We Tried It: A Freaky-Looking (But Super-Relaxing) LED 'Light Bed'
Courtesy Joanna Vargas; Inset: Kate Lacey
What is it: Joanna Vargas’s Time Machine, which is a full body LED “light bed” that promises to beautify the body and fix any imperfections
Who tried it: Pamela Edwards Christiani, PEOPLE Magazine’s Style and Beauty Editor
Why she did it: Let’s see: Getting a more even skin tone, fewer fine lines and less noticeable cellulite while taking a 20-minute nap? Uh, why wouldn’t I do that?
How crazy is it on a scale from one to Kim Kardashian’s blood facial?: I’d say 3. It’s a lot of commitment (12 weekly sessions in that crazy-looking contraption) but on the other hand, it’s very relaxing.
Let’s be real: What I did every Tuesday morning for three months was strip down and take a naked nap before heading to work. Wait, let me explain. This was a required part of my weekly visits to Joanna Vargas’s N.Y.C. salon for my Time Machine treatment. Once you arrive, disrobe and slip on the provided goggles (the red light is super-bright otherwise), you get to zone out and let the light do the work.
I’ve had a number of LED light facials over the years, but had never heard of the bed before talking to Vargas. And since she was the first to treat the whole body with these bright lights (which have shown scientific skin and body benefits), I figured I might as well climb on in to the machine.
You’ve heard Vargas’s name before — her fans include Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz — so it’s no surprise that she is pioneering this space age-y technology. Teaming up with a client who developed LED technology for NASA earned her a patent on the bed last month, as well as a whole new cache of devotees.
According to Vargas, the lights are designed to correct damage to the surface of the skin and to speed up the healing process by 300%. Professional athletes are even spotted getting their nude nap on in the bed — their doctors support the treatment because it is said to bring down inflammation and improve the recovery time of sports-related injuries.
The Verdict: After four weeks of the treatment, the texture of my skin seemed firmer and the dark marks were definitely lighter. I was getting more compliments on my skin than normal, so I assumed something was happening. The idea of reducing internal inflammation was intriguing too; inflammation can cause illness, so I thought of this as a type of preventative medicine. I’m not getting any younger, so I’ll probably do a series every year. With a discount from Vargas, I paid $110 a session (as opposed to the usual $150). And yes, paying that much for 30 minutes of snoozing in my altogether seems a bit nuts, but when I actually checked out my brand-new birthday suit in the mirror, it felt well worth it.
Tell us: Would you ever try an LED light bed?