Tria Blue Light for Acne
Reviewed By Nikki Yeh
I’ve been battling acne for years. I took Accutane when I was 17. Except for the bimonthly third eyes or parasitic twin-like chins, all was okay until I got preggers in my late twenties. Now that I’m 30, my acne has been teetering like mood swings. But when I tested the Health Canada-approved Tria Skin Perfecting Blue Light ($245), something changed in me. And it was something that would change my beauty regime forever.
How it works
Using non-UV, high-energy blue light, this at-home device removes the bacteria that cause zits. When the product is used regularly, mild and moderate acne is significantly reduced.
There’s a difference between how you’re supposed to use a product and how it really works. For me, the Tria Blue Light is literally no-fuss. Here’s what you do: Insert the cartridge into the device (this contains a preset number of treatments; one cartridge contains a total of 300 minutes). Touch the tip of the device onto the area you want treated; then move the device across your skin (think painting your face). The makers behind the Tria Blue Light claim that breakouts should improve in as little as two weeks.
So did it measure up for me? Actually…yeah. I first used the Blue Light on my chin, where an untreated red honker sprouted. Within 24 hours, the pimple became slightly redder with light dryness (yes, totally normal when you first use the device). The next day, I was astounded: My chin felt smoother than usual and the redness of the zit was significantly reduced. Within a few weeks, my chin was still smooth and looked clearer (excluding an acne scar that formed awhile back).
I’ve been using the Blue Light for three months on my whole face. In the first month, I used it everyday. Now, I use the Blue Light whenever I’m suspicious of major breakouts. Sometimes I use it everyday; other times, it’ll be every other day or two.
What I love about the Tria Blue Light is how it’s customizable. For instance, you’re allowed to use your choice of topicals. On my non-Blue Light days, I’ll apply a 5% benzoyl peroxide gel on my blemishes.
Moreover, I have the option of zoning in on one blemish or treating my whole face. My starter kit came with “treatment guides,” square stickers that you can place around a zit to help you evenly treat the area. I tried them, but honestly, they were too restrictive – but that’s okay, tossing the stickers doesn’t affect my results.
As a writer, editor, dance instructor and mom, I have an action-packed schedule. Luckily, I haven’t had to rearrange my days to reap the Blue Light benefits. Treatment is only five minutes a day. And if I don’t have an uninterrupted five minutes, two treatments per day are doable at two-and-a-half minutes each. I don’t have to watch the clock, either. At two-and-a-half minutes, the device beeps. At five minutes, the device turns off by itself.
Does it hurt?
When you glide the device on your skin, you feel a bit of warmth over the treated area – I actually found this to be soothing after a hard day!
I admit, this review sounds too good to be true. So alas, the cons: The instruction manuals are very discouraging. The how-to’s are wordy and time-consuming to read, so if you hope to get started immediately, guess again. The device comes with two booklets, which would’ve been easier if they were combined in the first place. In total, it took me a few days to read through both booklets. In addition, I have to keep the battery plugged in 24/7. (P.S. Not ideal for a small apartment bathroom counter.) From my experience, the battery indicator didn’t give enough notice for recharging. One time, it stopped working three minutes into my treatment, so I didn’t get my full five minutes that day.
So compare the pros and cons, and the pros kick ass. Today, I’ve got a hold on my zits with the exception of minor bumps that appear before my period begins. (Yes, I realize I sound like a cheesy infomercial.)
Bottom line: if you can’t shake off adult acne – especially post-baby – the Tria Blue Light is definitely worth a shot. And if it doesn’t work for you and you’re concerned about dishing $245 in the first place, check out the deets behind its refund policy.
Read more about this author’s struggle with acne here.