The traditional treatment for acne has always come in the form of some type of cream or advanced surgical treatment. Now, the biggest issues with these two techniques must be pretty obvious – they are expensive, they often come with side effects, and some methods even damage your skin before getting rid of the acne spots. However, recently there has been a gradual shift in acne treatment techniques towards a new and comparatively less-proven method called light therapy.
We say “less proven” because there is still limited data on how effective this technique truly is across a wide spectrum of the population over a long period of time. But that is not the fault of the technology itself, because it has only been out less than a decade. Well, the underlying principles have been known for quite a long time, but only in recent times have they been implemented in consumer grade, portable, personal-use light therapy kits that you can literally carry around in your handbag or purse.
Trophy Skin BlueMD Acne Light Therapy Device
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The Trophy Skin BlueMD light therapy device is our weapon of choice when it comes to dealing with pesky little red spots on the face. Or for that matter, almost any part of the body. Yup, you can point this 6.5 pounder at your back, neck, chest, or whichever part of your body that is affected by acne. Use it for as little as 5 minutes daily for 3-4 days per week in order to notice improvements of up to 90% in the condition of the affected patches of skin.
The 415 nm blue light emitted by this unit penetrates into the skin and effectively neutralizes millions of bacteria cells without even slightly disturbing the cells of your body which lie nearby. And that’s not all, it also emits red light to reduce skin inflammation and promote healing of the damaged, pimple-ridden skin. The entire unit measures just 10.8” x 9.5” x 3.3” and its LED lamp array is mounted on top of a lightweight plastic stand, which is attached to a stable base.
STAR BUDGET PICK
RubyLux All Blue Antibacterial LED Bulb
If you want an anti-acne light that you can comfortably carry around with you, and use in the grip of your hand, then try out the RubyLux ALL BLUE. This compact light therapy unit is also the cheapest anti-bacterial blue light on this list and costs 3-4 times less than most other acne therapy light solutions available on the market.
One reason for that is the fact that this is actually a light bulb instead of the complete light itself, but you can comfortably mount it onto the body of any lamp by replacing the default bulb. Just keep the low wattage of this LED bulb in mind, since it barely takes any power. The 38 LED diodes on the surface of this 1.5” diameter light therapy unit emit blue light of wavelength 415 nm, and you can even mount the unit from the roof using a hanging wire assembly.
It will fit onto virtually any US lamp or light socket, and you can even hook up multiple units together to cover a wider area of skin at the same time. Power cords, lamp body, eye protection goggles, etc. are provided separately.
Nutraluxe Pulsaderm Blue LED Acne Reducer Treatment Therapy Light
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Both of the lights that we reviewed prior to this one were amazing for the price, but they both lacked one very important feature that makes a portable therapy light TRULY portable. And that was a handle-based design so that you can easily grip and operate the light using nothing but your hands. Yes, the RubyLux ALL BLUE was a truly amazing light for an unbelievably cheap price, but it was in reality a bulb.
You can easily grip it, but it doesn’t include a switch, frame, and battery, does it? All of that is delivered in the Nutraluxe Pulsaderm, a superb anti-acne solution that resembles a miniature hair dryer. This is a FDA-approved, class B medical device and it even includes an LED notification light to indicate when charging is needed, or if the battery is full.
This light is pretty compact and only emits blue light, that too on a rather limited area. So don’t even think about using it on your back or shoulder or chest. However, it is a great acne light therapy tool for carrying around in your luggage bag whenever you go on a trip.
Caribbean Sun Red Yellow Light Therapy For Beautiful Clear Skin
The Carribean Sun Red Yellow light therapy is a pretty weirdly named acne therapy device. We don’t really need to talk about which color of light it emits, since that is clear from the actual name of the produce itself – blue and red spectrums. But what the name does not talk about is the rather high price of this unit. Seriously, it costs nearly twice as much as some “premium” anti-acne light therapy solutions out there. And those ones emit all three types of light – Red, Green, and Blue! So why is this specific Caribbean light therapy device so costly?
Well, for starters it features an all-steel construction from the base to the mounting panels which gives it a super durable and premium feel as well as a nice, polished metal look. It also comes with a protective goggle and 6-foot cord included inside the box. The stand allows the large dual panel lamp to tilt, so that you can focus the light on whichever part of your body that you want. The overall dimensions of this 4.5 pound unit are actually fairly average for a lamp-style light therapy machine- 13” x 10” x 4”.
There is one really neat feature built into the LED light panels – a UV shield. Why does this matter you ask? Well, UV radiations can harm human cells and also cause redness and itching if you’re exposed to the light for a longer period. Conventional blue and red light devices contain slight traces of UV wavelengths in there, which do tend to add up over the course of a few months.
So while you are highly unlikely to experience any sort of discomfort while using a regular light therapy unit, there is an even smaller chance that you’ll notice any side effects while using this premium Caribbean “Red Yellow” unit. And oh, those LED panels are kind of larger so you can use them to treat larger parts of your body other than the face.
Choosing the Best Therapy Light for Acne
So exactly how does light therapy work? Well, it uses specific wavelengths of blue and red light to target and kill the bacteria that cause pimples and red spots on your skin. These bacteria grow when excessive sweat and oil clog sweat pores on the surface of your skin. They produce a specific chemical that is essential to their survival and reproduction, and when you shine red and blue lights of certain wavelengths on the affected parts of your face, the molecules in those chemical secretions get disintegrated, resulting in the death of the annoying bacteria that causes acne.
Remember that this type of light therapy is completely different from any type of UV or laser treatment, and does not have any side effects whatsoever, at least as determined by scientific tests and records until this point. While choosing a personal light therapy solution for yourself, you need to pay attention to the following three main points:
1. Color and wavelength
2. Light source type
3. Size and battery life
Normally, you’ll be fine with just blue light (415 nm) since it is the color that actually kills bacteria. Red (620 nm – 650 nm) is recommended for recuperation and rejuvenation purposes, i.e. it accelerates the healing process of your skin once the blue light has done its job. Green light does a lot of what red light does, however it also aids in blood circulation and adds in a relaxing effect.
Multicolor kits capable of reproducing all three colors (RGB) are the costliest of the lot. Medium level light therapy kits will be able to produce both red and blue light, with the most basic of kits only being capable of blue light reproduction. Always go for LED’s over fluorescent since LED’s don’t emit heat and consume much less battery power. Only go for fluorescent if you need more spread or coverage.
But if you want coverage, you can also go for multi-panel LED therapy units that carry LED lamps on 2 or more flat panels that are usually foldable for travel. Larger lights will also have smaller battery lives. Also, you might want to check if your portable unit comes with an included eye protection kit, and look for a seal of approval from the FDA or any other national level health body before you buy any light therapy unit.