Stars Get Awards Season Glow With LED Light Therapy Including $2,250 Facial Mask

Constance Wu and Gwyneth Paltrow Split--Getty -H 2019
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic; Ian Gavan/Getty Images

The luxe new LED mask is being gifted to stars prior to awards shows (and Laurence Fishburne reportedly requested one!) while aestheticians are using LED light beds to perfect skin on the entire body for the red carpet.

If you detect an amped-up glow on the presenters and nominees at this year’s awards ceremonies, chances are the illuminating forces are LED lights. The little bulbs have gone from being a secret facial tool of in-demand dermatologists and high-end estheticians to becoming full-body beautifiers and sparking a cottage industry of home devices.

Jessica Alba was so taken with the electronic mask used on her by L.A. skin guru Shani Darden that she posted on Instagram a sci-fi worthy picture of herself wearing an Opera Galvanic Spectrum LED Mask by GTG Korea (just under $3,000) as did Hollywood hair stylist Jen Atkin (who works with Chrissy Teigen), who stopped by for an LED-infused facial earlier this week.

There is even a new mask from the Korean brand Kahuna, retailing for $2,250, that mixes infrared with LED and is supposed to encourage hair growth as well have an anti-aging effect. It was prominently placed in the GBK pre-Golden Globes swag suite and delivered to Nicole Kidman and Lady Gaga. Insiders tell us Laurence Fishburne requested one as well, and it will be showcased this weekend at the GBK pre-Oscars luxury lounge.

“It was incredibly popular at the pre-Golden Globes lounge and we anticipate the same interest at the pre-Oscars luxury lounge,’’ says Jamie Cary, GBK’s event director. “We will also be gifting presenters and nominees with the mask.’’

Joanna Vargas, who has a skin care salon in the Sunset Tower, is using the collagen stimulators on seven presenters and two nominees this year. “The quality of LEDs has improved,’’ she maintains. “We are learning more about them and their use as a treatment. Everyone wants skin that looks healthy and the lights enhance elasticity, allow deeper penetration of products, speed healing by 300 percent and increase cellular activity.’’

Vargas’ revamped LED bed is getting lots of use this week. “I can program it to treat different parts of the body with different protocols,’’ she says. “Constance Wu for example has very good skin, but whenever you hit the red carpet you want the skin on your body to be perfect, so for her we do a full body exfoliation and then use the LEDs to calm the redness and improve hydration.’’

There is a science to using the lights with serums, according to Beverly Hills esthetic guru Gina Mari. “Different formulations have different molecular weight, which require more or less energy and pulsing of the LED lights to drive the various products into the skin,’’ she explains.

Among new home devices are the hand-held Eterno LED Device ($299) touted as using the “same technology NASA uses to grow nutritious plants in space,’’ and the MZ Skin Golden Facial Treatment Device electronic mask ($625) from facial plastic surgeon Dr. Maryam Zamani, which allows programing of different colored lights to treat conditions ranging from redness to uneven skin tone. Gwyneth Paltrow is such a fan she previewed it at her Goop Wellness Summit last year.

The home gadgets are also finding their way onto sets. “Elisabeth Moss has sensitive skin that has a tendency to be reactive and get pink,’’ observes Vargas. “For Handmaid’s Tale she hardly wears any make-up so she does a series of LEDs and also has an at-home device that she uses every day on set and it’s really helped her skin tone and glow factor.’’

New York esthetician Karina Freedman of Karina NYC, who reportedly has treated Susan Sarandon and Bette Midler (set to perform the Mary Poppins Returns song Sunday night), has been doing spot LED treatments for the mouth, as well as for the face. “The cameras really pick up features so we are giving extra love to the lips,’’ she says. “We plump and smooth the surface with a collagen peptide mask and hit it with LEDs.’’

The awards participants might also appear a little more effervescent, because LEDs are meant to improve mood as well as appearance. “Astronauts use it to stay healthy and awake without sunlight, and it is also used to treat pain and depression,’’ explains Danuta Mieloch, owner of New York’s celebrity-filled retreat, Rescue Spa. “We combine them with ionic oxygen and people not only look radiant, they feel like they’ve had a day at the beach.’’