If you’ve recently become the proud owner of an at-home LED mask, congrats! We’re right there with you. But also, we have questions. Like, when do you use an LED mask? As in, which step of your routine should it be? And if we get it wrong, are we then going to suffer some terrible skin consequences?!
Light therapy wouldn’t be cleared for DIY use unless it was completely safe. But still, we want to make sure we’re getting the best results and therefore using it in the best way.
So to clear us of any confusion, we reached out to Dr Clara Hurst, Owner of Blanc Perth & Co-Founder of The Secret Skincare for Omnilux. Here, she answers all of our questions about using an at-home LED mask…
Where does an LED mask fit into a skin care routine?
If you’ve ever had an LED treatment as part of a facial, it’s usually an early-on post-cleanse step. And the same goes for using your LED mask at home. “You want to use your mask on completely clean skin,” says Dr Clara. “It’s important that there is nothing on the skin to create a barrier.”
You can then follow your LED session with your normal skin care products, such as serums and moisturisers. However, if you’re using an LED mask to treat acne, only use “gentle cleansers beforehand and light moisturisers afterwards.”
Speaking specifically of the Omnilux Clear ($590 at omniluxled.com), Dr Clara says “you should avoid spot treatments, acne medications (like Accutane or Tretinoin) or other topicals during the course of LED treatments.”
Is it bad to apply any products before using an LED mask?
So we know clean skin is important, but is it ok to pop on some hydration before you wear your LED mask? According to Dr Clara, if you’re using the Omnilux Contour Face ($590 at omniluxled.com) for overall skin rejuvenation, a little something-something is ok.
“You can certainly use one of the Omnilux Hydrogel Masks that are specifically designed to pair with LED treatments (it’s packed with hyaluronic acid and is a great way to keep your skin hydrated during treatment),” she says.
“If you have fairly dry skin, it is okay to have a water-based/vitamin C serum on your face prior to a Contour treatment.”
But if you’re using the CLEAR device, it’s best to stick to using it straight after cleansing.
Can I use it every day?
Consistency is key when it comes to at-home LED treatment. And while you can use it every day, Omnilux recommends three to five treatments per week for the Contour device and four times per week for the CLEAR device in order to see results.
As for whether morning or night is better — it’s up to you! “It doesn’t matter if you use LED as part of your morning routine or your evening routine, it’s whenever you have time,” confirms Dr Clara.
You can use it as part of your skin care routine in the morning and carry on with your day, or you use it before bed and then pop on your serum and moisturiser.
- CurrentBody Skin LED Light Therapy Mask, $515 at currentbody.com.au
- Dr Naomi Skin LED it Glow, $595 at drnaomi.com
Is it ok to open my eyes?
A great way to fit in a quick LED session is to do it while you’re watching TV. And if you were concerned about what the light might be doing to your open eyes, Dr Clara says you needn’t worry.
“The great thing about Omnilux is they make sure all their devices are tested to the highest safety standards, including eye safety,” she explains. “So, yes it is completely safe to use with your eyes open; you are not doing any harm to your eyesight.”
And because some people are more sensitive to blue light, the CLEAR mask has built-in eye shields for comfort.
How tight should my mask be?
If you’ve got an LED mask with adjustable straps like the Omnilux ones, Dr Clara says it’s best to contour it pretty well (and close) to the face.
“Ideally, the mask should sit on the skin,” she says. “But if there are parts that sit [a few centimeters] away from the skin, you are still getting the same quality of treatment.”
So whatever’s the most comfortable (and closest) is best.
What kind of acne can I treat with an LED mask?
With so many different types and causes of acne, using an LED mask to treat it won’t be right for everyone.
“If you have numerous or extensive pimples and whiteheads, many cysts, and/or a fair amount of blackheads, this would indicate either more severe (or comedonal acne if the acne papules are flesh-coloured), for which CLEAR is not recommended,” says Dr Clara.
While low-level light therapy shouldn’t make acne worse, it’s best to speak with your practitioner if you’re unsure and think your acne falls into this category.
“The CLEAR mask is meant for those with mild to moderate acne,” Dr Clara explains. “[This] will present as a few, or some, pimples or spots and even a few small nodules.”
It also doesn’t matter if the area is small or large; the mask can still be used on the whole face to treat this type of acne. “The light is not going to harm [the rest of] your skin,” assures Dr Clara. “Low-level light therapy is non-invasive and very safe.”
If my acne improves and clears, do I stop using the mask?
It’s a straightforward ‘yes’ for this one. “The recommended course of treatment with CLEAR is an initial six weeks of use, four times per week,” says Clara.
But that doesn’t mean your mask becomes useless once it’s over. “[After] the initial series is complete, you can then use the device at the earliest signs of a breakout to significantly cut down the duration of the breakout and reduce associated inflammation and redness.”
Of course, we’d love it if our acne never came back again but it’s good to know (considering the price of such devices) that they still come in handy afterward.
Main image credit: @omniluxled
Do you use an LED mask? Did you find this guide helpful?