Facial skin treatment is one application of phototherapy, a medical treatment that involves the application of natural or artificial light to improve a health condition. We researched the history of light therapy and quickly discovered its origins in the 1990s when NASA used it in plant growth experiments in space. The U.S. Navy SEALs used the treatment to speed up skin wound recovery and even muscle injuries.
Now, if light therapy worked for NASA and the U.S. Navy and is sold as a facial skin treatment by dermatologists, why can’t you have your own device? You can! Here are some of our favorite facial light therapy devices.
Buying Guide for Facial Light Therapy Devices
Why buy a facial light therapy device?
Facial light therapy treats common skin conditions like acne, eczema, rosacea, sun damage, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, sensitive and inflammatory conditions, and scarring. And generally, it helps restore skin’s radiance. This treatment may even help prevent more serious skin issues. Still, regular facial light therapy is key to achieving results. A full-package treatment plan at a dermatologist may require between six to twelve sessions. Get your own facial light therapy mask or wand, and you save gas, time, and money.
What should you look for in a facial light therapy device?
- Design: Most facial light therapy devices fall into one of two categories: masks or wands. Masks provide full facial coverage simultaneously, excluding the eyes, nostrils, and mouth. You can better accurately target areas of the face with a wand, which can be beneficial if your main concern is acne that’s limited to one area. Wands are the more portable option, as they take up less space. But mask devices save you time if you desire the full coverage treatment.
- LED Color: You’ll come across facial light therapy devices with several color wavelengths of visible light, from violet (380 to 450 nm) with the highest frequency to red (620 to 750 nm) with the lowest frequency. Each color is thought to treat a different set of skin conditions. Red light affects the deepest layer of the skin and is known to increase circulation and promote collagen production. Conversely, blue light treats the outermost layer of skin and is thought to have antibacterial properties helpful in reducing oil production, eczema, and acne. You know your skin best, so choose the device that offers the treatment you most need.
- Extras: Believe it or not, many wand facial light therapy devices have massage modes to work and relax facial muscles. Others utilize galvanic electric currents (ion+ or ion-) to pull out impurities or push serums into the skin. These devices come with tools with differing heads to address specific sections of the face and conditions. Look for devices that come with your preferred charging mode setup, too.
When should you consider alternatives to facial light therapy?
It would be nice if we only needed facial light therapy devices to treat every skin condition. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. If you have a dermatologist, you may want to discuss facial light therapy as an option for treating your condition and defer to their judgment. If you notice that a mole has changed shape, color, or size, seek medical care. These symptoms may be signs of a more serious skin condition.
Our Picks for the Best Facial Light Therapy Devices
Pros: The NEWKEY face mask has not one but seven LED light colors to choose from. Each color treats different conditions, though they all activate photoreceptors in the skin’s cells to heal and beautify. Red penetrates deepest and encourages collagen production; yellow, the midlevel intensity color, smooths the skin. This phototherapy treatment device makes regular use easy. The mask covers and treats the entire face, with openings for the nostrils, mouth, and eyes. Do you know what that means? You get to relax for 20 minutes three to four times a week. Use the attached power device to set your treatment’s duration and light color(s).
Cons: You may find the mask heavy, too tight, or sharp-edged. We all have different faces, and this mask won’t be perfect for everyone. Keep that in mind before you make a purchase.
Bottom Line: Ready to treat your skin with advanced phototherapy technology? This mask delivers all the LED light colors for all your facial skin layers. That’s proper care.
Pros: The Pure Daily Care Luma wand combines four technologies for skin care to give the most thorough treatment possible. The bio-wave cell stimulation technology speeds up cell metabolism and bolsters cell regeneration. With galvanic challenging technology, the wand pulls out impurities from the skin (ion+) or pushes (ion-) in any creams or serums you apply. The wand also features red, blue, and green light modes. Add the two vibrating massage modes to the mix to augment the other technologies for more effective lymphatic drainage, skin tightening, and blood circulation. The fun part is mixing the four technologies to find the proper treatment for your skin. Use them separately, combine two, or use them all at once. Choose your settings with the LED display.
Cons: You may want to remember that the recommended daily treatment requires about 15 minutes. Not everyone will be encouraged to hold this device up to their face for that long.
Bottom Line: It’s hard to one-up a product like this skin therapy wand; it gives more than it takes. The wand is affordable and comes with a travel pouch, charging cable, quick-start treatment guides, and an instruction manual.
Pros: To appreciate the NuDerma facial light therapy device, it helps to have a basic understanding of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is a molecular compound, a source of energy that’s stored for use at the cellular level; it’s commonly referred to as the energy currency of the cell. As the body ages, ATP production slows. Decreased cell activity shows up as skin imperfections, hair loss, and sagging skin. This cleverly designed wand comes with four high-frequency neon electrode applicators to increase cellular activity by supercharging ATP synthesis. Each tube (spot, comb, mushroom, and tongue) has its purpose. For example, the mushroom tube rejuvenates the skin across broad surfaces like the cheeks, forehead, and jawline. Use each of the applicators regularly to boost skin glow and reduce signs of aging.
Cons: The wand only provides orange light, so it’s limited in its light therapy.
Bottom Line: The procedure stands the test of time. High-frequency skin treatment has been in use since the begging of the Modern era, which may bring a certain amount of comfort. Plus, the wand is portable! No heavy machine to lug around.
Pros: This is your chance to get a break from your day. Set up the device, lie back on a cushioned table or floor so that the 18- by 7-inch panel covers your face thoroughly, and relax for 15 to 30 minutes. The LED light spectrum includes red, blue, yellow, and infrared. You can combine colors, too.
Cons: You may be disappointed by the quality of the stand.
Bottom Line: The ATELSETIC facial light therapy device rejuvenates the skin and provides an opportunity to take some time for relaxation. Just close your eyes and let the light work its magic.
Pros: This unique facial therapy wand emits red light and infrared light to reach the dermis, the skin’s deeper tissues. With eight red and fourteen infrared LEDs and added heat up to 107.6 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re sure to feel the full effect of the treatment. It’s completely pain-free, though. And the head of the device that contacts your skin is made of quality stainless steel. The combination of red and infrared light increases blood circulation, stimulates collagen, and reduces wrinkles. The device has an ergonomic design and an easy-to-read interface. Press the ON/OFF button, place the bottom of the wand into the base, and connect a USB cord to recharge the included lithium battery.
Cons: Some people might have issues with charging the device.
Bottom Line: The Uaike handheld device offers a powerful red and infrared light treatment plus heat. The three-in-one device fits in a purse or suitcase so that you can keep your treatment program up on the go.
Maybe your skin could use some attention and self-care. With a quality facial light therapy device like those we reviewed here, you can make positive changes to your skin’s health and appearance without going broke.