Opinion / Lee Min-ho swears by CellReturn’s LED masks for boosting hair growth, while Aalok’s 3 colour LED mask can fix wrinkles and acne: the 4 beauty gadgets to buy now

How does Lee Min Ho get his amazing hair? Clue: Iron Man-style LED helmets may be involved … Photos: Morgan H and @leeminho/Instagram

This is part of Alvin Goh’s Look Good, Feel Good column for STYLE.

With Covid-19 causing havoc – including the repeated closure of beauty outlets in Hong Kong and elsewhere – many beauty businesses are cashing in on online sales. I have seen many ads on Facebook in which brands promote gadgets that claim to instantly transform your face shape after mere minutes of use.

These are known as home HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) gadgets, and often seem too good to be true. So I called up Dr Yoon Song Eun, who has worked on the faces of the members of BTS, Big Bang and Girls Generation (just to name a few), to ask him for the lowdown.

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He explained that not only can the videos be edited, but also that the immediate effects of using home HIFU don’t always last. You would need to use the devices regularly compared to undergoing a medical HIFU treatment, which can last up to six to 12 months per session.

So if you’re understandably sceptical about HIFU gadgets, why not try LED beauty gadgets instead? They are all the rage right now in South Korea. These are the top LED beauty gadgets that are trending now, presented according to what your beauty goals might be:

Skin clarity

Aalok SnowFit has three uses: brightening/energising, soothing/calming and hydrating/firming. Photo: Morgan H

Brand: Aalok Snowfit

Frequency: 415 nm (soothing blue); 520 nm (brightening green); 645 nm (firming red)

Pakers has been the leader in the South Korean LED industry for more than two decades, acquiring numerous global patents and recognition. So it’s no surprise they were able to marry technology with beauty to come up with the sleek Aalok brand in 2019.

This multitasking device promises to cater to three of our skin’s most common problems, including wrinkles and acne.

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The Aalok SnowFit. Photo: Morgan H

The blue light is designed to soothe your acne and sensitive skin issues, while the green light brightens your skin and the red light tightens. The palm-sized gadget is also convenient and easy to store. I would suggest using it before applying a brightening mask.

Eliminating dark circles

Wibe Heated Mask is a multifunctional eye care mask that is perfect as a beauty and relaxation home gadget. Photo: Morgan H

Brand: Wibe B1 Heated Eye Mask

Frequency: 630 nm (red); 830 nm (near infrared)

This is another super mask that delivers great benefits and yet feels good on the skin.

The product uses heat technology while stimulating skin regeneration around the eyes. Not only does it help to trigger collagen regrowth, the heating procedure also delivers a 38°C warming sensation, which is close to our own body temperature. This effect relaxes the muscles around the eyes and aids blood circulation. Extremely useful for those who are desk-bound at work or those who have severe dark eye circles. Blood circulation is improved while easing fatigue.

The Wibe Heated Mask. Photo: Morgan H

It’s also great for those who suffer from oily skin around the eye area. Meibomian glands produce meibum, an oily residue that accumulates and hardens over time. This heating process will melt the oil and unclog the blocked oil glands.

In addition to the heating effect, the LED benefits increases skin elasticity and hydration.

I recommend using this product after slapping some lavish potions on your face or right before you sleep. Switch on your meditation music while you’re at it!

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We suggest holding the skip of the Aalok Fitsera above the eyes. Photo: Morgan H

Brand: Aalok Fitsera

Frequency: 645 nm (red); 850 nm (near infrared)

This other gadget from Aalok is targeted at jawlines and skin appearance. Each pulse has two beeps, one that helps skin density and clarity, and another to help activate the cells in your fat and muscle layers.

As we age, our skin becomes thinner, hence the hollow, sunken-in look. But Korean celebrities boast luminous complexions and healthy, plump skin cells, while sporting sharp jawlines at the same time.
The Aalok Fitsera. Photo: Morgan H

My personal tip would be to focus on the eye area to give it an uplifted appearance (the top, side and bottom of eyes), and to use it before a firming mask. Trust me, droopy eyes ain’t sexy – at least not when you look haggard.

Use your favourite serum product before using this gadget, and don’t forget to wear goggles for eye protection!

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Hair growth

CellReturn Alpha Ray Hair is the most premium LED hair care gadget on the market. Photo: Morgan H

Brand: CellReturn Hair Alpha Ray Premium

Frequency: 600-700 nm (Red); 800-900 nm (Near Infrared Alpha); 900-1000 nm (Near Infrared)

With more than US$120 million in sales in 2019, CellReturn also took over Speclipse, one of the world‘s leading Laser-Induced Plasma Spectroscopy (LIPS) and AI-based medical diagnostic companies.

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What I like about this exclusive LED helmet is that, other than making me look like Iron Man, the gadget promotes and stimulates a healthy scalp through a wide spectrum of Near Infra-Red Alpha/Near Infra-Red/RED effects between 600-1000nm. Yes, it goes deep into your follicles without feeling discomfort or excessive heat.

CellReturn Alpha Ray Hair. Photo: Morgan H

So how does LED light help hair growth? In a nutshell, cellular energy strengthens the cells and the area around it to create a perfect scenario for hair growth.

Allow me to use a simple analogy. We all strive for a poreless complexion: the smaller your pores, the better it is. With our hair, the tables are turned. The bigger your hair follicles, the better it is for you to have thicker and healthier hair. Which means, when you have small hair follicles, you are likely facing hair loss or even baldness. So this is when LED technology helps to stimulate hair growth.

The Iron Man style CellReturn Alpha Ray Hair helmet. Photo: Morgan H

Ensure your hair is clean and dry before donning the helmet and turning into Iron Man. My personal tip would be to add another stimulus by gently rolling over your scalp with a micro-needle and then applying hair serum over your entire head before putting on the helmet. And yes, micro-needling is proven to regenerate healthy follicles.

This helmet wraps around any head shape and 20 minutes a day is all you need. Wear it while you are WFH or doing your household chores. I would wear it while I am working in the office too! Multitasking is for geniuses.

Heavenly bodies Lee Min-ho and Kang So Ra vouched for this brand, so it can’t be wrong.

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Covid-19 has left many of us with no choice but to beautify ourselves at home; if you’re doubting the true value of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) gadgets, Alvin Goh has a better answer: LED masks