Updated: June 4, 2015

Zeno Acne Treatment - What is it?

I don't think it matters what age you are -- 13, 23, or 33, no one likes to get pimples. Pimples and acne make a lot of people feel embarrassed, and it's one of those problems that everyone seems to sell a solution to. From soaps and creams and gels to laser treatments, there are a lot of products out there that claim to help reduce acne pimples. A fairly newcomer to the block is the Zeno acne treatment system (known just as "Zeno"). Zeno is a small device that looks like a mini cigarette lighter, about the size of a cell phone (see photos below). What is Zeno acne treatment? Does the Zeno acne treatment work? Does it really clear up pimples? In this guide, we will take a detailed look at what Zeno is, how it works, compare consumer comments and reviews about its effectiveness, and see how much it costs and where to buy Zeno.
zeno acne treatment


How does the Zeno acne treatment work?

First, what causes acne and pimples? Acne occurs when a bacteria called P. acnes gets inside blocked pores, where it grows and breaks down the pore, allowing other bacteria into the skin. This results in red, swollen pimples. Some anti-bacterial drugs like benzoyl peroxide and tetracycline can kill the P. acnes bacteria, so they are used in its treatment. Zeno takes a different approach. Zeno uses targeted heat to to create a "heat shock response" in the acne bacteria -- heat shock proteins are activated and the P. acnes bacteria die, resulting in less redness and swelling as the pimple starts to disappear. How does it do this? The Zeno is powered by a rechargeable battery. You push the POWER button to turn it on (you cannot use it while it is charging with the wall charger -- you must unplug it first). When you turn it on, it takes about 30-60 seconds for the tip to warm up to around 120F degrees. You place the tip against the pimple area and hold it there for 2 and a half minutes -- the Zeno will make a sound to let you know when the time is up. If needed, you repeat this treatment 2 more times every 12 hours. The heat is not hot enough to burn you (no hotter than a hot washcloth), though it may leave your skin a little red for an hour or so after treatment. But the amount and duration of heat is enough to do its work on the P. acnes bacteria. Ideally, you treat the pimple when you just begin to feel it at the earliest stages -- that way it is stopped and begins to fade before it gets too bad.

The little blue lights on the front tell you how many treatments you have remaining in the tip (when you get to a single flashing blue light, you are down to your last 5 uses) -- the tips are disposable and you have to keep buying new ones, that's part of the catch and a drawback to this system, as you keep paying forever as long as you use the product. The tip cartridges just pop on and off the top of the Zeno, making it easy to use. Zeno claims that the tips somehow lose their exact heating ability over time and thus need to be replaced to remain accurate and effective -- hmmmmm?? I don't know, but I'm guessing they are programmed to expire to get you to keep spending money, just like the old razor and blade tactic. It seems that the engineering technology exists to heat something up to an exact temperature, over and over (I know my oven can do it!). Anyways, you don't have a choice -- when the tip is exhausted, it's done, you can't use it anymore. Zeno does NOT work on blackhead and whiteheads, or on severe nodular or cystic acne. And Zeno is not meant to replace regular skin care and cleanliness -- it is just part of a treatment regimen for pimples that do appear.


The homepage for Zeno is MyZeno.com. The Zeno comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, so you can always try it for a month and return it for a refund if you are not happy with it. Their FDA-reviewed research shows 90% of pimples treated with Zeno disappeared or faded within 24 hours. On their website, you can buy a Zeno with a 60-count tip for $129. The Zeno MD comes with a 150-count treatment tip and leather case and mirror -- $200. Replacements tips are $25 for a 60-count tip, $35 for a 90-count tip, and $55 for a 150-count tip. We checked the same products on Amazon to compare prices -- the basic Zeno 60 was $20 cheaper, the Zeno MD was $40 cheaper. When it came to tips, prices were close but generally still a few bucks cheaper at Amazon. In general, we recommend people shop with Amazon -- they are the biggest online retailer and have earned the trust of tens of millions of shoppers over the last 10+ years.

Zeno Acne Treatment Reviews:

We looked around for reviews and comments about Zeno - how was it working for real people with real pimples? On the Acne.org community site, the Zeno received a rating of 3.2 out of 5 according to 80 user testimonials. The biggest complaint was that it was expensive, but the vast majority of users felt that it improved the look and condition of their skin and made pimples go away faster. At Amazon, the basic Zeno received just shy of 4 out of 5 stars from almost 90 reviewers. There were 42 5-star ratings, but also 15 1-star ratings (as well as others in between), meaning for some people, it just didn't work. For many, the Zeno worked best only when applied to a forming pimple in the very early stages. Several people also had complaints about the non-replaceable battery -- when it dies (estimated at 3-4 years, though some died earlier) you have to throw out your $100 Zeno and buy another one. No one complained of any pain or discomfort while using it. One big benefit of using Zeno is that it does not dry or irritate your skin like many soaps and creams that contain chemicals, and many users like that. So our advice is to buy a Zeno and try it -- if you're in the 50-70% of people that find it works, great. If not, try it for 30 days and return it per their return policy, no harm done. Of course the other issue is cost -- most people will pay just about anything for clearer skin, but you'll have to figure out how many pimples you get and how often to see how much a Zeno would cost you to use over the course of a month or year.

Zeno Video Review - Watch the Zeno in Action!

Below is a user video review of the Zeno from YouTube. She shows you how to use it in real-time, and discusses her experiences with it. The video is about 5 minutes long if you want to watch the whole thing.