Everything You Need to Know About at-Home LED Light Therapy (2024)

A sneak peek into the vanities of the beauty-obsessed or a trip to a facialist will introduce you to the best LED light therapy tools. From the bright lights to the robotic-looking masks, it can feel like skin care of the future, and a bit perplexing if you aren’t familiar with the technology.

Our Favorite Light Therapy Devices

In this Article

  • What is LED Light Therapy?
  • How does light therapy work?
  • What are the benefits of LED light therapy?
  • Which LED Light Color Is Best For Your Skin
  • Does LED light therapy work for hair growth?
  • How to Use LED light Therapy at Home
  • Potential Risks of Using LED Light Therapy
  • Incorporating Light Therapy into Your Skin Care Routine
  • Meet the Dermatologists

Best Light Therapy for Acne: Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro

Dr. Dennis Gross

DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro

  • Why We Love It: “This mix is for breakouts and collagen. I’ve noticed a difference ever since I started using it and maybe you will too,” says actor Rachel Zegler as she holds the Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro mask to her face in her Beauty Secrets video for Vogue. This well-loved, FDA-cleared option utilizes an adjustable silicone strap for hands-free usage to treat acne and signs of aging through red, blue (or a combination of the two) lights in just three minutes.
  • More to know: This mask offers not just one, but three (!) treatment modes to toggle between—red light for signs of aging such as crepey skin and dark spots, blue light for acne, and a red/blue combination for those who struggle with both. The best part? The treatment takes only three minutes.
  • Type: Mask with silicone strap
  • Specs: FDA-cleared, four light wavelengths: red (630 - 700nm), blue (400 - 470nm), infrared (800 - 1200nm), and amber
  • Best for: acne, minimizing signs of aging, dark spots
  • Target Treatment Areas: Entire face

Best for the Face & Neck: CurrentBody Skin Face & Neck Kit

Currentbody

Skin, Face, & Neck Kit

  • Why We Love It: It can be easy to forget the neck and décolletage, which is why this three-in-one kit is one of our favorites. Not to mention, the Currentbody model is our pick for best overall LED face mask. Being a mask, it’s so easy to put on while working from home, watching television, or scrolling into the abyss. Unlike wands that require manual movement across the skin, this mask evenly disperses red and near-infrared light to ensure maximum skin coverage, resulting in a brighter complexion and a more even skin tone in just ten minutes.
  • More to know: If you start early, future you will thank yourself (and this device) for less crepey, saggy skin and deep wrinkles on both the face and the often neglected neck and chest. Thanks to its flexible silicone design, it’s incredibly easy to throw into a carry-on, which is especially important for those committed to their routines.
  • Type: Flexible silicone mask with velcro straps
  • Specs: Two light wavelengths: red (633nm), near-infrared (830nm)
  • Best for: wrinkles, minimizing signs of aging, dark spots
  • Target Treatment Areas: Entire face

Best Esthetician-Recommended Light Therapy: LightStim for Wrinkles LED Light Therapy Device

  • Why We Love It: Willis is a fan of LightStim, as it’s highly regarded among estheticians like herself. She continues: “I recommend using the LightStim LED device because it’s hand-held so you can use the device while protecting your eyes from damage.” The brand offers two FDA-cleared tools—one for wrinkles, the other for acne—that deliver targeted light therapy in the palm of your hand.
  • More to know: The key here is to maintain consistency while using this device. Begin by using it daily, and once you achieve your desired results, you can reduce the frequency to two to three times a week. It’s suitable for use on the entire face. Simply set the built-in three-minute timer, hold it up to your skin (preferably distracting yourself via TikTok), switch spots when your time is up, and continue until you’ve targeted your whole face, including the crow’s feet, nasal labial folds, jawline, and lips.
  • Type: Handheld device
  • Specs: FDA-cleared, multiple wavelengths of light
  • Best for: wrinkles, minimizing signs of aging, dark spots
  • Target Treatment Areas: Entire face

Best Red Light Wand For Those Looking to De-Puff: SolaWave Radiant Renewal Wand

Solawave

Radiant Renewal Skincare Wand

  • Why We Love It: Beloved by actor Debby Ryan, a SolaWave Wand would make for an excellent addition to your beauty arsenal. The star, who shares her struggles with skin congestion and breakouts in her installment of Vogue’s Beauty Secrets, looks to the device to de-puff followed by a gua sha. With the wand, expect a reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, and dark spots by incorporating this five-minute treatment several times per week.
  • More to know: Sure, the SolaWave is both convenient and easy to tote around, but its gravitas lies in its four treatment modes: red light therapy (to target wrinkles, dark spots, and blemishes), microcurrent technology, facial massage, and therapeutic warmth. The brand recommends starting off with five minutes, three times weekly.
  • Type: Wand
  • Specs: One light wavelength: red (630nm)
  • Best for: wrinkles, dark spots, acne, depuffing
  • Target Treatment Areas: Spot treatments

Best for Hair Growth: Currentbody LED Hair Growth Helmet

Currentbody

LED Hair Growth Helmet

  • Why We Love It: As it turns out, Currentbody’s futuristic helmet is an effective option for those looking to promote hair growth. “Currentbody is my go-to at-home light therapy brand,” says dermatologist Dr. Blair Murphy-Rose. “I trust their data and have had patients achieve results with their skin and hair devices.” She recommends patients to use the helmet as soon as they notice any thinning. “You will achieve best results when used in conjunction with topical and/or oral therapies depending on the underlying cause of your hair thinning,” she continues, emphasizing visiting your trusted board-certified dermatologist for evaluation and diagnosis.
  • More to know: The Currentbody LED Hair Growth Helmet is available in two sizes; using is as simple as placing it on your head and turning it on. The device is powered by 120 LED bulbs delivering red light wavelengths to treat the entire scalp. The brand recommends using it for 10 minutes daily for best results.
  • Type: Helmet
  • Specs: One light wavelength: red (640 nm)
  • Best for: hair growth
  • Target Treatment Areas: Hair and scalp

Best LED Face Mask For Those With Dull Skin: MZ Skin LightMAX Supercharged LED Mask 2.0

MZ Skin

LightMAX Supercharged LED Mask 2.0

  • Why We Love It: Designed to rejuvenate skin at home, similar to an in-clinic treatment with Dr. Maryam Zamani’s, the MZ Skin LightMAX Supercharged LED Mask 2.0 works to stimulate collagen, boost luminosity, and calm inflammation. What’s more: the device is meant to be incredibly flexible, even contouring to the shape of your nose once in place.
  • More to know: Not only does this supercharged mask boast the perfect shade of pink, but it also delivers the same wavelengths as professional clinic machines—ideal for those who don’t have the time or inclination to invest in regular in-person treatments. There are two modes: a red-light anti-aging mode designed to plump and firm the skin, and a blue-light acne mode that helps decongest and clarify the skin.
  • Type: Flexible mask with silicone strap
  • Specs: FDA-cleared, two light wavelengths: red and blue
  • Best for: wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, depuffing
  • Target Treatment Areas: Entire face

Best Light Therapy Device For a Quick Treatment: Foreo UFO 3 LED

Foreo

3-5-in-1 Full Facial LED Mask Treatment

  • Why We Love It: What we love most about the Foreo UFO 3 is its pairing of LED light therapy with heating, cooling, and sonic pulsations for your best skin yet. In just two minutes, the device works to surge the skin with powerful ingredients similar to a beloved facial based on your needs—from lifting and firming to soothing and hydrating.
  • More to know: Nothing feels better than the ability to treat yourself, and the UFO 3 is nothing short of a relaxing daily indulgence. All you need is the waterproof device, the activated mask of your choice (10x faster than traditional sheet masks), and the Foreo For You app, which allows you to select custom facial routines, so you aren’t limited to the same ol’ thing each time.
  • Type: Handheld device
  • Specs: Full spectrum LED lights
  • Best for: wrinkles, fine lines, depuffing, brightening at-home facial
  • Target Treatment Areas: Entire face

Best For Those Concerned With Wrinkles: NuFace Trinity Wrinkle Reducer Attachment

NuFace

Trinity Wrinkle Reducer Attachment

  • Why We Love It: Those already privy to the transformative prowess of the NuFace Trinity should certainly consider adding its Wrinkle Reducer Attachment to cart. Designed to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this FDA-cleared device will deliver a combination of red, amber, and infrared light for a more youthful, firm complexion.
  • More to know: If you’ve already splurged on a NuFace, you might as well reap the benefits of reduced wrinkles. No worries if you’re short on time—the brand recommends using it for only 10-25 minutes per day, making it easy to incorporate into your routine. For the first 60 days, use it five days per week, and after that, use it two to three days per week to maintain results.
  • Type: Attachment
  • Specs: FDA-cleared, 32 red and four infrared lights
  • Best for: wrinkles, fine lines
  • Target Treatment Areas: Spot treatment

Best for Those Concerned With Skin Healing: The Light Salon Boost LED Mask

The Light Salon

Boost LED Mask

  • Why We Love It: Another stellar LED mask is this FDA-cleared option by The Light Salon. Crafted as an at-home version of the brand’s skin rejuvenation treatment, the soft silicone mask utilizes red and near-infrared light to encourage skin’s healing process and slow signs of aging through its 10-minute cycle.
  • More to know: In just 10 minutes, you’ll be amazed at how good your complexion looks. We’re talking a reduced appearance of wrinkles, controlled breakouts, and plump, bright, calm skin. And it’s not limited to beauty benefits; the brand claims that the device helps lower cortisol levels while boosting serotonin and melatonin levels, promoting increased feelings of calm and well-being.
  • Type: Flexible mask with adjustable straps
  • Specs: Two light wavelengths: red (633nm) and near-infrared (830nm)
  • Best for: wrinkles, fine lines, acne
  • Target Treatment Areas: Entire face

Best LED Spot Treatment: Riki Loves Riki Miracle LED Patch

Riki Loves Riki

Miracle LED Patch

  • Why We Love It: One thing is for certain: Gen Z loves pimple patches, especially when shaped like cute stars or related to Glossier. However, they often take their sweet time, which is why this biodegradable silicone patch containing blue and red-light therapies is such a game-changer.
  • More to know: Unlike some of the bulkier devices on this list, this easy-to-use LED pimple patch is portable and rechargeable, enabling you to bring it with you wherever you go. Simply stick a patch onto any blemishes, attach the device, turn it on, and six minutes later it will shut off on its own! They don’t call it a miracle for nothing.
  • Type: Patch
  • Specs: FDA-cleared, two light wavelengths: red (630nm) and blue (415nm)
  • Best for: acne
  • Target Treatment Areas: Spot treatment

Best for Laser Therapy: Lyma Laser

Laser Starter Kit

  • Why We Love It: If you’re looking to bring out the big guns, the LYMA is for you. Touted as the world’s first medical-grade at-home laser device, this gadget doesn’t stop at just LED (although it does contain four anti-bacterial LED blue lights) but also includes a laser beam. In short, the LED works at the surface level of the skin, while the laser penetrates deeper into the muscular layers of the skin.
  • More to know: At 100 times more powerful than all the other devices on this list, this device doesn’t come cheap. However, with consistent use (15 minutes daily), you’ll notice less inflammation, even skin tone, increased collagen and elastin, and reduced pigmentation, scarring, or acne. It really does it all.
  • Type: Handheld device
  • Specs: FDA-cleared, blue LED, medical-grade LYMA laser (500mW)
  • Best for: wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation
  • Target Treatment Areas: Spot treatment

What is LED light therapy?

“LED stands for light emitting diode, a light source that shines on (and penetrates into) the skin,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jennifer MacGregor tells Vogue. “Different wavelengths of light can be used—blue and red being the most common. The light penetrates into the skin and affects gene expression and cellular function leading to a variety of effects in the skin that are only partially understood.” She continues that certain wavelengths can kill microbes (like bacteria)—working in tandem with topical products to treat an array of skin conditions.

And so, the LED devices often offer an assortment of different light colors based on your skin’s needs. “Blue LED light treats acne by killing acne-causing bacteria. Green and yellow LED light treat sensitivity and uneven skin color. Red LED light stimulates collagen and elastin, which can help with anti-aging,” explains esthetician, makeup, and beauty expert Tiara Willis, whose work is centered around treating skin of color.

And so, from face masks to portable wands, here are eight of the best LED light therapy tools that will work overtime to transform your skin.

Which light therapy color should you use?

MacGregor continues that certain wavelengths can kill microbes (like bacteria)—working in tandem with topical products to treat an array of skin conditions. And so, the LED devices often offer an assortment of different light colors based on your skin’s needs; dermatologist Dr. Divya Shokeen details the differences below.

Everything You Need to Know About at-Home LED Light Therapy (2024)
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