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Faceware Pro
courtesy of Harrods

LED light therapy: I tried out Dr Dennis Gross’ futuristic face mask


TextAlex Peters

The DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro looks like something out of Blade Runner, but does it work?

Dr Dennis Gross is a dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon and skin cancer research scientist – he's also a beauty industry favourite thanks to his revolutionary daily peels. Founding his namesake practice in New York’s Upper East Side in 1990, Dr Gross cut his teeth at a time when harsh chemical peels were all the rage (who among us doesn’t have the image of Samantha Jones’s red-raw face conjured up at the mere mention of a “peel”?). As a reaction to this, Dr Gross set out to create a more gentle approach to peels. The result – his signature two-step, five-acid rejuvenating peel, an in-office procedure that became so in demand, he created a version that his patients could do at home, the Alpha Beta Peel, a product that birthed his eponymous skincare brand, which I have been a fan of for years. Because of this, I was all too happy to try out the brand’s best-selling, hi-tech DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro – a futuristic, multi-coloured light emitting, full face mask. Very I, Robot. Very Dazed Beauty.  

Distilling the very on-trend beauty treatment of LED light therapy into an easy to use, take-home version, the FaceWare Pro mask is made up of 162 LEDs: 100 red (consisting of Infrared, deep red, light red, and amber lights) and 62 blue. The blue light – which is different to the blue light that is emitted from technology and is actually damaging our skin - combats acne-causing bacteria, while the red lights work to encourage collagen and elastin production, soothe inflammation and redness, and promote cellular repair. Depending on what your skin needs, you can choose red or blue light therapy or combine both for an all-hands-on-deck treatment.  

Programmed treatment time for the mask is just three minutes per session, and while ten weeks is the suggested timeframe for a full course of treatment, the brand promises you’ll notice a difference in just two.

The mask itself is comfortable to wear, with a cushy inner-layer of silicone, and although it comes with an adjustable strap to keep it in place while upright, I choose to wear it while lying down and take those three minutes of forced downtime as an opportunity to meditate while the mask worked its magic. Despite being somewhat of a skincare fanatic, I have been known to skip my proper routine every now and then in the name of laziness. This mask required so little of me, however, that over the four weeks I was testing the mask I never missed a single session and really came to look forward to those three minutes of complete self-care every evening.

Meditation aside, my skin did actually improve. As someone with problematic skin – constant hormonal breakouts and redness being my main complaints – I opted to go back and forth between the red lights, blue lights, and a combination of the two. And what I found over the course of a month was that my skin looked calmer and clearer, the tone was more even and my redness decreased. I even had several people compliment my skin – which as anyone with problematic skin can attest is a rare and welcome treat.

This magic device does come at a price though. At £430 the mask is certainly not affordable for everyone and is definitely a luxury item. LED light therapy, however, is not cheap. A 30-minute acne session at the Light Salon in London, for example, will cost you £95. Forty-five minutes at EF Medispa goes for £150, while a 20-minute, full-body light bed at Joanna Vargas in New York clocks in at $150.

As demand increases and technology improves, hopefully, we will see prices become more affordable. However, in the meantime, if LED light therapy is something that you are interested in – and you have the money to spare – FaceWare Pro could be a great option for you. It’s effective, easy to use even for the laziest among us, and with no post-treatment redness to deal with, requires no downtime whatsoever.  

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