Blue Light Technology: Move Over, Acne

Acne is no longer a four letter word relegated to awkward teenage years or tied to pregnancy hormones. Increasingly often, acne is following men and women into young adulthood and beyond. Although the battle can seem, at times, unending, or without a possible cure, there are several devices on the market dedicated to erasing this nuisance safe, effectively, and without harsh or invasive treatment. This is achieved through the use of blue light technology, and can be found in a few products, outlined below.

How Does Blue Light Technology Work?

Blue light therapy targets the bacteria causing acne, rather than simply working to clean pores or minimize existing spots. The light is cast onto the area to be treated, where it interacts with the body’s chemistry to “zap” acne-causing bacteria and shrink pores, eliminating infection and the continued appearance of acne. This treatment is particularly effective, because it targets a key root cause of acne, rather than focusing on skin cleanliness or hormonal shifts alone.

Tanda Zap

The Tanda Zap is one an acne blue light device, providing an affordable blue-light therapeutic unit, coming in at around $30. The Zap is intended for use on all ages and skin types, and is not typically a source of irritation, dryness, or pain of any kind. The small device is powered by 3 AAA batteries, and is easily transported in a weekender or even a small handbag. The unit is equipped for 1,000 uses, which comes out to around $.05 per treatment—pennies compared to expensive in-spa treatments. Due to its size, most users are encouraged to use it as a spot treatment for difficult areas.

Does the Tanda Zap really work? Customers are typically pleased with the Zap’s performance, as most users saw a change in the appearance of acne (including blackheads) after only 2-3 uses. Teenagers found the device particularly helpful, as it offers relief from acne without going on medication or using more intense or invasive methods. Many users were pleased to find that their acne was nipped in the bud, so to speak; these customers applied the product to spots before they erupted into whiteheads, and were pleased to find the bumps greatly reduced and eventually gone entirely.

Although customers were typically pleased, there were some complaints regarding the Zap. The most common complaint centered around battery life. Because the device requires quite a lot of power, many users found that batteries died after only 8-10 uses. Some customers were able to circumnavigate this issue with the use of lithium batteries.

The remainder of complaints came from customers who were unable to see any significant results in the appearance of skin.

Tanda Clear Plus

The Tanda Clear Plus is used to treat acne through blue-light therapy, but is also designed to target fine lines and wrinkles. This makes it an ideal device for men and women middle-aged and older, who want to treat multiple problem areas with a single product. Unlike some other, similar products, the Clear Plus only requires use twice per week to show results, also making it an excellent choice for individuals seeking a low-maintenance skincare routine. The Clear Plus, while it is a light therapy device from the same company, differs from the Zap in its treatment scope: although the Zap is used for small areas, the Clear Plus may be used for larger areas. Consequently, the price is somewhat higher, at around $100.

Customers typically express greater satisfaction with the Clear Plus than the Zap, particularly those over the age of 35. Most customers, with regular use, saw a significant reduction in the appearance and reappearance of acne, fine lines, and wrinkles. These men and women are particularly pleased with the Clear Plus performance, as skin becomes more brittle and susceptible to breakage with age, and a simple round of acne can mean severe scarring and pitting. The Clear Plus eliminated this fear for many people.

Typically, displeased users found that their devices worked beautifully for the first few months, but failed within three months of purchase. Some users were able to return the device for a refund or replacement, but others found the process more difficult, and ended up losing, so to speak, the money spent on the device.

Zeno Hot Spot

The Zeno Hot Spot is a small device differing somewhat from Tanda’s products, as it uses heat to lessen the appearance of acne and destroy bacteria, rather than blue light. Comparing the Tanda Zap versus the Zeno Hotspot yields more similarities than differences. The unit is intended to be used as a spot treatment, and should be applied directly to spots. Blemishes typically begin receding immediately, with most disappearing entirely within 24 hours. The Hot Spot offers two colors (blue and pink), and is suitable for all ages and skin types. As it is a spot treatment, the device does not require a routine application time and method, but should instead be used as new blemishes appear. The device is equipped to deliver 80 treatments (remaining treatments are displayed on the unit), and takes 2 AA batteries. Coming in at $85, the Hot Spot is a more expensive (but usually more effective) spot acne treatment option.

Users are largely pleased with their Hot Spots. As a spot treatment, most users saw a noticeable reduction in the size of acne, though eradication of the blemish entirely ranged from several hours to a couple of days. Most users were pleased with the customers service offered, noting that Zeno’s representatives are pleasant to work with, and typically respond to email within 48 hours.

Displeased customers were typically upset with the amount of money required to purchase the device, despite it only containing 80 treatments. The device, at one point, offered replacement parts, but the new design does not allow users to replace parts alone, and the unit must be replaced at the end of the 80-treatment cycle. While this was not problematic for all users, more budget-minded men and women found the overall cost prohibitive.

Which Is Best?

Tanda’s devices are likely to serve needs best, as they both are typically well-rated, affordable, and offer both all-over treatment and spot treatment. Men and women seeking an introduction to blue light therapy would do well to purchase either of the Tanda devices. Where to buy the Tanda Zap and Clear Plus? Each of these can be purchased from a number of vendors, including:

  • Tanda’s website
  • Amazon
  • Online and brick-and-mortar beauty retailers

Amazon is typically the cheapest option for purchase.

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