Are At-Home LED Masks Safe?
Do LED masks look cool? Instagram says yes. But…. Are they safe? It’s a problem that when we’re looking to try out the latest viral facial tool, we may not immediately consider. After all, if something is for sale in stores and legitimate online retailers – well, it’s certainly safe to be at home! Use…. Right?
We’re illuminating (sorry) all aspects of LED therapy at home so you can find out everything you need to know before! Try one. Read on to see what experts have to say about using at-home LED masks and how these devices compare to professional treatments.
What is LED Therapy?
Dr. Morgan LaBach, a board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of LM Medical, says that LEDs, or light-emitting diodes a skin care therapy that uses different wavelengths of light. Board-certified dermatologists, Ava MD Dermatology and Ava MD Dr. Ava Shamban, founder of Clinics’ Skin Five, adds that LED therapy It can be referred to as “photorejuvenation” or “light therapy.”
In general, Shamban says, this skin care treatment uses infrared light that is transmitted through different wavelengths of light bulbs. The different wavelengths come in different colors, each of which sends a message to the skin layer that triggers a specific, desired response. The most common wavelengths are red and blue. (Some devices have green, yellow, and white light.) Red light is used primarily for anti-aging, while blue light is used to treat acne, says LaBach. According to Shamban, LEDs can also stimulate regeneration and fight inflammation and bacteria.
Professional LED handling
Today’s viral home LED devices are actually inspired by professional, in-office therapy. So what’s the difference?
The consistency of the professional version is key. Labach says the office program takes about 20 minutes at a time. Clients need to go back once a week for up to 10 weeks, and then every few months after that. These treatments are tailored to the individual’s skin and are performed under a safe protocol. In-office treatments are also more powerful than at-home equipment.
Professional LED treatments may be performed in conjunction with other procedures. For example, Shamban may perform LED treatments along with other procedures to combat aging, acne, and texture issues. In addition, she always recommends partner treatments or products that can be used at home to continue the effectiveness and consistency of the treatment.
Household LED masks
“From reputable manufacturers and fabricators, when [home LED masks] are used as directed, we can usually expect to safety standards,” says Shamban. Home devices, she continues, are usually much less intense than the office version, which is monitored by licensed professionals at all times. The at-home version can include different wavelengths of light (such as red and blue). Treatments can be timed and automatically shut off when completed. For example, the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare SpectraLite Faceware Pro, $435, will turn itself off after three minutes.
Some home care can be used daily.Angela Caglia CellReturn LED Wireless Facial Mask, $1,900, can be used for 20 minutes a day after cleansing. Users are advised to use the MZ Skin Light-Therapy Gold Facial Treatment Device, $625, to be used two to three times a week, starting with 10 minutes and working up to 30 min.
Potential Problems with Household LED Mouthpieces
They are not customized to individual needs. With in-office LED treatments, dermatologists are able to assess the needs of the skin and customize procedures for each individual. This obviously doesn’t happen at home with LED devices and masks. And one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. Labach points out that not every patient needs the same amount of treatment and treatment time.
User error. In our immediacy-driven world, we want results, and we want them now. This can make people even more guilty of ignoring instructions and pushing for treatment.” Just because some is good, more isn’t better or best,” cautions Shamban.” Following the instructions and manufacturer’s guidelines for any home skin tool or device is paramount to its success and safety.” Failure to do so can lead to irritation and other side effects.
Improperly preparing the skin. To go along with the previous point, it’s also important to prepare your skin according to the directions. This includes everything from washing your face to applying/not applying certain products. Some devices have products that can be applied before and after. Neglecting to prep your skin puts your skin at risk.
LED masks and sensitive skin.Shamban says that people with potentially sensitive skin can safely use LED masks. Still, she recommends consulting with a board-certified dermatologist before using an LED device at home, especially if you Have any skin conditions such as rosacea or melasma. In addition, the device should be used with caution by people who are using medications such as Accutane, retinol, glycolics or Antibiotics that make the skin more sensitive to light, per La Bach.
Watch out for eye damage.
And the other important detail? Always remember to protect your eyes when using LED devices in your home. Stop completely.
LaBach says that eye injuries are of particular concern for certain people with eye related conditions, such as eye albinism or congenital retinal disease. In addition, people who take medications that make them more sensitive to light may experience blurred vision, eye pain, eye irritation, and/or visual changes. More serious problems include irreversible loss or complete impairment of peripheral vision, she said.
“Our eyes have macroscopic sensors that may be affected or degraded over time. However, for damage, there needs to be a significant overload or cumulative exposure, or in bright and high-intensity situations of damage,” reports Shamban.” Complications or adverse reactions – although generally very rare – will be photosensitivity, redness, or dry eye.”
For this reason, it’s important to wear goggles when using a light therapy mask, even if they’re not provided with the device. (In the case of professional treatment, Shamban says they always wear goggles in her practice, and Patients are advised to close their eyes throughout the treatment).
Possibility of sunburn
Worried about getting sunburn while using an LED mask at home? Users need not be nervous about this. LaBach said the LEDs are UV-free. Kerry Benjamin, a licensed cosmetologist and founder of StackedSkincare, said she Some studies have been encountered that suggest that LED treatments produce very small amounts of UV radiation, but none have shown that there are Adequate exposure to UV rays can cause the typical problems associated with UV damage (sunburn, skin cancer, vision problems). Therefore, the use of sunscreen during treatment is unnecessary. Similarly, Shamban says that photosensitivity and phototoxicity are typically caused by UV exposure, not LEDs.
Masks vs. Wands
There are LED masks that slide over the entire face, and then there are smaller handheld wands that target specific areas. LaBach says the wands at home are not as effective as the masks because of the location of the mask, ensuring that each part of the skin treated has the same The level of the light. With a wand, it’s harder to use the light evenly. Also, the mask is hands-free, whereas the wand apparently is not. On the flip side, Benjamin says that because the wand moves over the face, it may be safer for vision.
How to stay safe while using LED masks
First, when buying an LED mask for home use, check the label to see if it’s FDA-approved, says LaBach. Second, wear shade or opaque goggles at all times when using it. And follow all the instructions, from skin preparation, to usage to duration. Read the instructions thoroughly before you start, so you know the full deal, and then read them throughout the process. And consult the details. Benjamin recommends talking to a professional to find out the best length and frequency of treatments for your skin.
Moderation of expectations is also important.Shamban highly recommends LED as a treatment, but says that the only ” ‘Insta-result’ will be the bright light of Instagram. No device will have the power of in-office therapy. And even professional therapy requires multiple sessions and sustained results. An at-home device is much less powerful. Labach adds that there is no scientific data to support the long-term effectiveness of at-home LED treatments for improving skin.
In addition, Shamban always recommends that people contact a board-certified Dermatologists check. After all, they are professionals for a reason.