7 mistakes everyone makes with LED face masks

LED face masks give you brighter, tighter and healthier looking skin… as long as you don’t make these mistakes while using them!

LED face masks mistakes
(Image credit: CurrentBody)

Looking for bright, tight, healthy and clearer looking skin? Then the best LED face masks might be the answer to all your problems. But if you’re making these common mistakes, you might not be getting your money’s worth or the full benefits of these beauty gadgets.

The latest skincare trend to hit the market, Light Emitting Diode masks use light in and beyond the visible spectrum and emit varying wavelengths to penetrate the skin and treat common skin concerns. Whether its wrinkles, acne scarring or hyperpigmentation you’re worried about, chances are there’s an LED face mask out there for you.

At-home LED face masks have had a huge surge in popularity recently, as they’ve moved from the dermatologists’ office into your home, becoming more accessible and affordable than before. But if you’ve never tried an LED face mask, or even if you consider yourself a pro, there are a few easy mistakes to be made while using one.

Avoiding these seven mistakes are crucial, as on the one hand, you want your mask to be effective and on the other hand, you don’t want it to damage your skin.

1. Forgetting to do a safety test first

Whether it’s a new cleanser you’ve never tried before or an upgraded formula in your moisturiser, it’s always important to do a safety check before using a new skincare product. LED face masks are still relatively ‘new’ to the market (unless you take frequent trips to the spa or dermatologist), so it’s important to check that your skin can handle the LEDs.

If you’re sensitive to bright lights, an LED face mask might be too intense for you to handle. Additionally, the light and proximity to your face can result in redness, irritation and even breaking of the skin, so don’t forget to do a quick safety test first. As someone who’s tried her fair share of LED and microcurrent skincare devices, the safety check takes hardly any time at all and typically involves you using the mask for a full treatment on a different part of your body, like your arm. After the treatment is up, you leave the patch of skin for a day to see if it has any reactions.

It’s important to note, too, that if you have any severe skincare issues, you should speak to your doctor or dermatologist before buying and using an LED face mask. You should also remember to check that your mask is FDA cleared and approved.

Someone using an LED face mask with red lights

(Image credit: Dinç Tapa / Pexels)

2. Doing your skincare routine before using the mask

Another common mistake people make is doing a full skincare routine before using their LED face mask. Instead, you should cleanse your face to remove any make-up and oils and ensure your skin is clean and dry before putting your mask on. After the treatment is complete, you can continue your skincare routine. The reason for this is your LED face mask won’t be able to penetrate your skin as deeply if it has multiple products to get through, so keeping your face clean and clear allows the deeper layers of your skin to absorb the lights’ benefits.

3. Not utilising all the different light options

LED face masks have a set amount of lights to choose from, but what some people forget is that each coloured light treats a different skincare concern. Typically, an LED face mask will come with up to three coloured lights, with red and blue being the most common, or you can spend a large amount of money on the Déesse PRO which has six lights available.

When buying an LED face mask, consider how you want to treat your skin. Below is a breakdown of all the different light options and what they do.

  • Red: reduces inflammation and signs of ageing, promotes blood circulation, gives skin a healthier glow
  • Near-infrared: reduces inflammation, redness, pigmentation and fine lines
  • Blue: treats acne and scarring, reduces breakouts
  • Purple: combines red and blue lighting benefits, cell regeneration and rejuvenation
  • Yellow: stimulates collagen production for firmer and healthier skin
  • Green: improves uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation
  • White: tightens skin, tissue and scar healing, reduces inflammation

Omnilux Men LED face mask

(Image credit: Omnilux)

4. Wearing your LED face mask for too long

The great thing about LED face masks is that they come with straps so they stay on your face hands-free. This means you can wear them while relaxing or going about your day, which is very convenient but also makes it easy to forget about them and leave them on for too long. In general, you shouldn’t use your LED face mask for longer than the recommended treatment time (luckily, most masks will turn themselves off after a treatment). Most manufacturers say to use your LED face mask 3-5 times a week for one treatment a day, but remember to check the instructions manual that your mask comes with for tailored advice.

5. Not using it on your neck

The neck is the most forgotten part of the body when it comes to skincare but it’s one place that has the most visible signs of ageing. As LED face masks expand, many brands are creating LED masks for specific parts of your body, for example, the CurrentBody Skin LED Eye Perfector is designed to treat the eyes. CurrentBody also sells a mask for your neck and decolletage, but if you don’t want to make another purchase, Dr Dennis Gross Skincare on TikTok recommends flipping your mask upside down and placing it on your neck to treat it.

6. Not properly fitting the mask to your face

Most LED face masks are ‘one size fits all’, so it might be hard to find one if you have a smaller or larger than average sized head. But that’s where the strap comes in handy again, as you can adjust it properly to fit your face. This might take some trial and error, but it’s important to take the time to make sure the LED face mask sits comfortably on your face and has good contact with the skin. Alternatively, if you still find that your face doesn’t fit an LED face mask, you can use a handheld device like the Therabody Theraface Pro which has three light therapies to play with.

TheraFace Pro

(Image credit: Therabody)

7. Forgetting to clean your LED face mask

As an LED face mask comes in close contact with your skin, it can get dirty, especially if you apply a serum or gel to your skin before using it. After each use, don’t forget to wipe down your mask with a wipe or damp cloth to remove any oil, dirt or grime. If your mask has a stubborn stain, remove it gently with some rubbing alcohol and a lint-free cloth. It’s recommended to do this after each use so you’re not adding dirt or grease to your skin when you use it and to ensure your LED face mask continues to work effectively.

For more skincare advice, check out the 5 mistakes women make with their skincare routine.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!