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{"id":556288442441,"title":"SolaWave Review: Too Good To Be True?","created_at":"2022-03-10T18:53:20-05:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"SolaWave Review: Too Good To Be True?\",\n \"keywords\": \"solawave, solawave review, solawave reviews, solawave wand review, does solawave work\",\n \"description\": \"Our MD and research team reviews the claims made by SolaWave based on medical research to determine if the device can actually reduce wrinkles and provide anti-aging effects. We also review their topical product Renew Complex Serum.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/solawave-review\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Taylor Graber MD\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/taylor-graber\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/taylor-j-graber-md-81351642\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Content Partner\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"medicine, health, anesthesiology, iv therapy, science, drugs, pharmaceutical, medical research, scientific research, medical journals, entrepreneurship, healthcare, orthopedic surgery, biomedical engineering\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of California San Diego\",\n \"Arizona University\",\n \"University of Arizona College of Medicine\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"contributor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/SolaWave_Thumbnail.png?v=1646957687\",\n\"width\": \"1823\",\n\"height\": \"1823\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/www.researchgate.net\/publication\/230642269_Consider_of_Micro-Current%27s_effect_to_variation_of_Facial_Wrinkle_trend_Randomized_Clinical_Trial_Study\", \n\"http:\/\/www.lifesciencesite.com\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.frontiersin.org\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/nuface-review\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3926176\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/28195844\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/33471046\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5383004\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30287361\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC2763764\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5796020\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"Life Science Journal\"\n},\n{\n\"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"sodium hyaluronate\"\n}\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2022-03-11\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Logo.png?v=1641249064\", \n \"width\": 150,\n \"height\": 150\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"Address\": {\n \"@type\": \"PostalAddress\",\n \"streetAddress\": \"50 Union Street, Unit 9\",\n \"addressLocality\": \"Northampton\",\n \"addressRegion\": \"Massachusetts\",\n \"postalCode\": \"01060\",\n \"addressCountry\": \"US\"\n},\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/SolaWave_Review_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1646957361\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eT\u003c\/span\u003ehe SolaWave is a medical device for skincare. The device combines red light therapy, microcurrent and facial massage technologies for anti-aging effect. The brand claims that their product can reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne and dark circles.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll review the claims made by SolaWave based on medical research to determine if it’s likely to be effective or if it’s a waste of money.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eHealth Claim Review - Microcurrent\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/SolaWave_Microcurrent_Health_Claim.png?v=1646957581\" alt=\"SolaWave Microcurrent health claim\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMicrocurrent technology, which applies electrical power to the skin, has little research backing for cosmetic benefits. SolaWave links out to \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.researchgate.net\/publication\/230642269_Consider_of_Micro-Current%27s_effect_to_variation_of_Facial_Wrinkle_trend_Randomized_Clinical_Trial_Study\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eone study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e as proof that their microcurrent technology will be effective.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThis one study appears extremely amateur, and has a title in broken English: “Consider of Micro-Current’s effect to variation of Facial Wrinkle trend.” This sentence is illegible, and we’ve never come across a medical study with a title like this.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAdditionally, the “study” was published in a journal called the “Life Science Journal,” which according to \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"http:\/\/www.lifesciencesite.com\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eits own website\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is open to publishing basically any research submitted.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe do not consider this legitimate medical research, and this leads us to strongly question the ethics of SolaWave.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eReal medical research is published in peer-reviewed journals with strict editorial guidelines and standards for the methodological quality of trials. This is the type of research we cite in our articles, and the “Life Science Journal” does not appear to meet that criteria.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCompare the quality, legitimacy and disclosures in the Life Science Journal to a legitimate medical journal such as \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.frontiersin.org\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFrontiers in Nutrition\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e (which our Scientific Advisor is an editor for), and you’ll likely come to the same determination as we did.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAs we discussed in our recently published \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/nuface-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eNuFace review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, which covered another microcurrent facial device, there doesn’t appear to be any legitimate medical research proving that this technology can improve aesthetic properties of facial skin. There is research proving that it’s effective for wound healing, but that’s not the stated purpose of SolaWave.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe consider the health claims related to microcurrent to be inaccurate.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eHealth Claim Review - Red Light Therapy\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/SolaWave_Red_Light_Therapy_Health_Claim.png?v=1646957604\" alt=\"SolaWave red light therapy health claim\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThere is legitimate medical research backing the efficacy of red light therapy for skin aging, and SolaWave links to it. A 2014 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3926176\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e in the Photomedicine and Laser Surgery journal found that red light therapy improved skin complexion, skin roughness and collagen density in trial participants when compared with a control group.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe wavelength of the red light used in SolaWave, 660 nanometers (nm) is similar to the range of wavelengths used in the trial (611 - 650 nm).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/28195844\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e which used the exact same wavelength of red light as that in SolaWave found that the treatment significantly improved wrinkles around the eyes.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA 2021 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/33471046\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e of red light therapy analyzed the results from many individual clinical trials and concluded that the treatment is a “safe and effective method of skin rejuvenation,” as well as treatment of acne. The study authors stressed that more research is needed to determine the optimal power and wavelength of light used.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe can conclude from the available research that SolaWave’s health claims related to red light are likely to be accurate, and that the company uses a wavelength that seems optimal based on the medical literature.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eHealth Claim Review - Facial Massage\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/SolaWave_Facial_Massage_Health_Claim.png?v=1646957622\" alt=\"SolaWave facial massage health claim\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSolaWave claims that facial massage can make the face appear slimmer, and “drain toxicity from the face’s lymphatic system”. Their device apparently has a massage function.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe brand links to a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5383004\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to back up their massage claims. The study found that facial massage by device may provide an anti-wrinkle and anti-aging effect due to increased expression of certain proteins in the skin.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eL’Oréal, a major skincare brand, funded the study, and every study author is an employee of L’Oréal. This leads to a significant bias in our opinion, and makes the study results somewhat less legitimate.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe also can’t identify any technical specifications published on the SolaWave website indicating the frequency of the massage function. The linked research study stated that the maximum protein expression from the massage treatment was at 75 hertz (Hz). It’s unclear if higher or much lower frequencies still benefit the skin, or may damage it.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWithout this critical information we can’t assess whether the SolaWave massage function is likely to be effective, but in either case we don’t believe there’s enough evidence to state conclusively that facial massage is effective for anti-aging. One research study funded and written by a for-profit skincare company is too low a bar for broad health claims.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMore research may emerge in the future on the cosmetic benefits of device-led facial massage, but for now we wouldn’t recommend this as a facial treatment as there are too many unknowns.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eHealth Claim Review - Therapeutic Warmth\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/SolaWave_Therapeutic_Warmth_Health_Claim.png?v=1646957642\" alt=\"SolaWave therapeutic warmth health claim\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSolaWave’s final health claim is that applying heat directly to the skin, via their device, induces “therapeutic warmth” which can reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eye.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThey do not cite a medical study for this claim, and instead link to an article in Vogue India.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe can’t identify any medical studies proving that hot temperatures from a medical device reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eye, and since SolaWave provides no medical evidence we will consider this claim inaccurate.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eTheir descriptions of “therapeutic warmth” are vague and unscientific. While increased ambient temperatures due to treatments like sauna use may improve skin quality over time, SolaWave needs to prove that increased temperatures due to a hardware device have skin benefits.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eJust like there is no documented medical or cosmetic benefit to holding your face near a closed oven, we don’t believe there will be any benefit to the “therapeutic warmth” provided by SolaWave.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eRenew Complex Serum Review\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSolaWave also sells a topical skincare product called Renew Complex. It’s sold individually and also comes with some of their devices.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe serum contains \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003esodium hyaluronate\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, which is one of the most well-studied topical compounds for skin quality improvement. Hyaluronic acid \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30287361\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eis proven\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e in medical research to reduce wrinkles and promote skin rejuvenation. Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, and has a lower molecular weight meaning it can penetrate deeper into the skin.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eRenew Complex also contains \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003ealoe vera leaf juice\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, which has been shown in a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC2763764\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to enhance collagen and elastin fiber production, making the skin appear more elastic and youthful.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne of the active ingredients in the serum is \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003esunflower seed oil\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, which was included in an extensive \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/labs\/pmc\/articles\/PMC5796020\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e on the skin barrier effects of various plant oils. The researchers found that sunflower seed oil when applied topically has skin barrier repair, anti-inflammatory and skin cancer reduction effects.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOverall we find this to be a well-formulated topical skincare product. It does contain a few preservatives, but they are well-studied and don’t pose any significant health risks.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBy far the most effective ingredient in this formulation is sodium hyaluronate, so price-conscious consumers may want to search for a cheaper formulation with that as the main active ingredient.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSolaWave may provide some dermatological benefits, but we find most of their health claims to be questionable or inaccurate. Of the four technologies included in the device, only red light therapy appears backed by significant clinical research for anti-aging effect.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSolaWave’s Renew Complex Serum is well formulated, and has several ingredients which are proven to optimize skin quality and reduce wrinkles.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2022-03-11T09:10:32-05:00","updated_at":"2022-08-18T23:20:21-04:00","summary_html":"We review the claims made by skincare brand SolaWave based on medical research to determine if the device can actually reduce wrinkles and provide anti-aging effects. We also review their topical product Renew Complex Serum.","template_suffix":"","handle":"solawave-review","tags":"_related:anti-aging, _related:health-device, _related:skincare"}

SolaWave Review: Too Good To Be True?

SolaWave Review: Too Good To Be True?


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.


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The SolaWave is a medical device for skincare. The device combines red light therapy, microcurrent and facial massage technologies for anti-aging effect. The brand claims that their product can reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne and dark circles.

In this article we’ll review the claims made by SolaWave based on medical research to determine if it’s likely to be effective or if it’s a waste of money.

Health Claim Review - Microcurrent

SolaWave Microcurrent health claim

Microcurrent technology, which applies electrical power to the skin, has little research backing for cosmetic benefits. SolaWave links out to one study as proof that their microcurrent technology will be effective.

This one study appears extremely amateur, and has a title in broken English: “Consider of Micro-Current’s effect to variation of Facial Wrinkle trend.” This sentence is illegible, and we’ve never come across a medical study with a title like this.

Additionally, the “study” was published in a journal called the “Life Science Journal,” which according to its own website is open to publishing basically any research submitted.

We do not consider this legitimate medical research, and this leads us to strongly question the ethics of SolaWave.

Real medical research is published in peer-reviewed journals with strict editorial guidelines and standards for the methodological quality of trials. This is the type of research we cite in our articles, and the “Life Science Journal” does not appear to meet that criteria.

Compare the quality, legitimacy and disclosures in the Life Science Journal to a legitimate medical journal such as Frontiers in Nutrition (which our Scientific Advisor is an editor for), and you’ll likely come to the same determination as we did.

As we discussed in our recently published NuFace review, which covered another microcurrent facial device, there doesn’t appear to be any legitimate medical research proving that this technology can improve aesthetic properties of facial skin. There is research proving that it’s effective for wound healing, but that’s not the stated purpose of SolaWave.

We consider the health claims related to microcurrent to be inaccurate.

Health Claim Review - Red Light Therapy

SolaWave red light therapy health claim

There is legitimate medical research backing the efficacy of red light therapy for skin aging, and SolaWave links to it. A 2014 medical trial in the Photomedicine and Laser Surgery journal found that red light therapy improved skin complexion, skin roughness and collagen density in trial participants when compared with a control group.

The wavelength of the red light used in SolaWave, 660 nanometers (nm) is similar to the range of wavelengths used in the trial (611 - 650 nm).

Another medical trial which used the exact same wavelength of red light as that in SolaWave found that the treatment significantly improved wrinkles around the eyes.

A 2021 medical review of red light therapy analyzed the results from many individual clinical trials and concluded that the treatment is a “safe and effective method of skin rejuvenation,” as well as treatment of acne. The study authors stressed that more research is needed to determine the optimal power and wavelength of light used.

We can conclude from the available research that SolaWave’s health claims related to red light are likely to be accurate, and that the company uses a wavelength that seems optimal based on the medical literature.

Health Claim Review - Facial Massage

SolaWave facial massage health claim

SolaWave claims that facial massage can make the face appear slimmer, and “drain toxicity from the face’s lymphatic system”. Their device apparently has a massage function.

The brand links to a medical study to back up their massage claims. The study found that facial massage by device may provide an anti-wrinkle and anti-aging effect due to increased expression of certain proteins in the skin.

L’Oréal, a major skincare brand, funded the study, and every study author is an employee of L’Oréal. This leads to a significant bias in our opinion, and makes the study results somewhat less legitimate.

We also can’t identify any technical specifications published on the SolaWave website indicating the frequency of the massage function. The linked research study stated that the maximum protein expression from the massage treatment was at 75 hertz (Hz). It’s unclear if higher or much lower frequencies still benefit the skin, or may damage it.

Without this critical information we can’t assess whether the SolaWave massage function is likely to be effective, but in either case we don’t believe there’s enough evidence to state conclusively that facial massage is effective for anti-aging. One research study funded and written by a for-profit skincare company is too low a bar for broad health claims.

More research may emerge in the future on the cosmetic benefits of device-led facial massage, but for now we wouldn’t recommend this as a facial treatment as there are too many unknowns.

Health Claim Review - Therapeutic Warmth

SolaWave therapeutic warmth health claim

SolaWave’s final health claim is that applying heat directly to the skin, via their device, induces “therapeutic warmth” which can reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eye.

They do not cite a medical study for this claim, and instead link to an article in Vogue India.

We can’t identify any medical studies proving that hot temperatures from a medical device reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eye, and since SolaWave provides no medical evidence we will consider this claim inaccurate.

Their descriptions of “therapeutic warmth” are vague and unscientific. While increased ambient temperatures due to treatments like sauna use may improve skin quality over time, SolaWave needs to prove that increased temperatures due to a hardware device have skin benefits.

Just like there is no documented medical or cosmetic benefit to holding your face near a closed oven, we don’t believe there will be any benefit to the “therapeutic warmth” provided by SolaWave.

Renew Complex Serum Review

SolaWave also sells a topical skincare product called Renew Complex. It’s sold individually and also comes with some of their devices.

The serum contains sodium hyaluronate, which is one of the most well-studied topical compounds for skin quality improvement. Hyaluronic acid is proven in medical research to reduce wrinkles and promote skin rejuvenation. Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, and has a lower molecular weight meaning it can penetrate deeper into the skin.

Renew Complex also contains aloe vera leaf juice, which has been shown in a medical review to enhance collagen and elastin fiber production, making the skin appear more elastic and youthful.

One of the active ingredients in the serum is sunflower seed oil, which was included in an extensive medical review on the skin barrier effects of various plant oils. The researchers found that sunflower seed oil when applied topically has skin barrier repair, anti-inflammatory and skin cancer reduction effects.

Overall we find this to be a well-formulated topical skincare product. It does contain a few preservatives, but they are well-studied and don’t pose any significant health risks.

By far the most effective ingredient in this formulation is sodium hyaluronate, so price-conscious consumers may want to search for a cheaper formulation with that as the main active ingredient.

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Conclusion

SolaWave may provide some dermatological benefits, but we find most of their health claims to be questionable or inaccurate. Of the four technologies included in the device, only red light therapy appears backed by significant clinical research for anti-aging effect.

SolaWave’s Renew Complex Serum is well formulated, and has several ingredients which are proven to optimize skin quality and reduce wrinkles.





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