A few weeks ago, after years of not being much bother at all, my skin erupted. At first I wasn’t too bothered. I was a bit run down and a few spots could be expected and I thought they would disappear in a few days. They didn’t!
So I started using typical acne products (Clearasil) on them and giving my skin the type of harsh treatment I know, as a beauty editor, is counterproductive but I just wanted to scrub them away.
All that happened is that those blemishes became more widespread and my skin got awfully dry and scaly. The dryness made the spots difficult to disguise with makeup because of all the flaky patches even though the spots themselves were large blobs under the skin and could have been disguised a bit.
I started to get really down about it all. It took me back to my teen years when I had really bad acne that made me miserable as sin. I remembered how nothing I did helped and how I had to eventually go to the docs and be prescribed with antibiotics. I took them for about 4 years and with time (and basically the end of my teenage years) my skin cleared up and I didn’t need the prescription any more.
I’d hate to have to take medication on a long term basis again. Unless it’s essential, I’d rather not. I don’t think it does your body any good at all and there are some horror stories about some skin medications.
In the past, I’ve never looked at acne treatments for this site. I’d always left it to medical and dermatological blogs to deal with problem skin – better leave that to the experts I thought. So there I was online at the weekend, very down and panicking a bit, looking for another cream or lotion or something and came across “Lumie Clear”.
I vaguely remembered it being advertised when it first came out but it hadn’t really registered with me. But the more I read the product description and about the scientific tests it has been through and then the reviews from buyers on Amazon, the more I though it might help – might being the operative word. That’s because most reviewers say it either cleared up their acne or helped it a lot but a few say it didn’t help at all.
I expect that’s because we are all different.
Anyway, hoping to be one of those it helps, I ordered the product on Tuesday and received it the next day (thanks to my temporary new Kindle Fire owner Amazon Prime account). It’s not cheap but neither are all those creams and face washes I had been expecting to order. I was lucky and caught the product when it was on special offer. Next day it had gone up a chunk. Click here to see current pricing and reviews on amazon.co.uk (I don’t think it’s available on the US site – sorry – but you may be able to have it shipped over should it be worth it or you can buy direct from Lumie Clear at a higher price).
After Two Days
So now I have been using the product for two days and there has been – no change at all. I’m still covered in spots.
Of course, you read the packaging and the reviews and it says you need to use it for weeks to see results, but I was still hoping that it would just zap the spots and I’d be on my way. LOL
Anyway I’m keeping up the treatment for the 12 weeks it recommends and will report here how I do with it, good or bad. I actually feel better already in one way, in that at least I am doing something positive about the problem.
How I’m Using Lumie Clear
Lumie Clear consists of a unit with 24 red and blue lights. The red lights have a wavelength which has been proven to reduce inflammation in the skin. The blue lights are the right wave length to kill bacteria in the skin. These lights don’t harm or tan the skin in any way. You can either put the unit in the stand and shine the light on the affected area or hold the unit against your skin. If you hold it against your skin you get a more intense treatment and need to use it for just 15 minutes per affected area. The further away the unit is from the skin you’re treating, the less intense the treatment and the longer you have to use it.
Goggles with yellow colored lenses are included to protect your eyes. I wore these the first day I used Lumie Clear but yesterday I covered my hand and the unit in a black t-shirt while holding it against my skin so that no light would get in my eyes. Whether that is good or not I don’t know but that way I could still work on the PC wearing the glasses I use for close work and the 45 minutes passes in no time. The unit works via mains electricity rather than batteries so you have to stay “plugged in” and can’t walk around, but at least you are not forever replacing batteries. There’s no problem stopping the treatment part way through if you have to get up.
After 15 minutes the lights go out automatically. I found it useful to set a timer anyway – especially as I couldn’t see the lights under the black cloth!
The unit is very light so it’s easy enough to hold it for that amount of time. All you feel is a soothing warmth after a minute or two as the unit heats up gently. You have to clean your skin and the unit before you start but you can clean the unit with a damp cloth or baby wipe. So no problem at all.
It just remains to be seen if it works – which is the main thing. I’ll keep you posted.
Update After One Week (14th February 2013)
Well I have been using the device for a week and my skin is still in poor condition – but I am seeing some improvement so I’m not too downhearted yet and I’m continuing with the treatment. In fact I’m actually quite excited that I have seen any change at all as they say it may be 4 to 8 weeks before you see anything.
The main thing that is cheering me up is that the bumps under the skin are not so pronounced making them now much easier to cover with makeup than they were. There are just as many spots as I had before though – they are just less inflamed. That is what the red light is supposed to do – reduce inflammation, so that seems to be working well.
The worst thing seems to be how dry my skin is – it feels very tight and sore after washing and the spots show up much more then and then they calm down over some hours. That dryness happens even if I just use water and that is not like me. I’m not sure if that is the fault of the Lumie Clear treatment or not – but I suspect it is the after effects of the Clearasil acne treatment I was using before I started the light treatment last week. I stopped using Clearasil as it was just making my skin sore, once I started this test. They say you can continue other treatments in tandem with Lumie Clear but I wanted to test it by itself anyway, so I have just been using a gentle cleanser and moisturizer to clean my skin and no other spot treatment.
It’s just as well I’m not finding it difficult to find time to do the treatment – 45 minutes a day is a big commitment – but I always have something I can be doing online while I sit with the thing against my face so it has not been a hassle at all.
I’ll update again next week.
Update After Two Weeks (22nd February 2013)
Well another week has gone by in my Lumie trial and I am delighted with the state of my skin.
The lumps and bumps have gone, making dryness the only issue. For that, I have been treating my face with a very cheap product which has worked wonders in improving the condition of my skin – and I highly recommend that. It’s E45 Intense Recovery Lotion. Two days of that and miraculously all the roughness was gone. All that rough skin was making my skin feel sore and making any application of foundation to my skin really obvious so that has made a huge improvement by itself.
This whole thing has been so quick since I started using the Lumie that I’m starting to wonder if it was the effect of this on my skin or something else, but I’ve been using nothing else over the two weeks of the trial. In my experience with acne as a teenager or the odd spot that I have had since, there has been nothing that has had such a speedy effect. Though the manufacturers say that it will take a few weeks to see improvements – a few others in the reviews have had fast results too. I just don’t think it’s that common so be prepared for the long haul if you give it a go. Results may be dependent on the type of acne you have and the severity of the condition as well.
I’m going to continue using the Lumie but perhaps not every day on the three areas of my face where I had the problem – unless the problem reemerges of course and then I’ll be right back there. Next, I’m going to use it on my forehead where I have a few spots around the hairline hidden under my fringe (bangs) and see what it does for those.