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Hollywood is infatuated with light therapy and now, thanks to dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross, you can get the in-office benefits of LED to go. Here’s how the DRx SpotLite Acne Treatment Device improves complexions with a click.


Photography byANNA PALMA

For those burdened with an erratic complexion, there are times when skin care can be a savior (here’s the proof) and occasions when even the best formulas come up short. That’s where devices come in, or at least this is what my VIOLET GREY colleagues assured me whenever I bemoan a volcanic flare-up. But I’m not a gadget person—like, I’ve never bought a TV and can’t bring myself to read off a tablet—and therein lies the rub in benefiting from smart beauty. Up until two months ago, the most advanced device I owned was a hair dryer (VIOLET CODE approved of course). So what, how, and why did I finally give into tech? The short answer is the DRx SpotLite Acne Treatment Device from Dr. Dennis Gross.

If you're a VIOLET GREY devotee, you know dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross by name. And if you don’t, I highly suggest you get acquainted with his lineup of ingenious skin care formulas and tools ASAP. They come straight from his chic Manhattan office and couldn’t be more foolproof. Oh, and everyone from the Kardashians to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Christie Brinkley is obsessed.

At first glance, the pocket-sized DRx SpotLite Acne Treatment Device could be mistaken for a cool keychain flashlight (if such a thing exists). But in reality, the compact, skin-rejuvenating stick is a travel-friendly version of those LED hockey-player-like masks you’ve seen on Instagram. If the acronym LED eludes you, don’t worry. Up until about a year ago, the extent of my knowledge came from a Home Depot associate who swore LED bulbs would last a lifetime in my kitchen and lower my utility bill in the long run. Fortunately, you learn fast at VIOLET GREY.


First of all, it's not a laser. Short for Light Emitting Diode, LED is a computer chip that’s enclosed in resin and emits colorful therapeutic wavelengths of light energy. You can thank NASA for coming up with the genius idea of applying LED light to the skin. Since wounds don't heal quickly in zero-gravity situations, scientists were looking solution to speed up the healing process—they found it. LED technology proved to be so successful that it was eventually applied to cancer treatments, post-surgery scars, and skin rejuvenation.

My first major concern when test driving the treatment was the pain factor. The idea of shining a potent light source over my hypersensitive skin caused an anxiety flare-up. So I’m thrilled to report there's absolutely no pain, burn, or discomfort during the treatment. In fact, I initially questioned whether the gizmo was doing its job since it felt like nothing was happening. Trust me, it was.


The beauty of Dr. Gross's DRx SpotLite Acne Treatment Device is that, like all of his products, it delivers a whole host of benefits. For starters, it exudes a deeply-penetrating blue light that causes Propionibacterium Acnes, the bacteria behind inflammatory acne, to self-destruct. Because blue light encourages Propionibacterium Acnes to work against itself, there's no need to physically eliminate the bacteria with the harsh chemicals you often find in topical treatments—which, as anyone with a redness-prone complexion knows, is ideal.

So does the DRx SpotLite device clear spots like a magic wand? Yes, I would say so. Does it do it in a flash? Not exactly. Like any effective acne regimen, you’ve got to stick with it. I noticed my pimples were considerably fewer after a couple of weeks of diligent zapping. But the tool's portable design makes it exceptionally easy to keep up with applications.


With blue light, the LED spot treatment has sorted out what I pray are my last woeful bouts of adult cystic acne. And thanks to the red light it projects simultaneously—which creates that reddish-magenta glow—the device also offers a targeted anti-aging boost. The secret lies in red light's ability to stimulate the cells that produce collagen and elastin proteins known as fibroblasts. The result: a smoother, firmer, more youthful-looking complexion. And while you could still indulge in a light therapy treatment with a dermatologist (a single in-office session can run you about $300 dollars), Dr. Gross makes it so easy to turn back the clock at home.

Discover the VIOLET CODE approved DRx SpotLite Acne Treatment Device now.