Our favourite mask nowadays is not the usual mask you take out of a pack, dripping with hyaluronic acid. This new-age mask needs to be plugged into a socket in the wall, because it emits therapeutic light.
Light emitting diodes (LED) are now considered effective therapies for skin rejuvenation, as well as a therapy for some skin problems, such as acne, eczema or rosacea. Essentially like what the sun is to a plant, it penetrates the skin to a cellular level and causes several interesting cellular activity.
Available at some medical aesthetic clinics or medi-spas, LED Red and I-Clear Blue light therapy can be found in clinical facials such as the Deep Red Facial, or the Clear Blue facial. Since LED Red has been shown in studies to be able to stimulate collagen and also decrease inflammation, the Deep Red Facial is a hot favourite with those who have sensitive skin issues such as rosacea as well. LED Blue light therapy has been shown to kill bacteria-causing acne, not surprisingly, the Clear Blue is also a favourite for those who need help dealing with breakouts.
In the past, most of these light therapies were only found in-office. Now, home-based LED masks are available – and why not? Since light therapies are only effective with adequate time spent over weeks, home-based LED masks have proved to be the more economical option, and you can do it in the comfort of your home.
But wait. If you were thinking you could also put on the mask in the comfort of a Netflix binge-watching session, you probably want to think again, especially if you belong to a subset of people with certain eye-related disorders where repeated exposures to LED light could lead to permanent retinal damage and blindness. In-office LED light treatments are done in proper settings (lighting, duration of use, eye protection). At home, we run the risk of over-exposure.
Does it mean we are back to square one? According to Dr Michelle Lim, you can use LED masks, but go into it only if you have no pre-existing medical conditions, and use appropriate eye protection. It might be tempting to add a few minutes more than instructed but stick to the duration recommended, and use it consistently.
So, good news. Mask on, folks. Just make sure it’s safe first.