dial, celebrities have been taking to social media to share their at-home skincare regimes through lockdown – and one gadget has reigned supreme.
If you’re a regular Instagram user (and let’s face it, who isn’t right now?), you might have noticed LED face masks cropping up all over your feed – they’re the light-emitting devices that look both futuristic and terrifying in equal measure.
Keen to see what all the fuss is about, I put the CurrentBody Skin LED mask (£265 – reduced from £349, currentbody.com) to the test for two weeks. Here’s what you need to know…
First up, what are the supposed benefits of LED masks?
Aside from making a great selfie prop, proponents of the trend believe LED light improves the skin in a number of different ways. The masks are thought to penetrate the skin, stimulating collagen production, whilst helping reduce wrinkles and the visible signs of ageing.
Makers of the masks say that regularly including the treatment in your beauty routine can improve tone, texture, firmness and tightness, as well as evening out any redness. Plus, another major benefit is that the masks are non-invasive and painless.
How does it work?
Each different type of mask on the market has a combination of light wavelengths that are thought to penetrate skin to trigger changes. Blue light, for instance, is supposedly great at killing acne-causing bacteria, while green light fights hyperpigmentation.
The CurrentBody Skin LED Light Therapy Mask combines red and near infra-red light, which the brand says stimulates collagen and triggers the rejuvenating ‘wound healing’ cells that form fresh skin. It does this by penetrating the skin deeper than other types of visible light and stimulating the cells, causing a rejuvenating effect.
As we age, we naturally lose collagen in our skin, and spending time in the sun without a decent SPF can also contribute to the process which causes fine lines and wrinkles.
While you can’t go back and change that nasty sunburn you acquired on a beach holiday in Tenerife, CurrentBody says that wearing the mask for only 10 minutes a day is enough to see results in just four weeks.
Are there any dangers?
Naturally, putting bright light on skin can seem a bit daunting. After learning about the dangers of sunbeds (which can increase your risk of skin cancer), some people might be concerned about the health risks of using such home devices.
The LED light used in these kinds of masks is different though, as it doesn’t contain UV, which is the type of rays that can cause cancer and ageing. In fact, LED treatments are nothing new, and dermatologists have been using them for decades.
Despite how daunting the mask looked when I unboxed it, I’m genuinely surprised at how easy it is to use. Before you can get started, you need to stick it on charge for six hours and do a quick patch test on your arm to check your skin isn’t sensitive to the lights.
The mask is made from a flexible silicon that bends to your face shape and there’s a hand-held remote for flicking the lights on and off. One handy feature is that it has an inbuilt timer, so it’ll switch itself off after the 10-minute treatment is done – this means you don’t have to anxiously watch the clock.
I was unsure about how it would feel to wear the mask, but the lights aren’t hot or painful, and there’s no risk of burning yourself. In fact, you can’t feel the treatment at all while it’s working on your skin.
Although CurrentBody say it’s safe to keep your eyes open during a treatment, the bright lights were a little irritating and I found it more enjoyable to keep my eyes closed during use. I’d definitely recommend doing this, as it’s a great excuse to take 10 minutes to listen to a podcast.
After a couple of weeks of use (four times per week, following the recommendations), my skin appears more healthy and slightly firmer – but the most noticeable difference is a natural glow that’s really evident immediately after completing each treatment. I also haven’t had any breakouts either.
At £265, it definitely isn’t as cheap as your standard Sunday-night sheet mask, but if – like me – you’ve saved on waxing, hair appointments, facials and massages all year, this is a ‘treat yourself’ way to give yourself a spa treatment at home.