Welcome to I Tried It Month, where we’ll be publishing a new fashion, beauty, or wellness article every day in January that features a first-person account of shaking up an old habit, pushing beyond a comfort zone, or simply trying something new. Follow along for 31 days of storytelling, including everything from going without a cellphone for 40 days to trying the polarizing low-rise pants trend.
Name: Erin Jahns
What did you try?
Using an LED face mask (on the blue-light setting) for three minutes every night for a week.
Why did you try it?
I've been dealing with ongoing acne, inflammation, and lingering scarring for a few years now, and every facialist I see recommends light therapy to help clear current breakouts and prevent future ones from occurring. Typically, I get light-therapy treatments when I go in for my facials, but I wanted to see how the at-home face masks hold up. I wanted to test out how effective the at-home versions would be. I've been experiencing more bumps and redness than usual, so I figured it would be a good time to try it out.
How did you prepare?
I'd heard really great things about the Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWar Pro, so I reached out to the brand's team, and they were kind enough to send one to me to try for a review. It's an incredibly easy product and treatment to fit into your routine, and I wore it for three minutes (it's self-timed!) every night after cleansing my face and before applying my other face products. The mask actually has three different settings: red LED, which stimulates collagen production to help minimize signs of premature aging like fines lines, loss of elasticity, and wrinkles; blue LED (what I used) to banish acne-causing bacteria on the face; and a combo of red and blue LED to give you the best of all worlds.
What happened during the whole process?
Whenever I try something new, I always try to keep the rest of my routine pretty much the same. If I start altering too many things at one time, it's hard to discern what's working and what's not. To keep things as controlled as possible, I stuck to my normal evening skincare routine but added in the LED mask right after cleansing and immediately before my serum and evening moisturizer. Honestly, I noticed a difference in the tone and evenness of my complexion after just one wear!
After using the mask each night, my skin felt calmer, and there was no redness in sight. After a full week of treatments, I had no new breakouts, and the bumps that had been lingering on my face at the beginning were almost cleared and significantly less angry and inflamed-looking. The brand does say that you'll notice a reduction in acne in just a few days, but I definitely didn't believe it until I actually experienced the magic for myself!
Not really! Like I said, each treatment is only three minutes, so the time commitment is really so minimal. I never like adding extra time-consuming steps to my routine, so I was thrilled with how uncomplicated the process is.
Just how fast it worked on my acne and redness (especially around my chin and mouth) and how easy and seamless it was to incorporate it into my nightly routine! I also found it strangely relaxing, and I would lie down during my treatment—almost like a little meditation!
How did you feel afterward? What kind of changes did you notice?
Relaxed and happy! The mask itself is a really big investment, so it's amazing that you definitely get some almost-instantaneous gratification once you begin using it. I've only been using it for about a week but noticed its calming and rejuvenating effect on my skin within days. According to the brand, if used daily for the required three minutes, users will notice a clearing of mild-to-moderate acne in addition to the fading of lines. Of course, the benefits get better the longer you wear it, and it says the best results occur after you've been using the mask for a full 10 weeks. I'm excited to keep using it!
What did you like about it?
I liked how pleasant and easy to use it was and how quickly I noticed results.
What did you hate?
Nothing. I'm super excited to continue the practice, and I'll probably start trying the red and red/blue settings since the blue alone has already been super beneficial for my complexion. Dr. Dennis Gross also makes both a version solely for the eye area and a version for the body (to help combat lines and wrinkles), so now I'm curious to try that considering how much I love the full-face model.
Would you try it again?
Definitely. I'm continuing the practice, and I recommend it to practically anyone! It's not just for people experiencing breakouts. There are so many benefits (all of which you can read about on the brand's website). That said, I think I'll be switching my daily treatment to the mornings versus nighttime since it is pretty bright. I'm trying to be mindful about my blue-light exposure and sleep hygiene once evening hits, so I think it might be less stimulating and more relaxing to actually use in the mornings.
Any advice for anyone who's thinking about trying it?
I know this is an extremely expensive product, but if you have the bandwidth in your budget, I think it's an extremely savvy investment. Consistency is key, so it's important you know that you'll need to use the device regularly in order to reap all of the glowy results, but it's not a hassle to use and is really so streamlined. If you're using it in the morning, just make sure that you apply sunscreen right after, and if you're using it in the nighttime, apply a peel (if using) in addition to any hydrating products (like serums and moisturizers) afterward. Also, there are a lot of light-therapy devices on the market right now, and some are much more effective than others. I can personally vouch for Dr. Dennis Gross's model, but I doubt all devices are as fast or immediately beneficial. I definitely think this is an example of a product that's worth spending a little extra money on to really get the best benefit.
Shop All of Erin's Favorite Daily Skincare Essentials
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.