Move over, messy creams and sticky gels. If you have mild to moderate acne, there’s a new weapon on the market to help you battle pimples.
Meet the Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask, which hits drugstores across the country this month. All you need is 10 minutes a day, and you can start to see clearer skin within a month, thanks to the mask’s secret ingredient—red and blue light.
“The mask provides two kinds of visible light, red and blue, which target two of the main causes of acne: inflammation and bacteria,” explains, Research Manager, Research & Development at Johnson & Johnson.
Light therapy has been used to treat acne for over a decade, but it’s been largely at dermatologist’s offices. “So although it’s an effective form of treatment, for many people, it’s been inconvenient and unaffordable,” says, Senior Brand Manager for Neutrogena.
There have been other at-home devices on the market, but the Light Therapy Acne Mask is the only one to emit both red and blue lights simultaneously—and it's the only device that can treat the face in one session. (Neither type of light contains harmful UV rays.)
“In essence, you’re getting the dermatologist’s in-office technology, but with the convenience and price of something you can easily do at home,” Geraghty adds. “I think of it like how teeth whitening has gone from an in-office procedure to one that you can do yourself.”
Curious to learn more about this cutting-edge technology? So were we, which is why we decided to take a deep-dive look at all of its fancy features...
1. The lightweight mask sits comfortably on your face, supported by a frame that you can slip on just like a pair of sunglasses.
2. A plastic lens over the eye area lets you go about your business during the 10-minute treatment. “People can watch TV, or use their phone or computer,” Geraghty says. “You can also just rest and use it as a part of your bedtime ritual.”
3. The highly reflective inner surface of the mask—and its curved shape—helps enhance the reflection of zit-zapping light onto the skin. Unlike topical acne treatments, this one is entirely chemical free. There’s no odor involved, and it’s very gentle to the skin.
4. Light waves from nine red LED bulbs penetrate the skin’s surface to reduce inflammation, which can be both a cause and result of acne. In vitro studies have also shown that it can help reduce hyperkeratinization—a pore-clogging condition that contributes to acne.
5. Blue light has the ability to kill the P. acnes bacteria that can lead to breakouts. “The bacteria generate molecules called porphyrins,” explains, Associate Director for Medical Affairs and Clinical Research at Johnson & Johnson. “When porphyrins get hit with blue light, via the light mask’s 12 blue LED bulbs, they generate a free radical that is, in turn, deadly for the bacteria.”
6. Just press the power button to start your treatment session; the mask shuts off automatically when finished.
Before You Try It...
First, talk to your doctor if you’re on medication that can make you light-sensitive, like some antibiotics.
While you may be tempted to skip sessions or stop using the device once you start to see clearer skin (it can happen after only one week of wear!), it’s important to keep doing it daily. Results continue to improve over time: In internal clinical studies, 98% of users had fewer breakouts after 12 weeks, and 94% had smoother skin.
“It’s those future sessions that can help squelch future pimples you can’t see yet but that may be forming underneath the skin’s surface,” Miller explains.
Sounds like pretty good incentive to keep going under the mask.