Light therapy is something a bit taboo when it comes to the treatment of acne. Sure, we've tried it all but if you think about it, the drug of choice we are currently hooked on is usually an over the counter pill or a cream, not some expensive dermatologist light therapy treatment. But what if you could receive the same in-office benefits of light therapy at home for less than $20? How quickly would the convenience and cost effectiveness change your perspective? Well, hold on tight kids while we explore the wonderful world of the Neutrogena light therapy acne pen.
the neutrogena light therapy acne pen
The Neutrogena light therapy acne pen uses the same in office light therapy technology in a super sleek, portable device. It's been compared to as a smaller, more portable sister to the brands full-face LED mask but offers a more targeted approach; ideal for those who breakout in 2 or 3 pimples at a time. Being a huge fan of the light therapy mask, I had absolutely no reservations about purchasing the spot treatment pen.
According to the Neutrogena Website:
"NEUTROGENA® Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment harnesses the power of light therapy to target and treat breakouts quickly. Clinically proven to speed the reduction of breakouts, this acne spot treatment uses red and blue light to swiftly treat acne without flaking or burning your skin. Its patent-pending design allows light to surround the pimple for effective, targeted treatment: blue light penetrates just beneath the surface, while red light goes deeper into the skin to deliver fast results. The easy-to-use, portable design is ideal for on-the-go acne treatment, and leaves behind no mess or residue. Neutrogena® Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment is FDA-cleared, UV-free, and chemical-free."
how light therapy works
Light therapy is the usage of non-laser sources of light to treat pimples, papules, and pustules. When colored red and blue light shines onto the skin, it is absorbed through various layers and works to kill bacteria while also reducing inflammation or excess sebum. Light therapy typically doesn't produce any side effects, is very accessible, and now with at-home treatment options (like the neutrogena light therapy acne pen), light therapy proves to be more affordable than ever.
To use the pen, simply place it over any troubled areas or spots that you may have for a brief 2 minutes, up to 3 times a day to reduce overall redness, size, and improve texture of the inflamed pimple. The pen optimizes the same in office acne treatment with blue and red-light therapy. The red light works to reduce overall inflammation, promote circulation, and improve the healing time of new wounds by stimulation collagen production. Red light also cuts back on the oil production in the sebaceous glands. Blue light creates heat that kills P acnes bacteria and additionally sends the oil glands into a shock to produce less sebum.
The light therapy pen is perfect for sensitive skin (yours truly can testify to that). It is free from any irritating chemicals, UVA and UVB light, and is cleared by the FDA. Light therapy can be seen as a great addition to any skincare routine, acne or not. It has countless benefits like thickening the skin wall to reducing redness, decreasing inflammation, and encourage elastin production; making it just as effective for an anti-aging treatment as it is for acne.
my experience with the light therapy pen
I felt a spot brewing under the surface and thought instead of waiting a few days for it to inevitably come to a head, I am going to give this laser pointer acne pen a whirl. My acne occurs in the same cycle, it brews under the skin for a few days, comes to the surface over two to three days and then, depending on whether or not its cystic, will hang around for up to two weeks. I'm not even exaggerating, regardless of my favorite topicals, masks, and creams my cystic spots sometimes are so stubborn that they don't respond to treatment at all, or respond very slowly at best. So, something that can cut the lifespan of a deep agonizing spot from two weeks to two days? Hallelujah, sign me up!
I first used the pen when I purchased it about a week ago on a pretty large spot that had been on my temple for about a week and a half at that point, with no signs of it going away any time soon. As directed, I used the pen three times a day, for two minutes each session. You don't have to use a timer or worry about going overboard because the pen automatically shuts off after two minutes. Surprisingly, the inflamed cyst decreased in overall size and redness in just two days, and completely disappeared off of my face in less than six. The reduction in size and inflammation contributed to a decrease in overall physical pain felt by the pimple, which was an overall win for me.
It's so simple to use, I can't get over its convenience. I actually started carrying it in my purse so that I can use it while on the go. At a stop light? Time to treat that bad boy. Bathroom break in-between classes? Why not! Sometimes we get so busy or caught up in life that we don't have an extra two minutes to spare let alone 20 to do a deep cleaning mask, that’s why I find that the pen is so useable! It's super speedy, doesn't dry out the skin, leave any sort of residue, or marking on your face like a mask or spot treatment would- making it perfect to treat pimples inconspicuously in the most public of settings.
in comparison to the light therapy acne mask
While using the Neutrogena light therapy acne pen, I couldn't quit comparing it to the light therapy acne mask. And while I know, I will be asked which one of the two I prefer, I can firmly say the light therapy acne pen. While they are pretty similar in results, weighing the pro's and con's I found the following:
The light therapy acne pen is cheaper. For only $20 you get unlimited treatments until the AAA battery runs out, at which point you can easily replace the $5 battery. The light therapy acne mask is $40, where you only receive 30 uses. Once it runs out of uses you must by a replacement switch which is $15.
The light therapy acne pen is more effective for spot treating. If you have one or two pimples, it serves as a targeted approach for whiteheads, blackheads, and deep cystic spots. The entire mask, however, is great if you suffer from chronic acne or more than three pimples at once. It makes more sense to use the mask once than using the pen 20-30 times if your face has a decent number of spots.
The light therapy pen is easily transportable. You can keep it in your purse, car, coat pocket, etc. Just pull it out for a quick two-minute treatment no matter where you may be, and chances are your friends will think it's cool and want to try it too! The mask however, requires some time at home for 10 minutes a treatment and can't be carried around as easily.
The light therapy pen is more suitable for those with sensitive eyesight. The targeted approach keeps the light contained to one specific area, without being overburdening or shining in your eyes. I found, although there are eyeholes, the mask can be quite bright, taking my eyes up to 30 minutes to readjust to normal lighting after each treatment. I didn't like the feeling of being temporarily blinded, so the pen sits better with me.
will i continue to use the light therapy acne pen?
Yes! This is definitely a positive reinforcement to my skincare arsenal. I believe that in addition to my favorite spot treatments and masks, it will help cut the overall lifespan of a pimple from a few weeks to a few days. It didn't cause any irritation or dryness in comparison to other treatments but proved to be very effective at reducing the size and overall inflammation. I can say that is hand down one of my favorite treatments solely based on its convenience and minimal side effects.