Product Gadget Review: ThermaClear Acne Fighting Device
Let's face it: zits are gross. With utmost respect to those who have them or struggle with getting rid of them, I think we can all agree that they are unpleasant little things. Even the word "zit" is kind of gross. Sure, we've got all sorts of words to make them sound less nasty: blemish, spot, pimple... but in the end, they're still zits and they're no fun.
I am happy to say that I am, for the most part, past having to deal with acne (finally!). However, this makes it rather difficult when one is asked to review a clever new acne-fighting device. Behold: ThermaClear!
Doesn't that look spiffy? At the push of a button, ThermaClear delivers a concentrated burst of heat through the tip of the device, which you hold against your blemish. The heat effectively zaps the bacteria festering underneath the skin, thus shortening the time it takes for the unsightly spot to heal and shrink. In fact, it is apparently supposed to shorten the healing (read: disappearing!) time of pimples by up to 50%. Here, look, a graph! I love graphs.
Even without the helpful visual aid, ThermaClear looks so gadgety and scientific and just plain cool that I briefly considered slathering my face with Crisco nightly and adopting a new diet that consists solely of french fries and chocolate*, all in an attempt to squeeze out a few guinea pig pimples. As tempting as the idea sounded, I eventually, benevolently, brought ThermaClear home over the summer and bequeathed it to my 14-year old brother to use. Because... well, because he needed it (she said lovingly).
... That was months ago. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, he has not gotten back to me about his experiences. If I was given something like this as a teen, I'd have been obsessively using it (probably just on half my face, so I could compare) and keeping careful records of its effects. But future-grad students will be future-grad students, and 14-year-old boys will be 14-year-old boys, so there's not much I can do about it. (Especially since he is so far out of noogie range these days.)
I can, however, give you my rather limited impressions of the device, as I did have a couple of minor blemishes that I zapped with ThermaClear. On the low setting, the burst of heat felt like a slight sting. On the high setting, it was decidedly unpleasant. Certainly not unendurable ... if you can pluck/wax your brows, you'll do fine with this. Oddly, the feeling gets almost... addictive. Like those old-school Biore nose-strips, you know? I kind of like the slight pain** -- feels like I'm really showing those little bacteria buggers who's boss!
So, did it work? Well, the blemishes cleared up completely in about 3 or 4 days, which seems quicker than normal, but about on par with other cream or gel acne treatments. I think maybe one would get more pronounced results if it were used on nastier flare-ups. (Although those with severe acne or taking acne meds should not use this device.) One really great thing about ThermaClear is that it's truly mess-free. No sticky or gooey creams on your face or hairline (so attractive when that special someone in your life drops by unexpectedly), and you can even use it over makeup if you have to. For best results, you should use it on clean skin, but if I feel an dermatological eruption coming on midday, I kinda want to zap it in the bud, ya know?
If my ingrate of a baby brother ever gets back to me about his experiences with ThermaClear, I will be sure to share them with you. In the meantime, if you're interested in this new and neat weapon in the seemingly-endless battle against zits, check out the ThermaClear website for more product info and tips. Aside from the device (which I have nicknamed the Zit Zapper in my unoriginal head), the company also offers a complete line of other acne-fighting products.
* Which, of course, would have been pretty much ineffective anyway. See The Beauty Brains' most excellent exposé on the causes of acne.
** See also: masochism; academia