How do you feel about this whole LED, light therapy trend that’s happening in the skincare world right now?
I have to admit they make for a scary (therefore funny) Instagram selfie! But on the whole, I must admit, I’ve thought these devices to be quite gimmicky.
Especially because they are so expensive! I mean, these are running all the way up into the thousands of dollars! Plus, I question if all these lights are really safe for our skin and eye area!
Recently I was given the opportunity to test one of these LED mask devices for myself and I’ll tell you, I was skeptical about its benefits.
Eco Face Lightening Mask
The Eco Face Lightening Mask* is a LED mask that uses red and near-infrared light to prevent the signs of aging, wrinkles and fine lines. It also can help reduce skin texture, improve dark and red spots and give the skin a brighter appearance. It also claims to help with skin’s elasticity and help your skin hold on to more moisture.
The Eco Face mask was developed by Dr. Sook Hyun Bang. She is the director and specialist of DR Dermatology Hospital in Korea. She wanted to create a product that would give her patients a similar benefit to the treatments they got at the dermatology hospital.
What is Red and Near-Infrared Light?
Red Light: Red light is part of the visible spectrum of light (you can see it with your eyes) and has a wave length of 630-700 nanometers on the electromagnetic scale. The Eco Face mask uses red light at 630nm.
Near-Infrared Light: Is part of the invisible spectrum of light (you can’t see it with your naked eye) and has a wave length of 700-1200 nanometers on the electromagnetic scale. Eco Face uses near-infrared light at 830nm.
So great little science lesson, but what does it mean?
These lights are known for stimulating the cells and creating energy. This energy is then used to stimulate and regenerate skin.
Since red light has a shorter wave length (630nm in Eco Face), it works on the top layer of our skin. This can help with fading hyper-pigmentation, reducing skin texture and inflammation and will contribute to an overall bright and rejuvenated complexion.
Near-infrared light in the Eco Face mask has a longer wave length (830nm), allowing it to penetrate deeper into the skin. This is important to note because the really exciting things always happen deep in our skin. Near-infrared light can stimulate our collagen production!
That’s very exciting news because, as you may know, collagen is responsible for our skin looking smooth, supple, firm, elastic and fine line and wrinkle free! But as we age our body’s natural collagen production begins to decrease (around age 25 and continues to lower as we age). Applying collagen topically through skincare products is not very effective as our body has a hard time recognizing and using topical collagen. So the best way to get more collagen is by naturally stimulating your own cells to create it!
Which means, in theory, near-infrared light can help prevent wrinkles, keep our skin firm and elastic and potentially reduce fine lines!
Are These Kinds of Lights Safe?
The Eco Face mask uses LED to deliver the red and near-infrared light to skin. This is important because LED makes the lights very safe to use. LED can control the temperature of the lights, ensuring you will feel no warmth or experience burns. (When I first used it, I thought my skin would feel warm, but there is no warmth at all!) LED is also safer than its halogen and laser counterparts because it’s gentler on the skin and is the safest to use around the eyes.
Why only red and near-infrared light?
You may see similar mask devices like this using blue light. Blue light has shown some benefits for those who suffer from acne because blue light can completely kill the acne bacteria and reduce inflammation. However you may have also heard blue light (especially from our electronic screens) is harming our health. Although blue light has been approved to be used in these kinds of skincare devices, it’s important to remember that blue light can pose a risk to our skin and our eyes. Please do some reading up on the device and blue light’s side effects if you are going to invest in a blue light mask. Eco Face does not use blue light in their mask.
What about yellow light? Yellow light is not used in the Eco Face device because yellow light has not shown any promising benefits for skin in clinical research.
Eco Face Lighting Mask was tested by IEC Korea in a study of 20 Korean women between the ages of 30-60. They performed two rounds of tests, 10 participants each. Here’s what they found:
- 6.42% experienced reduced skin texture
- 11.53% experienced increased skin elasticity
- 12.8% experienced an increase in skin moisture
What Do You Get?
- Charger (wall plug and converter)
- Remote with 4 time settings (this is also the battery pack of the device)
- Optional head straps to keep the mask in place while sitting up or standing
- Reusable chin and forehead pads to customize fit of mask
Comes in white or gold.
A note on the sustainability of the mask. The remote acts as the battery for the mask and is rechargeable. Which means you don’t have to invest in any additional batteries or packs for the device to run. Some LED masks require additional and continual purchases of battery backs or just batteries in general. This is not financially or eco-friendly and I appreciate that Eco Face has taken that into consideration.
How to Use It:
The Eco Face mask should be used on clean skin, after your serum step. It’s noted to not use heavy creams or moisturizers before using the device as it can impact the penetration of the lights. Eco Face also recommends using the device between the times of 10pm and 2am since this is the time your face goes into repairing and regenerating mode.
Eco Face recommends this routine that is used at the DR Dermatology Hospital: Cleanse -> Gently steam face with warm towel -> Apply serum -> Use Eco Face mask for 20 minutes -> Mist -> Moisturize.
I could not find an explicit recommendation for how many times a week the Eco Face mask should be used, but the general consensus on these types of devices from dermatologists is about 3-5 times a week.
Testing period: I used this mask about 3x a week for 2 months.
The very first night I used this mask I set it for the 20 minutes that is recommended by Eco Face. After I was done, I went ahead with my Stratia Liquid Gold and felt some very mild stinging. My face was not red, but I did feel some stinging with my skincare. The next morning that feeling was gone and I never experienced it again. I’m going to chock this up to my skin being over stimulated by the mask and I think if you are new to these types of devices it might not be a bad idea to work yourself up to the full recommended time.
That next morning after the first time I used the mask I also noticed something else. An under the skin, blind pimple had shrunk down in size dramatically!
Over the course of the 2 month testing period, I noticed that this mask would help with inflamed acne about 60% of the time. I don’t know if this is due to the types of acne it can work on (cystic and hormonal didn’t seem to have much change) or the age of the pimple (better chance if it’s a newer spot).
The mask also seemed to help my skin products absorb much better, especially right after using the mask. This is always exciting because the deeper you can get your skincare layers to go the better chance they have at being really effective.
This definitely helped with brightening my overall complexion and seemed to speed the fading of hyperpigmentation marks. Now, I must be honest and let you know that I used two other products during this testing period that could also be responsible for this. 1% retinol (Drunk Elephant A-Passioni*) and 5% L-Ascorbic Acid (Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Drop*). These are both powerful products that most certainly can contribute to the fading of hyperpigmentation. What I can say is that I’ve used the Klairs Vitamin C for about a year now and I was using the Drunk Elephant Retinol cream for about a month prior to starting this mask. I noticed remarkable brightening just two weeks after starting this mask. So my conclusion on this is that the mask most likely sped up the brightening results, in combination with the retinol and vitamin C.
I also noticed two huge benefits that could possibly be attributed to this mask:
1.My pores got smaller!
Now, that could most definitely be the retinol, but I do think that this mask played into it. As I said, I was using the retinol for about 4 weeks before I started the testing period of this mask and used it 2x a week. I started to notice these benefits shortly after using the mask, so much like the hyperpigmentation, I believe this mask boosted the results of my retinol. Since retinol can clean out your pores thus making your pores appear smaller, I do believe this was a huge part of it.
However, the mask has been shown to help improve texturized skin and it did help my skincare products absorb better (therefore work more efficiently). I can’t go so far as to say this mask is the reason my pores are smaller, but there definitely is strong evidence that it helped.
2. I noticed my top eyelids are looking firmer.
In the last 6 months or so I’ve become kind of obsessive about preserving my eye area. I had noticed that my eyes were looking a lot more worn out and the early signs of aging seemed to be creeping up on me. So I have been really into exploring eye creams and treatments to get my eyes back on track. I have seen good progress with my eye routine, but I noticed at the end of the two month testing period that my top eyelids were looking really improved.
This was a very unexpected benefit! While I’m obsessive about eye treatments I can tell you I usually focus on the lower eye area as I want to get the most results there. I do not apply retinol or vitamin C on top of my eyelids and have mostly been concentrating on peptides in my eye care.
So this is interesting to note that my top lids have shown improvement. Eco Face claims it can help fine lines and skin elasticity by helping your skin produce more collagen. It’s too soon for me to conclusively proclaim Eco Face responsible but it’s definitely intriguing findings!
You have to remember to use it! (this might have been more of a personal con!)
I find it uncomfortable to have my eyes open when the lights are on (light sensitive)
Head straps are a little short for me, tight fit
Reusable pads can fall off sometimes (you can wash and reuse them; they will still adhere)
Yeah that’s definitely on the pricey side of things!
But let’s get over the initial sticker shock and break it down:
The least expensive device I’ve seen sold is the Neutrogena Acne Light Therapy Mask* MSRP at $37. (FYI a pack of 12 activators for this mask sells for about $180) The most expensive is the Dr. Dennis Gross Spectralight Faceware Pro MSRP $435!
So that places the Eco Face somewhere in the middle of the pack for these types of devices making it a reasonable investment if you are in the market for a light therapy mask.
Another way I thought about it was as a replacement for sheet masks. While this isn’t a dupe for sheet masks (they do two different things) it is something that takes the masking spot in your routines.
If you were to sheet mask 3x a week, at say $2 a mask (very reasonable price) for an entire year, you’d spend about $312 on masks!
It may not be a sheet mask replacement, but we have all probably spent at least $270 on masking.
In my mind, this makes the Eco Face a reasonably priced unit among its competition.
If you are in the market for an LED mask, I truly think Eco Face is a mask you should consider. I would recommend this specifically for those looking to start their well-aging routines. I think this mask is appropriate for those in their late 20s, early 30s and beyond. Those looking for the collagen stimulating benefits of red light and those looking to prevent further signs of aging.
If you are in the US, Eco Face Lighting Mask is available on Amazon through seller Credithink* (they are the only authorized reseller of Eco Face on Amazon).
If you are not in the US, Check out Eco Face on credithink.com*
*Indicates use of affiliate links that provide a small commission that helps me run this blog.
Product was provided by Credithink as press sample.