At-home LED red light therapy devices have skyrocketed in popularity over the past several years, becoming an integral part of many people's skin-care routines. They're safe, easy to use, accessible, and known to help with the production of collagen, skin tone and texture, and fine lines and wrinkles. Despite the benefits, these at-home tools tend to be more of a slow burn and can't quite compare to in-office laser technologies. Enter Lyma Laser ($2,695), the first handheld medical-grade device that promises professional results — safely, from the comfort of your home.
Since receiving FDA clearance in May 2022, this groundbreaking at-home device has gone viral on social media. Founded by Lucy Goff, the technology has been backed by years of research and engineering for safe at-home use. Though it's seen its share of skeptics on social media, it's nevertheless garnered a dedicated celebrity following and endorsement from top skin-care experts such as master aesthetician Joanna Czech and New York City dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, who are dedicated users of Lyma Laser themselves.
"One of my favorite things about the Lyma Laser is how practical, low-maintenance, and easy it is to use on your own time," Dr. Engelman says. "I love that you can use it in your home and that it works from head to toe. It is more powerful than at-home LED devices and targets wrinkles, texture, tone, and elasticity."
Keep reading for everything else you need to know about the technology and my full experience trying it out.
How the Lyma Laser Works
The laser itself is a portable, six-inch-long cylindrical device with an on-off button at the opposite end of the laser that appears nonthreatening, considering its power. It utilizes low level laser therapy (LLLT) or near infrared laser light technology that helps to remodel and rebuild skin without causing damage to skin cells in the process. "It was originally developed for the medical industry by scientists developing a medical laser who found amazing results on transforming wrinkles, pigmentation, and scars," Dr. Engelman says.
Inside the device, there are two patented internal diffusers that fragment the near infrared light into 25,000 smaller beams, operating at 500mW power at the 808nm wavelength. "The laser light activates fibroblasts, encouraging cells to recharge and regenerate, increasing collagen and elastin production," Dr. Engelman says. The light energy reaches the deepest layers of the skin but also into the fat and muscle tissue beneath the surface. Despite this, the treatment is painless, causes no irritation to the skin, and is incredibly easy to use — leaving little to no risk of the average person using the device to overdo it.
Comparatively, in-office laser rejuvenation works by inducing a stress/damage response, essentially inflicting injury to the skin in order to stimulate collagen, Goff explains. Dr. Engelman adds, "Lyma offers many benefits to the skin because it triggers the skin cells to recharge, regenerate, and repair, instead of dying off like traditional lasers." The technology "switches" your cells from the degeneration process to the regeneration process.
For best results, it's recommended that you use the device for three to 15 minutes daily over the desired treated area, such as the entire face, for 12 weeks. If there's a particular area on your face that you're looking to treat, such as crow's feet, it's instructed that you hold the laser still on that area for three minutes, then move on to the next area you wish to treat.
Benefits of the Lyma Laser
Czech not only uses the Lyma Laser on herself but also on her clients during facial sessions. "The Lyma is great [at reducing] inflammation; I've had clients use it on their scars as well," she says. "When it comes to at-home treatments and technology, ease of use plays a huge factor. I call it Netflix-friendly; you can use it while in bed or pack it easily in your carry-on."
Depending on your personal skin-care goals, Lyma Laser can be used for both prevention and also rejuvenation. "It [works especially well on] mature skin, sensitive skin, blemish-prone skin, and dry skin," Dr. Engelman says. The laser treats a multitude of concerns, from signs of aging — like fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, and loss of volume — to pigmentation, acne scarring, spider veins, and bruises. "One of my favorite tricks is to use it on my arms as well," Czech says.
How to Use the Lyma Laser
The device requires four hours of charging and, if used as instructed, requires charging once a week. Once the device is charged, fully cleanse your face (or double cleanse if necessary), then "apply an emollient serum or cream so the laser is able to glide more smoothly without tugging the skin," Dr. Engelman says.
If you're not keen on using the Lyma-branded products that come in the starter kit (like the Lyma Oxygen Mist and Glide), Czech says she loves to apply all of her favorite serums before using the laser, including the Joanna Czech Skincare The Soothing Serum ($275) and The C + Serum ($340). Goff says you can use any product with the laser and follow your normal skin-care routine as usual, including vitamin C, retinol, and SPF — there are no contraindications.