After including no!no! Skin in my Gizmodo gift guide for obsessive groomers last year, the fine folks at no! no! sent me a test unit of their zit zapper. Even though the device is "FDA cleared," I was skeptical it would work on my face (yes I stil break out at my age, why god why?). I somehow figured I had extra gross stubborn acne that would refuse to yield to its scientific wiles.
But I'm pleased to report I was wrong! When I finally got around to charging up the battery so I could try it, I discovered that this thing is awesome.
No!no! Skin is a small, handheld acne-disappearing device that uses light and heat to banish your breakouts.
Anyone who has persistent acne or the occasional nightmare breakout.
There's not a lot to it; you're dealing with a small, silver rectangle that fits easily in even my very small hands. It hardly weighs anything, and you activate it with an easily accessible button on the front. A cap keeps the light part protected when you're not using it.
First you charge the device overnight or until the charge light turns green. Then you just place the glowing end on your breakout and press the button. It will beep once, then flash, then beep twice and stop. Wait five seconds, do the same thing again. If you have a lot of acne it will be time consuming.
It doesn't hurt, and it works! I felt an occasional tiny twinge, but nothing that made me even say ouch out loud. Not ouch-worthy. And after using it once on a monster cystic breakout on my chin—you know that kind, the effing painful ones that you don't even know what to do about and make you look like you have a second chin?—the swelling was significantly reduced and the pain was gone! The pain elimination was the most thrilling, because then you can actually forget the blemish is there and you stop considering doing things you might regret to force it away. WE WILL NOT DISCUSS THOSE UNSPEAKABLE THINGS. I don't know if the spot was "81 percent reduced" like the label claims, but it was enough that I am now using this thing at any hint of a breakout and making a special little cushioned place of honor on my vanity for it.
I don't know if it's tragic, but the price is steep.
The company says it only works on certain types of zits: the moderate and mild kind but not the "comedonal" kinds. So basically if you have what most of us consider acne, it will work. But if you have mainly clogged pores and blackheads, it won't work for that.
The reason I remained a bit skeptical about no!no! is because I didn't get how some flashing light that doesn't even hurt could disappear a zit. So this is apparently what's happening: The build up of oil clogs your pores and traps dead cells and oil under the skin's surface, creating an oxygen-deprived environment that's good for growing something called propionibacterium, A.K.A. P.acnes, which is the leading cause of acne. The device emits two wavelengths of light: green and red. The green light targets a zit chemical called porphyrin and forces it to release one oxygen molecule (a radical). The radicals attack the P.acnes thereby destroying the bacterium. Hooray!
But it doesn't stop there. The red light is anti-inflammatory, and that's what reduces the horrible, painful swelling. Double hooray!
They say the heat part, which is only subtly perceptible, opens the pores to let out the gross stuff and further reduces swelling. And there you have it: light and heat energy technology, or LHE.
If you break out, like, ever, yes, definitely.
• Price: $180
• Giz Rank: 4 stars
This post originally appeared at Stylenik.