I Tried a $625 Light Therapy Mask, And This Is How My Skin Looks Now
by Sidney Burds
Here’s what shining a little light did for my skincare routine!
Celebs and influencers are always taking to social media to brag about the latest skincare treatments. Chrissy Teigen, Jessica Alba, and Kourtney Kardashian have all been caught using LED light therapy masks for at home rejuvenation. So when the opportunity to try one of these, albeit Halloween looking, spa treatments at home I jumped at the chance. I tried out the MZ Skin light therapy mask for 30 days, and now I’m back to dish my thoughts and show off my results.
You might be wondering like I was about where exactly the idea for LED light masks came from. There’s a lot of science backing them up it turns out. NASA first experimented with LEDs when growing plants in space, and then tested it on astronauts and found it had healing properties on wounds. The light encourages cells to produce more ATP, or adensonine triphosphate, that produces healthy cell function and growth.
The thought behind light masks like the MZ Skin Golden Facial Treatment Device is to rejuvenate your skin with light emitting diodes (a.k.a. the little light sources on LEDs) from the comfort of your home. It claims that it will calm your complexion and visibly diminish hyperpigmentation. From what I’ve been able to gather online from other light therapy mask testers, because this mask is new, the average see results at just 30 days. This is not an instant fix, but one that takes place over multiple sessions.
Shop It! MZ Skin Light Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device, $625
First impressions: This mask is a lot larger than I anticipated (silly I know), but I didn’t expect it to be so big! It’s made of a thick plastic with an elastic band that stretches across the back for wear. A long, black power cord connects from the base of the mask to an outlet.
This particular mask comes with three main lighting options: yellow light for reducing redness and boosting circulation; red light for stimulating collagen and elastin while reducing inflammation; and blue light for balancing and clarifying acne-prone skin.
As for operating, it’s quite easy. Turn it on, pick the LED light therapy color you prefer, set the time—this mask advises to start off shorter, around 10 minutes, then work your way up to 30 minutes—then sit back and relax. At 25 years old, my main skin concern is acne and inflammation, so I alternated red and blue light sessions, twice a week for four weeks.
Here’s how it went.
Light Therapy Mask, Week 1: Warm and Welcoming
In preparation for my first light therapy treatment I went all out—showered, scrubbed, and cleaned my face to ensure not a stitch of makeup was in the way of the mask’s rays. The elastic band on the back of the mask, I discovered sadly, is essentially ornamental. The second I stretched it back to slip over my head it popped off, and try as I might it, would not hold fast, so I was forced to lie down as I wore the mask instead.
I turned on the red light, set the timer to 10 minutes, and lay down while it worked its magic.
Initial thoughts: This mask is heavy. I had to use my hand to help hold up the base of the mask at my chin so it would stop smashing my nose. It’s a tad claustrophobic; the mask is oversized and the nosepiece lined up with my mouth so I breathed in and out through that. (Needless to say, I looked incredible.)
Because it was still winter at the start of my light therapy mask sessions, the intense light was quite welcoming. I would liken the red light feeling on my skin to that of a tanning bed with its artificial glow. Though it’s important to note this beauty tool contains no UV rays, the overall sensation was similar to lying in the sun.
Once the 10 minutes were up, the light automatically turned off, and I wrapped up the cords and took a gander at my face. Talk about red! You would have thought I had stood outside watching a football game on a windy day. I was thankful I had only done 10 minutes and couldn’t imagine what would have happened had I done more. The red tone subsided later in the evening and was completely gone the next day, and I experienced similar results when I did my light therapy the second time that week.
Light Therapy Mask, Week 2: “You Look Terrifying”
I upped the timer to 15 minutes this week, as instructions suggest a gradual uptick in therapy. My boyfriend happened to be visiting, so I inquired what his thoughts were on my new look. He didn’t hold back and told me I looked like I was wearing a death mask and that it was quite terrifying. Lovely.
A side note: I’m not 100 percent sure if you’re supposed to have your eyes open during therapy, but face recognition does not work while sporting this mask.
After two treatments this week, I noticed a sense of dryness around my T-zone area and a slightly itchy sensation near my temples. I slathered on some face cream and hoped for the best.
Light Therapy Mask, Week 3: I Need a Break!
The dryness did not in fact subside and had even produced some peeling along the bridge of my nose. I made the decision to hold off on light therapy this week as to try and stop further drying outbreaks. I felt bad leaving my new fancy friend in my closet as I went about my week.
Light Therapy Mask, Week 4: Photo Evidence
Back to therapy! A week off was just what my skin needed to balance out the dryness. I decided my last week would remain at 15 minutes again because my experiment was running out of time.
My skin, again, was beet red following treatment, so I decided to wait to take my “after” photo until the next day. To me, I hadn’t felt like there was much change in my skin; I still had redness and continued to have minor breakouts. It wasn’t until the next morning when I photographed my face and compared photos from the beginning and end of treatment that I saw the difference.
From Week 1 to Week 4, the overall texture and tone of my skin has changed a lot. My skin is way more even and the redness is down a considerable amount. Did it clear me of my acne? No, but it does appear to have reduced the amount. Like any person, I scrutinize my imperfections on the daily, so I’m extremely glad I took these images, because without them, I personally wasn’t noticing the difference.
After seeing my before and after images would I recommend light therapy? Absolutely, it clearly works. And if you have the budget, I would recommend the mask I used, the MZ Skin Light Therapy Golden Facial Treatment.
Like anything, with light therapy masks, you get what you pay for, and the majority aren’t cheap. If you have combination skin issues like I do or are looking for a pop-free way to get rid of pimples, try using a light therapy mask like the ones below. It’s cheaper than visiting a spa for light therapy and much easier to fit in your schedule.
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