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How I Use Light Therapy to Treat Acne

How I Use Light Therapy to Treat Acne - The Well Dressed Life

I’ve dealt with adult acne since I turned 30, almost immediately after my youngest was born. My skin, in general, is highly sensitive. It scars easily and becomes red and inflamed with any mild irritation. By the time I was 35 I was fighting with painful cyst-like blemishes on my cheeks and beyond frustrated. I couldn’t understand why, at this point in life, my skin was acting like I was a teenager.

Over the years I’ve found a cocktail of products that keep my skin in good shape, I can go weeks and months with close to perfect skin. But hormonal changes, an increase in exercise (and the sweaty face that follows) and heightened stress tend to cause a break out to come from out of nowhere. These breakouts tend to be angry; predominantly on my cheeks and chin. Sometimes they hurt, but more often then not they are just hard to cover up and linger for what seems like forever.

I’m 38 folks. THIRTY EIGHT.  Give me some wrinkles to deal with, that I can handle.

How I Use Light Therapy to Treat AcneMask, $30  |  Spot Treatment, $19

How I Use Light Therapy to Treat Acne

Two things have helped.

My brother is getting married in September, and since I find myself the oldest bridesmaid by 8 – 15 years, I decided to get a monthly HydraFacial to get my skin in tip-top shape. It’s a game-changing process that essentially vacuums out your pores and then pumps your skin with all sorts of goodness to leave it glowing and hydrated.

After my last treatment, my esthetician commented about the redness on my cheeks and chin. Typically, it would go away in 30 minutes after each facial. But instead of sending me on my way, she took out a small metal device that almost looked like a meat tenderizer. She placed it over each irritated area for a few seconds, moving it from spot to spot for about ten minutes. It was cool to the touch, but a red light glowed from underneath.

When she finished up, she said, “your skin responded really well to some light therapy.”

And boy, was she right, my skin was calm and clear.

What was this miracle she called “light therapy,” and how do I get it every day?

She explained that light therapy is an innovative use of red and blue lights to help fight inflammation (red light) and bacteria (blue light). The red light will also help stimulate collagen and is found in many anti-aging treatments. When used together, you get less irritation, blemish free skin.

Of course, I left the office on a mission to find an affordable way to incorporate it into my daily routine. Within five minutes of Googling, I discovered Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask and Spot Treatment Stick and ordered it immediately. I started using both a week ago, and my skin is noticeably clearer.

The Mask

Use the mask once a day, after you wash your face, before you put on any product. Your skin should be dry during use. It takes ten minutes. The first time I put it on I tried to read emails on my phone but felt a little dizzy. I had also had two glasses of wine, so … that could have had something to go with it. By the second session, I felt fine but you don’t want to walk around with it on, so give yourself a few minutes to just sit and chill.

The time of day doesn’t matter. I’m making it a point to do the mask following a workout, after I wash my face since I break out more after sweating. The kit comes with a mask and an “activator” which has 30 treatments. After you use up your first activator, keep the mask and buy a new activator. Super simple.


Spot Treatment Stick

The Spot Treatment Stick is genius. It has the same technology as the mask but is designed to target individual blemishes. You can use it three times a day and only takes two minutes. Both the mask and the stick turn off automatically. When I first ordered both devices, I had a huge, painful blemish on my cheek. The kind that looks worse when you try to cover it up. Within two days of using both the mask and the stick, it was gone, without having to use an abrasive drying lotion.

Final Thoughts

There are many at home light therapy devices.  Neutrogena is the most affordable and based on my results highly effective.  I would consider my acne mild to moderate, depending on the breakout.  While I wouldn’t solely rely on this as my only form of care, it is a fantastic daily treatment to incorporate into your existing current skincare routine.


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Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Saturday 24th of March 2018

Hydra facials worked wonders for me too, as long as I stick with it, and my guy (yes guy) also adds light. Thinking about this as I am really struggling with the drying of topical treatments. I also tried spironolactone but less impact for me, as mine is more stress related than hormonal. If you do see a doc ask about aczone. It’s relatively new but is the only topical treatment I have ever had success with, it supposedly has something to do with the way the meds are delivered in its surrounding Cream - not as drying / irritating and very effective.


Tuesday 20th of March 2018

I've struggled with adult acne too. And I also use the mask -it works well on redness. A few years back I finally took the advice of a friend and went to a great female dermatologist who does cosmetic as wall as skin cancer treatment etc. The doctor prescribed spironolactone and it works like a dream. She told me that no matter what concoctions I used, the acne was hormonal and would never completely go away. With this rx - I am completely acne free. Its amazing. Definitely talk to a dermatologist. I wish had done it sooner.

Megan Kristel

Tuesday 20th of March 2018

Hey Becky, Thanks for the tip. I actually regularly see a dermatologist, my husband jokes that I have a specialist for everything:)


Monday 19th of March 2018



Monday 19th of March 2018

I want to try this out. Does it feel warm? I wonder if it would also help out with the winter blues? I have heard that light therapy works for that too - tricks your mind into thinking we don't live in the Land of Never-Ending Winter.

Megan Kristel

Monday 19th of March 2018

The mask doesn't get warm at all, but I found this portable energy lamp that is suppose to help with seasonal depression. I might have to get is because this winter was brutal for my mood.