LED masks, the stars’ favorite anti-aging accessory before a red carpet.

Hollywood’s most glowy faces swear by LED masks to glow on the red carpet. Experts tell us about the many benefits of light therapy for the skin.

Luminous objects with a futuristic look have invaded social networks. The numerous selfies of celebrities wearing LED light masks (like Kourtney Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Chrissy Teigen or even Victoria Beckham) before going on the red carpet have raised curiosity. This high-tech facial treatment based on light therapy (a “photobiomodulation” technique) is not, however, a novelty in the field of aesthetic medicine.

“These lights were developed in the health and wellness industry starting in 2000 to regenerate skin and calm inflammation,” says Dr. Michèle Pelletier, dermatologist and president of the European Led Academy Association. “At the beginning of this decade, new studies conducted by NASA on astronauts demonstrated the effects of red LED light on healing and cell regeneration. Researchers and engineers then developed other wavelengths, i.e., other colors.”

In aesthetic medicine practices and spas, LED sessions are now offered à la carte like any other service (for a fee between 20 and 50 euros on average). “It is a non-invasive method that is more and more used, above all because it is a cold and painless lamp. It relies on a photoelectric effect,” explains Dr. Eric Menoulliard, aesthetic doctor at the Skincare Agency in Paris. “We remove makeup and clean the patient’s face, cover her eyes with protective glasses, and then place a sort of LED ‘cage’ over her head for about 30 minutes.”

Each color has its benefits :
So the biological properties of LEDs depend on their light spectrum. Red remains the most widely used color (it is also the one most studied by science.) “It provides an ″anti-aging″ effect because it stimulates fibroblasts, the cells responsible for the production of collagen and elastin, which ensure the firmness of the skin,” explains Dr. Eric Menouillard. In addition to slowing down the signs of skin aging, it “accelerates circulation in the dermis, rehydrates the skin and tones it up in depth. It can also repair small lesions that appear with the sun.”

Other skin problems are also targeted by LED light. The blue frequency is recommended to treat acne: “It puts to rest the colonies of bacteria that are located in large numbers in the dermis and improves the clinical appearance of the skin,” says Dr. Michèle Pelletier.

Yellow light is popular for its anti-inflammatory effect. “It is effective in reducing the small redness that occurs after lasers or a peel, for example. It soothes the skin so that one can return to one’s activities without being scarlet after an intervention”, assures Dr Menouillard. This wavelength can even be used on recent stretch marks between two pulsed light sessions “to regain even skin and fade marks by 40 to 50 percent.”

According to the American professional make-up artist Quinn Murphy, who was responsible for the beauty of the actress Kate Hudson at the MET Gala 2021, the skin would be “visibly smoother and more vigorous” in a few minutes. But doctors do not agree: “The results on the skin texture will never be immediate, it is a work that takes place over the long term,” moderates Dr. Pelletier. “You have to wait at least two or three months with regular sessions to see tangible changes.”

As for the LED light masks available for sale, “we can’t say they work as well as professional equipment, but they can’t hurt,” says Dr. Eric Menouillard. For his part, Dr. Pelletier, who often recommends “home devices” to his patients, is not against these devices. Under certain conditions: “They must be approved by clinical studies. As long as you follow the precautions for use, including protecting your eyes, it’s a good way to take care of yourself at home,” she suggests.

According to experts, LEDs can be used on all skin types, regardless of skin tone and at any time of the year (unlike lasers, for example), without causing side effects. However, these treatments are contraindicated for pregnant women and people with cancer.

(1) Clinical test on 20 volunteers (women and men aged 45 to 70) for three months, conducted by Laboratoire GREDECO in December 2021.

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