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Target fine lines, wrinkles and more with these easy-to-use at-home devices. Skin Rejuvenation Instrument
Quite the multitasker, a red light therapy at-home device checks off a few boxes. With regular use, the anti-aging device can help increase skin elasticity, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, even skin tone and texture and reduce the appearance of pores over time. Painless and non-invasive, these devices are quick and easy to use, with many at-home treatment sessions lasting just three minutes. "Red light therapy is a type of treatment that can help with acne, hair loss, aging, sun damage, hyperpigmentation and inflammation," explains Dendy Engelman, M.D., a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist at Shafer Clinic Fifth Avenue. "It works by inducing skin regeneration in a noninvasive way — exposing the skin to safe wavelengths of light."
The Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty, Health & Sustainability Lab tests thousands of beauty products, including skincare items like the best anti-aging serums and the best retinol eye creams, every year. In these tests, Beauty Lab scientists collect thousands of data points and analyze skin using devices such as the Visia Complexion Analyzer, Corneometer and Cutometer. These machines track visible skin changes, skin moisturization and skin firmness, respectively. However, the Lab has not tested red light therapy at-home devices in more than 10 years. So, we gathered derm-, editor- and consumer-loved red light therapy-at home devices to bring you the 11 best choices out there.
You can read more about everything you need to know to shop for your ideal red light therapy at-home device at the end of this guide. Looking for more ways to improve your skin? Check out our guides to the best anti-aging wrinkle creams and the best collagen-boosting creams for your money.
This easy-to-hold, straightforward red light therapy device is a consumer and editor favorite. With just one switch, the design is nearly foolproof and can be used all over your face. Just flip the light on and it'll stay on for a timed three-minute session before automatically turning off. Once it turns off, you can restart it and move it to the next area of your face you want to treat. "I've used LightStim for years on my acne spots and scarring, and it's so quick and easy to use I can't imagine not having it in my skincare routine," our Beauty Assistant says. However, note that it's wired. Our Beauty Assistant loves watching TV while using it since you can't walk around during treatment.
Red light therapy doesn't have to be a huge investment. Though it's not inexpensive by any means, this pick won't break the bank as much as some other devices. Skin Gym's affordable choice emits red, blue and green light to target aging, acne and hyperpigmentation, respectively. This product is mobile, too, as it's wireless and rechargeable. "I have some crows feet and some pigmentation on the top of my hands and I already see improvement in my concern areas," one reviewer raves.
Attach this red light therapy tool to your NuFace Trinity device (note that you need to buy this separately for the attachment to work) for convenient, targeted treatment. It features red, amber and infrared lights to help fight aging. Dr. Engelman loves this on-the-go device: "This handheld machine has a red light attachment that can be used for just three minutes per treatment area," she says. "It specifically targets anti-aging benefits and is compact and convenient to take anywhere."
Like many of our other choices, this is an FDA-cleared LED mask. The portable, wearable mask attaches to your head via velcro straps so you don't have to hold it up yourself. While many other options suggest three minute-long usage, this mask can be used for 10 minutes at a time. "I love how my skin is looking — reduced fine lines, improved firmness and faded age spots," one reviewer writes. Another adds, "The fact I can move around or lay and relax makes it so convenient."
For full body red light treatment, you can stand or sit in front of this Joovv device. It claims to help boost blood flow and relax muscles. The brand recommends treatment in 10-minute long intervals at 16 to 24 inches away from the device. "So far I have noticed some reduction in an inflamed knee that has bothered me for some time," one reviewer comments. "I've noticed reduced inflammation in my hands and overall a better outlook." Though it's pricey, it can be used all over your body for convenience.
Stimulate collagen production and target acne at the same time with this long-time editor-, derm- and consumer-loved LED face mask. With both red and blue lights, this multitasker treats multiple skin concerns after just three minutes. Our experts note its ease of use: "Since this is a whole mask, it’s easy to use and can be done while moving around the house since it has a strap as well," says Dr. Engelman.
For the user who wants to tackle both acne and aging skin, this handheld book-like device is a consumer favorite. With 4.5 stars on Amazon, reviewers note how well it visibly reduces acne and how quickly they see results. "Most of my adult life, I have had acne/blemishes/cysts on my back that have been persistent and impossible for me to get rid of — until now," one reviewer writes. "I saw significant results within two to three days." Another reviewer is surprised by how well it works but warns that it's "not the most comfortable to hold."
Yes, you can even use red light therapy devices on your lips. This lip device, like other red light therapy devices, can help increase blood flow and stimulate production of collagen, which can result in increased skin elasticity, making lips appear younger and fuller. "I’ve been using this for a week and notice a difference in my lips immediately after use," a reviewer notes. "They’re more defined and plump."
SolaWave makes multitasking easy with this 4-in-1 facial wand. In addition to emitting red light, it also warms and vibrates for a facial massage. We appreciate the cordless, rechargeable and sleek design, which makes it easy to move around your face. "It's compact, so it's easy to travel with and and use all over my face," our Beauty Assistant notes.
With five different light settings, including red, blue, yellow, green and white light, you can customize your routine depending on what your skin needs each session. Like many other masks, it includes a strap so you can use it hands-free. "My cystic acne around my mouth and chin is clearing up, despite my wearing makeup every day, and my skin is slowly becoming more even-toned," a reviewer shares.
The goal of this device is to bring the spa to you, with targeted, customized treatments including LED light (red, blue and red plus infrared), heating, cooling, microcurrent, cleansing and massage all in one small handheld machine. Target your skin concerns with this 8-in-1 device that's compact enough to sit on your vanity without taking over the space. "I love that it's such a multitasker," notes our Beauty Assistant. "Rather than needing several different devices to do each task, I can do almost everything with this one. It's a great space saver." We love that the LED lights also have an auto-dim when the device senses it's moving away from your face to prevent eye damage.
While the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab hasn't performed a test on red light therapy devices in more than 10 years, the last test completed involved 13 testers as well as in-Lab analysis. Scientists took note of improvements in wrinkles, texture, pores, visible spots and UV spots. The Beauty Lab also tests thousands of skincare items every year, like the best face serums, another product that helps promote anti-aging and achieve glowing skin. In these tests, scientists compiled nearly 8,000 data points and used devices such as the Visia Complexion Analyzer and Cutometer to measure changes in skin and skin laxity.
✔️ Ease of use: Since this is a product you'll be using at home on your own, Dr. Engelman recommends considering ease of use and ease of instructions when looking for an at-home red light therapy device. "Since at-home RLT isn’t always as strong as in-office treatments, it’s important to look for a device that can be easily used multiple times a week for maintenance and preventative benefits," she advises.
✔️ Wavelength: To avoid skin sensitivity or damage, take note of the wavelength of light, Dr. Engelman suggests. "I recommend devices that can provide a wavelength between 600 and 900 nanometers," she adds.
✔️ Device type and shape: Since many of these devices come in mask form, Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty, Health and Sustainability Lab Executive Director Birnur Aral, Ph.D., recommends trying these on both for skin sensitivity and to make sure they are comfortable to wear. If they aren't, opt for a handheld wand-like device instead. "It would also be wise to try them on before purchasing to check how well they fit on one’s face structure," Aral notes.
Yes. With several at-home devices being FDA cleared, it's easy and safe to do red light therapy at home. It's a non-invasive, painless treatment, but it's still very important to read directions carefully and follow instructions closely. "Misuse of RLT devices can potentially cause blisters or burns," warns Dr. Engelman. "It’s also important to note that usually, at-home RLT treatments are less strong than ones you would get in the office."
For the most part, red light therapy is safe to use without side effects, as long as it's used correctly. However, as noted above, it's important to follow the instructions to avoid overuse. "If worried about cell damage, keeping sessions to a maximum of 20 minutes is a good idea and will still give you the desired benefits," recommends Dr. Engelman.
The key to red light therapy is consistent use over time. While you may see results in the short term, it's important to continue using them to maintain those results. "You can see results from red light therapy by just doing treatment for five to 10 minutes, two to three times a week," says Dr. Engelman. However, red light therapy at-home devices "need to be used consistently over several months to see any anti-aging benefits," adds Aral.
Beauty assitant Catharine Malzahn works closely with the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab to help deliver fact-based, science-backed beauty coverage. Over the years, she has interviewed experts, written product reviews and tested hundreds of skincare products including both in-office and at-home red light therapy devices. She has personally used several of the picks on this list.
Laser Depilation Machine For this article, she worked with Beauty, Health and Sustainability Lab executive director Birnur Aral, Ph.D., who completed a red light therapy at-home device test for the Lab in 2009. Malzahn also interviewed Dr. Dendy Engelman, a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist.