It’s no secret that skincare is trending right now, and a quick look at social media proves it. Celebrities and influencers alike are getting on board the “skincare as self-care” train, and the resulting crowd of must-have products can be overwhelming to say the least. From the best Korean beauty products up to the latest skin care gadgets, there are many to choose from. However, while skin care has (thankfully) far from scrubbing your skin microbeadsit has never been easier to decide if a product is just hype or the real holy grail.
entry Solawave’s advanced skincare wand(opens in new tab) with red light therapy. Touted as a science-backed, four-in-one skin care tool, this little wand is on a mission to become the next must-have in your medicine cabinet. (Since this review was originally published, Solawave has released the new Radiant Renewal skincare wand(opens in new tab)which is an upgraded version of the original wand.)
So how does it work?
As a new skin care enthusiast, I was definitely intrigued by Solawave the first time I saw it on social media. It’s cheaper than a lot of skin care products I’ve seen before, and — on the popular ones(opens in new tab) like Doja Cat, Vanessa Hudgens, and Reese Witherspoon who reportedly love the device — I immediately wanted to know more. The company’s website explains that the small device combines four different skin care technologies — red light therapy, microcurrents, facial massage, and therapeutic heat — to provide what the company describes as “ultimate at-home spa facial.”
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I’ve heard of all these techniques before. Red light therapy, for example, is recognized as a way to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars, redness, acne, and more. And microcurrent facial? I’ve heard some people swear that zapping a low level of electricity through your skin is better than botox(opens in new tab).
However, while none of these technologies are new – and the science behind them certainly shows promise – I also have a healthy dose of skepticism as to whether a small pen-sized wand can deliver the same results. results like professional grade equipment.
I doubt the skin care benefits promised by the Solawave could be packed into such a small device.
Credit: RJ Andersen / Mashable
I tried it
Straight out of the box, I was surprised at how small the Solawave felt in my hand. Little more than the size of a pen with a convenient swivel head, the tiny device uses “smart-touch activation” which means it turns on and off when the ceramic head comes in contact with your skin. After charging the device according to the package instructions, it’s time to work.
While Solawave turns on immediately when it comes into contact with your skin, the company explains that it works best on hydrated skin. Instead of scrambling to find the right product, I chose to stick with their recommended Renew Complex Activating Serum. With ingredients like blue tansy oil, hyaluronic acid, and Aloe vera, the serum is designed to help evenly distribute microcurrent therapy across your skin, so I wash and dry my face, apply a thin layer of serum, and started.
How does it feel?
I’m not going to lie, the first few seconds of swiping the Solawave wand across my skin felt weird. I was expecting a stronger sensation due to the microcurrent, but it was more like a mild tingling sensation spreading from the smooth ceramic head of the device. The device felt warm on my skin – it gradually increased in temperature with prolonged use – without being hot or uncomfortable.
I started using the wand at the base of my neck, following the instructions on the package to flick it up and out as I gradually moved to each side of my face. During my first session, I started small – Solawave recommends starting with a five-minute session, three to five times a week – and I found that I really enjoyed the process.
It was very relaxing to use the device on my face and neck, and it almost felt like the device made my skin absorb the products I used faster, so my skin felt more hydrated than normal.
The Solawave wand works best when paired with a serum that has conductive ingredients.
Credit: RJ Andersen / Mashable
But is it effective?
Immediately after using the red light therapy wand, I was surprised to notice a slight improvement in my skin. It wasn’t dramatic or anything – if I hadn’t taken a selfie earlier that night, I probably wouldn’t have noticed – but there was a noticeable reduction in puffiness around my eyes, cheeks, and jawline.
For the next two weeks, I diligently incorporated Solawave into my skin care routine. I use it morning and night, usually after washing my face and applying a toning essence and the Renew Complex serum, about five or six days a week. Eventually, I started extending my Solawave sessions by a few minutes at a time – adding some focused attention to areas of my face that were stressed, needed more de-puffing, or looked which was quite dehydrated – and I was surprised at how good it was. it works.
By the end of my second week, my skin definitely looked better: Some hormonal acne scars on my chin had disappeared, the redness on my cheeks was down, and I swore to my partner that a broken capillary on my cheek is completely gone. . On days when my seasonal allergies wake me up with bags under my eyes, I’m glad to know that Solawave is a great way to knock them out quickly. While I didn’t notice a huge difference in fine lines or wrinkles (at 32, I only have a few lines on my face that are noticeable when I’m dehydrated) I was still surprised at how well the device worked.
I use the red light wand, which is designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, blemishes, and dark spots. But Solawave also offers a three-minute spot treatment device(opens in new tab)which uses red and blue light to target acne-causing bacteria, and is used to offer a blue light wand (intended to fight against breakouts, enhance the effects of serum topicals, and improve to lighten your skin), which has sadly been discontinued.
The Solawave wand is one of my skincare staples
After months of using the Solawave red light therapy wand, it is officially a staple in my weekly skin care routine. I don’t always remember to use it everyday – mostly because my work schedule is hectic and my skin care routine is hit – but I use it whenever I need to depuff, prep for an event, or need to relax. I’ve also discovered that I like to use it after putting on a face mask — especially when my skin is dry — so I can really pack in any leftover serum on my skin. Since I first tried the Solawave wand, I’ve also convinced a few friends (and three other Mashable editors and writers) to buy the wand. A friend told me it helped heal the hyperpigmentation and bumpiness she had after a bad bout with hormonal acne, adding, “I use it after moisturizing almost every night, and the difference is is VERY noticeable.”
I’ve also tried a few other light therapy devices over the past few months, like the popular DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro, and the Solawave is super easy and budget-friendly. It’s definitely not as powerful as the professional red light therapy treatments at your dermatologist’s office — and you definitely have to remember to clean it regularly or risk an acne breakout (learning that lesson the hard way way) – but it’s a great tool that has definitely changed my skin for the better.
Is it worth it?
Honestly, I have to say yes, the Solawave(opens in new tab) worth it. I’ve found many at-home skin care products, including red light therapy masks and microcurrent facial devices, that cost anywhere from $200 to $500. Compared to this, the Solawave advanced skincare wand’s $149 price tag pales in comparison. It’s a little more expensive than the beauty tools you might find on the shelf at Target, but considering how well it works, it’s definitely worth the splurge.
If you want to save a few bucks, you can also swap out Solawave’s Renew Complex serum for one of your own favorites. At $32 a bottle, it’s a bit pricey compared to my favorite serums, and I didn’t notice much of a difference when I started experimenting with the few I already had. Fortunately, the company’s website says it’s fine to swap in your own products — especially if they have conductive components to help take advantage of the microcurrent technology — so you can try using them in products. which you already know is good for your skin.
If still on the fence? I would recommend following Solawave on social media(opens in new tab) or checking the website(opens in new tab). The company often offers sales on its products, so you can save a little money by snapping a discount code on the website. Plus, since the new Radiant Renewal wand came out, the original Solawave wand is discounted to $89(opens in new tab).