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Clinical Study Results for the Luminance RED - ClearBeam Zit Device

A wealth of clinical research tells the story of light therapy’s powerful benefits for multiple skin conditions, including acne. Again and again, we’ve seen real, lasting improvements and significant reductions in acne breakouts.  

Even with supporting evidence from multiple studies and reports from our own customers, we recognize that light therapy is a relatively new field. Nothing is more important to us than ensuring the safety and effectiveness of our products, which is why we decided to take things a step further and sponsor our own clinical study. We’re excited and proud to announce the results of our research on the effectiveness of the Luminance RED - ClearBeam Zit Device for mild-to-moderate acne.


Over just a two-week period, participants saw a 20% improvement in acne breakouts and experienced a 15% increase in their quality of life. Though the study duration was short, participants’ skin continued to improve with every treatment, indicating we’d likely see even more improvement with a longer study.

With such promising results and no negative side effects, we couldn’t be more thrilled!

To better understand the data, let’s get into some specifics about acne, light therapy, and the Luminance RED - ClearBeam Zit Device study.

Infographic: Acne Case Study

More About Acne Vulgaris

Acne vulgaris is an extremely common condition that affects almost every person on the planet at some point in their lives. It’s a condition we need safe and effective treatments for.

There are many forms of acne with different levels of severity. While some respond to over-the-counter products with active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, other breakouts are more stubborn, and are treated by prescription retinoids or antibiotics like tetracycline, erythromycin, or clindamycin.

The bacteria Cutibacterium Acnes contributes to acne development, which is why antibiotics can be an effective treatment. While everyone has bacteria on their skin, P. acnes is more likely to cause severe acne breakouts. But there’s a problem — acne-causing bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics. That’s why it’s more important than ever to understand the effectiveness of light therapy treatments for acne and make them accessible to more people.

What Really Causes Acne?

To fully understand how light therapy helps with acne breakouts, let’s go over the basics of how acne forms. 

Acne starts with something called follicular hyperkeratinization. Follicular refers to the hair follicle, the tiny cavities in your skin where hairs grow. Hyperkeratinization happens when dead skin cells don’t shed fast enough and clog those little cavities in the skin.

Your skin also has sebaceous glands that secrete sebum, or oil. This oil keeps your skin soft and moist, but you can definitely have too much of a good thing. Pores clogged with dead skin cells, excess oil, and P. acnes bacteria are a recipe for disaster — and that disaster is an acne breakout.

A breakout might start small, with blemishes called comedones. These are tiny white or dark bumps on the skin. However, the bacteria inside these comedones can trigger an immune response that leads to inflammation in the skin, causing blemishes to develop into the painful, larger acne lesions we all know and hate. 


How Can Light Therapy Help?

Acne doesn’t always respond to over-the-counter treatments or prescription meds, and even when it does, many people are wary of the side effects acne products can cause.  

Here’s a quick technical breakdown of how light therapy treats an acne breakout. P. acnes are porphyrin-producing anaerobic bacteria. Porphyrins absorb light in the ultraviolet (UV) and visible spectrum. Once P. acnes bacteria are exposed to light of the right wavelength, a photodynamic reaction occurs that destroys the acne-causing bacteria.

This photosensitivity of bacteria is why many people see an improvement in their skin in the summer when they’re out in the sun more. But long stints in the sun expose the skin to more UV radiation, which damages the skin and increases cancer risk. This is where light therapy comes in.

Clinical studies have shown that light in the blue spectrum effectively kills P. acnes without the need for UV light. Thanks to technological advances in solid-state source technology, acne sufferers can now self-administer this blue light in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. 

Recent publications have shown that self-applied, blue light-emitting diode (LED) therapy is a safe and effective treatment for mild-to-moderate inflammatory acne on the face.

Additionally, therapy with red light has also shown promise in reducing acne inflammation and promoting the healing of active outbreaks. Many studies suggest that a combination of blue and red light therapy offers the greatest potential benefit for acne treatment.

We designed the handheld Luminance RED - ClearBeam Zit Device to use both blue (415 nm) and red (660 nm) light therapy with at-home spot treatment in mind. While the device has already been granted FDA clearance to treat acne, we sponsored our own clinical trial to further verify its safety and effectiveness. 

About the Study

The study evaluated the performance of the Luminance RED - ClearBeam Zit Device on small areas of the skin — about the size of a nickel — with mild-to-moderate acne. 

We wanted to test the Luminance RED - ClearBeam Zit Device’s ability to improve existing acne and reduce the redness (erythema) caused by injured or inflamed blood capillaries associated with acne breakouts. We also theorized that fewer breakouts and improved skin would improve the quality of life of study participants.

Before using the device, study participants took pictures of any active acne breakouts on their face. They also filled out the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), a questionnaire that assesses how much a skin disease affects a person’s quality of life, and the Cardiff Acne Disability Index (CADI), a questionnaire that specifically assesses the quality of life of people with acne. 

During the 14-day study, participants used the Luminance RED - ClearBeam Zit Device twice per day with at least eight hours between treatments. Each treatment started with 90 seconds of blue light followed by 90 seconds of red light, durations that were auto-programmed into the devices to ensure everyone received the exact same treatment. Participants took photos of their face each morning of the study and completed a compliance/satisfaction survey each night to help us analyze the results.

What Did the Results Show?

With support from dermatologist Dr. Leo Wang from the University of Pennsylvania, we analyzed participants’ questionnaires and full-face photos at the end of the study. Only those who submitted eligible photos were assessed. 

The information was analyzed in a blinded fashion, meaning we didn’t know which sets of data were connected to which participant. This is an important aspect of research because it helps ensure accurate and valid results by eliminating bias. 

Acne Improvements

Over 80% of participants improved in at least one acne metric. Only one person saw no improvement, and this participant had the least severe acne at the start of the study.

To determine improvements, we used the 5-point Investigator’s Global Assessment (IGA) Scale, which assesses the severity of a disease. Based on this scale, overall acne severity improved by an average of 20%, and total lesion count decreased by an average of 16.8%. Two-thirds of participants also saw improvements in redness, and no one reported a worsening of redness.

It’s worth noting that two weeks is a short time frame for clinical studies on acne, which generally run at least 12 weeks and can last up to six months to demonstrate noticeable improvements. Even though we can’t make direct comparisons to other clinically approved treatments, participants’ acne clearance rate certainly suggests significant potential for light therapy to be used as a secondary treatment option, especially for breakouts that need to be cleared up quickly.

The study also assessed the effectiveness of treatment with the light therapy device on individual pimples, particularly those with inflammatory papules or pustules. We analyzed photos for lesion size, redness, and overall improvement, and the results were striking. Lesion size improved in about one-third of blemishes, and lesion redness improved in over half. 

We noted overall improvement in two-thirds of analyzed blemishes. In almost all cases of improvement, positive changes started showing up between one and six days. 

Notably, none of the participants saw any symptoms get worse. Every participant saw an improvement in their skin in at least one metric, or their symptoms remained the same. 

What About Quality of Life?

We know that severe acne can cause long-term damage and scarring to a person’s skin, but it can also be emotionally harmful. Prolonged acne breakouts can lead to low self-esteem and social isolation. They can even lead to serious mental health disorders like depression and body dysmorphia

Improving the quality of life for those who suffer from acne breakouts was a second key goal of the study. Throughout the study, participants’ scores on the two quality-of-life questionnaires continued to improve. By the end of the two-week period, participants’ DLQI scores increased by an impressive 11%, and CADI scores increased by 15%. Imagine getting 15% happier in just two weeks! 

Graphic: Clinical Study Results for the Luminance RED - ClearBeam Zit Device

Final Thoughts

While the final results of this two-week study weren’t surprising to our team at Luminance Medical, they are very exciting nonetheless! These results are just the tip of the iceberg of the immense potential of light therapy and the Luminance RED - ClearBeam Zit Device. With an overall acne improvement of 20% and an increase in quality of life of 15%, we believe this revolutionary (and side-effect free) technology will become the acne treatment of choice in the future. 

If you’d like to try this treatment out for yourself, you can order a Luminance RED - ClearBeam Zit Device here.

If you’re interested in participating in future studies using Luminance RED products, contact us at

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