Testing out new Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask: Does it work?


When dermatologist Dr. Ted Lain first talked to us about Neutrogena’s Light Therapy Acne Mask, he was pretty excited about it. He’d been trying it out at American Academy of Dermatology conference.

The cool thing about the mask was that it’s a scaled down version of some of the therapy he does in his office near Steiner Ranch, except you can get it at the grocery store for $40 for the mask and about $17 a month for the activator packet that charges the light.

How does it work? First you plug in the activator. Then you wash your face with cleanser and put on the mask, which covers your whole face plus your eyes. You press and hold the start button and then you’re supposed to relax for 10 minutes with the light on.

The light goes after inflammatory acne (that’s the acne that is a big red bump on the face). Not the acne that is a blackhead or a whitehead.

In theory, the blue light kills bacteria and the red light reduces inflammation.

While dermatologists have been using light therapy for years, Neutrogena’s mask uses a much lower level energy than what doctors use.

“You have to take it with a grain of salt,” Lain says. “You’re not going to clear it 100 percent, but you could be 40 percent to 50 percent clearer.”

You still have to wash your face to get rid of the debris on your face.

So, we asked one of our 13-year-old Girl Scouts to try it. She did it a couple of times. First, it was a little bit weird, she said. It didn’t hurt, but the light was really bright on her eyes even if she closed them.

Second, it was really boring. “You have to sit there for 10 minutes and you can’t do anything.”

Third, she never remembered to do it.

And therein lies the problem with all face products and the teenager. They don’t remember to use them.

“The biggest issue is compliance,” Lain said. “With a Type A personality child, this would be perfect.”

There are two new over-the-counter products Lain is also excited about:

The first is lipohydroxy acid, which is related to salicyclic acid, but causes less irritation while it exfoliates, kills bacteria and helps with acne. It comes in La Roche Posay acne products, such as the Effaclar line.

The other is Differin, which is now over the counter. It’s a retinoid (like Retin-A, or tretinoin), so you have to worry about irritation and sun sensitivity. It’s applied as a thin layer on the face at night. And you should use moisturizer and sunscreen when you are using it.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Lifestyle

Volunteer logs almost three decades of pacing the Austin AIDS Walk
Volunteer logs almost three decades of pacing the Austin AIDS Walk

At the peak of the AIDS crisis, Becky Helton remembers hearing about an Austinite who was out of the office for a few weeks. Turns out that person was diagnosed with HIV. “Their desk was moved to ‘Siberia,’” she recalls. “This is in an office setting, not in a place where anyone would be at risk. It broke my heart to see...
Tired of traffic? Try one of these unusual commutes instead
Tired of traffic? Try one of these unusual commutes instead

Why sit in traffic when you can catch a workout on your commute to work? We checked in with a quartet of Austin residents who park the car at home now and then or skip the bus and travel to work under the power of their own muscles. We’re pretty sure they arrive at the office in a better frame of mind than those who sit in gridlock traffic on...
Find out the Philanthropy Day Award winners ahead of time
Find out the Philanthropy Day Award winners ahead of time

The Austin nonprofit community perks up every year for the Philanthropy Day Awards, given out by the Austin chapter of the  Association of Fundraising Professionals. Tito Beveridge hand packs cases of 1.7 liter bottles of his handcrafted Tito’s Vodka. Rodolfo Gonzalez/American-Statesman These honors are chosen by...
Today’s birthdays - Sunday, October 22
Today’s birthdays - Sunday, October 22

Actor Christopher Lloyd is 79. Actor Derek Jacobi is 79. Actor Tony Roberts is 78. Actress Catherine Deneuve is 74. Guitarist Leslie West of Mountain is 72. Actor Jeff Goldblum is 65. Keyboardist Greg Hawkes of the Cars is 65. Actor Bob Odenkirk is 55. Contemporary Christian singer TobyMac (dc Talk) is 53. Singer-songwriter John Wesley ...
Running coach celebrates survival of massacre in Burundi with walk up Congress
Running coach celebrates survival of massacre in Burundi with walk up Congress

Gilbert Tuhabonye marched up Congress Avenue this morning with a 40-pound, 5-gallon jug on water on his head. LIZ KREUTZ/Special to the American-Statesman Austin’s drum-thumping, “run with joy!” shouting coach marched up Congress Avenue this morning, marking the anniversary of the day he almost died in a...
More Stories