According to their website www.myzeno.com, Zeno is a company that specializes in using heat for treatment of both wrinkles (using their “Line Rewind” technology) and for acne (using their “Heat Treat” and “Hot Spot” technologies.). The website also reports “all Zeno devices are painless, chemical-free and non-drying, and are available without a prescription at major mass, drug and food stores and online.” (1)
Zeno Line Rewind – Claims
The Zeno Line Rewind is called “the FIRST anti-aging system that attacks lines and wrinkles with a triple threat: heat, vibration and red light technology.” (2) The company reports the outcome of treatment is immediate due to optical diffusers that hide lines and wrinkles, and also long-term. The device is designed to work with a Wrinkle Reduction Serum containing a peptide complex (that enhances cellular turnover and supports collagen structure) and Resveratrol (an antioxidant). Additionally, the cream contains hyaluronic acid (a component of the extracellular matrix that skin that holds water) and benzoic acid. (3)
The Zeno Line Rewind device warms to “a soothing temperature” vibrates to work the serum into the skin and uses a red LED light to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. (2) The device has a built-in computer that controls the treatment tip to deliver the heat, vibration and light.
Zeno Heat Treat- Claims
The Zeno Heat Treat is a two-part system with a topical component containing 1% salicylic acid that is applied prior to using the Zeno device on skin. The device is designed to assist in acne prevention. It is reported in independent laboratory testing the system kills 99.9% of acne bacteria in one hour. The hand-held device works by warming and vibrates the topical Blemish Prevention Treatment onto the upper layer of the skin. (4) The topical treatment also has some hydration components, and can be used daily. The device has a built-in computer that controls the treatment tip. (4)
The Zeno Heat Treat is only for the prevention and treatment of blemishes, whiteheads and blackheads in persons with mild to moderate inflammatory acne. If you have cystic acne, the Zeno will not work well for you. Additionally, the Heat Treat will not work on acne scars. (5)
Zeno Hot Spot- Claims
The Zeno Hot Spot is a hand-held device that uses heat to destroy bacteria (specifically P. acnes) in a visible blemish. It claims to “provides visible blemish clearing within just one hour and eliminates or significantly reduce 90% of blemishes within 24 hours.” (6) The treatment lasts for 2.5 minutes, and the Hot Spot is more appropriate and efficacious in treating and eliminating individual pimples, not acne overall. Most blemishes need two to three 2 ½ minute treatments to be completely eliminated. (6).
Clinical Trials on Zeno Hot Spot
The Zeno Hot Spot is the only product that has clinical evidence reported on the Zeno website. The Hot Spot is cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of mild to moderate acne after a 14-day randomized, controlled, double-blind study assessing the safety and effectiveness of Zeno for treating acne blemishes. (6) The results showed that 90% of blemishes treated with Zeno disappeared or faded within 24 hours and 96% of blemishes disappeared or faded within 48 hours. Additionally, 84% of blemishes disappeared or faded with only two treatments. (6)
Further testing on an unknown number of subjects with two similar acne blemishes, was performed to evaluate the Zeno against a placebo device. Each blemish received a total of three treatments of 2 ½ minutes each and was assessed by the physician investigator prior to each treatment and again on Day 5. (6) Subjects also performed self-assessment for 14 days. Reportedly blemishes that were treated with Zeno resolved at a faster rate than those treated with the placebo device (an average of 53.7 hours (2.3 days) faster). (6) Additionally, improvement was shown 30.8 hours (1.3 days) more quickly than those treated with the placebo device. (6) Overall, 96% of the blemishes treated with Zeno achieved resolution or improvement within 48 hours versus 63% of the placebo-treated blemishes. Also 100% of the blemishes treated with Zeno achieved resolution or improvement within 72 hours versus 75% of the placebo-treated blemishes. (6)
Warnings and Risks
All Zeno products are not indicated for use on rosacea, dermatitis, psoriasis, kerastosis pilaris, boils, cystic acne, or other dermatological conditions. If you have sensitive skin, it may become red after using the Zeno products. (3)
Light Treatment and Acne
Light therapy attempts to help prevent papules and pustules (inflamed, red zits) and does not work well for small blackheads or cystic acne. Light therapy from at-home devices must be performed normally twice per day, and these use blue and sometimes blue + red light. Blue light excites porphyrins in sebaceous glands (microscopic compounds inside acne bacteria) that kill the bacteria. Red light is less researched but may help reduce inflammation and improve healing. (7)
The FDA approved a home device (ThermaClear®) that provides a pulse of heat for acne treatment after an unpublished five-day trial of the device compared heat treatment on one side of the face with no treatment on the other side. A blinded analysis of photographs found that a greater percentage of treated lesions (44 versus 11 percent of untreated lesions) completely cleared. (8)
However, because of the lack of published studies supporting their efficacy and safety, heat sources are not recommended as first-line treatments for acne. (8) Studies have historically been small and results tend to vary widely (from “statistically insignificant” to 81% clearance of acne). (7) At this time, literature points toward blue and red light in combination as slightly better than blue alone, but at best moderate and temporary improvement of acne. According to a meta-analysis published by the British Journal of Dermatology in 2009, “our review found only limited or no benefit is given by light therapies alone.” (7)
Indeed, no published studies in peer-reviewed journals could be found on any of the three products made by Zeno.