Illumask Anti-Acne Light Therapy Mask

illumask anti acne light therapy mask iliketotalkalotiliketotalkalot iliketotalkblog review

Chemical Free Acne Treatment

I have been hearing about light therapy in skincare for a few years now but never had a chance to give it a try myself.  Luckily, I was given an opportunity by the people at Illumask to see just exactly how it would work for me. Being that I have had some nasty bouts with acne in the past few months, there was no way I wasn’t going to take them up on their offer.

illumask anti acne light therapy mask iliketotalkalot

The Illumask Anti-Acne light therapy mask is a 30-day treatment mask that you use for 15 minutes a day, every day in order to reduce the effect of acne on the face. Instead of using bunch of products on the face, light therapy harnesses the power of blue light in LED form to kill p.acnes bacteria below the surface of the skin, and in case you didn’t know, it’s the major culprit behind those annoying pimple formations. The mask also uses red LED lights to reduce inflammation (as you see as redness) of pimples to reduce their appearance with daily use.  I want to clarify this device is FDA approved and DOES NOT use UV rays to treat the skin and uses light found above the wavelengths found in the UV spectrum.

illumask anti acne light therapy mask iliketotalkalot

The mask comes with full instructions, some fun to use stickers (more on that later), and is easy to start using by just connecting the mask to the hand-held controller that has a timer inside of it so you don’t need to keep track of over using it. Because this treatment will only work for 30 days before the timer shuts down, it is important to note that you must be consistent in using the mask to receive the full benefits of its design.  This is not a mask you use for two days, go away for a week long vacation, then start up again–you must commit to using the mask for a full 30 days straight and only takes 15 minutes a day.

illumask-on-couch

As you can see from my pictures I was able to do just about anything I needed to while using my illumask.  There is a viewing slot that has a protective eye shield so you can go about your business in the comforts of your home. I had no trouble watching TV, using my ipad or even getting some basic cooking done, and just kept the controller in the pocket of my robe when I was walking around.

The mask was actually quite fun to use at home, my husband got a big kick out of it!  He said he just got married (we got married in April) to a robot woman so every time I put on the mask I paraded around the house walking and talking like a robot because we thought it was just TOO hilarious looking and I just couldn’t resist. The stickers they give you also add to the fun, so if you’re feeling like anyone could use a laugh, I dare you to  just throw on a nose, some eyebrows and some sexy lips on and walk around your house and say hello to your family members.

I used the illumask for 28 out of the given 30 days, I had some long days and just fell asleep without remembering to use it, but for the most part, I was good.  I noticed that pimples I had that were raised and red looked less pronounced with continued use of the light therapy mask and some small pimples sometimes went away but not every single one. Any that had scabbed over from picking (I know, a big no,no) seem to dry out quicker and heal up faster which was good. And I was still sticking to my nightly routine of skincare products which includes an anti-aging serum, a basic moisturizer or a anti-aging cream. Overall, the most noticeable result from using the mask was inflammation reduction which helps when you are trying to cover stuff up with makeup on a almost daily basis. Less red to cover, and smaller mountains to worry about.

I think that for the price it’s a safe way to see if light therapy can work for you. I suspect you get better results after using the mask for at least two months as opposed to only 30 days. I think skincare needs time to do its work and for $30 bucks anyone can give this a shot instead of plunking down close to $300 for hand-held treatments that require you to hold the device up to your face and move the unit around. If you see that photo light therapy does in fact help your skin you can then consider the higher priced units that are rechargeable instead of the affordable, disposable ones like the illumask.

illumask anti acne light therapy mask iliketotalkalot

I also think this is a great tool to consider using if you are investing in expensive facial treatments for acne at a facialist to further clear the skin between your appointments.  It may be able to stretch them out a bit further and save you from buying additional skincare products that may or may not work.

Illumask also has a anti-aging mask that I am curious about, I’m in my early thirties and have some skin discoloration on the cheeks and some wrinkles in typical places like the forehead and eyes and I’d love to see what it would do for that.  To find out more about the Illumask, you can visit their website where they have great photos and a FAQ section, or visit their Facebook or Instagram page on social media.

 

My Results : 3 Months of Tretinoin for Acne

acne pimple comic

So I promised I would do a follow-up post to my original: My Firsth Month On Tretinoin for Acne. In that post, I gave you a week by week picture to track my progress– now I’ll let you know what 3 months was like! I have to admit I did not get photos for each week, I got busy some weekends, and even more embarrassing to admit was that my skin turned pretty bad during the second month and I just skipped the photos entirely. 🙁 However, I did manage to get enough for you to see real progress and I am very happy with my results.

** Keep in mind all photographs shown here are taken by myself using my iPhone. I used the HDR setting so you could see my skin under different light settings.**

For the past three months I have stuck to a fairly straight forward skincare routine. I don’t test out as much products on my face now since I don’t want to mess up what has been fixed so far, but just as a reminder here is what I am doing and how I am using it.

Step 1 :Cleanser

cerave hydrating cleanser

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser (using daily AM/PM)

neutrogena-acne-wash-

Neutrogena Oil-free Acne Wash ( using 1-2 per week ONLY, CANNOT use 2x in a single day too drying and aggrevates exisiting acne)

Step 2: Treat with Benzoyl Peroxide

DDF 5 percent BP gel acne treatment gel that works

DDF 5% BP Gel with Tea Tree Oil (was using all over lower half of face but too drying, now only applied as spot-treatment and 2-3/week on cheeks only)

Step 3: Treat with Tretinoin

atralin_tretinoin_

Atralin (Tretinoin) 0.05% (used 5 out of 7 days of week, entire face treated)

Step 4: Moisturize Skin

cerave moisturizing lotion

Cerave moisturizing Lotion (used AM/PM daily, or after anytime I wash my face)

avene hydrance optimale light

Avene Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream (used around more sensitive areas of the face AM/PM daily like corners of mouth and nose)

Additionals:

I do use Ole Henriksen’s Blue/Blackberry Enzyme Mask for added moisturization and exfoliation of peeling skin, but my use varies from 1-3 times a week depending on how my skin is doing.

Ok, ok…you’ve done enough reading, here are my results

Week 6

6 weeks using tretinoin for acne6 weeks using tretinoin for acne side view

Week 8

8 weeks using tretinoin for acne

8 weeks using tretinoin for acne

ok…this is when it started to get horrific in my eyes. The pimples all came out during month two. It was terrible and for a while I thought it was just getting worse. I managed to continue with treatment but was honestly crossing my fingers at the same time!

Week 9

9 weeks using tretinoin for acne9 weeks using tretinoin for acne
As you can see during week 8 my skin was inflamed and red– that isn’t just the photos. In week 9 photos I am healing but have some terribly noticeable marks. My effort to stop touching my face went into full effect around this time. I seriously cannot stress enough how important it is for us acne sufferers to keep our hands off our face. Give yourself a test over the weekend or some 3 day period where you can commit to not touching your face. And by touching your face I mean stop popping “the little ones”, stop messing with the big ones “to make them go away faster”, just stop touching them all together. In my case 3 days of no touching made me realize I was making the acne worse and now I do whatever I can to promise myself no touching! The pimples will heal faster, promise!

Curious how my skin looks at week 12? Here is goes, let me know what you think. Do you see improvement? I think so! Right at this moment I don’t have a single pimple to complain about. My

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skin is clear and I am enjoying it!

12 weeks using tretinoin for acne12 weeks using tretinoin for acne12 weeks using tretinoin for acneThe marks you see now are mostly leftover scarring. I will have to ask the doctor how well tretinoin will work to fade those, or if I will need to add something to my regime. I know hydroquinone is something used to lighten dark spots, but it’s also had so much negative light shined on it I wouldn’t want to pick one out myself. My next appointment is early December so we will see.

 

 

 

 

My First Month On Tretinoin For Acne

Hey everyone. I wanted to share my experience using tretinoin so that others can know possibly what to expect. I decided to go to a dermatologist a month back because I felt the zits were getting a little out of control. It kinda came outta nowhere months back and I could not pin point why it was happening.

I’ve always been fairly lucky to have good skin. By that I mean I mostly had clear skin but possibly one or two small ones occasionally that I could easily cover up. Well at 29 years old I had developed some random giant cystic ones and they just weren’t going away anymore. The lower half of my face was covered with bumps at all times, and while makeup covers discoloration, it doesn’t cover the bumps. I started feeling more and more self-conscious about it and began trying to use everything to kill the pimples…and then trying to do the opposite by using nothing, going makeup free on weekends to see if improvement would happen. I hated my skin. I felt like the years of spending hours in the sun baking and lack of having a very specific skin regime was to blame. I had my good years….this was it. Shit skin. I felt ashamed….and even worse because I know I don’t have the worst case of it ever–and here I was complaining. Well, I had to do something—I didn’t care what it was going to cost–I just needed to find out some solutions, I wanted pretty skin again and knew it was possible.

Atralin tube Tretinoin

My new skin care program was completely different from now on.

At the end of my appointment I was prescribed to use a tretinoin cream on a nightly basis, along a 5% benzoyl peroxide treatment (I used the DDF version), a gentle soap-free cleanser (Cerave), neutrogena’s oil free acne wash for alternating days, and then a oil free moisturizer. I got a ton of samples from the office, which I thought was kind because I was NOT there on insurance.

I decided to document my progress each week with photos so you could see.

I have to say that it was the first week of using tretinoin and the BP gel where my face “hurt”. I knew there was going to be some irritation but hoped it wouldn’t be too bad. I could see that my skin was started to turnover more quickly, the skin looked fresher but stung like hell when I used moisturizer. I was warned that using too much would cause my face to peel a lot and if used properly my face would have minimal if no peeling. my face peeled…and peeled….and peeled more. I felt like the bearded lady except with dry , sensitive skin that I now had.

That had to be the most difficult part of this whole new routine. Figuring how much of everything to use. It’s suggested to use a pea sized drop of each to cover the entire face. Over the course of the first month I have to skip using the BP gel on my chin and reserve it for my cheeks nose and temples only. I use the tretinoin gel all over my face (excluding my eyes) on most nights. I skip two days a week whenever I feel necessary. I still peel from time to time but have incorporated a new Caudalie Lip Conditioner for when I accidentally swipe over my lips and dry them out, and Avene Hydrance Optimale Rich Hydrating Cream for my chin that needed extra moisturizing. Hallelujah for those two products there because I felt like they saved my from having my lower face peel away. My face is now comfortable. I can also wear makeup without it peeling over my skin halfway through the day.

Here are my starting point pictures. You can see I had some embarrassing giant ones calling my name.

Here I am after one full week of using everything. You can see that the old ones are healing but that new ones are cropping up. Fun. As much as I hate this process I know it’s all for the good. I can expect new ones that have been waiting to resurface to come out and say hello over the course of the next couple of months. Yes, my skin was congested and as my skin keeps exfoliating away, its bringing all the deep ones out. You will also notice the peeling that is showing to the side of my mouth. The corners of the mouth should be completely avoided (I forgot as I would be rubbing all over my face). I also put moisturizing lotion near the corners of my mouth to help too.

One week after using tretinoinOne week after using tretinoinHere I am after two weeks on Tretinoin. Pretty much the same thing is happening. What I am noticing is how quickly pimples now crop up and how quickly they come to the surface. If you are a picker–beware! Tretinoin makes your skin more sensitive so if you try to pop and pick your pimples will feel sore. They will pop more easily–but at this point we really gotta cut that crap out because it isn’t helping. Do you best to let them go..I’m still trying to refrain.

Two weeks after using tretinoin

Two weeks after using tretinoinOk, so by now I’m starting see more improvement overall. In general, any pimples that are working their way to the surface are smaller in size. Week three shows there are less and what is there is healing. So here is after three weeks using tretinoin.

Three weeks after using tretinoinThree weeks after using tretinoinFinally it has been a whole month using the treatment. I visited the doctor on Friday and we both agreed there is improvement, but that I can expect more to work there way up to the surface over the next couple months. I don’t get the giant ones really, just those “under the surface” little bumps over my lower cheeks. I suspect those will be the last one to leave. My forehead is clear but I still like to use the tretinoin because it has helped with fine lines around my eyes and on my forehead. I wonder if it will help lessen the cover of sun spots that are starting to show around my eyes also. I’m excited to see..

After one month on tretinoinWhile I still don’t have perfect skin yet I do see that my skin is getting better. Were these pictures embarrassing to share? Hell yes. Who wants to show their zitty photos? No one! But I do hope that it helps someone who is wondering about this stuff. It will take time and that means patience. Know that your face is still gonna have zits throughout the beginning of the process. Know that if your face hurts or is peeling to stop for a day or two. Your skin has to HEAL at the same time so give it a breather if its asking for it.

I’m going to continue to track my progress in hopes of showing you even better results.

I know this stuff isn’t for everyone. Some would say it’s too strong but when you feel like nothing else works, it’s time to get some professional advice and give it a shot. I tried reading about people’s experiences on the web and all I read were people who had severe cases of acne and how it didn’t work for them. Well, it seems to be working for me. And I’m willing to give it more time to see clear skin.

Is there some product or skin care regime that you would swear by? Has anything wowed you and continually wowed you over the months of using it? I’m curious to know what really works, because before this I was considering the Baby Quasar or the Tanda lights to help…..