SolaWave Wand Review
This skincare tool is the most luxurious part of my routine
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Well, I’ll say it: I’ve never used an at-home skincare tool. I may be a beauty writer, but many of these tools come with a hefty price tag—typically $100 or more—that doesn’t jive with my fresh-out-of-college budget. However, SolaWave sought to change my skincare routine by sending news of its Advanced Skincare Wand to my inbox.
What is SolaWave?
SolaWave is a skincare brand that wants to make “beauty and self-care accessible for all” with its two skincare wands: the Skincare Wand with Red Light Therapy and the Skincare Wand with Blue Light Therapy. As the names suggest, their differences lie in the type of light they use. The former uses LED red light to “reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, blemishes, and dark spots,” and the latter uses blue light to “fight against breakouts, boost the effects of serums and topicals, and improve your skin's radiance.”
Both wands look similar to a disposable razor with a head that emits light onto the skin. The tools are meant to be used alongside the brand’s Renew Complex Serum, which claims to "activate" the wands. The Skincare Wand with Red Light Therapy retails for $149 and the Skincare Wand with Blue Light Therapy costs $139, though Amazon sells them for less. Meanwhile, the 1-ounce serum bottle retails for $32.
How I tested the SolaWave Wand and Renew Complex Serum
Because this is my first foray into the world of at-home skincare devices, I decided to use the Skincare Wand with Red Light Therapy, which the brand sent to me, three times a week over the course of five weeks to see if it made any substantial changes to my skin. Per the brand’s directions, I used the wand five minutes per session after cleansing, and I opted to reach for it at night because I felt it was a relaxing way to end my day.
SolaWave Advanced Skincare Wand with Red Light Therapy
The wand features “therapeutic warmth,” “low vibration,” and “microcurrent” settings for use alongside the red light. The warm temperature is supposed to help bolster skincare absorption and curb the onset of redness. Meanwhile, the vibration purports to “decrease the appearance of puffiness” and foster a radiant complexion. Unlike the other two features, the microcurrent asserts that it goes beyond the skin’s surface by “stimulat[ing] the muscles and deeper layers of the skin,” which, in turn, “helps with signs of aging.”
As directed by the wand’s instructions, I applied the SolaWave Renew Complex Serum to my face before placing the wand on my skin—the wand will only turn on once it comes in contact with a “hydrated surface.” However, you don’t have to use the brand’s serum if you don’t want to, as the instructions say using “any facial mist, moisturizer, [or] serum of your choosing” will work just as well. Once my face was coated in a thick layer of the Renew Complex Serum, I moved in upward and outward motions, beginning at my jawline and gliding up toward my under-eye area. When it came to my forehead, though, I moved the wand in vertical motions from the tops of my eyebrows up to my hairline.
The descriptions of the wand’s four features (light, warmth, vibration, and microcurrent) may sound like they could irritate the skin, but my whole experience was very soothing. For example, the wand’s warm touch was not scalding hot, and the microcurrent’s vibrations gently pulsed against my skin. Before trying out the Advanced Skincare Wand, I saw some fine lines on the far right side of my forehead (thanks, stress!), and after using the wand for five weeks, they were barely noticeable to me, leading me to believe that the wand’s red light may live up to its claims. Furthermore, my under-eyes have always been a problem area, and it looks like the skin below my eyes is not as puffy as it once was. I firmly believe that not a single product or treatment can banish my inherited dark circles—though, I wish—but a device that can help reduce my under eye puffiness is a win for me.
SolaWave Renew Complex Serum
Like salt and pepper or milk and cookies, the SolaWave Advanced Skincare Wand isn’t complete without the Renew Complex Serum—or at least some sort of serum or moisturizer—as it’s what gets the wand to turn on. The blue-tinted serum is formulated with hyaluronic acid to plump the skin, cucumber fruit water to calm, and blue tansy oil to prevent breakouts. It also claims to “evenly distribute the wand's microcurrent energy across your skin.”
The serum made my skin feel nice and soft, but I noticed that one to two drops on each section of my face wasn’t cutting it. Instead, I had to use about three drops because my skin started to dry about halfway into each of my five-minute-long sessions. Because I had to use quite a bit of product to keep the wand activated, I’ve already used one-third of the bottle within a matter of five weeks. The serum may have left my skin feeling soft and looking supple, but it fell short when I realized that I’d have to dole out $32 every couple of months for the serum.
To test the theory that the wand can activate with other liquids, I prepped my skin with a $20 bottle of the Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum ahead of two SolaWave sessions, and the wand worked just as well as it did when I used the Renew Complex Serum.
Are the SolaWave Wand and Renew Complex Serum worth it?
Yes, but seeing results takes patience.
After reading the product claims, I went into this experience with the expectation that the SolaWave Wand would make my pesky, crimson-colored acne scars disappear. This didn't happen, but results appeared in other ways: The skin under my eyes is not as puffy as it once was and the lines on the right side of my forehead appear to have faded away, so I believe the wand delivered on its puffiness-reducing and fine line-diminishing claims.
Despite the difference in expectation versus reality, I think SolaWave is worth its $149 price, especially if your budget does not allow for in-office cosmetic treatments like botox and fillers. But, as I learned, what you wish for doesn’t always come true, so I’d suggest purchasing this wand with the mindset that the results you want to see may not come to fruition—a gamble with most skincare items.
My thoughts differ on the tool’s sidekick: Given that you need a lot of the Renew Complex Serum to keep the wand going, I wish that it came in a bigger bottle, so I’d suggest forgoing it and using a serum, facial mist, or moisturizer that you already have at home.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.