This past March, I entered a terrifying but stimulating new era: my forties. You often hear about this age as when women stop caring so much about other people’s opinions – including how they look – and while I can’t confirm or deny this theory just yet, I can say I’m trying. to embrace the literal skin I’m in while allowing myself to participate in beauty rituals and regimes that make me feel good. For my last experiment, I tried out the SolaWave wand: one of the liveliest beauty tools around and something that has probably already flooded your Instagram feed.
Before I get into the technical details of this device, I’ll share a bit of background. I have always been obsessed with skincare and beauty products (I would save my allowance or my babysitter to splurge on the Japanese washing grains and cucumber toner from The Body Shop) and I am diligent about my current routine: a gentle cleanser, AHA / BHA Toner, light moisturizer and face oil, as well as rotating face cups, gua sha, or micro-current home treatments (j ‘use NuFace for a few years). My main skin care goals are improving tone and texture and reducing irritation, especially around my skin where I may be prone to hormonal acne episodes. And while I’ll never say never, I haven’t been ready to pull the trigger while trying the injectables yet, so this fits my criteria for non-invasive, low-engagement treatment.
A few things about the SolaWave appealed to me, but mainly its claims as a multi-tool that costs less than $ 150 (but I was good with mine). The device offers four types of treatments in a thin, lightweight, USB-charged wand: red light therapy, microcurrent, massage and heat. According to the brand’s website, results can include improved radiance, minimized acne and fine lines, more toned facial muscles, reduced puffiness and better absorption of the product, and you can see results. with just five minutes of use per day in two weeks. Specifically, 93% of users noticed “more vibrant, lifted skin” during this time, according to the brand’s research.
About these claims: I spoke with a few skin care experts about the potential effectiveness, and overall the consensus was that a low light, microcurrent device like this There are some benefits to it, but it shouldn’t be expected to replace office treatments that are more potent or injectable like Botox and fillers – but it could help you maintain your results. “In my professional opinion, if someone chooses to use a microcurrent device at home, they should be in the idea that it is preferable as a maintenance modality”, explains Dr. Rachel Maiman, dermatologist at Marmur Medical. “For example, if someone has had in-office treatment and wants to keep their skin toned and preserve their results for as long as possible, that can help. When used alone, however, results are unlikely to meet expectations. ”
Let me also summarize what they said about the individual benefits, starting with red light therapy. “Some experts believe the red LED light acts on skin fibroblasts, which play a role in collagen production,” New York-based dermatologist Dr Hadley King Explain. “So in theory, red light could help reverse some signs related to photoaging of the skin, but in reality we don’t have enough scientific evidence yet to prove effectiveness.” However, Dr David Goldberg, dermatologist and co-author of Light years younger and the secrets of beautiful skin, is a little more confident about the potential of LED treatments, but notes that you can get more dramatic results if you book a session with your dermatologist. “I’ve done several of the published studies on using light, low-intensity, office-based treatment for both acne and healthier skin – it works,” he says. “[The caveat] is SolaWave is nowhere near as powerful as our in-office treatments and will never work as well. ”
When it comes to microcurrent, there is a similar lack of evidence, but dermatologists believe it can promote muscle tone, making your skin appear tighter, but Dr. Goldberg mentions that it may be of more help on the skin. some parts of the face than others. . “It’s the opposite of Botox, which softens muscle tone,” he explains. “It can temporarily tighten the skin of the cheeks and jaw. Do not use it on the forehead and crow’s feet where you want to soften wrinkles, not tighten them. Plus, he says these types of devices require consistent use to maintain your results, and the home versions are significantly weaker than what you would get on an office visit.
While Dr. King believes the benefits of massage (to slow breathing and stimulate the lymphatic system) can be achieved with a variety of tools or your hands, the SolaWave has an advantage. “When used correctly, narrow tools can perform lymphatic drainage massage that can reduce puffiness on the face for up to 24 hours,” she says. “Random rubbing will not accomplish this, and the wide shape of the jade roller rolling pin is less likely to allow true drainage to deflate the face.”
The tool also warms up pleasantly (just slightly above body temperature) when in use, which Dr. Maiman says can lead to better product absorption and a healthy glow. “Exposing the skin to high temperatures promotes vasodilation of blood vessels, improving the delivery of oxygen and nutrients,” she explains. “With greater availability of vital substrates for cellular activity, tissue function is optimized.” That said, she adds that the vasodilator effects are probably no different than what you would notice after a good workout.
A few other notes: The SolaWave wand is not recommended for women who are pregnant, living with cancer, have a pacemaker, or are under the age of 18. It is also not intended for use on the chest, breasts, center of the throat, groin, or eyeballs and you should skip broken or bruised skin. That said, the wand can be used in conjunction with injectables and retinol products – just don’t use the latter with your tool in the same session.
The SolaWave is intended for use immediately after a certain type of conductive product, and the brand offers a few serums for this purpose. However, I raided my closet for a similar aloe vera product (anything fatty will not be as conductive) and after my morning cleansing and applying said serum I spent five minutes per day sweeping the device up and out, starting with my neck. and finish on my forehead – with a little extra TLC under my chin and eyes. I would then apply my moisturizer and any other skin care or makeup of the day and just get on with my business.
I have to admit it’s compelling to use. With a slight vibration and extra warmth, it felt like a decidedly luxurious upgrade to my diet. I actually had to remember when the five minutes were up – or I could have kept dragging it across my face all day.
At the start of my two weeks my chin was inflamed and I had just spotted my very first spot of melasma on my right cheek (I’m prone to freckles so it only seemed like a matter of time before one only one surface). By the end of my experience, I had noticed that I felt more confident without makeup due to a more even skin tone and boosted glow that was even noticed in Zoom meetings and Instagram stories (from those who didn’t know I’d started using something new!). As expected by the dermis, the results weren’t really impressive, but I noticed a difference and others as well. And considering the price, portability, ease, and fun of use, my two cents is that the SolaWave wand is a great starter tool for anyone who wants something that is a simple and affordable addition to their routine. current skin care.
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