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Being able to get pro results from the comfort of your couch is a win in any beauty lover’s book. One way to do just that is with the best LED face masks, a great beauty gift idea for women or men in your life who could use some self-care time.

What is LED Light Therapy and How Did It Start?

“It was discovered about 60 years ago when NASA engineers were approached by Johnson & Johnson to create medical equipment involving red LED light, knowing the range of the wavelength would get into your dermis, because that’s where collagen synthesis happens,” explains Joanna Czech, one of the most celebrated aestheticians in the world, who says she’s been using LED light therapy for the better part of 22 years.

And what, exactly, was NASA’s intent? To discover how to get the body to absorb medication via LED light therapy.

“They wanted to use it for chemotherapy patients who could not swallow medication because of nausea and who were very fragile,” says Czech. “They applied it on the skin via medicinal patches, and doctors would shoot the patches with red light, and when patients returned for check-ups several sessions later, doctors noticed a different quality of skin where the patches were. Skin was tighter, brighter and skin markings were more shallow.”

What Does Light Therapy Do to Your Skin?

“That really depends on the color of the light,” explains Czech. There are four main types of LED light therapy — red, blue, yellow and green — and each color treats a different skin concern, especially when it comes to discoloration. “We have so many different forms of pigmentation,” says Czech, from hormonal to sun exposure, and there isn’t just one type of light that will resolve all types of hyperpigmentation. Below, she walks us through every type of LED light.

Red light is used to stimulate collagen production and ATP energy within cells, strengthening them. “If we increase the elasticity of the skin, we reduce the appearance of fine lines, scarring, stretch marks and enlarged pores,” says Czech. “Every single person can benefit from red light — it doesn’t matter if you are 30 years old with acne or 70 — and you use it across your body, wherever you need increased elasticity, like your face, hands, and skin above your knee.” She adds that red light also makes the skin healthier overall.

Blue light has antibacterial properties, according to Czech, and is best for someone with blemishes, acne or rosacea. “It surprises people, but rosacea is a bacterial condition, usually from stress, diet or lifestyle that brings it to the surface.” It’s often used during facials after the extraction phase to zap any lingering bacteria on the skin.

Green light “inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase, which is responsible for the synthesis of melanin, so it prevents hyper-pigmentation from starting internally,” says Czech. “It’s also known as a calming light and works on vascular systems, so it’s an anti-redness light as well, like for acne scars.”
Yellow light prevents photoaging, meaning from the sun or other external factors, like environmental stressors or smoking, and works to evens out skin tone.

Can You Combine Light Therapies?

Czech reassures us that it is safe to combine different light therapies. You could easily use a red LED face mask on a Monday and safely use a blue LED face mask the next day without a hitch. But, Czech asks, “how many conditions do you really want to address at once, really?”

How Do You Use an LED Face Mask?

LED face masks work best with regular use. “There really should be a program,” Czech says. “You need to do it four times a week minimum, for about two to four months. The start-up needs to be a little more intense and definitely consistent.”

Is LED Light Therapy Safe?

You should not be using LED light therapy if you are pregnant or have a Pacemaker, but other than that, Czech doesn’t know of a single negative side effect for any of the four light therapies, but it’s key to look for the mask’s FDA seal of approval first before starting any regimen.

“I’ve been using LED light therapy for almost a quarter of a century and I chose to work with it because they were used on chemotherapy patients with challenged immune systems,” she says. “So I thought, well if they can use it, anyone else can use it and benefit, too.”

Best Aesthetician-Approved Mask

Czech says that she is “in love” with the medical-grade Lyma laser from the UK. “And everyone knows I hate lasers!”. One reason she loves the Lyma is because it’s not just a laser, it’s also an LED device, featuring four high-intensity blue LED lights to eliminate surface bateria-causing acne, strengthen skin elasticity and tighten cellulite, as well as neutralize the appearance of rosacea and hyperpigmentation.

Meet the Experts

Joanna Czech is a world-renowned aesthetician to some of the world’s most famous faces. With studios in New York City and Dallas — along with the celebrity house calls she regularly makes — her clientele is loyal, discerning and of course, they all have impossibly gorgeous skin. And rumor has it that her wait list is six months long.