The SolaWave Wand Looks and Feels Great, but Does It Work?
An editor reviews the high-tech skincare device.
Just over a year ago, I shocked my face with electrical currents in the name of brighter and tighter skin. It worked — microcurrents actually help kickstart your body’s production of collagen and elastin, two proteins that play a key role in the appearance of skin, a discovery that has fueled the creation of pricey skincare devices such as the ZIIP and the NuFACE. When I heard about the SolaWave Wand, another microcurrent beauty tool, I was intrigued. The ZIIP and NuFACE both start at around $500 USD, a hefty commitment. The SolaWave prices at $149 USD and features microcurrent technology as well as LED light therapy (red light helps stimulate collagen production), low-vibration facial massage (reduces puffiness) and a heating component (increases blood flow to the skin).
I decided to give the four-in-one gadget a try. Unlike the ZIIP and NuFACE, the SolaWave is smaller and more streamlined than its counterparts. A slim aluminum wand, the sleek tool features a rotating head featuring a built LED light panel. Devoid of buttons, the wand automatically activates when placed on the skin and charges via a micro-USB port at the tip of the handle. It’s an undeniably attractive apparatus, and even comes in three colorways: rose gold, matte black and a cotton candy-colored ombré.
To use the SolaWave, simply glide it across your face using upward and outward strokes. The wand’s heating component is super soothing and its microcurrents are entirely painless, unlike the ZIIP. SolaWave recommends using the wand for about five minutes per day, five days a week, and boasts visible results in only two weeks. Though the tool zaps your face with low-voltage electrical currents, using the device with a conductive serum isn’t necessary — this is another element that sets it apart from the ZIIP and NuFACE, which must be paired with special gel primers that ring up at about $50 USD per bottle. That being said, the SolaWave does glide across the face much smoother when used with the brand’s in-house hyaluronic acid conductive serum (warning, it smells bad) or a serum you already own (economical and easy on the nose).
After using the SolaWave Wand five days a week for about three weeks, I haven’t noticed any remarkable changes in my skin. Though some user reviews of the device characterize it as a game-changer for acne, fine lines and uneven skin tone, it hasn’t impacted the occasional “maskne” I develop on my chin, or the shallow lines between my eyebrows and around my mouth. (When I used the ZIIP as a spot treatment, blemishes essentially disappeared overnight.) Though the SolaWave may have greater effects on more mature or actively broken-out skin, it hasn’t made any noticeable difference on my face.
The bottom line? The SolaWave Wand is cheaper than competing skincare tools, but results aren’t guaranteed.