[Ed. Note: Since this story's original publish date, Neutrogena has issued a voluntary recall for its Light Therapy Mask due to eye safety concerns. Read the brand's full statement here.]
Half the fun of being a beauty writer is trying all of the innovative, never-seen-before products that appear on my desk. Skincare is my favourite category, so it was a very exciting day at Byrdie Australia HQ when Neutrogena's much-anticipated Light Therapy Acne Mask landed in my hot little hands.
The mask is a first of its kind in Australia, and uses blue and red LED lights to target mild to moderate acne. The blue lights fights acne-causing bacteria, while the red calms redness and reduces inflammation. It comes pre-loaded with 30 sessions (at 10-minutes each), and is designed to be used one session per day. LED light therapy is traditionally an in-salon experience, so trialling it for the first time in my pyjamas was a major win. I was skeptical if any at-home device could measure up to professional standards, but I'm currently one week in and the results are speaking for themselves.
Keep scrolling to find out what has happened to my skin.
Since the mask is recommended for mild to moderate acne, to provide a little context, my skin is clear 70 percent of the time, but I'm prone to breakouts either at that time of the month, or if I've been over-indulging (aka a diet high in rosé and Gelato Messina).
Aside from looking like an extra in a slasher movie, I found it really easy to use. Just plug in the handle, put it on (it has handy sunglasses on the underside that keep it in place while protecting your eyes), and press go.
The light is bright and quite warm, and it's a little hard to see while you're wearing it. But all quirks aside, 10 minutes was a cinch, and my eyes quickly readjusted after every session. As for my skin, I'm one week in and the few persistent blemishes I had on my chin are gone. My face is calmer too, and even after a sleepless night I feel like the redness on my cheeks and around my nose has definitely reduced. I'll add that I've also stopped using my usual retinol serum for the duration of the treatment period (Eve Lom Time Retreat for anyone wondering) and in its place I'm using Murad Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence. I've even gone so far as to go bare-faced at work (and not feel weird about it)—I'm talking no tinted moisturiser, CC, BB, cushions, nada. And I think that's pretty damn impressive.
Overall, it's hard for me to compare the mask to an in-salon treatment (as I've never been), but for the price and convenience, I'm 100 percent sold.