Here's everything you need to know about the trending LED masks

And the ones that really work.

Harper's Bazaar India

I don’t know about you, but when a celebrity starts touting a bizarre-looking beauty treatment, my immediate reaction is an eye-roll à la, “Who paid you to post about this thing that probably does nothing?” So when I first saw pics of people like Chrissy Teigen using LED devices to treat breakouts, I assumed this was just another trendy but questionably functional gimmick.

Turns out I assumed wrong, because yes, even veteran beauty editors make mistakes. LED—the easier way to say ‘light-emitting diode’—technically works by shooting out high-intensity light that’s absorbed by your skin. “The most common lights are red and blue, and they can be used separately or together,” explains Mona Gohara, dermatologist and associate clinical professor at Yale University. Red light is great for stimulating collagen production (plumping your skin and smoothing fine lines); blue is a godsend for treating inflammatory acne (zapping surface-level spots that look super squeezable).

“Blue light also has antibacterial properties and can help reduce oil production,” adds Dr Gohara. Very hopeful, I know. But—we’ve now arrived at the ‘it’s complicated’ portion of the show—the gold standard for LED therapy is (and always will be) in-clinic treatments because doctors and med spas have access to stronger lights that simply aren’t available to us regular folks. These appointments can get pricey—up to £250 (approx. ₹26,000) for a one-hour session, of which you’ll need several to see results. And they’re rarely covered by the NHS. Womp. Wait, though (you didn’t really think I’d end this story on such a downer?)—you can still get some measurable benefits with more affordable, at-home LED gadgets that are actually pretty effortless to use. “LED therapy is way less likely than DIY peels or rollers to cause drama. Like, you really can’t mess it up,” says Dr Gohara. Just follow the instructions and you’ll see fewer breakouts after six-ish weeks, no redness or irritation included. And at the very least, you’ll get to feel like a fancy celebrity for a little while. Sold.


- LED may be low risk, but that doesn’t mean you can use any random device you find online—make sure it’s expert-approved, like my recommendations below.

- Always start with fresh, clean skin—that means no moisturisers, serums, or make-up. After the LED treatment, resume your usual skincare routine.

- Does your LED gear physically touch your skin? After each use, turn it off, unplug it, and gently clean it with an alcohol wipe to nix harmful bacteria.


FOREO UFO™ 2 Supercharged Facial Skincare Device—Mint, ₹27,399

LightAura Plus LED Face & Neck Mask, ₹17,000

LightAura Plus LED Face & Neck Mask

Erikka LED Therapy Mask, ₹14,999

Erikka LED Therapy Mask

SEMINO Advanced LED Light Therapy Face Mask,  ₹14,995

SEMINO Advanced LED Light Therapy Face Mask

Photo Credit: @kourtneykardashian/ Instagram

Also Read: A comprehensive guide to giving your lashes some TLC

Also Read: 8 peptide-infused products that you should add to your skincare routine

This article originally appeared in the February/March '24 issue of Cosmopolitan US.