SolaWave advanced skincare wand review: This thing really works

It’s no secret that skincare is trending right now, and a quick glance at social media proves it. Celebrities and influencers alike have jumped on the “skincare as self-care” bandwagon, and the resulting bevy of must-have products can be overwhelming, to say the least. From the best Korean beauty products to the latest skin care gadgets, there is a wide choice. However, skin care (fortunately) is far from scrubbing your skin microbeadsIsn’t it easier to decide whether a product is just hype or a true holy grail.

Input SolaWave’s advanced skincare wand(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab) with red light therapy. Touted as a science-backed four-in-one skincare product, this tiny wand is on a mission to be the next must-have in your medicine cabinet.

How does it work?

As a novice skincare enthusiast, I was definitely intrigued by SolaWave when I first saw it on social media. It was cheaper than a lot of the skincare devices I’d seen in the past, and — with celebrities(Opens in a new window) how Doja Cat, Vanessa Hudgens and Reese Witherspoon are said to love the device – I immediately wanted to know more. The company’s website explains that the tiny device combines four different skincare technologies — red light therapy, microcurrents, facial massage, and therapeutic heat — to deliver what the company calls the “ultimate at-home spa facial.”

I had heard of all of these techniques in the past. For example, red light therapy is touted as a way to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars, redness, acne, and more. And microcurrent facials? I’ve heard some people swear it’s the zapping of a weak electrical current through the skin better than botox(Opens in a new window).

While none of this technology is new – and the science behind it definitely shows promise – I also have a healthy dose of skepticism as to whether a tiny pen-sized wand can produce the same results as professional devices.

red light glowing at the end of a face wand

I was skeptical that the skincare benefits SolaWave promises could be packed into such a small device.
Photo credit: RJ Andersen / Mashable

I put it to the test

Right out of the box I was surprised at how tiny the SolaWave was in my hand. Slightly larger than a pen with a handy swivel head, the tiny device uses “smart-touch activation,” meaning it turns on and off when the ceramic head makes contact with your skin. After charging the device according to the instructions in the box, it was time to get to work.

While the SolaWave turns on immediately when it makes contact with your skin, the company states that it works best on hydrated skin. Rather than bother trying to find the right product, I decided 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 spread the microcurrent therapy evenly across your skin, so I washed and dried my face, applied a thin layer of the serum and was good to go.

How does it feel?

I won’t lie, the first few seconds of stroking the SolaWave wand across my skin felt odd. I was expecting a stronger sensation due to the microcurrent, but it felt like a gentle tingling sensation spreading from the device’s smooth ceramic head. The device felt warm against my skin – the temperature gradually increased the longer I used it – without being hot or uncomfortable.

I began using the wand at the base of my neck, following the instructions in the packet to slide it up and out, gradually moving down each side of my face. For 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 super relaxing to use the device on my face and neck and it almost felt like the device was making it easier for my skin to absorb the products I was using, leaving my skin feeling much more hydrated than it was normal.

a bottle of serum

The SolaWave Wand works best when paired with a serum containing conductive ingredients.
Photo credit: RJ Andersen / Mashable

But does it actually work?

Immediately after using the red light therapy wand, I was surprised to find that I noticed a slight improvement in my skin. It wasn’t dramatic or anything – if I hadn’t taken a selfie earlier that evening I probably wouldn’t have noticed – but there was a visible reduction in puffiness around my eyes, cheeks and jawline.

Over the next two weeks, I diligently incorporated the SolaWave into my skin care routine. I used it morning and night, usually right after washing my face and applying a toning essence and the Renew Complex serum, about five or six days a week. Eventually, I started adding a few minutes at a time to my SolaWave sessions—focusing on areas of my face that were tight, needed some extra deflation, or looked a little dehydrated—and I was surprised at how well it worked.

By the end of my second week, my skin definitely looked better: a few hormonal acne scars on my chin had faded, the redness in my cheeks had gone down, and I swore to my partner that a broken capillary on my cheek was completely gone. On days when I woke up with swollen bags under my eyes due to my seasonal allergies, I was thrilled to discover that SolaWave was a great way to turn them off quickly. While I didn’t notice a huge difference in fine lines or wrinkles (at 32 I only have a few fine lines on my face which are noticeable when I’m dehydrated), I was still shocked at how well the device worked.

I used the red light wand which is said to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, blemishes and dark spots. But SolaWave also offers a blue light wand(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab) (to fight breakouts, boost the effects of serum topicals and improve your skin’s radiance) and a 3-minute spot treatment device(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab)which uses red and blue light to fight acne-causing bacteria.

The SolaWave wand is one of my go-to skincare staples

After months of using the SolaWave Red Light Therapy Wand, it’s officially a regular part of my weekly skincare routine. I don’t always think about using it daily — mostly because my work schedule has been busy and my skincare routine has taken a hit — but I use it whenever I need to blow off, get ready for an event, or just relax. I’ve also discovered that I love using it after applying a face mask – especially when my skin feels dry – so I can really pack away any leftover serum on my skin. Since I first started trying out the SolaWave wand, I’ve also convinced several friends (and three other Mashable editors and writers) to buy the wand. A friend told me it helped heal the hyperpigmentation and bumps she had after a bad bout of hormonal acne, adding, “I use it almost every night after moisturizer and the difference is VERY noticeable.”

I’ve also tried a few other light therapy devices over the past few months, like the celebrity favorite DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro, and the SolaWave is far more convenient and budget-friendly. It’s definitely not as potent as professional red light therapy treatments at your dermatologist’s office — and you certainly have to remember to clean it regularly or risk an acne breakout (after learning that lesson the hard way) — but it is great tool that has definitely changed my skin for the better.

Is it worth it?

To be honest, I have to say that SolaWave(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab) It is worth it. I’ve seen several at-home skincare devices, including red light therapy masks and microcurrent facial devices, ranging from $200 to $500. In comparison, the price of the SolaWave Advanced Skincare Wand is a no-brainer at $149. It’s still a bit more expensive than the beauty devices you might see on the shelves at Target, but considering how well it worked, it’s definitely worth the money.

If you’re looking to save a few bucks, you can also swap out SolaWave’s Renew Complex serum with one of your own favorites. At $32 per bottle, it’s a bit pricey compared to my favorite serums, and I didn’t notice much of a difference once I started experimenting with some I already had on hand. Thankfully, the company’s website says it’s perfectly fine to trade in your own products — especially if they contain conductive ingredients to get the most out of microcurrent technology — so you can try using them with products that include them You already know that they work well with your skin.

If you’re still on the fence? I would recommend following SolaWave on social media(Opens in a new window) or check out the website(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab). The company often offers special deals on their products, so you might be able to save some money by grabbing a discount code on the site. SolaWave advanced skincare wand review: This thing really works

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