EDIT (as of August 2016) I would no longer recommend this product - will update with pics soon. The TRIA Blue Light device over-heated my skin and caused discoloration.
I've been dealing with an acne outbreak since last December, and I've been exploring various options to get it under control (full post on this coming soon). My friend Elaine has significantly clearer skin after undergoing Blue Light Therapy at her dermatologist's office. I wanted to see if Blue Light would work for me, but before committing to a long commute and regular appointments with her dermatologist, I decided to explore at-home options. I remembered reading that Tria carries a wide range of at-home professional-grade devices, so I contacted them to find out more about about the Tria Acne Clearing Blue Light. The company generously sent me a device to try out - and after THOROUGHLY testing it for four months, I am finally ready to share my review.
WHAT IS IT?
This FDA-cleared device uses the same professional-level blue light technology that is found in dermatologists' offices. It emits a non-UV high-energy light to treat mild to moderate acne by eliminiating bacteria deep within the skin. By targeting the P.Acnes bacteria, existing blemishes are healed and future breakouts are prevented. The light only affects the bacteria - so it doesn't cause much skin irritation or dryness (unlike other topical acne treatments). For further reading on the efficacy of Blue Light on Acne - click here.
HOW I USE IT:
I think this is my first no-makeup selfie on this blog- eek! But I wanted to show the Tria in action - isn't the glowing blue light so intense? After washing my face in the morning, I press the flat tip on my skin. The device automatically turns on - it glows blue and feels slightly warm. I glide it across my face, focusing on my problem areas (mainly my cheeks) - continuously "painting" them with the blue light. The machine beeps at 2.5 minutes and turns off at 5 minutes. After my treatment, I spray my face with mineral water and apply my moisturizer.
There's some painful acne in the "before" photos - so I'm going to split this post in case you're squeamish. Click here if you want to see my before and after -->
These pictures are not something everyone wants to see - and believe me, I don't like sharing these pictures publicly. But when you're trying to figure out if an acne treatment will work on you, it's helpful to look at before and after pictures rather than just reading about it.
As you can see - I started with moderate acne (and a LOT of hyper-pigmented scarring from continually breaking out since December 2014). Over time, the Blue Light eliminated large, swollen blemishes and allowed the rest of my skin to heal. (I also made some dietary changes over this time - will detail these in my future acne post). My bare skin is not clear or perfect - it has a couple of small bumps and a lot of hyper-pigmentation, but it's definitely in a healthier place compared to before.
WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?
The TRIA Blue Light device has some disadvantages. It is pricey at CAD$340 (US$299) - and you have to spend another $45 every three months for a new cartridge. Furthermore, it needs to be charged every 5 days (in contrast, my electronic toothbrush and Clarisonic last a couple of weeks per charge).
On the other hand, it's effective and gentle. It allows me to double my dosage of acne-eliminating treatments - I use it in the morning and can still use Benzyl Peroxide spot treatments at night. I know it's powerful because I've used it on red swollen pimples - and by the next day, my spots are smaller and the redness has gone. When my first cartridge finished, I skipped a few days of treatment before ordering a new cartridge - and I started getting small spots again - so I know the TRIA is a necessary step in my skincare routine.
The TRIA has a 90-day money back guarantee - if you are dealing with moderate acne, I'd recommend giving this a try. You should see results within the first two months - and if you don't - you can return it for a full refund.
By the way - in case you hadn't realized the extent of my acne issues due to my make-up coverage in blog pics - you'll want to - check out this post - the 2nd method is my go-to technique for keeping my breakouts concealed!
Have you suffered from acne? What has helped you?
DISCLAIMER: The TRIA device was sent to me, but I've taken my time to thoroughly test it out so that I can give a balanced and comprehensive review. Additionally, I've used my own money to repurchase cartridges because I truly believe it works for my skin!
Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express.