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 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.
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.
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.