This $300 Tool Promises to Soothe, Lift, and Revive Tired Skin — and Honestly, I’m Addicted
Miracle product it is not — nothing is! — but effective? Yes. Definitely.
I first tried the Optimizer Voyage Tri-Light after a notably bad day of travel. I had taken a meeting in a different city (one roundtrip flight in the span of 12 hours!) and, thanks to weather and mechanical problems, had gotten home much later than planned.
To deal with our delay, my group had ordered pizzas to the tiny airport where we were waiting and busted out little bottles of vodka and Chardonnay. I was dehydrated and tired, my sodium levels high but my morale low, and it showed in my face. All of my main skin issues — acne, inflammation, discoloration, unevenness — were out in full force.
Though I wasn’t exactly in the mood to try new things, I figured it was a good time to test out this much-hyped product from Skin Inc. When it launched in 2016, the Tri-Light quickly took the internet by storm — gaining a following among influencers and celebrities and appearing on beauty vlogs the world over. The company just launched a new, USB-rechargeable version of the device — which, it should be noted, is about the size of a remote control. According to the company’s website, 85% of users in a consumer study said the Tri-Light helped their skin become “revived and radiant,” look “younger and more beautiful,” and retain more moisture. It promises that the product will quickly pay for itself, offering the benefits of 3,000 personalized facials.
Okay, I’ll bite.
First, some background. The Tri-Light uses a combination of low-frequency stimulation and colored LED light ("chromotherapy") to treat various concerns: red light to promote firmness and smooth wrinkles, blue to reduce inflammation and acne-causing bacteria, yellow to even tone and brighten dull skin, and various combinations therein. When the stimulation feature is turned on, the metal probe in the center of the device provides a light tickling sensation that is supposed to activate cell regeneration and help the ingredients in your mask or serum absorb more effectively.
After applying a water-based mask or serum, you use it to massage your face in slow circles or vertical strokes for up to ten minutes. I went with Skin Inc's Pure Deep Sea Hydrating Mask, which was sent to me to test along with the Tri Light. It's a cool, clear jelly that felt soothing and allowed the device to glide easily over my face; while some of the ingredients are a bit far-fetched (who knew you needed nutrient-rich water from the deep sea off of Okinawa?!) the hyaluronic acid certainly did its magical thing.
Other than a suggested ten-minute, twice-a-day session limit, there is no set sequence for the light — users can stick to one color or switch between them as needed. My personal combination is five minutes of blue light (I've always struggled with acne) and five minutes of the orange combo for smoothing and brightening. If I want to avoid an area that's sensitive or painful, the light is still effective if I just hold it close to my skin (though I usually prefer the face massage, which feels quite luxurious).
I've been using the Tri-Light every night (and some mornings) for about two weeks now — and, as a skeptic when it comes to most “miracle products,” I am quite surprised at how effective the treatment actually is. After the first use, I woke up the next morning to find my skin looking refreshed, even-toned, and generally “happy,” and I skipped makeup for work for the first time in years. Using the device each night has kept these results going, and little things that used to bother me (drier, darker skin around my smile lines, old acne scars on my chin) are less noticeable. Miracle product it is not — nothing is! — but effective? Yes. Definitely.
The price point is an issue, too hefty for me to buy for myself if I didn't have a reason to test it for work. But those looking for a secret weapon against the havoc travel wreaks on your skin — one that can be used thousands of times and can fit in your pocket — should give the Tri-Light a chance.
To buy: iloveskininc.us, $295.
A "facial in a box" kit, which also includes a hydrating mask and peel, is available at Bergdorf Goodman (bergdorfgoodman.com, $340). You can also buy the product in a limited-run rose gold edition (nordstrom.com, $277).