Welcome to Deep Reviews—your one-stop destination to discover the absolute best products and brands the beauty industry has to offer. Every month, our beauty crew and editors will research, test and review the market’s most sought-after and buzzed-about products to see which are truly worth your hard-earned money and attention. You can expect honest, completely uncensored feedback and no-BS recommendations our hard-to-please testers endorse without reservations. To put it simply, stick with us, and buyer’s remorse will be a thing of the past.
Photo:Who What Wear UK
If there's one skincare category that really enthrals the Who What Wear UK team, it has to. be tools and devices. For last month's Deep Reviews, we tested out the best microcurrent devices to sculpt, lift and snatch, and back in January we put the best hair multi-stylers to the test. For this month's Deep Reviews, we decided delve deeper into skincare gadgets by testing the best LED face mask devices. That's right, the Who What Wear UK team willingly turned themselves into Iron Man for a full month-long test of the best LED face masks around.
LED is a popular facial treatment in clinics, but at-home LED devices allow you to reap the benefits of LED from the comfort of your sofa, ideally while watching Daisy Jones and the Six. But what are the benefits of LED? LED stands for light-emitting diode, and you'll find that there are different lights, called wavelengths, that target specific skin concerns. Blue light, for example, is great at killing off the bacteria that contribute to acne, red light helps to stimulate collagen and treat skin concerns such as pigmentation, whereas near-infrared is ideal for healing and calming inflamed skin. There's a whole spectrum of different wavelengths. Some devices will feature a range, whereas others will have more targeted options, and some can even be used on the body to treat concerns such as eczema, back acne and psoriasis too. LED has also been touted to improve your mood—it's a win-win for the mind and skin.
But let's be honest—LED devices are a big investment. Most start around the £200 mark, but the top-of-the-range ones can easily set you back £1-2k. So if you're considering buying one, you're probably wondering if at-home LED devices are really worth it. And that's where our Deep Reviews comes in. I rallied the Who What Wear UK team to test out the best LED devices on the market right now for an entire month, from the most affordable to blow-the-budget face masks. As with all of our Deep Reviews, you'll find us sharing before and after pictures alongside our honest opinions—we don't hold back. Ready to find the best LED face mask for you? Scroll on for our take on the six different ones we tested.
Photo:Who What Wear UK
The Light Salon LED mask is very easy to use, there is only one setting and automatically turns off after 10 minutes. It emits both red and near-infrared light which helps reduce inflammation and helps the growth and regeneration in cells.
The pros: The mask is made from a soft and flexible silicone so it sat comfortably on my face with two straps to secure it in place. One thing that people comment on with LED masks is the red light can irritate their eyes, but I didn’t have any issues with this—I could still read, look at screens and other activities whilst wearing the device. If your eyes do get irritated though they also provide a pair of optional eye shields to use.
After the first few nights of using the Light Salon LED mask I started to feel like my skin was slightly more plump and it had started to calm some of the redness. Since testing the Light Salon mask, I have had multiple people compliment me on my skin saying how good it looks, which is the ultimate compliment since I have experienced acne and scarring over the years. My skin looks smoother, brighter and I feel like my complexion has evened out by reducing the redness on my face.
I am a super low-maintenance girl, and I find it hard to stick to products that don’t easily fit into my day but I found it incredibly easy to add into my nightly routine. Using the device meant that I had 10 minutes at the end of the day to just sit back and unwind which helped lower my stress levels, and LED can also increase your serotonin levels. It's very compact and comes with global adaptors so it is perfect to take away on holiday. There is also a lot of charge in the device; I charged it at the start of the trial, and haven’t needed to charge it again even though I have been using it a minimum of five times a week.
The cons: There was nothing that I didn’t like about it, I wanted to use it every day! I am always slightly sad when the light turns off after the allotted 10 minutes.
Final verdict: I would definitely buy this product or recommend it to a friend, it is super easy to use and I started to see results straight away. If you are using the product regularly then the cost of the device is worth it, especially if you go to salon’s for LED treatments.
The Dermalux Flex MD LED Light Therapy Device is probably the closest thing you can get to have a professional LED treatment at home, and that’s what contributes to the large price tag. Professionals use this in-clinic on their clients to treat a whole range of concerns, from acne to eczema and psoriasis to boosting collagen, both on the face and the body. It can even address joint and muscle pain and wound healing, which makes it very versatile. The LED lights sit on a flexible panel, which means you can remove it from the base to use on both the face and the body. This is particularly useful if you experience back acne, eczema or psoriasis on your body, as you can simply place the panel over the area.
The pros: The device comes with an array or different light treatments (but not so many that it's overwhelming) which you can mix and match for a tailored treatment via the control panel, which is very easy to use. Simply press which LED option(s) you want, pop on your safety goggles and press start. Then all you have to do is lie back and relax while the lights do all the hard work. Even with the goggles, the light feels very bright, which takes some getting used to, but I actually found the treatment really warming and relaxing—like taking a nap in the sun, but with none of the UV damage and all the skin-rejuvenating effects of LED.
The device also comes with a pillow, which is a nice touch, but I preferred just using my own which was more comfy. It also comes with a booklet with a guide on what LED light combinations are best to treat different skin concerns. I would mention that the near-infrared setting looks almost invisible in daylight—I actually emailed the brand PR because I was worried this setting wasn’t working properly! But rest assured, the light is there and does work very well, particularly on areas of inflammation.I love the versatility of the device and the fact that it can be used both on the face and body, thanks to the flexible LED panel. I liked being able to customise my treatments, choosing just the one light wavelength to treat a specific concern, or combining them to treat multiple problems.
When trying the device for the first time, I decided to combine all three light wavelengths: red, blue and infrared. Red helps to boost collagen and target pigmentation, blue treats acne, while infrared helps to reduce inflammation and encourage healing. After emerging from my 30-minute treatment, I didn’t notice a huge difference, but my skin had a little more ‘glow’ and looked less inflamed. I also used the device on my hands, which were experiencing an eczema flare and it had definitely become less inflamed over the following days. But the real results came after testing for a couple of weeks.
After using the device two to three times a week for a full month, I noticed that my pigmentation had subsided, and my skin looked more radiant. The results felt quite subtle, but I’d also had more compliments on my skin than ever before when using this device. On the final day of testing (and when I took my after photo above) hormonal acne struck my chin and the beginnings of an eczema flare were on the horizon. I think it’s important to remember that no product will any fully cure or prevent a skin concern, but this certainly helps with the treatment and management. Spots and redness were kept very much at bay while using this, and the ones that struck at the end of my treatment trial subsided much quicker than they usually would on their own. The eczema on my hands, while still there, is much calmer than it was, too.
The cons: The only thing I can really fault with the device is the size. This was originally designed for in-clinic use, so it is on the larger size and it's not necessarily a negative thing, but I found that it took up a lot of space in my flat. It does come with a bag to store it in, but as I wanted to use it regularly, it was easier to leave assembled rather than packing it away each time. And if I had to nit-pick, I found the 30-minute treatments tricky to weave into my routine. Unlike the other wearable LED face masks that we tested, you can’t potter around while using this one, and wearing the goggles is a must to protect your eyes. That said, it’s a great excuse to lie back and relax with a podcast.
Of course, I can't ignore the price tag. This is an eye-wateringly expensive piece of equipment. However, if you're someone who regularly has and benefits from in-clinic LED devices, and you want to reap the benefits at home, the investment may well pay off. Plus, this is probably the closest thing you can get to an in-clinic LED treatment, so you know it's going to deliver good results.
I have to admit that I was immediately taken in by the concept of the LED mask. Some of the best facials I’ve ever had have incorporated light therapy, so the bar is immediately set high for any at-home devices to perform in quite the same way that a salon facial does, but what piques my interest in the Omnilux Contour is the promise of medical grade LEDs. So far, so good.
The pros: Setting it up and switching it on couldn’t be easier (even for a technophobe like myself), so when I say that it's just a case of plugging in to the control and pressing down to turn it on, it really is exactly that. There are no other functions or settings to have to get to grips with, just one, red light, 10-minute treatment that I start by using four or so times a week, and as it’s so gentle, there’s no heat or strange sensations, just the feeling of a flexible rubber mask.
After using the device for the first time I didn’t expect to see much (and I didn’t), but by the third or so use, I am surprised by what I feel. Starting out, I’m aware that one of the primary functions of this mask in particular is to reduce the appearance of fine lines and while wrinkles, and while that isn’t a focus of mine, after the first couple of uses my skin feels noticeably softer. Aside from the mask my skincare routine hasn’t changed dramatically, but the skin that had been quite dry and rough before is surprisingly smooth, and change in texture is a total surprise.
After the results of the first few uses, I consistently used the mask to see what other changes I could pick up on, but I predict that most LED masks need a longer trial period over the course of a few months to give skin time to properly adjust, and the Omnilux Contour is no exception. I don’t see much change in the uneven skin tone that I wanted to correct, but I am really happy with how my skin feels and in turn, how my make up sits. As I’m used to having dry skin I tend to load up on serums and gel creams to create a smoother, “glass skin” look (and so my foundation doesn’t end up lasting the day), but during the course of this trial period I’ve scaled back on the amount of products and been both surprised and impressed by just how good my make up still looks at the end of day. Flaky, rough, blemished skin—gone.
This device is the perfect piece of kit for anyone starting out who doesn’t want to have to connect to apps, adjust settings or sit uncomfortably for long periods of time, and the mask’s flexible nature is one of it’s better features, as it bends to adjust to the shape of your face.
The cons: My first attempt at getting into the mask took a little bit of time (and if anything I could do with slightly larger eye holes for comfort), but when lying back with your eyes closed the mask is light and easy, and with no harsh glare.The only issue I came across was the aforementioned eye holes, but again, if you can take out the 10 minutes to put your feet up with your eyes closed, it’s probably a better experience than trying to factor it into an on-the-go routine.
Final verdict: There isn’t a lot to dislike about the mask, it’s more a case of choosing the right treatment for you. Some masks target acne, others reduce redness and inflammation, and the contour specialises in fine lines and wrinkles, and while I don’t see much difference in how “young” my skin looks, it could well be the case that the improvement in texture is proof of the collagen-boosting properties of the red light treatment working.
All masks are relatively pricey given the technology involved, so although you might initially baulk at the price compared to a sheet mask or a facial, it’s worth investing in a piece of kit that you can use time and again from the comfort of your own home. In comparison to other masks on the market, the Omnilux Contour strikes the right balance between being more affordable than leading competitors, and being reassuringly priced.
The Déssee Pro is the one you’ve seen all over Instagram—it is a market leader and a top contender in the world of premium LED masks considering it comes in at a cool £1440. Yes, it makes you look a little bit like Jason from Halloween. Yes, it terrified my husband, child and cat. However, when it comes loaded with endorsements from Hollywood celebrities, influencers I trust, skin experts and makeup artists alike, I was absolutely willing to risk scaring my household in the name of better-looking skin.
The pros: There are six separate treatment modes using a multitude of wavelengths to combat different concerns such as anti-ageing, evening pigmentation and calming down breakouts—I like having options so this already spoke to me. Once you’re over the first hurdle of reading the instructions (isn’t it hard to be patient?) the device is ultra-easy to use. I liked that you can combine different modes into one session depending on where your skin is at on any given day. It’s simple to plug in, select the mode you want and simply hit go. There is a timer that ensures even the sleepiest of beauty lovers won’t fall into a slumber and have LED lights on their face for several hours, which is just as well as this is a nice ritual to do before bedtime.
I’m not sure if there are any LED devices that work on a one-treatment and you’re done kind of basis, but I would say that the acne treatment mode (that’s using blue light—number two on the mode list) was effective much faster than I would’ve imagined. I have been suffering over the past month or so with some digestion issues after picking up mutiple stomach bugs which manifested as some irritating little breakouts. If I used it before bed, I would find that by the morning the breakout had calmed significantly—the Déssee Pro helped clear the breakouts up quicker than any spot treatment I’ve used before.
My impression of LED masks is that this is a gradual top-up one sees the benefits from over time rather than in the space of a month, so although I do think the Déssee Pro has done some good work to help boost some collagen for my wrinkles and smooth out my skin-tone, I think it’s one of those magically subtle tools that you’ll miss the most once you’re not using it. I’m sure that if one had the money to spend £1.4k on a bit of beauty tech you might want to see more dramatic results instantly, but if you consider this to be a constant treatment that you’d use rather than going to a salon, it could be more valuable over time as a reliable strategy for maintaining your skin.
Overall, I feel like my skin is brighter, softer and some of my fine lines have started to lessen ever-so-slightly, but I’m fairly convinced that it would improve over time if I could use the mask multiple times a week (forever!) I like that the settings are in 10-minute bursts so you can easily fit this into a busy schedule. I stepped up my usage to 3-4 times a week rather than the initial suggestion of two simply because I had a shorter period of time to test this product within.
The cons: I’m a little bit claustrophobic so I knew the feeling of the mask itself might make me a little uncomfortable no matter its design, but it’s easy to breathe in and the stretchy head strap with velcro fastenings means it can adjust to you—this is more of a stiff plastic mould in comparison to some of the rubbery, flexible masks that feature elsewhere in this article. As someone with a larger Middle Eastern nose (for which I am grateful to my Iranian heritage) I found that the mask would leave red indents and a little discomfort after longer periods of use, but it was nothing that would put me off using it. It's worth noting that this is not a re-chargeable device but one that allows you to be about 1.5m maximum away from a plug socket.
Final verdict: The fact that this is a multi-tasking LED device definitely puts it in a league of its own—there are very few facials you’d have on the regular that combined both anti-ageing and acne treatments, for example. So the fact you can target multiple issues in one sitting is pretty incredible. Is it good value for money? Well, I can’t deny this is an eye-wateringly expensive piece of kit to invest in, but if you’re someone who spends a lot of money on skincare and the upkeep of your appearance, and would like to take a little bit more of that into your own control and own home, then I think it’s worth investing in. Am I sad to have to send it back to the press office? Absolutely. Any moment of calm and self-care that also brings results, be it physical or mental, is welcome in my world.
I used the CurrentBody Skin LED Light Therapy Mask seven days a week for a month for a total of 10 mins each day. Although, it’s recommended to use it at least five days a week. I made sure that I didn’t change anything else in my skin routine during the month too. The mask is pretty straightforward to use. It has a small charging bank that attaches to it to give it power, and with a click of a button, the device will start and stay on for a duration of 10 mins. I made sure to fully charge the power bank before my first use of the device. The red light itself is absolutely harmless and doesn’t cause any pain or discomfort.
The pros: I firstly like that the CurrentBody skin LED light therapy mask is made out of a sturdy silicone material that is easy to clean after each use. The mask is big and heavy but it’s most likely that you'd still need to use the velcro strap provided to hold the device up against your face securely.
After using the device for the first time, I didn’t see any noticeable results. But after a month of testing, I have noticed that my skin looks a lot more radiant and my base makeup applies so much smoother into my skin and generally looks a lot better after full application. I feel like this is possibly down to the fact my pores have reduced in size.
As the red light is quite bright, I find that it’s better to just relax and close my eyes each night whilst having it on. I appreciate the fact that they also provide a pair of eye goggles to use if your eyes are very sensitive to the red light. However, I personally didn’t use them, as they were a little uncomfortable, small and tight around my eyes paired with the mask.
The cons: As mentioned before, it’s one of those devices that definitely needs you to take time out of your day to use. I always used it after washing my face in the evening and I felt like I couldn’t do much with it on but lay down and just relax (which isn’t a bad thing necessarily) but on some occasions when I was feeling very tired and ready for bed, it almost felt like a chore which is less about the product itself and more about how something like this works in my personal routine. After a while, I found that it was easier to leave the velcro strap attachment binding the ear loops together permanently as it was a hassle to keep putting it on before each use. I did find that if I wasn’t careful putting the mask on and taking it off, the velcro straps would pull strands of my hair out.
Final verdict: I did see a noticeable result after a month of consistent use. But I do feel that the specific results I saw might be achievable with topical skincare products. It claims to reduce wrinkles to up to 35% after four weeks so I was hoping to see a noticeable difference on my forehead which is where I carry small wrinkles at the moment. But there wasn’t any noticeable improvement there. I think with using this product you definitely need patience and also need to put in the time almost daily to reap the benefits of this device. I think this is something I still don’t know if it’s something I’ll be able to keep up consistently, but would I recommend it? Yes, if you’re someone who is able to invest in it and put in the time to use it consistently.
As far as our panel of testers go for this round of Deep Reviews, MZ Skin really drew the short straw with me. I want to be transparent before we go any further as, during the timeframe we were each reviewing our LED devices, I was pretty run-down. I'm in the fortunate position to be renovating a house, but that comes with its own unique set of stresses. With my usual routine being virtually non-existent—cue weeks of missing the gym and consuming what feels like more processed foods than I have in the past 33 years of my life combined—the £390 MZ Skin Light-Therapy Golden Treatment Facial Mask sure had its work cut out.
The pros: The mask has a total of five coloured LED light settings, each of which provides a different targeted treatment. Having read up on them, I opted to use the red light throughout the duration of my trial. According to the MZ Skin website, this treatment "has profound anti-ageing benefits, it stimulates collagen and elastin production and strengthens skin. This light setting also reduces inflammation, heals blemishes, repairs sun damage and improves scarring.” Sounds good, right?
In addition to the red-light therapy I decided upon, the MZ Skin Light-Therapy Golden Treatment Facial Mask also features four more settings; blue light, which balances and clarifies the skin, treating acne and, with repetitive use, improves blemished skin. Green, which calms skin and reduces pigmentation, broken capillaries and sunspots. Yellow, which reduces redness and boosts circulation (this setting is ideal for sensitive skin as it boosts lymphatic flow and soothes). And, finally, white, which penetrates deeply to promote wound healing and skin repair. I like how easy it is to tailor your sessions, be it five minutes or twenty-five minutes, on the lowest setting of 1 or the highest setting of 5, as well as the selection of different colour therapies you have at your disposal in one mask.
I’m the sort of person who responds to rules, so I followed those on the box stringently. MZ Skin advise applying the LED mask to cleansed, dry skin. Use two to three times per week, starting with 10 minutes of LED mask time and slowly building up to 20 minutes. I did so, starting on a low setting (I started out on two and built my way up to four and five). As for first impressions, I’d seen the MZ Skin mask doing the rounds on Instagram; its luxurious gold face piquing my interest. Indeed, the mask itself feels substantial and durable—it certainly feels premium.
Before I embarked on this at-home light-therapy course, my usually clear skin was in turmoil; I put this down to hormonal changes as well as experiencing a reaction to the washing powder used on the sheets in our temporary rental accommodation. I was also pretty sleep-deprived. So, the first positive reaction I saw was the simple act of carving out the downtime to enjoy my light-therapy session. Even on the weakest setting for the shortest amount of time the light is very bright, and it is advised you keep your eyes closed for the duration of wearing the mask, which I gladly obliged. First use over, and I didn’t see any results, but I did feel relaxed.
As you can see, my blemishes have entirely disappeared. Whether that’s down to switching back to my usual laundry detergent, the MZ Skin mask, or a combination of both, I’m not entirely sure. Either way, my confidence is up! I had been hoping the red-light therapy would help even out my skin tone, but perhaps this wasn’t the best setting for that. I do, however, feel as if my skin is firmer and plumper, which were some of the promised benefits of the red-light setting. My face feels tauter and I could be wrong, but my fine lines do appear to be slightly minimised, too. I imagine this is one of those beauty products that you only really realise its benefits when you stop using it, so I’ll be very interested to see how my skin is looking in two weeks time. In an ideal world, I’d retry the mask when my life is more settled (and I’m not sleeping on an airbed for the fourth week in a row).
The cons: Wearing the mask presented some issues, but they may be isolated—hear me out. I was sent a press sample to try for a month with the agreement of sending it back after the trial. My exact mask has likely been used and reviewed by several different people, but I was disappointed when I realised the clasp didn’t work. This meant I could only use it when I was laying flat on my bed. I didn’t think this was a big deal until I realised that, especially as I upped the frequency and timings, the sheer weight of the mask itself was creating impressions in my skin, which would take at least an hour to subside.
Actually, looking at my “after” photograph, which was taken after ramping up my mask usage, I’d say doing so has made my eye bags look more pronounced. As I say, the mask I was using had likely been handled by several people, so some wear-and-tear is expected, but I would urge you to check your clasps upon purchasing to make sure they work as they should so you can wear it as designed. I do, however, think the mask is well contoured and the edges are smooth throughout its inside. I like how easy it is to tailor your sessions, be it five minutes or twenty-five minutes, on the lowest setting of 1 or the highest setting of 5, as well as the selection of different colour therapies you have at your disposal in one mask.
Final verdict: At £390, this would easily be the most expensive item in my beauty arsenal if I did. However, as someone who is relatively happy with their skin 99% of the time, I probably wouldn’t buy it. But, then again, I wouldn’t buy another LED mask in its place! Who knows—in a couple of weeks when its effects have worn off, I might find myself on the MZ Skin website, bank card in hand. I’ll keep you posted.
Rating: 7/10, but I’d definitely be open to trying it again just to make sure…