Welcome to Skimm Tested, where we put products to the test and then give them a report card. (Check out all of our tried-and-tested faves here.)
To see if the trending HigherDose Red Light Face Mask ($349) is easy to use, produces visible results, and deserves an official spot in our skincare routine. Use code THESKIMM for 15% off sitewide, excluding full size saunas, subscriptions, and bundles.
Straight A’s in…
Skin-healing powers. If you’re like us, occasionally you succumb to the overwhelming desire to take what’s barely a pimple and turn it into a bleeding, oozing mess. That’s why this red light mask will become your new best friend. All of our testers noticed that after each use, their skin was less inflamed, existing breakouts appeared flatter, and their overall complexion looked smoother. Even with just a few uses, they noticed an increase in brightness.
Relaxation factor. Our testers found that while the mask didn’t get too hot — something our tester with rosacea was thankful for — the slight warmth and brightness of the lights did make for a soothing moment of meditation, especially when used at night. The pressure of the face mask acts similarly to that of an eye mask, so it’s easy to rest while using.
Versatility. While one of our testers found herself using the mask mainly at night, others felt it fit in better with their morning routine. The mask needs to be used on clean, dry skin, with or without the Glow Serum, so we advise using it right after a morning shower. The serum is activated via heat and light to penetrate deep into the layers of your skin, helping to hydrate and firm. One tester was able to make her bed, coffee, and breakfast, and still had time to complete a quick stretch session, all while wearing the mask. When the 10 minutes were over, she simply applied her other skincare products like usual. The bottom line: This mask will fit into your current routine seamlessly.
Room for growth…
Price tag. Our testers agree that $349 is definitely a splurge. However, considering they will continue to incorporate the device into their routine even with the testing phase being over, it offsets the cost of monthly or bimonthly facials.
The cord. Since the remote attaches to the mask via a long cord, and can be placed down on a countertop, you’re only hands-free at times. If you’re moving around your home, at some point you will need to pick the remote up. PS: The mask once fully charged can last up to two weeks, so that’s a plus.
Bulb brightness. One of our testers has sensitive eyes, so for her, multitasking was limited. While she could complete tasks like making the bed and getting dressed, she couldn’t read, watch a show, or look at her phone with it on. Those with sensitive eyes may need to use the included protective goggles.
Plays well with…
The rest of your skincare routine. This mask is easy to add in, especially since it doesn’t interfere with other active ingredients, including retinol.
All skin types. Our testers’ skin ranged from sensitive with rosacea to oily and acne-prone, and everyone was pleased with how it affected their complexion. No post-use flare-ups here.
Those who are traveling. It comes with a storage bag, so just charge the remote before you leave, and then stash it in your suitcase to get an on-the-go glow before a big event. If you’re looking for an even more portable red light therapy option, we also love the SolaWave.
Gets extra credit for…
Packaging that gives clear and concise instructions on when and how to use the device. Included are several power adapters for different countries.
The three straps (two over-the-ear and one over-the-head), which make it easy to adjust the mask to all head sizes.
The medical-grade silicone that is quick to clean. Just wipe with an alcohol wipe when you’re done using.
How we did our homework…
Three editors with a range of skin types (rosacea, oily and acne-prone, and normal) tested the HigherDose Red Light Face Mask as instructed: 10 minutes per session, 3-5 times per week, for at least two weeks. They also worked up to more intense 20-minute sessions, which some editors actually preferred. They tried doing activities while wearing the mask to make sure their range of motion wasn’t limited. They noted how many sessions they could complete until the remote needed charging. They paid extra-special attention to how their skin looked and felt before the mask was used, during, and after. Did they experience burning or tingling? Did they see great improvement in their complexion right after the 10 minutes were up? They even recorded their results days after use. Our testers marked any skin reactions or breakouts that may have been caused by the mask, and there were none.
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