You might not have heard about light therapy within skin care, and so I thought I'd shed a little light on the subject. (Zing! Tip your waitress, try the veal!) In simple terms, light therapy — also called phototherapy — uses different wavelengths of light to combat acne and stimulate collagen production. That might sound like bunk, but it's not. The FDA approved blue light therapy for acne in August 2002.

Of the available at-home LED devices, most cost around $250 to $400. ANSR, at $159.95, is a less-expensive version that uses both blue and red light to treat acne. ANSR sent a kit for me to try, and I didn't have exceedingly high hopes. The kit comes with a cleanser and day and night creams that have salicylic acid, so I figured that ingredient was the secret to any sort of acne-battling power. To find out how it worked,


I started using ANSR shortly before my trip to Central America, and within two weeks I saw fewer whiteheads. I didn't take ANSR with me to Belize, and got a little lazy about using it upon my return. Big mistake — my chin turned into a pimple farm within a week. Returning to a nightly ANSR light session has helped return my chin to a largely unclogged, smooth zone, and I'm starting to see less redness as well. The cleanser and creams are fine, but I think the light really does the trick. Turns out that this therapy works, but you have to be consistent — and, of course, willing to shell out cash for an at-home device.