Ever since NASA began studying light-emitting diodes (LED) in 2000 to help astronauts reset their circadian rhythms, LED has been a hot topic of research. That’s because it not only helps space travelers sleep, but LED also results in more youthful-looking skin.
Currently, devices using red, blue, yellow, and green LED lights are approved by the FDA to treat a variety of issues, says dermatologist and Women’s Health advisory board member Ellen Marmur, MD. The overall appeal: There’s zero pain or downtime. “The concept of it needs to hurt to work is outdated,” she says.
What does LED do for skin?
“Red light has an anti-inflammatory effect,” says Dr. Marmur. “Blue light calms skin and kills bacteria.” Many at-home devices use a combo of these two colors to fight acne. The mask from Dr. Dennis Gross, below, treats the whole face (it also boosts collagen), while smaller devices, like Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment (also below), target individual zits. As for the other colors, yellow boosts circulation, and green stimulates collagen renewal.
How do LED masks work?
Think of the way your skin produces more melanin and darkens when it’s exposed to the sun-it’s made to react to light. This is due to a process called photo-biomodulation. “That means light, which is photon energy, can actually modulate or change your biology,” Dr. Marmur explains. The light receptors in molecules react to varying frequencies, which is why different colors of light have different skin benefits, says NYC dermatologist Howard Sobel, MD.
Check out these space-age LED masks for your skin.
('You Might Also Like',)