Neutrogena's Insta-famous LED mask — which uses red and blue lights to combat acne-causing bacteria and inflammation — has been recalled.
According to a statement on Neutrogena's website, the decision to recall its Light Therapy Acne Mask and Activator — which retailed for $34.99 and was available at most drugstores — was "made out of an abundance of caution." Though the brand insists that the technology is safe for use "by the general population when used once per day as directed," there have been concerns that the device could potentially cause eye damage.
"Reports of visual effects associated with the use of the Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask are rare, generally mild, and transient," the statement reads. "For a small subset of the population with certain underlying eye conditions, as well as for users taking medications which could enhance ocular photosensitivity, there is a theoretical risk of eye injury."
"It has been identified that, for a small subset of potentially susceptible people (including people with certain eye-related disorders e.g. retinitis pigmentosa, ocular albinism, other congenital retinal disorders), repeated exposure may cause varying degrees of retinal damage that could be irreversible and could accelerate peripheral vision impairment or loss," the department wrote in a statement.
The Australian Department of Health also listed "eye pain, eye discomfort, eye irritation, tearing, blinding, blurring of vision, seeing spots/flashes, and other changes in vision" as potential adverse risks. The department advised all Australian consumers, regardless of any underlying eye-related conditions, to stop using the masks immediately. We have reached out to Neutrogena regarding these claims and will update this story when we hear more.
The Neutrogena masks were hugely popular on social media, with celebrities like Lena Dunham posing with them on Instagram.
A Neutrogena representative confirmed to Refinery29 that the Light Therapy Acne Mask has been discontinued, and it's no longer available for purchase through Neutrogena or any of its retailers. However, the Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment, which uses the same technology but is not worn over the face or eyes, is still available for purchase.