FOREO Espada - The Ultimate Acne Defence?

The FOREO Espada follows in the footsteps of an onslaught of DIY light therapy tools that aim to kill acne-causing bacteria under the surface of the skin. I'm 23 now, and I can honestly say that I can't remember a time when my skin was completely clear of blemishes. What started as hormonal acne in my early teens has stuck with me ever since - admittedly at varying degrees of severity - and I'm on a constant mission to find the right treatment for me.

My skincare routine includes a handful of products that have made a huge difference overall (Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo[+] and The Ordinary's Salicylic Acid are a few of the most effective and affordable options that I've come across). Still, an ongoing dissatisfaction with the appearance of my skin means that I'm usually first in line to try new acne-clearing ingredients and technologies, which is exactly what drew me to Espada.

Retailing at £129.00, this definitely can't be classed as a purse-friendly acne solution - at least in terms of initial cost. Where it does succeed though is in its cost-per-use, as the tool can be easily charged via USB and doesn't require any replacement parts. I keep mine on my dressing table ready for use first thing in the morning and last thing at night, but there's no reason you couldn't slip it in your handbag or travel case too. Branded as 'a more accurate acne treatment', this is an acne-clearing pen that uses blue light technology to tackle spots and blemishes at the source, killing bad bacteria and, in theory, treating and preventing everything from whiteheads to papules. I first became aware of the pen when I saw Wayne Goss' review, and the pink version (my preferred choice from three pretty terrible colours) was winging its way to me within a matter of hours.

Using the pen is incredibly easy and the treatment can be completed in just four steps:

  • Cleanse and dry the skin
  • Target the pen's red light towards the centre of the blemish
  • Hold the pen in contact with the skin for 30 seconds, until it stops vibrating
  • Repeat on the same area up to four times, or continue use elsewhere on the skin
foreo espada acne review

There's a huge range of factors that can make an impact on how effective a tool like this is. Bacterial acne vs hormonal acne, for example. How far along each blemish in will have an effect too. Use it just as bumps begin to appear under the skin and you have a good chance of preventing the blemish from surfacing. Use it when the blemish is already active and you can only hope to speed up the recovery process, not eliminate the blemish overnight.

foreo espada review

Using the tool is completely painless and comfortable, while it's also quiet enough to be used while you're watching television without any distraction - an important factor for me, potentially not for anyone else. I've used it religiously for over a month now, and while I'm not usually an advocate for making a decision on any kind of blemish treatment for 2-3 months, I feel like this one warrants some kind of 'one month in' review.

foreo espada review

I've been using the tool religiously for 6 weeks and I have seen an improvement in my skin, albeit a slight one. Like the vast majority of acne treatments I've tried, it's completely dependent on your skin and exactly what causes the blemishes you have. For oilier skins that are about to put breakouts down to gunk and bacteria underneath the skin, a tool like this one is likely to work miracles. For skin that's more prone to hormonal breakouts or that's easily irritated by particular products however, I can't imagine this being such a hit.

The FOREO Espada is undoubtedly a lot of money. I feel like it will get quickly compared to products like Neutrogena's Light Therapy Acne Mask, although it's important to remember that unlike cheaper options this doesn't require any cartridge top-ups or additional purchases throughout its lifespan. It's also far less of a hassle to travel with - and much more boyfriend-friendly, too. In the long-running quest to find a product that will finally heal my skin for good, I feel like I've made a step forward. Far enough forward to halt the quest altogether? Not quite. But we're moving in the right direction at least. 

BeautyNatalie Stubbs