Why pay up to $800 for a Baby Quasar when you can get a handheld LED light therapy unit for less… much less?
Handheld LED light therapy devices are an essential, if expensive, tool for the beauty conscious. But their popularity hasn’t stopped certain brands from charging a premium for handheld LED light therapy machines.
Currently, the Baby Quasar MD Plus is the most expensive option out there, with the red light model retailing at nearly $800. Even the comparatively purse friendly DPL Nuve is over $130, making it more of a luxury indulgence than an affordable skin care essential.
The fact is, there are few differences between ‘high end’ handheld LED light therapy devices and their cheaper rivals. As most handheld units are less than two inches in diameter, multiple sessions are needed to treat large areas – a disadvantage that expensive handheld models don’t overcome. And crucially, all home use devices consume around the same amount of power, meaning that a bigger investment won’t guarantee you quicker results.
Unless you plan on buying an LED light panel machine, it is simply not worth spending more than $50 on a handheld unit for home use.
Choosing the best handheld LED light therapy device
The best light colors for skin rejuvenation and acne are as follows:
- If you suffer from regular breakouts, blue LED light at a wavelength of 410-480nm will kill p acnes, the bacteria responsible for causing acne.
- If you have lax skin or fine lines, red LED light at around 630-700nm will penetrate to a depth of 10mm, boosting collagen production in the deeper layers of the dermis.
- For chronic, inflammatory acne, purple light (a mixture of red and blue LEDs) offers the best of both worlds, acting to regenerate skin cells while providing an antiseptic remedy for active palpules and comodones (pimples).
Before you purchase a device, make a note of the diameter of the treatment head (the larger this is, the quicker you’ll be able to treat your face), the number of LEDs, and its power output. You may be looking for a device with ‘extras’, such as a multi-functional handpiece (ionic massage?), or a unit which emits thermal energy (blocked pores: beware).
As it happens, we’ve found several cheap handheld LED light therapy machines under $50 that do everything the more expensive home units can… and more!
1. RubyLux Red and Blue Light Therapy Bulb: $15.99
With 38 LEDs (that’s 12 more than the Baby Quasar), the RubyLux Red & Blue Light Therapy Bulb gives you high powered skin rejuvenation from the comfort of your own desk. Simply take an ordinary table lamp, screw in your bulb, and position it several centimetres away from your face. As the RubyLux is a mix of red and blue LED lights, it’s the ideal choice for treating inflammatory acne. At just under two inches wide, it can treat focal areas of concern, although at just $15.99 per bulb (so cheap!) you can always pick up another one and treat both sides of the face simultaneously.
2. Clensure MiniBL Red Light Therapy Massager: $34.99
The Clensure MiniBL is a nifty battery operated handheld LED light therapy rejuvenation device. It emits a diffuse, non-thermal red light at 660nm, and is ideal for rejuvenating aged and collagen depleted skin. Its detachable head uses microcurrent technology, enabling you to conduct a salon-worthy facial at the same time as reversing environmental damage. To maximize the Cleansure’s anti-aging benefits, divide your face into sections and make gentle upsweeping strokes from the center of your face.
3. Tanda Zap Acne Clearing Device: $45.00
The Tanda ZAP acne clearing device handheld LED light therapy device utilizes 7 light blue LEDS at a wavelenth of 414nm, killing p acnes bacteria in the skin’s sebaceous glands. It also emits sonic vibrations, which gently heat and open up pores, allowing the blue light to travel deeply into blackhead affected areas. Given its relatively small size, this handheld LED light therapy device is ideal for oily skin types who want to tackle regular breakouts around the chin and t-zone. If you go for Tanda’s high quality handheld LED light therapy unit, you also get to choose between pink, white, and funky zebra print (our favorite!)
4. Sirius Pulsar Blemish Clearing Device: $38.95
The Sirius Pulsar Blemish Clearing Device features a highly targeted handpiece designed to tackle individual pimples. Activated by a push button, the wand exposes problematic spots to a combination of blue LED light and thermal energy, causing treated pimples to fade within 24 hours. The best thing about the Sirius handheld LED light therapy device is that it’s the size of a mascara wand, making it a very portable, purse-friendly item that can be whipped out and used as soon as a burgeoning pimple is detected.
5. Nutra Light Clinical Rejuvenation System: $37.99
Red light is the gold standard of low level light therapy for anti-aging purposes. The Nutra Light Clinical Rejuvenation System has a 2.5 inch LED panel with 61 red LEDs. This is a battery operated unit which includes its own charger, and – if you use it for 15 minutes a day – you’ll see noticeable improvements in the texture and tone of your skin after a month. The Nutra Light also comes with goggles together with a free bottle of Vitamin C serum, which is a potent anti-oxidant capable of repairing age-related damage.