Therabody became a staple in my beauty routine with the TheraFace PRO, and now it’s claimed another spot in my skincare lineup with the new TheraFace Mask.
Announced September 13, the TheraFace Mask is the hands-free answer to TheraBody Beauty’s facial health mission. It features LED lights to help with skin appearance and vibration therapy to boost circulation and ease tension.
The FDA-approved mask houses 648 medical-grade LEDs that cycle through red, red plus infrared, and blue lights. It has three times the LED lights than the leading competitor. TheraFace Mask retails for $599.
Getting started with the TheraFace Mask
Right off the bat, the TheraFace Mask looks a little different than other LED masks from brands like Solawave and Dr. Dennis Gross — it doesn’t have mouth or nose holes. My boyfriend is not a fan of the mask’s look. Multiple times, he walked into my apartment while I was doing a treatment and he literally screamed. Personally, I think he’s a little dramatic, but in his defense, it is a bit of a jump scare when you’re expecting to see your girlfriend’s face and instead see what looks like a glowing stormtrooper.
The mask hosts an LED button on its right side and a vibration button on the left. The inside of the mask is dotted with LED panels and has vibrating pads around the eyes. Straps adorned with padded cushioning and more massage motors go around the back and over the top of your head. Just FYI for people with longer hair, you may need to keep your hair down or strategically position any updo to fit around the straps.
The straps are adjustable both side to side and up and down. It took some playing around to find the position that felt the most comfortable and weightless on my head and face. I didn’t like when the mask felt like it was sitting on my cheekbones or pulling down my face — this thing has some weight to it. Regardless of how I adjusted the straps, I always finished a session with red marks on my face where the mask sat against my skin. But they went away pretty quickly.
Once the mask is on, you can run the standard cycle by long-pressing the LED button or you can run just the LED light or the vibration independently. The standard cycle lasts nine minutes, with each light color running for three minutes. According to Therabody’s VP of Product Development and Manufacturing Jaime Sanchez, this is because the amount of stimulation and collagen you can generate through light therapy on the skin is limited, and running the cycle any longer is not going to result in additional benefits.
“More is not better. It’s just the consistency and doing the nine minutes on a daily basis,” he said in a media call for the TheraFace Mask.
Each light color has its own massage pattern as well. Like with the TheraFace PRO, there’s no vibration on the face during the blue light cycle on the TheraFace Mask to ensure there’s no spread of bacteria. The head straps do vibrate during the blue cycle, so there is still a massage component during each of the three lights. If you opt to run the massage function on its own sans LED lights, it will automatically go through a 15-minute cycle, but there are a few different vibration patterns you can rotate through.
TheraFace Mask as part of a skincare routine
In my testing, I used the mask daily on the standard nine-minute LED and massage cycle after washing my face. Most days I just used it the recommended one time, but there were some days I did my regimen in the morning, and by the time my day was coming to a close, I wanted to wind down with a relaxing facial treatment from the TheraFace Mask. While Sanchez said doing the treatment more than once per day isn’t going to speed up results, he also said it’s not going to cause harm.
During the nine minutes, I either read my Kindle, looked at my phone, or relaxed with my eyes closed. During the latter, I would take out the removable eye shield so the light could better reach the skin around my eyes and potentially stave off any crow's feet.
I also used the vibration-only setting a few times. I occasionally take naps with my contacts in (if my optometrist is reading this, no I don’t) and I wake up with intense headaches behind my eyes. The positioning of the massage pads and motors on the TheraFace Mask provided instant relief. The best part is that it’s totally hands-free as opposed to me using my fingers or a massage gun to ease my pain.
I was only able to test the TheraFace Mask for two weeks, so I didn’t expect any major results — it takes longer, consistent use to see anything drastic from skincare. But I did still notice some small changes during my usage. I have a pesky under-skin pimple on my right cheek that has survived patches, creams, and serums and it’s currently the bane of my existence. I did not expect the LED mask to zap the zit clean off my face, but I was pleasantly surprised that after only three uses, my pimple was smaller and flatter. It’s still there at the time of writing — I’ll probably have to get a cortisone shot from my dermatologist — but it is noticeably less of an eyesore than it was before I started using the TheraFace Mask.
While I did notice some improvements in the acne department, two weeks was simply not long enough to see much of anything change for my wrinkles. I’m keeping an eye on the scowl lines between my eyebrows and will update this review after spending more time with the TheraFace Mask in my daily skincare routine. I will say, even just after two weeks, my skin does feel firmer and softer.
Therabody conducted a 12-week clinical study that proved TheraFace Mask improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, firmness and facial contour, skin tone evenness, and skin radiance and glow.
TheraFace Mask vs. TheraFace PRO
TheraFace Mask is obviously not Therabody’s first foray into beauty. It’s preceded by TheraFace PRO, which is a handheld device that has interchangeable attachments, including an LED ring with red, red plus infrared, and blue light. They do both feature LED and massage functions, but each one has unique advantages.
For straight LED light benefits, the TheraFace Mask is far superior to the TheraFace PRO. It’s hands-free and covers the entire face at once compared to the PRO, which you have to hold and move around your face to cover the desired areas. Using LED light in that way is a bit tedious and doesn’t feel like a relaxing treatment the way the Mask does.
However, in terms of versatility and the most bang for your buck, the TheraFace PRO shines. It has a face scrubber attachment; three massage heads; the LED ring that cycles through red, infrared, and blue light; and hot and cold rings. It’s also more compact and travel-friendly — though the TheraFace Mask is TSA-compliant.
The TheraFace Mask retails for $599 and the TheraFace PRO is $399 (plus $99 for the hot and cold rings).
How TheraFace Mask compares to other LED masks
I’ll admit my jaw dropped a little when I saw the $600 price tag on the TheraFace Mask, but after comparing it to competitors, I’m much more on board with the figure. First of all, this is the only LED mask I’ve seen from a major brand that offers vibration therapy — and you really can’t beat Therabody in this department. It also has more LEDs than its competitors, which ensures super-even coverage across the entire face. And unlike some other big names, Therabody includes red, infrared, and blue lights in its face mask.
Solawave’s light therapy mask has the choice between red or blue light but does not cycle through them or feature infrared light. It retails for $399. Dr. Dennis Gross’s DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro also excludes infrared, though it does have a setting for blue and red light together. The shape of the mask also doesn’t cover the full face. It retails for $455. The MZ Skin golden light therapy treatment mask packs in five LED light colors, but its price is a whopping $670.
For what it is and where it sits amongst competitors, TheraFace Mask’s price actually feels super reasonable.
Is the TheraFace Mask worth the price?
If you’re a casual skincare user, I have a hard time telling you to buy a $600 device. But if you’re someone who’s been wanting an LED mask but hasn’t been able to decide which one to invest in, the TheraFace Mask is certainly a winner in my eyes. As I said, it’s really not too bad price-wise when compared to other LED masks on the market.
Plus, it cycles through three different light treatments and has massaging vibration, which is not available in any big-name competitors’ masks. The TheraFace Mask feels like a luxury item that’s worth investing in if you know you’ll make it a consistent part of your routine.
Battery life: 45 to 60 minutes
Charging time: 90 minutes from zero to 100 percent