This Sleek Red Light Wand Gives Skin An Instant Glow
I'll try almost anything once, but I've developed a certain skepticism around buzzy skin care products that make *big* claims. It takes a lot to convince me that a product is worth the investment. So even when I saw celebs, beauty influencers, and TikTokers alike sharing their impressive results from the Solawave wand, I was hesitant about giving the red light therapy device a go.
Even though I knew the many benefits of red-light therapy facials—including smoother skin and improved collagen density—I wasn't sure the tiny handheld device could give me the same level of results. Ultimately, my best friend got me on board. She was in pre-wedding-skin-care-mode and persuaded me to test out the Solawave to compare our results. Here's how it went.
What is the Solawave wand?
The lightweight, sleek, portable device combines red light therapy, facial massage, microcurrent, and therapeutic warmth into a single treatment, all of which are automatically activated when the wand comes in contact with moisture.
"Red light therapy is a low wavelength red light that causes energy to be produced within a cell," explains board-certified dermatologist and skincare expert, Ramya Garlapati. "This increase in energy helps cells to work more efficiently to repair and rejuvenate the skin."
Using 660-nanometer wavelength red light, the Solawave wand penetrates your skin's surface to ease discoloration and even out the tone, while its microcurrent energy stimulates deeper facial muscles, lifting and tightening from within. The subtle massage works to relax your muscles to reduce puffiness, with the warmth helping to absorb your skin care products and brighten any dark under-eye circles.
Pretty cool, but what does this actually mean for your skin? Garlapati says, "Red light therapy can help to improve the appearance of your skin by stimulating collagen production, reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow to the skin. It reduces the appearance of wrinkles, scarring, acne as well as other dermatologic medical conditions."
In terms of how often you should use it, according to Solawave, the four-in-one device reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, blemishes, and dark spots when used regularly. This means using the Solawave at least three times a week for five minutes per day on clean, moisturized skin. I've kept up with this regimen for the past five months.
And while it sounds somewhat intimidating, it's the results that keep me coming back for more. On the brand's website, you'll find easy-to-follow instructions, along with video and image tutorials. Not to mention, there are a whole lot of impressive before-and-after photos—yup, those always get me, too.
How I incorporate it into my routine.
I'm no stranger to LED light therapy, but I had previously left these fancy tools to the facialists and kept my at-home rituals pretty minimal. When I decided to try the Solawave wand, I didn't expect it to fit so seamlessly into my skin care routine. In fact, I keep the tool on my bedside table with the brand's Renew Complex Serum so they're ready to go for a little self-care moment at the beginning (or end) of the day.
When I'm ready to start my treatment, I apply a generous amount of the serum to clean skin. As someone with combination skin that leans toward dry this time of year, I've discovered that my skin drinks up the formula—so it's always better for me to go slightly heavy with my application. This ensures my skin is slick enough to pull the wand evenly across.
"The great thing about red light therapy is that it can be effective without being invasive," Garlapati confirms. "Since it is not an invasive procedure it does not damage the skin, which minimizes any unwanted side effects that are more commonly encountered with other light and energy based devices." She adds that there is no downtime to red light therapy, which makes it even more desirable.
What the wand has *actually* done for me.
My skin is prone to redness, particularly when I first wake up, but this device has significantly reduced it over the last few weeks. I'll sometimes do half my face, just so I can see the immediate impact on my skin. It always appears more lifted and toned with visibly less puffiness after just five minutes.
I'd probably use this tool for its spa-like warmth and massaging capabilities alone, which relax me immediately! That said, the red light is what really brings the results. Facialists have used LED light therapy for years to help clients smooth out fine lines, fade hyperpigmentation, and even combat acne (Solawave has a tool for that, too). Master esthetician Sarah Akram previously told mindbodygreen, "A brighter and more radiant complexion is achieved just after one [LED light therapy] session. But completing multiple sessions will yield greater results over time."
I can definitely attest. I personally was shocked by the results the first morning after using my new device—and it's only gotten more impressive with time. After two weeks, other people also started to notice, complimenting my "glowy" skin. With each use, it brightens up my dark under-eye circles and eases tension in my face, revealing a less puffy, more sculpted appearance. Over time, I've noticed an improvement in fine lines and a more even skin tone overall. Needless to say, I won't be going for professional treatments quite as often anymore. The Solawave wand has allowed me to achieve similar results from home for way less money. Update: I did see my facialist for the first time since purchasing the Solawave, and she immediately questioned what's changed in my skincare routine.
Despite my hesitation, I firmly believe the Solawave is worth the hype. My previously mentioned bride-to-be friend and I regularly text each other about our "new" skin, and my only regret is that we didn't get our devices sooner.
Carleigh Ferrante is the Commerce Editor at mindbodygreen. She is a born and raised New Yorker, a certified Health Coach, and has a B.A in Creative Writing and Psychology from Hunter College. Her work has appeared in Bustle, The Zoe Report, PureWow, The Everygirl, and more. After years of working in advertising at NBC, FOX, and TikTok, her passion for finding, testing, and writing about the best (and healthiest) products led her to mindbodygreen. In her current role, Carleigh reports on the best products to help the mindbodygreen community live a healthier, more enjoyable life.