In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews. This week, our beauty writer is putting the new Angela Caglia Crystal LED Face Mask to the test.
As a female in her 30’s and someone who always struggled with acne, prevention has long been a key word in my skin care vocabulary; so I’m no stranger to LED light therapy. In fact, I’ve been using it for years. I was first introduced to it as an add-on in facial treatments, but have since tried a handful of at-home options. So when I came across this brand new Angela Caglia Crystal LED Face Mask, I couldn’t wait to check it out.
I already have a really nice LED panel that sits on my desk (mine’s by Vital Red Light) and I use it regularly. I love it because it’s super bright and addresses your neck and chest, too. However, it only has a red light setting and is pretty bulky. Alternatively, if you want to move around the house and multitask, the crystal quartz mask is lightweight and extremely portable, making it great for travel.
If you didn’t gather by the name, the mask includes rose quartz crystals in the design. Creator of this mask (and celebrity facialist) Angela Caglia is known for incorporating rose quartz into her treatments and beauty tools. “I wanted to marry high performance meets wellness; I think that is the future of both skin care and tools,” explains the pro. It also features both red and blue light settings (more on that later) — a variety that’s often lacking in a lot of LED light options.
This mask just launched last month and it’s the first of it’s kind thanks to the inclusion of rose quartz. In fact, Caglia is known for her holistic approach and for using the crystal in all her facials. “Rose quartz remains cold when pressed on the skin so it has anti-inflammatory and skin soothing effects,” explains Murphy-Rose of the benefits. “[The stone] is extremely dense and stays colder longer than other popular crystals so it helps better with puffiness and inflammation of the skin,” adds Caglia.
The second I saw this product, I knew I was going to be a fan. First of all, it’s pink (and I know that’s silly but I love pink). I’m also way more likely and excited to use products that I find aesthetically pleasing. I’m very into holistic wellness, so the idea that this one fused rose quartz healing with science-backed technology also piqued my interest. Since the mask is flexible, I knew it was going to be comfortable.
The big questions, though, are: how does this LED crystal mask stack up and is it worth the $500 price tag? Read on for my honest answers and review.
What Is LED Light Therapy?
If you’re not already familiar with LED technology it has a ton of scientifically proven benefits. It was actually first introduced to the world by NASA in the ‘60s, specifically to American astronauts to help with tissue healing and repair. It’s highly regarded in the beauty community as a means to treat a whole variety of skin-related issues. Red light, specifically, is proven to reduce inflammation in the skin, stimulate fibroblasts to produce collagen, reduce and prevent fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin texture, and promote hair growth. Blue light, on the other hand, has been demonstrated to treat acne by reducing P. acnes bacteria and by decreasing activity of oil glands, explains board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Blair Murphy-Rose, MD, FAAD. “Red light is often thought of as the “Anti-Aging” light while Blue light is the “Anti-Acne” light,” she categorizes.
LED, which stands for light emitting diode, emits infrared lights that cause heat on contact with the skin. When that light goes below the surface of the skin it triggers metabolic activity and produces more collagen and elastin. That then leads to anti-aging benefits like firmer, smoother, and plumper skin.
Note that the wavelength (and how deep the light penetrates) matters greatly — and all wavelengths are not created equal. “The wavelength of light determines the color of light, and these have different potential skin benefits,” says Dr. Murphy Rose. This particular mask features both anti-aging red (630nm) and anti-acne BLUE (465nm), which are the FDA-cleared LED treatment wavelengths to penetrate the deep layers of the skin.
The Design Of The Mask
This mask was designed with comfort in mind. The patented design is made of flexible medical-grade silicone that molds to the shape of your face for maximum light penetration. It also has a stretchy velcro strap so you can secure it as tightly or loosely as you want.
What I enjoy about this mask is that it’s portable and I can multitask while wearing it. “I designed this mask with a big enough mouth hole so you can still drink your wine,” says Caglia. This is extremely appealing to me since I usually use it to help me wind down at the end of day. By nature, the light is pretty bright, so I don’t suggest watching TV or answering emails while doing it. But the wine drinking, I can get onboard with that.
Courtesy of Taylor Jean Stephan
How To Use The Crystal LED Mask
Using this mask is easy. It comes with a portable, chargeable battery. Make sure you plug it in for a few hours before the first use to fully charge it up. Then simply attach the battery to the usb cord attached to the mask. It has two settings: red light and blue light, so just tap your preference. Each session is on a 10 minute timer and the device will turn off at that mark. If you want to use both settings, do one then the other for a total of 20 minutes, explains Caglia. “Generally, at-home LED masks can be used for about 10-15 minutes, three to five times weekly,” suggests Dr. Murphy-Rose.
To test, I’ve been using the mask for roughly two weeks, five times a week (I find it so relaxing at the end of the day). I also use both settings each time since my skin is acne prone. Since I’ve already been using red light therapy in my routine, I didn’t see a drastic change after. However, during this time, I just so happened to be on my period (when I tend to get horrific hormonal acne breakouts). Needless to say, the blue light feature really helped keep pimples at bay. Per Caglia’s recommendation, I used the mask on clean, dry skin without any skincare products (for maximum penetration, she explained). Afterwards, I applied my nighttime skincare as usual and I was off to bed.
My number one skin concern has always been acne, redness, and inflammation. My skin is so sensitive, it’s an unfortunate reality, but I’ve learned to deal with it over the years. I did accutane for a year, which totally eradicated it, but it eventually came back. That’s where LED light therapy has come in very handy for me. It’s by no means the only thing I do (I have a rigorous skin care routine that includes regular facials and medical grade products), but I do use light therapy at least once a week (and almost always with any facials I get).
If I’m the slightest bit stressed I start breaking out or getting red. Inflammation is chronic for me and, in terms of immediate results, I really feel like a quick red light session helps calm my skin. On the other hand, if I feel a pimple starting to brew, I’ll immediately use the blue light to kill bacteria. I’ve noticed long term results (like firmness and clarity) after just a few weeks. “Results can vary, but with four weeks of consistent use you can achieve visible results,” confirms Dr. Murphy-Rose.
The amazing fact about LED light is that it is truly for everyone and every skin type. There’s no contraindications or bad side effects. Whether your goal is collagen boosting or acne fighting — anyone can benefit. It even has healing benefits. “I like to apply if I have a cut, scratch or bruise and it will speed up the healing time tremendously — it’s remarkable,” adds Caglia.
Is It Worth It?
$500 is steep, but it’s a reasonable price for a top shelf LED light therapy mask. There are cheaper options (with the Kourtney Kardashian-approved DMH mask ringing in at $190, for example.) However, with this option you get the added benefit of healing rose quartz crystals (if that’s something you’re into). Since it’s made of soft silicone, it’s easy to pack and travel-friendly. That wellness approach and the pretty pink color are definitely the biggest draws for me.
This portable LED mask marries holistic practices with science-backed technology. It utilizes FDA-approved red and blue light wavelengths to clinically treat your skin with regular use. If you’re searching for an LED face mask, this is one of the most comfortable, effective, and aesthetically pleasing options on the market right now.
- Price: $495
- Best for: anti-aging (red light), acne (blue light)
- Your rating: 4.8/5
- Clean/Cruelty-Free?: Yes
- What we like: option for red and blue light settings, rose quartz for inflammation, flexible, portable, and rechargeable
- What we don’t like: expensive and very bright for sensitive eyes
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BDG product reviews and recommendations are written and conducted by writers and editors with expertise in their fields. Testers often have specific experience with the situation or product at hand, and/or their review or recommendation is provided in consultation with experts. You can learn more about our standards here.