This Sinister-Looking LED Mask Made My Skin Undeniably Glowy

Shani Darden is making Zoom filters obsolete.

The Splurge: Shani Darden Déesse Pro Mask
Photo: Courtesy of Shani Darden/ InStyle

Instagram and TikTok are full of people lounging around with light-up LED masks strapped to their faces, looking like horror-movie villains ready to hunt while also doing something to improve their complexions. While it may seem gimmicky, LED technology has been a part of professional skincare for a very long time, dating back to when NASA was using LLLT (low-level light therapy) to slow down cancerous growth in plants. Naturally, it made its way to skincare, where it's suddenly become as viral as posting 15-step Korean skincare routines and showing off sheet masks and facial rollers.

But unlike some gimmicky skincare trends (ahem, vampire facials), the LED light is backed by science and people who looked at my face after using it for a week. After dedicating just 10 minutes a day to sitting under the glowing mask, I raked in compliments on Zoom and IRL.

Shani Darden's mask (made in partnership with Déesse PRO) takes this tech one step further, adding FDA-cleared LED light therapy and a neck attachment so that everything from the shoulders up can get in on the benefits. Darden adds that her mask's LED goes even deeper and adds in more light diodes and specific light combinations to target concerns like aging and pigmentation.

"I really wanted to design an upgraded, exclusive mask that used all of the latest technology with high-strength LED lights at the most effective wavelengths. My LED Light Therapy Mask features simultaneous red and infrared light, the gold standard in treating anti-aging, which elicits a stronger cellular response, boosting collagen production to visibly diminish wrinkles," Darden explains of the various settings.

"It also has simultaneous blue and red LED light to minimize mild to moderate acne. I also designed a custom neck attachment to be used with it as well, which was a high priority on my wishlist as well as my clients'," she adds. "It has 238 LED lights which is almost triple the number of lights compared to many other masks on the market, at optimal power density to deliver the clinically proven dose of light therapy for maximum results."

That may sound scientific and slightly sci-fi, but Darden notes that the technology has been around for decades and that LED light tech has the thumbs up from everyone — from astronauts and estheticians to athletes — who use LED technology for its regenerative properties. And while it may seem almost unreal that I was pulling in compliments after one week of using the mast, Darden says that the long game is where more benefits start to show themselves.

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Shani Darden by Déesse PRO LED Light Mask

Shani Darden by Déesse PRO LED Light Mask

In a world where we're all craving instant gratification, it seems like a pain to add one more step to an already-established routine, but Darden says that her LED mask offers lasting results — as long as users commit themselves to using it regularly. And while it may be tempting to try and sit under the lights 24/7, Darden assures everyone that more isn't more, and that 10 minutes is enough to reap the benefits (admittedly, I used it multiple times a day at first, because it's tough to resist the allure of a new toy).

"Devices are a great non-invasive investment you can make for your skin, and they're amazing as both preventative and restorative technology, minimizing the need for costly treatments later on," she says. "A lot of the best skincare produces results in the long term. It's worth the wait for the amazing age-reversing benefits you get if you stick with it."

The 10-minute break from emails, texts, and Bravo marathons may also help your skin, because taking a break from distractions and taking some time for yourself is another way to make sure you're looking and feeling your best, Darden finishes. When she wants to take some time for herself, she says she indulges in a walk. It's something simple and offers a chance to get some compliments.

"I always love a long walk through my neighborhood. I think any opportunity to get outside and be in nature is always a good way to relax and rejuvenate," Darden says of the importance of self-care, with or without her LED mask. "It really helps me to reduce stress and feel more grounded."

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