Light Therapy to Fight Acne. Does it Actually Work?

Light Therapy to Fight Acne. Does it Actually Work?

A new product aimed at teens promises to clear your breakouts with light. But is it too good to be true? If you’ve tried everything, maybe it couldn’t hurt to see if the new Light Therapy Acne Mask by Neutrogena holds up to its promises. But some of the reviewers are already weighing in, and it’s hit and miss.

Essentially, Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask is an in-office dermatologist alternative, which lets you have the treatment in the comfort of your home (for a FRACTION of the cost, too). I have been pretty blessed my whole life to have relatively easy skin. It’s combination and the breakouts were usually minimal and almost always cured overnight with Mary Kay Acne Treatment Gel  (which I have been using for many years successfully).

Is the light therapy safe?

It’s safe and free of chemicals and UV light, so it’s not like the tanning beds. I actually used to have a friend who frequented the tanning bed because she said it cleared up her skin. It very well could have helped dry her skin out, but not without exposing her to the harmful UV rays as well. Probably not a good solution.

How light therapy works:

The Blue light targets the bacteria causing acne, and the Red light reduces acne inflammation.

OK. So how does light therapy work for acne, exactly?  According to, light therapy, usually administered with at-home devices is normally performed twice per day, and uses blue and sometimes blue + red light. When blue light reaches the sebaceous (oil) glands in the skin, it can help excite porphyrins, which are compounds inside acne bacteria. When activated by light, these porphyrins kill the bacteria from the inside out. Red light, while it is less studied in at-home devices, penetrates deeper and may help reduce inflammation and improve healing. Certain light spectrums may also inhibit sebum (skin oil) production and lessen inflammation.

According to the website, Neutrogena light therapy acne mask harnesses the power of clinically proven technology to clear acne and allow skin to heal itself. The Light Therapy Acne Mask can be used on all skin types and is easy to use with your current daily regimen.

To use:

Remove your eye makeup first. I have been using Neutrogena oil free eye makeup remover and when I’m traveling, the cleansing cloths.  They work better than most I have ever tried, and they’re pretty good at removing waterproof mascara, too.

After cleansing with your preferred Neutrogena cleanser,  and drying, put the mask on. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, you’ll want to make sure you use the right cleanser. If it’s winter, a little extra moisturizing won’t hurt. If you are sensitive the fragrance, FF is a good option, like this one:

Once you have cleaned and dried your skin, you’re ready for the light therapy.

Push the button and let it work for 10 minutes.  Sit back, relax, do some yoga, listen to music or whatever you want to pass the time.


Neutrogena recommends using it every day for best results. Some reviewers report in with very mixed reviews. “This product has overall improved my skin however what these stores do not make clear to consumers is that it’s only good for 30 10min sessions. After that you must purchase a new battery pack!”

Does it actually work? Using light therapy requires much patience. Some devices cost from $150-$350, so the Neutrogena model is a steal at only $34. While light devices may help kill some acne bacteria, benzoyl peroxide kills acne bacteria almost entirely, and does so without much of the complications to one’s daily schedule.

If you aren’t sure if you want to try a gadget, or Benzoyl Peroxide, check out my other post on the Korean Skin Care Regimen and be AMAZED.

I was not paid to endorse Neutrogena, however, this post does contain Amazon affiliate links.

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