I first heard about Neutrogena’s light therapy mask from a former colleague, whose father happened to be a dermatologist. She often recommended great skincare products and all natural remedies, and had struggled with very sensitive skin firsthand for quite some time. I probably wouldn’t have been inclined to actually give this skin treatment a fair shot without her seal of approval, but I also read about it helping with acne, as well as being completely suitable for sensitive skin. Countless Vloggers described benefits to use and made videos of themselves capturing the somewhat strange sight. My reservations were only about the seemingly medical nature of this type of treatment, but this is definitely not the type of blue light facial you get at the dermatologist’s office. It’s perhaps a microcosm of the same technology and concept. I had always been fond of light and sound based treatments in general, feeling there was great arguments for humans to be really receptive to frequency stimulation, but I won’t gear off course too much with scientific postulations. Theoretically this was a suitable, natural way to tame blemishes and a chance to experience something a bit out of the ordinary, a rarity in the growing and ever-evolving cosmetics and beauty market. While more expensive models remain on the market, offering more advanced grade lightwave therapy or treatment, I was happy to test out a product that seemed fairly inexpensive for the category. It seems pretty high-tech and creative, but in principle it’s simply a light mask.
I had mixed feelings about the mask itself, and felt similarly to many reviewers about the cost of having to purchase separate “activators” every time the 30-use limit of the mask was reached. The mask comes with a separate “activator” device, that allows for 30 different facial treatments, but then you need to replace it. The battery-powered LED device should definitely last for a longer period than this, as LEDs can typically last years without any downgrade in quality. It seems to be a creative ploy to continue repeat and replenishment purchases rather than a single-time company profit, as there is no technical support for the need or function to such consistent replacement. For me this was a major downside to use, and despite the skincare benefits (and results are visible, skin is certainly calmed), I don’t like to think of the need for constant replenishment which is not a technical necessity, and don’t like to think about the environment effects such waste has. Irrespective of this flaw, I reviewed some of the positive features as well, but did want to provide open and transparent feedback about the investment-nature of the purchase prior, as I was unaware of this before purchasing. If the benefits will outweigh this for you, you can rest assured you’re making an appropriate choice prior to purchase point.
The Main Features
Neutrogena’s Light Therapy Acne Face Mask employs red and blue light to target acne-causing bacteria and reduce any signs of inflammation caused by acne at once. The delivery system is gentle and safe for all skin types, including sensitive skin. After washing with a daily cleanser, the user should put the mask over the face (connected to activator stick- press button down to begin treatment), then relax for about 10 minutes during the treatment. When treatment is over the product will automatically shut off. The lack of any UV light emission makes the product safe for the skin and eyes, and an additional eye protector is included with purchase. Light therapy is said to be revolutionizing the treatment of skin and acne, and this product provides ease of access to a traditionally more expensive and time-consuming medical treatment. Light therapy technology has been increasingly used by dermatologists and aesthetic surgeons in-office for many years, and works by gently penetrating the skin at various depths to stimulate the skin’s physiology. The light specifically treats acne-prone skin, in this case (as different lights and treatments are geared towards anti-aging, etc). It’s also a pretty fun product to use at home, there’s definitely an aspect of something that feels different in a crowded market and applications for different uses (i.e. with friends).
Positives and Negatives
The vast majority of customer complaints (and it is quite a frequent complaint) are related to the activator issue and corresponding investment over time. The vast majority of positive feedback, and benefits to use, are a decrease in acne and a soothing and smoothing of the overall skin aesthetic. In terms of the applicator, with a $15 charge for one month per use, you’re looking at spending a couple of hundreds per year if you want to use the product daily. There are several problems with this, including that you could probably buy a one-time purchase light treatment for a higher price, sans any monthly fees, and experience a better quality anyway. For me, there’s a certain company transparency issue that outweighs the money itself. Again, there is no technical need to replace an LED battery-powered light treatment product like this every month. It should still be in working order and effective. The 30 session limit is set by the company itself in an effort to continue maintaining replenishment purchases. But it seems like a poor business choice anyways, as the same customers could be spending the money on gels, creams, or topical spot-treatments in conjunction with this product, with more positive brand management. With that said, here are some of the main benefits and positive features to use as well:
- Treats acne, prevents redness, treats topical skin irritation and soothes
- Suitable for sensitive skin, including acne-prone
- Beneficial as an anti-acne product, helps decrease and prevent breakouts quite well
- Skin feels softer, more even in tone
- There are “hacks available” to defeat the activator purchase and avoid the monthly charge, all available online and on YouTube
- Results are visible right away, and can be seen and felt after only about a week of use
- Suitable for everyday use
- 98% of people who have tried or used the product experience less breakouts, and a positive change in skin inflammation or acne
- Neutrogena will refund the entire purchase price of the item if it is defective in any way, if there is any dissatisfaction, or if adverse reaction occurs
- UV free, laser free, and free of any heat
- Has been compared to in-office dermatology treatments, though it is absolutely less intensive than a traditional medical treatment
- The light hurt my eyes a bit, which some other customers have also expressed (I have sensitive eyes, this isn’t an extremely common complaint)
- As stated, the need to continue purchasing something that isn’t technically required for product functionality
The Final Verdict
Overall, my skin did improve, it felt softer and acne blemishes (which for me are mild typically) were greatly reduced. I also noticed there was a preventative element, as future breakouts became more a rarity, and there was no need for further topical spot-treatment products or drying anti-acne gels. This is a great product for someone seeking to address acne issues that have not resolved via other methods, in a comfortable, fun, and naturally-based way. But for those who do opt to purchase the product, there must be a comfortability in knowing that there will be future purchases for applicators. So if this works for you as a best or suitable option for skincare or acne-treatment above other treatments, and you don’t mind a continual fee for use, than this is a product that would likely prove highly beneficial. If you already have a suitable anti-acne regimen and are not looking to invest on a month-to-month basis, then I would recommend sticking with what currently works. Potential shoppers should know this is not a one time purchase price, so the attractive value is somewhat deceptive, but does it work? Yes, there are certainly visible benefits with frequent use, and the best part was probably how quickly you do start to see results.