Thursday, August 3, 2017

Foreo Espada Blue Light Acne Treatment: Review

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and the product featured was provided for review.
Foreo Espada Blue Light Acne Treatment: Review
One of my greatest woes in life is my acne-prone skin and I've invested many hours and dollars over the years to find the perfect treatment to clear my complexion. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acids are my current go-to's for preventing and treating breakouts but I am always on the look out for the newest, jazziest innovations. Employing the power of the 415 nm blue LED light that's used by dermatologists, the Foreo Espada ($199 CAD) is a gentle, painless, at-home acne treatment that promises to "blast blemishes out of existence". I've put the device to the test for the past few weeks and am here today to share with you a detailed, info-packed review to help you decide whether or not the device is worth the investment. To read on, click......

Packaging & Design:
Available in three colors, the Foreo Espada is a long and sleek triangular prism-shaped device. Included in the box are a storage bag, a USB charger, and an instructional manual. The device is wrapped with a layer of anti-bacterial silicone so it is 100% waterproof. There is only one button to turn on and off the device and to clean the treatment surface, simply wash and rinse with warm water and soap. The device is rechargeable and each full charge yields 240 treatments (120 minutes).

Who It's For:
Designed to treat "mild to moderate inflammatory acne on the facial area", the Foreo Espada can be used over whiteheads, blackheads, papules, and pus-filled inflammatory acnes. Foreo advises against using the device on "severe, nodular, or cystic acne" and areas with moles, warts, and ingrown hair should be avoided. Temporary warmth, discoloration, and redness may occur with use. I personally only experienced some warmth during treatment but aside from that, the device resulted in no additional side effects.
Foreo Espada Blue Light Acne Treatment: Review
Foreo Espada | Packaging
How It Works:
With a laser-focused blue LED light that penetrates pores to kill acne-causing bacteria, the Foreo Espada is a painless and non-invasive acne treatment. Once it's turned on, the head of the device emits a small red target light that helps aim and place the treatment surface directly over the intended area. When the treatment window makes contact with skin, the LED light automatically turns on. In addition to the light, the device also vibrates with a "unique T-Sonic pulsation", which helps "propel the blue light wavelength deeper" into the skin surface. The light and vibration automatically turn off after 30 seconds and you may repeat the treatment up to four times on the same area.

My Thoughts & Results:
I suffered from serious cystic acne in my early teen years and now as a young adult, I get the occasional zit here and there depending on the time of the month. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are my go-to treatments on a regular basis but because of their drying effect, I am always looking for alternative treatment options.
The Foreo Espada is undoubtedly very easy to use as there is only one button needed to operate the device. However, the red target light only helps with the general positioning of the treatment window. Because the head of the device is quite large, it's actually pretty difficult to precisely line the red cross with the acne you intend on treating. Since Foreo describes the LED light as laser-focused, I'd imagine that the better the LED is lined up with the center of the acne, the better the result we would expect.
Foreo Espada Blue Light Acne Treatment: Review
Foreo Espada | On/Off Button
In addition to the precision issue, the treatment is also very time-consuming. As I will elaborate below, a 30-second treatment per acne is far from effective so you will need to go over each acne at least three to four times. So even if you only have three zits on your entire face, a complete treatment would take at least 5 minutes. As compared to using a topical cream that can be spread within 10 seconds, this device definitely eats up a chunk of your night time routine. Theoretically, you can be doing other stuff while using the Espada, but because you have to look into a mirror and make sure you are targeting the exact area, you really can't do much multitasking.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the device just isn't very effective for me. Because the instruction manual actually doesn't clearly indicate how many 30-second treatments to use on a single acne or how often the device can be used daily, I started with only one treatment per area once a day. This, unsurprisingly, yielded almost no effect. My acne didn't go away quicker and neither did they become less inflamed.
Foreo Espada Blue Light Acne Treatment: Review
Foreo Espada | Treatment Window
Only after going onto the Foreo website did I see that the device can be used up to four times (four 30-second treatments) on each spot. So with this new regime, I was seeing some mild results. My acnes seemed less red and inflamed after one day of treatment but aside from that, the differences were negligible. It's possible that the treatment needs to be used at least a couple days to be effective but by then, my acne would have naturally faded away on its own anyway.
So in conclusion, although I support the idea of an at-home, alternative acne treatment that targets acne-causing bacteria, the Foreo Espada is time-consuming, imprecise, and ineffective in practice. I presume that its effects vary from person to person as I've seen lots of positive reviews online but for me, the device was not successful. Additionally, because of the small treatment window, you can only use this to target pre-existing acnes. Therefore, the Espada offers no preventative measures unless you treat every single area of the face on a regular basis, which is virtually impossible considering how time-consuming the process would be.

Availability:
Foreo is available in stores/online at Murale, Foreo, and Sephora
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