So, this is a weird one. I was first intrigued by the idea of light therapy when I stumbled upon Caroline Hiron’s video about new and interesting skincare gadgets where she gave this product a mention. I’ve seen light therapy products in the market before and I’ve heard of people getting it done alongside their facials…but I thought it was just one of those things that sounds amazing and fancy but doesn’t actually do anything. The Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask is the most affordable option for light therapy on the market right now and when it came out I definitely wanted to see what all the buzz was about. But, not without doing some research first.
Light therapy for acne was said to be discovered when dermatologists noticed that people that frequently used tanning beds had exceptionally good skin. Turns out, blue light is able to destroy acne-causing bacteria, and red light helps to reduce inflammation that is associated with acne. In-office treatments can include blue light therapy, red light therapy, or a combination of the two depending on what issues you are trying to address. A single treatment can cost $40-$50 and a full treatment package can cost anywhere between $1,000-$1,500. Unfortunately, light therapy can only address certain types of acne-causing bacteria so it isn’t a solution for a full range of acne. Dermatologists consider this a good option for those who have mild to moderate acne since certain topical treatments, like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and retinoids/retinols can sometimes be too drying.
The Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask uses both blue and red light to tackle both bacteria and inflammation in the skin. I liked the fact that it would cover your entire face, unlike some other popular products which require you to work in sections on your face. The kit included the mask and an activator (this powers the mask and includes 30 – 10 minute treatments.) It was extremely easy to put together and the instructions are to simply put on the mask (on freshly washed skin) and press the power button on the activator to turn on the mask. The mask stays on for exactly 10 mins and during that time I would just sit back and watch some TV. The activator will indicate how many treatments are left on it, so after each use the number on the screen will decrease.
The treatment itself was a pleasant experience. Yes, there are bright LED lights shining onto your face, but if you just watch or read something, the 10mins go by quickly. After taking off the mask, I noticed that everything would have a yellowish tinge for a minute or so but then my eyesight would adjust back to normal. I used this everyday for 30 days right after I had washed my face and before I used my nighttime skincare products. I did experience some dryness after using this but that was easily remedied with some moisturizer.
The biggest con for me was the fact that the activator is something that you have to repurchase every month. I get that many products out there require a “refill” of some kind, but having to throw away what is essentially a remote control every month seems really wasteful and unnecessary. I would rather them just up the price a bit for the mask and have the activator work on just batteries, rather than having to do a full replacement.
Personally, I wasn’t able to really see results with this. The reason being is that my skin was already doing really well when I was using this consistently. With no active breakouts to treat, of course I was not able to see whether this was working or not. If anything, I used it as a preventative measure. Whenever I did experience a random breakout, I would use this everyday until it went away. Again, I was unsure whether this was helping or my trusty topical treatments were doing the job.
So, while I was probably not the best person to actually test this mask on, I still love the concept of light therapy and wanted to just bring awareness to this product. If you suffer from stubborn breakouts, you are not satisfied with any of your topical or internal treatments…I say give this a go! It’s an inexpensive way to test out light therapy in the comfort of your own home (you will look like an alien when you have this on) and it’s completely safe. I will say though that if you are wanting to pick this up, commit to using it everyday. Nothing works overnight. I think a lot of people give up on this mask after a couple uses because they don’t see immediate results. Be patient, give it a fair shot, and you may just be pleasantly surprised at the end.
Also, Neutrogena makes a spot treatment version of this mask in the form of a small pen. This is great if you want to just address 1 or 2 breakouts or if you are traveling and can’t take the mask along with you. The spot treatment stays on for 2 mins and you can use it 2-3 times a day. I actually like to use this for whenever I experience a random breakout, before applying any topical treatment to it. I have noticed that they do tend to go away faster when I use this in conjunction to my other favorite products.
Let me know if any of you have tried this out and what your experience was with it!