I’ll be the first to admit that I was skeptical when the beauty industry first started selling LED (light emitting diode) light therapy devices for use outside of aestheticians’ and dermatologists’ offices. Aside from the fact that my adorably small brain had difficulty grasping the science behind the efficacy of such treatments, it seemed to me nearly impossible to make this kind of technology both effective and accessible to the masses. But how the tides change!
After months of seeing rave reviews online, both from customers and beauty professionals alike, I made one of my very first big beauty splurges and bought the Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro light mask, which retails for a cool $435. Needless to say, I was eager to see if my purchase was made in vain — and dear readers, I am pleased to report that it was worth every hard-earned cent.
As it turns out, there’s a reason the mask is used by celebrities and influencers like Salma Hayek, Charlotte McKinney and Lucy Hale. It really, truly works — if you are willing to play the long game.
So what does this best-selling light mask actually do? It uses LED lights over your entire face to target the look of both wrinkles and breakouts. This is ideal if, like me, you are perpetually trying to deal with both. You’ve likely seen similar-looking masks and wands floating around, but Dr. Dennis Gross’ FDA-cleared technology uses a combination of 100 red lights and 62 blue lights that work together to target these common skin issues.
Red light supports natural collagen production, which helps to smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles and diminish visible discoloration, scars and damage, while blue light targets acne-causing bacteria, helping shorten the length of breakouts, calm red skin and prevent future breakouts. The mask has three settings: red light, blue light and a third with purple light, a combination of the other two colors.
I’ve found that aside from the price tag, something that often discourages people from making the leap is the fact that the brand recommends consistent use for up to 10 weeks to see optimal results. That said, you only need to use it for three minutes a session, so it doesn’t take up a huge chunk of time out of each individual day. But I get it. Ten weeks feels like a really long time! Let me assure you that if you’re using it primarily for acne and breakouts, you may see results almost immediately.
I get awful acne along my cheeks when the seasons change. My tender skin doesn’t know how to deal with the onslaught of extreme temperature changes, summer humidity or winter dryness. During this time, I use my light mask near daily, and it’s shocking how quickly my breakouts dry up and the accompanying scars fade. During this time, I primarily use the blue light setting. During what I like to call my “acne off-season,” I use the purple light 2-3 times a week for regular upkeep. I find that it keeps my skin soft, smooth and healthy and is a lovely supplement to my skin care routine.
I can definitely attest that my skin feels smoother after regular use for at least 90 days, which makes it a perfect investment if you have a big event coming up. I loaned my mask to my now-sister-in-law in the months leading up to her wedding a few years back, and she was thrilled with the results.
Another thing I love about this light mask is that it truly stands the test of time. I’ve had it for at least four years and it’s never failed me or had any maintenance issues, and that’s with very regular use. So yes, it’s quite the investment up front, but you’ll be able to reap the benefits for many years to come.
I like to use it right after washing my face, on bare skin. The eye holes and lack of constraining wires make it easy to go about my business during the three short minutes that it takes to do its thing. Make a snack, take a selfie, drink some wine through a straw — the world is your robo-face oyster. Once it turns off automatically, I continue with my skin care routine as normal. It truly couldn’t be easier to add this step into your regime.
A purchase of the Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro light mask includes a USB charging cord, a detachable and adjustable head strap, a storage bag and user manual to get you started. Even if you aren’t a beauty or skin care fanatic, you won’t regret adding this device to your rotation. The reviews truly speak for themselves. Add it to your birthday wishlist or save up and treat yourself, because you absolutely deserve it.
I always like to round out a pricey recommendations with more affordable ones, so I’ve included a few other popular options below in case you want to try out light mask technology before you make the big leap. Keep reading to make them yours.
Newkey 7 light mask
This popular and highly rated mask boasts seven different light settings that purport to solve myriad skin issues. Like the above, red and blue light targets anti-aging and acne issues. The company also offers green light it says can help improve pigmentation, yellow light that can soothe skin and reduces redness, purple light to stimulate lymph nodes and relax you, light blue light to soothe allergy-reactive skin and white light to accelerate tissue metabolism. The suggested operating time is between 15 and 20 minutes, though you’ll probably want to start slow just a few times a week as you try out the different settings and see what works for you.
Solawave advanced skin care wand with red light therapy
If a mask feels too cumbersome, then you may want to check out Solawave’s red light wand. It helps depuff the skin along with providing the benefits of red light therapy like reducing the look of wrinkles, fine lines and dark circles over time. It’s super portable and can accompany you on your travels with a charge that lasts up to 12 uses.
Aphrona LED light treatment mask
Aphrona’s mask penetrates the skin to the cellular level to treat issues such as fine lines, wrinkles and acne. It uses red, blue and green light to accelerate healing and support skin rejuvenation. It does have to be plugged in during use, so be prepared to stay put.
A box of sterile alcohol pads
Don’t forget to clean your mask after use, or else all your hard work will be for naught. I like to keep a box of medical-grade alcohol swabs handy and wipe the inside of the mask down a couple of times a week to keep it clean. This Medpride box includes 100 pads you can use as needed.