Dr. Dennis Gross LED Mask Review: Putting a Celeb Favorite to the Test

You may have seen photographs popping up on your Instagram feed recently of a robot-like plastic face mask emanating red and blue lights. It is the Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro—one of the latest must-have devices from a slate of beauty tools released this year. The LED mask is said to prevent wrinkles and fight acne, and has been touted as a professional-grade, at-home answer to the light therapy treatments you might receive at the dermatologist. (Plus, it makes for an enticing selfie, as Lucy Hale, Halle Berry, and Kris Jenner can attest.) Four W magazine editors gave the light treatment mask a shot, and provided their honest opinions about the experience.

Stephanie Eckardt, Staff Writer

What had you heard about LED light treatments from friends, family, dermatologists, etc., if anything at all? Had you gotten an LED treatment prior? If so, what was it like?

Thanks to the disconcerting fact that Slack stands for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge,” I know the precise point in time that I discovered LED light therapy. At 2:14 p.m. on Friday, October 2, I sent my coworker Tilden the link to a Strategist story and the punctuation-less question “wtf is this mask in here lmao.” She then briefly filled me in on the benefits, cautioning that evidence is thin. That remains the extent of my knowledge, apart from firsthand experience. 

Describe your experience using the Dr. Dennis Gross LED light.

I’ve been blessed with minimal acne struggles lately. And maybe it’s because lockdown has allowed for more time in front of the mirror, but I’ve been increasingly freaked out about aging and lines. So I decided to focus on the latter and use the red light almost exclusively for a full month, at night after washing my face. I have yet to notice any results, but I never expected to. If it took just a month to visibly lessen years of aging, everyone would have one of these devices—even though they cost $435. 

Did you see results from this device? Was there a distinct before and after?  

Even if the device hasn’t done much at all just yet, I’ve really enjoyed making it part of my nightly routine. I worried I’d forget and wouldn’t be consistent, but I actually came to look forward to putting it on each night. (And I just realized that after about a month of nightly use, I haven’t had to charge it once.)  It’s also just brought me a lot of joy, because no matter how many times I look in the mirror (or at my many selfies), the sheer ridiculousness of looking like a demonic Transformer never gets old. I plan, and look forward, to keep giving it a go. And I especially look forward to showing my family, which I’d been dreaming of doing over Thanksgiving.

Tilden Bissell, Digital Designer

What had you heard about LED light treatments from friends, family, dermatologists, etc., if anything at all? Had you gotten an LED treatment prior? If so, what was it like?

My coworker, Steph, had recently sent me this Vulture article where Julia Garner mentioned her mask, so I feel like it’s been trending for a bit. I’m a fan of LED treatments in theory, but I’ve only had them in conjunction with a facial so I’m a little skeptical about their actual effectiveness—plus, there aren’t a ton of studies regarding long-term safety. Still, my go-to spa in Philadelphia, Cure de Repos, always uses LED lights on me, and more recently I had them used during a facial at Ever/Body. I’m definitely not against them, and I was excited to see if consistent use would yield more quantifiable results. 

Describe your experience using the Dr. Dennis Gross LED light.

I thought this was so fun to use. In addition to freaking out my roommate the first time I walked around with it on, it was kind of nice to do nothing for a few minutes. Once I got over the novelty of spooking my friends, I did a mix of the red and blue lights, and tried to be consistent with my use every single day since I received it in mid-November. Sometimes I wondered if I felt a little tingling, but I think that was just because I’m not used to wearing a giant LED and plastic mask on my face. That being said, if you’re sensitive to having heavy stuff on your face, this might not be the best tool for you. 

Did you see results from this device? Was there a distinct before and after?

There’s been mixed information on how effective LED therapy is for hormonal acne, which is what I struggle with. But I noticed that when I did break out, it was more sporadic and less inflamed. I didn’t feel significantly more youthful from the red light—that being said, I naturally have a very round (i.e. baby) face so wrinkles aren’t a huge issue for me yet. However, my mother also asked to try the mask (after disinfecting) and she said she felt like there was a difference in her fine lines, so I might see more of an effect as I age. Do I think that this is an essential device for good skin? No, but I think if you’re looking to add something to your routine that gets results, this is a solid option.

Maxine Wally, Senior Digital Editor

What had you heard about LED light treatments from friends, family, dermatologists, etc., if anything at all? Had you gotten an LED treatment prior? If so, what was it like?

I’ve been curious about LED light treatments for a while—whether or not they worked, what they felt like. My only true exposure to LED treatment was earlier this year, when I got a facial at Ever/Body. The aesthetician held a blue light and a red light above my chin and forehead, respectively, for 60 seconds. I imagined my skin would emerge from the light radiant, clear, mask-ne free. In reality, it was far more anticlimactic than expected, and I’m unsure whether there were results at all. 

But In the case of the Dr. Dennis Gross LED light, I was super excited to check it out since I’d seen it all over my Instagram feed for weeks—most notably, on Jeremy O. Harris’s “Coronavirus Mixtape” series.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CHq5CXODEbj/

A post shared by Jeremy O. Harris (@jeremyoharris)

Describe your experience using the Dr. Dennis Gross LED light.

I used this device at night: before bed, with a clean face. The mask has a strap around the back of it which you fasten over your head before turning on the light, which is timed to illuminate for three minutes. You can choose between red (which treats wrinkles), blue, (addressing acne problems), or a combination of red and blue (for both) colored lighting. I alternated between all three, mixing it up based upon my whim for the evening. I got into the habit of putting on the mask, lying down on my bed, and doing nothing—save taking a few selfies—for 90 seconds. I found it to be relaxing and calming; the LED light felt like a weighted blanket for my face. It turned out to be a highlight of my day for the month-and-a-half or so that I used the tool.

Did you see results from this device? Was there a distinct before and after? 

Although I originally intended to use this light mask for acne specifically, I ended up seeing more notable results in terms of wrinkles instead. I noticed a serious difference in the overall clarity of my face, with my forehead wrinkles softening especially. I am a pretty expressive person, and wear my emotions plainly on my face, so it was surprising to see such a stark difference when I raised my eyebrows—which I do often—a week or so into my use of the Dr. Dennis Gross LED Mask. I’ll absolutely be using the light treatment often, not just due to its efficacy, but also because I enjoy the comforting lull of multicolored lights forcing me to do absolutely nothing while I lie on my back, staring at the ceiling.

Maryam Lieberman, Contributing Beauty Editor

What had you heard about LED light treatments from friends, family, dermatologists, etc., if anything at all? Had you gotten an LED treatment prior? If so, what was it like?

The last few years, I had been getting LED light treatments during facials. I didn’t ask for it but it was just implemented as part of the facial. I didn’t think much of it, to be truthful, and I didn’t think of it as being essential either, until I kept getting more and more insight from dermatologists that it helps with cell turnover. This past October, for my birthday—in honor of getting older—I thought what the hell, and I bought myself a professional-grade Celluma LED Light. I haven’t had the time to use it yet. 

Describe your experience using the Dr. Dennis Gross LED light.

My main skin concern is to keep my skin full of elasticity; I therefore used the red light for two weeks. I washed my face and put on the mask on my bare skin. I really like the fact that you need to use it for just three minutes. It’s not a time suck. I sat back with it on and usually fell asleep or meditated a bit. I felt nothing physically unusual other than a teeny bit of tingle the first time. 

Did you see results from this device? Was there a distinct before and after?

I will say this: I think using the Gross LED mask made my skin more firm (or maybe that’s because I spent two weeks of my time using it and convinced myself that it did). The areas around my eyes seemed smoother for sure. I also think the serum I used after the LED treatment absorbed better into my skin after the LED light. It didn’t exactly turn back the clock 10 years, but again, I did feel and look revived in certain areas. If it’s only three minutes and I am seeing gradual results only after two weeks, I am willing to use it every night if I can. 

Related: Putting Lancer’s At-Home Microdermabrasion to the Test

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