Health And Wellness

I Tried A Light Therapy Pen To Get Rid Of My Pimples — But It Magically Helped Me Lose Weight

Photo: Courtesy of the Author
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Last week I found myself on a journey to my local Rite Aide, desperate and determined to find the best treatment possible to help me get rid of my pimples. You know, the kind of seemingly random, hormonally-charged cystic acne that dares to show up under the auspices of PMS.

While the zit wasn't obvious (thank you, glasses) it was painful and annoying, but at the age of 34, I get incensed if my skin dares to present me with a zit when I have already started shopping for skin care products designed to reduce "fine" lines and firm saggy skin.

Then I saw the Neutrogena Light Therapy Spot Treatment Box. Apparently, it costs $17.99, but I thought it was $9.99 when I bought it. Honestly, I don't know if I would've grabbed it had I known the price was nearly double that, but I didn't and so I did and now here we are.

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For the purposes of this little tale, I will be calling it by its newly christened official name — "my magical zit pen."

I call it this because it is, indeed, shaped like a pen, only it's a little bit more satisfying in its weight.

The idea is that you hold the end of the pen to the zit in question for 30 seconds three times a day, and it, in turn, reduces the look and feel of said blemish via its wondrous red and blue light.

If you think that sounds like lame sorcery, I agree, but reportedly, there is science behind using light therapy to treat acne that backs this up.

That said, I also fully believe that I feel more centered when I'm situated somewhere near large hunks of certain crystals, so I understand if you feel obligated to discredit me in your own mind.

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I imagine that when the fine folks at Neutrogena came up with the idea behind my magical zit pen and its instructions, they expected people to have no problem finding tiny chunks of time throughout each of their days to carry out the three 30-second zap required.

I, however, did not do that. Instead, I took to getting into bed each night, turning on my TV, and watching my favorite shows while slowly working my way around my face with the light, over and over and over again until it was time to fall asleep — my zits zapped and my soul sated.

I have to say, my procedure of choice has worked out really well.

It deflates the big ones without leaving them crusty and flaky, making them easy to cover up with concealer... which will doubtlessly only encourage them to return stronger and greasier than ever before, but I digress.

What I really want to say is that I am in LOVE with my magical zit pen, and not only because it treats my acne, but because it keeps me from doing my other preferred activity when I am watching TV — eating.

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That's right. It turns out that if I just started shining lights on my face years ago, I could have saved myself hundreds (let's be real, thousands!) of dollars in purchases and the potential risk of lung cancer I incurred in my youth when I chose smoking as my favorite form of appetite suppression.

I'm not trying to actively lose weight (that's a post for another day) but I am trying to feel a bit healthier than I have lately, and if shining a medical beauty zit light on my face while watching The Real Housewives of Dallas is going to keep me from being like, "Yeah, I could go for seventeen pies right about now," then I'm going to lean into that feeling, and I don't give a golden fart if anyone else thinks my motivation is healthy.

I will be the one laughing when I can fit into my favorite dress again and have the poreless skin of a beautiful and possibly haunted porcelain doll.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have zits in dire need of frying.

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is an editor, freelance writer, former Senior Staff Writer for YourTango, and the former Senior Editor of Pop Culture at Newsweek. Her bylines have appeared in Fatherly, Gizmodo, Yahoo Life, Jezebel, Apartment Therapy, Bustle, Cosmopolitan, SheKnows, and many others.