The best at-home LED light therapy facial

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Foreo’s cleansing devices have been all the rage for years now, but the UFO Smart Mask is one of their most innovative designs to date – so we tried it out to see if it lives up to the glowing reviews.

Before having kids, I was a regular Omnilux Light Therapy user.

I’d do monthly sessions at a salon and would shout the benefits to anyone who seemed to be remotely interested. For me, light therapy helped reduce redness, keep breakouts at bay and left my skin tone even and glowy – but post kids, it felt like a bit of a luxury that I didn’t have as much time for. So it was with great excitement that I got my hand on the Foreo UFO.

The UFO is Swedish brand Foreo’s foray into the world of at-home masking and LED devices. The brand, made famous by their cult cleansing brushes, has created a smart mask device that combines light therapy with the power of Korean skincare.

The idea is that you a pick a mask that deals with your skin concern or desired outcome, attach it to the device, then over the next 90 seconds work the mask into your skin while the device uses dermal technology to help penetrate and improve skin quality.

How does the Foreo UFO work?

Dubbed “the world’s first smart mask”, Foreo boasts that the UFO “combines advanced dermal technologies with exclusive Korean mask formulas for a decadent facial treatment in seconds”. So what does that mean?

Well, basically the device utilises technologies previously found exclusively in salons to help supercharge your at-home masks. Firstly there is the warming feature: this Thermo-Therapy mode helps to activate the ingredients in the mask allowing it to be more effective in less time – hence the 90 second treatment time instead of the usual 20 or so minutes with a normal sheet mask.

The UFO also cools with its Cryo-Therapy mode that helps to reduce appearance of pores and puffiness – no beauty fridges needed!

Next, there are the T-Sonic Pulsations. This feels like light vibrations on your skin and works to increase the skin’s absorption of the mask’s formula.

Then there is my favourite – the LED lights! It uses red, green and blue LED light wavelengths to help rejuvenate your skin.

What do different color LED lights do for skin?

Red LED: When the red light infuses cells it makes that cells take in more oxygen, blood and nutrients than it normally does. Over time this results in plumper skin to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Green LED: The green light is about soothing and boosting your skin’s natural glow. So it’s great for dark circles, redness and evening out skin tone.

Blue LED: This is perfect for acne-prone skin as it targets and aims to remove the acne bacteria.

How to use the Foreo UFO device

First you need to download the FOREO app which you can find in Google Play or on the App store. You then follow the instructions to pair your UFO device. I found this really easy to do. In the app, you scan the mask barcode with your camera and the corresponding treatment will automatically sync to your UFO device – this is great because some treatments use heating and cooling while others have sonic vibrations and the green light. It’s really great to see how targeted each mask is.

Next, remove the attachment ring from UFO and secure the UFO Activated Mask on the device by clipping the attachment ring back into place.

The app will then tell you to start and you can use that as a guide to glide the UFO across your skin in circular motions. It lets you know when your treatment has been finished, and there is also an option to repeat the treatment – which I often found myself doing to make sure all the serum was used and worked into the skin.

When done, you can dispose of the mask and rinse the UFO under running water – it’s completely waterproof!

To finish, you pat any residual serum into your skin before applying your favourite moisturiser.

What UFO masks are available?

There are an array of masks to try with the device:

  • Youth Junkie Mask: A collagen-infused mask for younger looking skin
  • Glow Addict Mask: This is infused with pearls to illuminate dull skin
  • H2Overdose Mask: Contains hyaluronic acid making it perfect for dry, thirsty skin
  • Shimmer Freak Mask: A caffeine-infused mask that helps diminish the look of dark circles
  • Matte Maniac Mask: This is a purifying mask that contains charcoal to remove excess oil leaving clean, clear skin
  • Call It A Night Mask: Formulated with olive oil and ginseng to nourish skin before bed
  • Make My Day Mask: An all rounder, this mask features hyaluronic acid and red algae to protect against pollution and hydrate skin
  • Bulgarian Rose Mask: Infused with rose-water this worlds to give dull, dry skin a lift
  • Green Tea Mask: Created to soothe and refresh stressed skin
  • Manuka Honey Mask: This is an anti-ageing mask that helps relieve dryness
  • Acai Berry Mask: Rich with acai berries this pumps the skin with antioxidants
  • Coconut Oil Mask: Features coconut oil to leave the skin hydrated and dewy

Over the past month I have tried Youth Junkie, Shimmer Freak and Make My Day, which come with the Fountain of Youth Bundle. My favourite mask ended up being the Youth Junkie: the creamy collagen-infused gel serum is lovely, but it’s the treatment the device delivers with the mask that I particularly enjoy. This treatment involved the red LED light to give skin a more youthful appearance, plus warm sonic pulsing to help the collagen penetrate deeper into the skin. Bliss!

Can I use the Foreo UFO without a mask?

From my perspective, the treatment works best with a Foreo mask. You can add your own serum and do a manual setting on the device which I did try a few times, but then the treatment isn’t as targeted.

What makes the device work so well is that through the Bluetooth connection it stimulates a different combination of LED lights, thermo-therapy or sonic movements based on the specific mask and its ingredients. If you just have your own serum, you aren’t able to target a specific skin issue you want to resolve.

Can I use the Foreo UFO everyday?

The UFO can easily be worked into your daily routine. I found I got into the habit of using it every second day, but there is no limit. The mask you use, however, might indicate what time of day is best to do it – for example, the Call It A Night mask will be better for evenings, while Make My Day would be better for mornings.

The fact that it’s best used with the masks was one of the constrictions on why I only used it every second day – the upkeep of buying new masks can get a bit expensive as they are around $15 for a six pack.

Is the Foreo UFO worth it?

It’s been over a month now since I started using the Foreo UFO, and I’ve really loved it. It’s not going to make wrinkles disappear overnight but my skin feels great and I’m more confident to go out of the house without make-up. I haven’t had a breakout since using it – which is incredible! I’m also noticing my pigmentation is getting a little lighter on my cheeks. I’m looking forward to seeing the long term results.

What is also nice about the treatment is that you can do it while checking work emails in the morning or while watching TV at night. It’s an easy way to add a supercharged facial into your daily routine. So I’d say it’s perfect for people who are skincare fanatics yet are time poor and don’t want to pay to constantly go to expensive salons.

As a word of warning, this is something that you have to be consistent with to get the best results. You need to find time to carve it into your day or week and be on top of buying the masks.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Pros:

  • Quick and easy to use
  • Great results
  • Large array of masks for a variety of skin concerns
  • Red, blue and greens lights to target a range of skin concerns
  • Results in only 90 seconds – so easy to work into your daily routine
  • Nothing on the market like it
  • 100 per cent waterproof
  • Safe
  • USB chargeable

Cons:

  • Upkeep of the masks can be expensive
  • Needs to be hooked up to your phone to use which can be a little fiddly

Price: $289

I recommend the Fountain of Youth bundle from The Iconic as it comes with the UFO device as well as a bonus free box of the Shimmer Freak and Youth Junkie masks to get you started. It’s $289 all up.

The Foreo UFO device by itself can also be bought for $289, while the UFO Mini goes for $149. Colours on offer include Fuschia and Pearl Pink.

The Beauty Mask Survival Pack – UFO Activated is also great for stocking up on masks. It comes with seven Call It a Night masks, six Youth Junkie masks, six H2Overdose masks and six Glow Addict masks for $81.

The Farm To Face Activated Mask Duo features six of each of the two plant-based masks (coconut and acai) in a handy set to stock up on too – it’ll cost you $54.

You can check out the full range of Foreo UFO products at The Iconic here.

Looking for more great beauty tips? Check out our review of the latest Alpha-H Liquid Gold product. Plus, read up on the face mask that makes your pores vanish.