Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Acne Mask

Light Therapy masks are slowly creeping onto the mainstream beauty scene. Going anywhere up to and past the £250 mark, many of these masks are unattainable for those who need them the most. So for Neutrogena to release theirs at £59.99 is a massive coup.

The Science

This technology has been used for years; decades even by skin therapists and dermatologists.

The blue light targets the spot causing, p.acne bacteria by irritating molecules within the bacterium until it dies.

As this process can cause some inflammation, the red light then helps to reduce irritation and calm the skin.

These two lights together for 10 minutes a day are in theory all you need to help seriously curb blemish outbreaks.

N.B. If you are suffering with severe Acne, this type of treatment is not recommended without direction from a dermatologist.

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Acne Mask

The Neutrogena Light Mask comes in a big box, packaged tightly with everything you need:

  • Mask with inbuilt eye-guard glasses
  • ‘Activator’ – the powerpack with 4 AA Batteries supplied

The mask is designed to be used for 10 minutes a day for 30 days to achieve dermatologist-grade results.

It’s a serious breeze to use. The mask is made from a very lightweight (possibly flimsy) plastic that sits easily and comfortably on the face. Pop it on and push the on-button for 10 minutes of uninterrupted light therapy.


I’ve been using it on an evening and although only for around a week so far, have noticed a reduction in blemishes on my chin and also my skin oils seem to be a little more balanced. I can’t pinpoint if the oil balance is an intended effect or even related to the mask, but definitely something I noticed.

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Acne Mask. £59.99. Boots.

This is a beautifully neat solution and is one of the first widely known skincare brands to bring this type of technology to the market. I honestly can see Clinique or a L’Oreal brand coming to market with this.

I foresee Acne and Anti-Ageing light masks being the next Clarisonic/Magnitone and being in the drawers and cupboards of every skincare fan.

The problem you need to know before buying

I couldn’t write about this without writing about the big major problem with this product, and I warn you in advance, you’re going to get quite angry about it – Lord knows so many online reviewers have on Amazon and Boots etc.

The ‘Activator’ that contains the 4 AA batteries can only be used 30 times before you’re told you have to replace it at £14.99 a pop. The mask is still fine, but the ‘Activator’ is strangely rendered useless.

I have researched this for so long to try and find some medical or legal justification for this being the case. I can’t.

There is a chip inside the unit that once has been activated 30 times, renders the entire handset useless. The batteries still have plenty of charge and there’s nothing wrong with any of the circuits or hardware.

This makes me angry for a few reasons:

  1. Both myself and Mr. MANFACE get spots; some real corkers – so this product is perfect for the both of us. However because of each of us needing to use it means we wouldn’t be able to share activators.
  2. Half of my undergraduate BA was in Innovation Design. The focus of any skilled product designer since 2000 has been sustainability. The fact this very solid piece of plastic, circuit board, contacts, chips and LCD screen has to be thrown away after 30 uses for no reason is beyond disgusting.
  3. This is a skin tax for the people who need this the most. Teenagers and young people, who aren’t usually flush with cash, should not be expected to fork out £14.99 every month for this. This word seems tame, but I find this very mean.
  4. I only found this out after I’d ripped open the packaging (who has time for instructions) and flicked the device on 3/4 times to test it out. Even if you don’t use the full 10 minutes, the countdown timer will still go down.
  5. This had the potential to be a huge brand hook, making customers biased towards Neutrogena products because of the great results they achieve using this mask. Instead this makes the brand seem unfair and uncaring towards its customers; but from working with Neutrogena in the past and will no doubt continue to do so in the future, I know this isn’t the case.

However, I’m not saying you can buy some cheap soldering glue from Amazon (or if like me you have your own soldering iron) and I’m definitely not saying there’s a very, very simple YouTube video that shows you how to add your own switch or even more simply, solder a single piece of wire from one connector to another, thus making your ‘Activator’ unlimited use. No, I’m not saying any of this at all…

In conclusion this is an exceptionally good product that a lot of people will see benefit from with the exception of the one massive, and if it wasn’t hackable, unforgivable drawback. Even if you decide you’ll keep buying the ‘Activators’ then you’ll still get this for a lot less than industry competitor products and I think you’ll enjoy the results.

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