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We Tested Some Of The Best Red Light Therapy Tools Of 2024 For Fine Lines, Acne & More

Emily Rekstis
Author: Medical reviewer:
February 20, 2024
Emily Rekstis
Contributing writer
By Emily Rekstis
Contributing writer
Emily Rekstis is a freelance writer who has worked at Harper's Bazaar, Self, And UsWeekly. Her bylines appear in Healthline, Byrdie, Women's Health, MyDomaine, BuzzFeed, The Cut, Allure and many more.
Ruth Jobarteh-Williams, M.D.
Medical review by
Ruth Jobarteh-Williams, M.D.
Dermatologist
Ruth Jobarteh-Williams is a board-certified dermatologist.
red light therapy mask
Image by mbg creative
February 20, 2024
We carefully vet all products and services featured on mindbodygreen using our commerce guidelines. Our selections are never influenced by the commissions earned from our links.

Though there are many at-home skin care devices on the market, LED light therapy tools seem to be the most captivating.

Before, these LED light therapy tools were typically kept in dermatologists' or estheticians' offices during treatments or facials.

Now, just like everything else it seems, they're hitting the mainstream market for at-home use, probably due to their diverse range of potential benefits.

These devices are increasingly recognized for their ability to enhance the effectiveness of topicals, aiding in deeper penetration and absorption of skincare products.

Moreover, they're praised for their capacity to target skin concerns like fine lines and wrinkles, promoting collagen production and improving overall skin texture

But just because you can get your hands on professional-grade light therapy tools doesn't mean every item for sale is actually up to par.

In fact, experts warn that there are many less-than-quality options that have flooded the web, so it's important to make sure you're purchasing one that comes recommended.

Now, a fair warning that these best red light therapy devices come with a pretty price tag—but given these are technically professional devices, a higher cost just comes with the territory. 

The best red light therapy devices
View on Solawave
See more options

Solawave Advanced Skin Care Wand

Best overall red light therapy device
FDA cleared
No
Number of microcurrent levels
1
Recommended use
3 days per week
Type
Handheld device
See all specs

If you're looking for a device that won't take up too much space in your small bathroom or is easier to pack in a carry-on, this handheld device is the tool for you.

Not only is it portable, rechargeable, and pretty darn cute, but it also works effectively to minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, and dark spots.

Along with red light therapy, it uses microcurrent technology and facial massaging techniques to stimulate the muscles and deeper layers of the skin for an overall refreshed complexion.

Want more info? We wrote an in-depth review of the Solawave Advanced Skincare Wand here.

Key specs
  • Offers multiple skincare treatments in one device
  • Enhances absorption of skincare products
  • Features simple controls for easy operation

What our tester says

"I firmly believe the Solawave is worth the hype. I personally was shocked by the results the first morning after using my new device, and it's only gotten more impressive with time. Each use brightens up my dark under-eye circles and eases tension in my face, revealing a less puffy, more sculpted appearance. Over time, I noticed an improvement in fine lines and a more even skin tone overall."— Carleigh Ferrante, commerce editor

NuFace Trinity Wrinkle Reducer

Best attachment option
FDA cleared
Yes
Recommended use
3 minutes per treatment zone
Type
Handheld device
Treatment area
Jawline, neck, cheeks, forehead, eyes, mouth, smile lines
See all specs

For those who are already a part of the NuFace family, this LED attachment is a must. It will take your anti-aging skin care routine another step further for seriously notable results.

This FDA-cleared device was created by aestheticians and is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with consistent use.

It features five intensity levels and a combination of red, amber, and infrared lights for precise treatments.

It's also TSA-approved, making it a great option for those who travel and are looking for something smaller than the masks that they can take on the go. 

Key specs
  • FDA-cleared
  • Only need 3 minutes per treatment zone
  • 5 intensity levels
  • Travel-friendly

This handheld device emits both red and near infrared light simultaneously without the damaging UV rays, aiming to lower inflammation, boost collagen production, and improve appearance of wrinkles, scars, skin texture, and elasticity.

Designed by an MD, the Lumebox is larger than other options on our list, allowing for larger treatment areas such as the feet, back, arms, and legs.

It also comes with a travel case making it a great portable option.

Reviewers love this option for its skin benefits and the relief it gives them from back and joint pain.

Key specs
  • Provides both red and near-infrared light at the same time
  • 25% bigger than most portable devices for larger treatment areas
  • 3rd party lab tested
View on Sephora
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Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite Faceware Pro

Best red & blue light option
FDA cleared
Yes
Recommended use
3 minutes
Type
Hands-free full face design
Treatment area
Face
See all specs

Beloved by professionals, celebrities, and all consumers alike, this FDA-cleared high-tech face mask targets everything from wrinkles to acne.

100 red lights and 60 blue lights work together to improve skin density, boost collagen production, smooth out wrinkles, fight discoloration, and clear breakouts.

It may look intimidating, but it's actually really easy to use, with a rechargeable battery and adjustable strap. And possibly the most surprising: It's pretty comfortable to wear! 

Key specs
  • One of the most popular red light therapy devices on the market
  • FDA-cleared
  • Only 3 minutes needed for efficient treatment

What our tester says

"This Instagram-famous mask is a favorite among celebrities, influencers, and media folk. I’ve used this option and can account for its efficacy."

Another mbg staffer says this: “I have absolutely been loving using this. After a month or so of regular use, I’ve noticed a slight change in the fine lines in my skin, especially the ones on my forehead, above my brow line and around my eyes! It’s been easy to add to my daily skincare routine and it allows me to do both my mask and a quick 3 minute meditation simultaneously.”

View on MZSkin
See more options

MZSkin LightMAX Supercharged LED Mask 2.0

Best splurge
FDA cleared
Yes
Recommended use
10 minutes 4 times/week
Type
Face mask
Treatment area
Face
See all specs

Listen, we know $800 is a lot to spend on a face mask, but we promise you this one is totally worth the splurge if you can afford it.

For starters, it's FDA-approved and features two types of treatments: anti-aging mode and acne mode.

It uses LED red and blue light therapy to diminish wrinkles and breakouts while simultaneously calming inflammation, firming up muscles, and boosting the skin's natural radiance.

As if that weren't enough, the silicone structure molds the face for optimal results and serious comfort. Essentially, it's the next best thing to an in-office red light therapy treatment.

Key specs
  • FDA-cleared
  • Clinically tested on 100 patients
  • Red, infrared, and blue light therapy options
View on Skin Gym
See more options

Skin Gym Revilit LED Light Wand

Best budget-friendly option
FDA cleared
No
Recommended use
15 minutes
Type
Handheld device
Treatment area
Full body
See all specs

OK, so $80 isn't necessarily budget-friendly, but Skin Gym's tool is the most effective one we recommend at the lowest price point. After all, you don't want to go too budget when it comes to LED tools.

Let me reiterate: These are technically professional tools, thus they come with a professional price. This one also features green and blue light therapy alongside the red light, meaning it's also a multitasker.

All you have to do is glide the handheld device around the face to absorb all the LED benefits such as redness, acne, and hyperpigmentation.

You can use this handheld hero on your face and body for targeted LED therapy.

Key specs
  • Budget-friendly
  • Red, green, and blue light therapy
  • For face and body

dpl IIa Blue & Red Light Therapy Device

Best for acne
FDA cleared
No
Recommended use
3 minutes per area
Type
Handheld device
Treatment area
Face
See all specs

Less concerned about aging and more concerned about acne? Meet the LED red light tool for you.

While the blue light targets skin bacteria that can cause acne breakouts, the red light supports skin's natural healing abilities for a combination that tackles acne every step of the way.

Key specs
  • 3 powerful treatment settings
  • Created based on NASA research
  • Can be used multiple times a day
View on Foreo
See more options

Foreo UFO 3

Best smart device
FDA cleared
No
Recommended use
2 minutes
Type
Handheld device
Treatment area
Face
See all specs

Talk about convenience! You can pair this tool to your phone through an app to guide you through finding a regimen that best suits your and your skin's needs.

Alongside the red, blue, green, white, purple, orange, yellow, and cyan LED lights, this palm-size tool features thermotherapy, cryotherapy, and T-Sonic pulsations to further aid your skin care products' efficacy. 

In just two minutes, this heating and cooling device can help give your skin a youthful glow.

It may be small, but boy is it mighty!

Key specs
  • 5 clinically proven treatments
  • Features a rejuvenating mask treatment , heating, cooling, LED therapy & massage
  • Waterproof
  • Only 2 minutes needed for increased skin moisture

What is red light therapy?


Red light therapy, often referred to as photobiomodulation or low-level light therapy, is a non-invasive treatment that utilizes low-level red light wavelengths to promote various health benefits. 

Comparing the best red light therapy tools

ProductPriceLight OptionsConsiderationsDevice Type
Solawave$149Red lightTargets lines & tonesHandheld
NuFace Trinity Wrinkle Reducer$159Red lightTargets lines & tonesHandheld
Lumebox$599Red light/ near infraredTargets lines & tones/ Targets blemishes/ Reduces inflammationHandheld
Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite™ FaceWare Pro$435Red light/ blue lightTargets lines & tones/ Targets blemishesMask
MZSkin LightMAX Supercharged LED Mask 2.0$818Red light/ blue lightTargets lines & tones/ Targets blemishesMask
Skin Gym Revilit LED$80Red light/ blue light/ green lightTargets lines & tones/ Targets blemishesHandheld
dpl IIa Professional Acne Treatment Light Therapy$399Red light/ blue light/ infrared light/ amber lightTargets lines & tones/ Targets blemishesHandheld
Foreo UFO 2$279Red lightTargets lines & tonesHandheld

Benefits of red light therapy devices

Though there are still some questions1 about the ins and outs of how LED therapy works, these low-level lights have been shown to heal scars, improve the appearance of breakouts, and stimulate collagen production. (For a full rundown, we wrote a whole guide on the benefits of LED light therapy.)

Here, what you can expect from LED light therapy:

  • Enhances topicals: Possibly LED's most impressive quality, though, is its ability to work in tandem with other products. That's why LED therapy is typically a part of a facial, working alongside the other treatments and products used during the treatment. This is because the wavelengths of the LED light technology help ingredients penetrate deeper into the dermis for a more effective regimen and results.
  • Red light, in particular, can stimulate collagen: There are a variety of LED lights from blue to yellow to green. The one we're highlighting today is red light therapy, which exposes bodily tissues to red and near-infrared light between the wavelengths of 660 nm and 890 nm with either low-level lasers or red LED lights to stimulate collagen to improve fine lines and wrinkles and help heal scars and wounds.
  • Helps improve complexion: This results in a smoother, clearer, younger complexion. In fact, one study found that patients receiving red light therapy twice a week for 30 total sessions experienced improved skin tone2, skin smoothness, and collagen density. 

All LED therapy is best done by professionals thanks to their professional-grade tools and extensive training.

Not to mention, there are lots of questionable at-home red light therapy tools looking to take advantage of the buzz around red LED light therapy.

With that being said, there are also some really great at-home options available for those looking for a more consistent and affordable routine.

If you are looking to partake in LED light therapy at home, we recommend buying from only reputable skin care brands and companies.

Who should invest in red light therapy?

Red light therapy can be a pricey investment, so it's crucial to evaluate whether the potential benefits align with your needs and justify the cost.

Those interested in improving their overall well-being and addressing specific health or skincare concerns might consider investing in red light therapy.

This includes people seeking non-invasive and natural solutions for conditions such as acne, fine lines, muscle pain, or inflammation.

Consulting with a healthcare professional or dermatologist can help determine if red light therapy is the right option for you based on your individual circumstances and goals.

How we picked the best red light therapy devices

  • Science-backed claims: We vetted each tool's claims to make sure they were backed by research; some of the tools have clinicals.
  • Tried & tested: Most of these tools have been tested by editors, experts, and people trusted by the mindbodygreen beauty team.
  • Respected brands: There are many knock-off products on the web, so we only selected tools that come from brands that are known for creating high-quality skin care tools.
  • Value: Quality LED tools are inherently expensive—so we tried to include options that had added value (such as multiple benefits, technologies, etc.) to account for the price tag.

Is red light therapy safe?

LED therapy is generally considered safe for most people (in fact, some research papers have stated3 that there is "an almost complete absence of side effects" associated with red light therapy treatment). Additionally, the American Academy of Dermatology deems LED treatment safe.

Of course, there are things to keep in mind when using the tools.

First and foremost, you should find a quality product (more on that below). Because as experts have explained to us, less-than-stellar options have flooded the market, resulting in a lot of poorly made options in the hands of users.

"Unless the LED light is the correct wavelength, it's not going to do anything; you might as well be using Christmas lights," says esthetician Natalie Aguilar.

Anecdotal accounts reveal that some people find red light therapy to be irritating or bothersome to the eyes, but this can be remedied by wearing goggles.

Finally, always follow the instructions from the brand. Esthetician Aneta Zuraw, co-founder of Atelier Beauté, generally advises placing the device panel within 1 inch of the face, but certain manufacturers may have different protocols.

"All programs, distance, and time vary per skin condition and device used," she says. 

What to consider when buying a red light therapy tool

When picking a red light therapy device, there are a few things to consider:

Device type: As you can tell by our list, red light therapy devices come in a handful of different formats. Consider whether you'd like to use a hands-free device like a mask or light panel, or a more interactive tool like a wand.

Price: Red light therapy devices come at a wide range of prices—our list alone features picks from $80 to over $800! If you're not quite sure how your skin will react to red light therapy, it may be worth starting with a lower-priced device before shelling out the big bucks. And be sure to read up on the return and warranty details of each product before purchasing.

Wavelength: As Aguilar mentioned, wavelength matters. Research suggests that red light wavelengths between 620-670 nanometers22 will be most effective for improving the look and feel of your skin, so check that the device you're choosing meets that criteria.

Treatment area: Consider the size of the treatment area the device can cover to determine whether it suits your specific needs, whether it's for facial treatments or larger body areas.

Ease of use: Opt for a device that is user-friendly, with intuitive controls and simple operation, to make your red light therapy sessions hassle-free.

Portability: Depending on your lifestyle and preferences, consider whether you need a portable device for travel or one that is more stationary for home use.

FAQ

When should you use red light therapy?

Red light therapy devices can be used morning or night, ideally after you’ve cleansed your face. 

Can you overdo red light therapy?

There are no set guidelines around how much red light therapy a person can do. When in doubt, stick to the instructions for your specific device, or speak with your dermatologist. 

Should you wear goggles during red light therapy?

If you find red light irritating to your eyes, you can certainly wear goggles. However, as our experts mentioned, red light is generally safe and doesn’t pose a risk to your eyes.

How long should you use red light therapy to see results?

Some people claim they see results after their first red light therapy session, while it may take a little time for others to notice any changes their skin. Consistency is key—most people see results when they use their device regularly. 

The takeaway

LED red light therapy can be a beneficial addition to your regular skin care routine.

Not only will it help your products penetrate deeper into the dermis, but it can also stimulate collagen production and heal acne and scarring for an enviable complexion that's youthful and smooth.

For more tips on collagen production, check out our guide to improving your natural collagen levels naturally.

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