Ohhh excitement! My Trophy Skin BlueMD finally arrived in the mail. I won my unit in BES’s online giveaway and have no obligation or incentive to write a review or say anything about it, but I wanted to give you the 411 and share my BlueMD review!
So allow me to indulge, won’t you?
I have normal skin with oiliness on my nose (oilier in summer), medium pore size larger on my nose and cheeks, a few blackheads and pale olive skin.
My skin is very acne prone – lots of little hard bumps that run really deep, never come to a head, and don’t go away for months and months. Once in a while I get a big ugly mountain bump which is an ouch.
Chronic acne… the fun goes on for years!
Blue MD (hopefully) will work on the symptoms which are the bumps, but it cannot attack the root causes of my acne, so I’m realistic that the treatments need to be ongoing. This would be the same for all blue-light treatments … in a derm’s office, beauty spa or at home.
The BlueMD Machine
My BlueMD unit came fully assembled. It had instructions, a clear plastic shield for the lamp bulbs, and an eye mask. I excitedly dove right into it and tested it out!
The unit plugs into a standard wall outlet and the bulbs are rated to last 3-5 years with normal use. This means that if this treatment works, it’s a great bargain instead of 3-5 years of buying useless but expensive topical treatments.
The company suggests skin sensitivity testing… and I did it. I went with maybe a little more exposure than they suggest and did it directly on my face—this is because I don’t normally react.
Trophy Skin suggests 20-30 minutes for a minimum of 3x a week. They warn to keep the device more than 6 inches from your face and to always use it with the cover on.
But then, the sensitivity test says to put the unit 6inches from the skin. ‘Instructions for Use’ say “no more than 6 inches from the skin”. I was a tad confused here. I headed to the official website, read through their material and decided that 6 inches from my cheeks will be my goal.
It might be closer or further… after all, a face is not a pancake and I didn’t actually measure it precisely!
The instructions claim a 90% satisfaction rate and that they usually send homeopathic acne tablets to help the reduction of acne. However I didn’t see the tablets in my package.
The instructions warn that BlueMD will help most mild to moderate acne, but not all: certain kinds of acne will not be treated. One of these is hormonal acne—but I’m going to give this a go anyway since there are different types of hormonal acne.
Go Towards the Light
With freshly cleansed face each time, I put on the eye protection goggles and tried it for 30 minutes. It was a bit awkward since I have to be still for 30 minutes, have good distribution of the light on my face, and have my face 6 inches from the light.
I put the lamp beside my pillow as I lay down (it doesn’t work from my night-table to the bed), set an egg timer, put two quilted cotton pads under the eye protector and put it on, and then switched the lamp on.
So, how did it work out for me?
I kicked off week 1 using my BlueMD Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
However, on Friday I fell asleep under the lamp so my exposure was about 1.5 hours—luckily there were no issues with my skin.
There really is nothing you can do other than lie down and wait out your time, so don’t try and get fancy with it. It doesn’t feel like anything…although once in a while it felt like there was a gentle pulse in my skin.
This week I used my machine on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday and noticed something a little different: a breakout.
I noticed that many of those under-the-skin bumps started to surface.
I didn’t want to go anywhere looking like this, so I just stayed home and used the device more.
Another thing I noticed was my lips got a bit drier and sensitive, but maybe that was the light perhaps or maybe the seasons changing?
In any case I started wearing SPF lip balm in the light. I also hit my lamp while sleeping twice during this week, leading me to think that maybe I should find a new spot for it.
During this week I used the BlueMD on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
The good news was my breakout minimized by the end of the week. Relief!
Overall, about 2/3 of the bumps on my face were almost gone at this point. However, with that being said, in two specific areas I still noticed lots of bumps which seem resistant to the light; along the underside of both cheekbones.
This stumped me as I was sure the light was reaching it, so I wasn’t too sure what the deal was there. On the plus side, by this week I had become really fast at setting up the lamp for my sessions… and discovered that I can use a hands free phone to chat or an ipod to listen to an audio book for the treatment time.
On my final week I used the BlueMD on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
I have to admit, this week I felt a little frustrated with those under-the-cheekbone areas. I ran out of my salicylic cleanser (beta-hydroxy), so I started using an alpha-hydroxy one instead.
Unfortunately there were only a few changes to my skin this week. I decided to do high intensity treatments targeting these areas – I put the light about 2 inches from my skin and specifically on this problem area.
The cool part was I could feel the gentle warmth of the bulbs and therefore knew that I was blasting this area with full intensity.
However, I should mention that this is not how they say to use the unit, so I will have to wait and see if this works better for those stubborn areas.
Keep your fingers crossed for me!
My 4 Week Results
My acne has reduced by about 2/3 in one month, which is great! However, I’d like to see if continued use will make me completely blemish free!
Looking back I think the only thing that worked this well on me was taking antibiotics. Antibiotics were killing the bacteria from the inside out, but also killing all the good bacteria in my body, and there are side effects to long term use.
The BlueMD, on the other hand, is killing bacteria from the outside in and targeting the action so only these particular bacteria are killed—something I really like.
Staying still for 20-30 minutes, with your eyes covered, a minimum of 3x a week (and up to 2x a day?) is easily the most challenging part about this whole journey.
This is a time-out process and is not always easy to commit to. If you want to get results, you must be consistent. You are trying to kill bacteria which are constantly reproducing in your skin.
Speaking of which, I’m going on vacation soon… so I will have to give up my treatments while I’m gone. Something I’m not exactly thrilled about, but that is the challenge with this non-portable unit.
However I did a little research on the hand-held blue-light devices and they take similar amounts time to treat your whole face and cost about the same. Thing is, you could use them while watching TV. I didn’t see the best result reviews overall for those, so I think that BlueMD is closer to the office treatments you’d get.
My acne started to go away in week two. There are no goopy creams, no 5-step routines, no expensive in-house treatments, and no internal medicine. It would pay for itself quickly and simplify my face routine. As long as it works for the your acne, then the one-time price actually saves you money from buying all the other treatments.
On top of that it’s a non-invasive way to treat moderate acne. For those who are reluctant to venture into birth-control, accutane, or antibiotics to solve acne issues, this is an accessible solution. Keep in mind that you will still need to have your basic skincare and if you have congested skin like I do, you will need to continue with your chemical or manual exfoliators.
Trophy Skin offers a good guarantee and I was really impressed by their customer service when I sent a couple of questions their way by e-mail. This matters!
And it gets better because I’m not yet at my happy ending!
Over time, BlueMD can make my skin less oily and minimize my pore size as a bonus effect. While I’m not at that stage yet, it would be great. One month is one skin cycle, but it might take 2 cycles to see the best results for my stubborn acne, which is hormonal.
It would have been hard for me to commit to buying a $200 device without knowing whether it worked or not, but if something works well, I think I’m worth it! I will definitely continue using it.
Is it right for you? You decide.