We Tried SolaWave's New Acne Spot Treatment—Here's Our Honest Review

·5 min read
Photo credit: Images courtesy of Solawave
Photo credit: Images courtesy of Solawave


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Pros:

  • Works in three minutes

  • Small size easily pinpoints breakouts

  • Combines red and blue light therapy in one device

  • Travel friendly

  • Mess free

Cons:

  • Can be used only once daily on each acne spot

  • Must hold device in place through duration of treatment

Fans of celebrity red-carpet beauty prep ahead of awards shows, galas, and more may already be familiar with the buzzy SolaWave Advanced Therapy Skincare Wand, a compact microcurrent and LED light therapy tool editors (including this writer) and professional makeup artists love for its sculpting, anti-aging, and anti-acne benefits.

To complement the de-puffing and skin-evening effects of its Skincare Wand that stars like Nicole Kidman and Sydney Sweeney—seen at around the 6:54 mark of her BAZAAR Go to Bed with Me video—love, the brand released a new innovation earlier this month: the Bye Acne: 3 Minute Light Therapy Spot Treatment. The easy tool aims to shrink mild-to-moderate acne down to size in three minutes, with just the push of a button. The pocket-sized spot treatment is SolaWave's first that combines both red and blue light therapy to penetrate beneath the skin's surface, which eliminates acne-causing bacteria, brightens hyperpigmentation, and minimizes lingering inflammation.

As I've struggled with having acne-prone skin for just about as long as I've worn a bra, I took it upon myself to test the Bye Acne's quick turnaround time to zap zits and see how it compares to my beloved salicylic acid topical creams.

Read on for my thoughts on SolaWave's small but mighty anti-acne device after testing it over the course of two weeks—but first, a quick primer on its LED light therapy.

How does the Bye Acne Spot Treatment use targeted blue and red light work to balance skin?

The Bye Acne Spot Treatment combines red and blue LED light—often referred to as "visible light" because its colors are clearly seen by the naked eye—to treat active and potential breakouts while promoting collagen production. The blue LEDs in SolaWave's spot treatment device have a wavelength of 415 nanometers, which is long enough to enter the epidermis, or the outermost and thinnest layer of your skin. Its red LEDs go a bit further—at 630 nanometers—to penetrate to the dermis, or middle and thickest layer of the skin. The dermis contains collagen and elastin to support its overall structure. Because the acne tool's built-in lamp isn't powered by UV light, it doesn't burn your skin, and instead, feels soothing and warm on your face.

"I've been an aesthetician for 28 years, and I've been using LED in my treatment room for the past 15 years," Angela Caglia tells BAZAAR.com. "I love using LED because my philosophy is to protect and nourish the lipid barrier. There are many invasive treatments available, whether it's needles or lasers, that work to trick the skin into thinking it's been wounded to rebuild collagen. But if you use LED, they're actually healing for the outermost layer of skin, or lipid barrier." According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, visible light is not effective against blackheads, whiteheads, acne cysts, or nodules.

Through my testing of a number of skin care methods over the years, I've tried visible light therapy with a professional aesthetician and liked it, so I was hopeful this device would provide similar results when it came to minimizing my acne-prone areas.

How I Tested

As much as I wanted to use the Bye Acne device in back-to-back treatment sessions, SolaWave made it very clear that the tool is designed to be used once per day on a pimple over the course of a couple days. The brand recommends that the user does a light sensitivity test and wait 24 hours before using it on their face, so I tried it on my inner forearm first. My skin appeared fine the next day after the treatment, so I transitioned to my face.

I used the device each day during testing on different areas in accordance with my breakouts. Though it may sound a bit daunting to sit for three minutes while the device works its magic, it helpfully uses a series of beeps—from one to three—that lets me know how many minutes have gone by.

Ease of Use

The Bye Acne device really couldn't be simpler to use—all that's needed is a working outlet and a little patience. After letting it charge for 30 minutes and washing my face, I just place the tool on top of my pimple and wait three minutes for its treatment to end. And since it has a single button that powers it on and off, the tool isn't overly complicated.

Photo credit: SolaWave
Photo credit: SolaWave

Price/Value

At $99 (and currently on sale for $79), I think this rechargeable tool gives you a lot of bang for your buck, primarily since it includes two types of LED lights to clear, calm, and rejuvenate skin. According to SolaWave, the device has a life cycle of around two years, which might help you save money on over-the-counter spot treatments in the long run.

The Verdict

This tool is a perfect fit—in both size and capability—to help manage random acne flare-ups, whether you're at home or on the go. It's also user friendly for experienced skincare enthusiasts or those new to at-home tools, which makes it a truly versatile essential. Though it didn't instantly clear up all my breakouts, I did notice an immediate size difference in my zits right after the first session. And with continued use (roughly two or three treatments for average pimples), areas of my skin completely cleared up.

For those in the market for a wider-reaching breakout-fighting tool, we recommend trying SolaWave's Anti-Breakout Skincare Wand with Blue Light Therapy, which covers broader surface areas of your face to rid it of acne-causing bacteria.

Final Rating: 4.0

Whether you frequently deal with breakouts or are looking to get rid of an occasional flare-up, the SolaWave Bye Acne: 3 Minute Light Therapy Spot Treatment is an excellent match to its lifting and radiance-enhancing sister device, the Advanced Skincare Wand with Red Light Therapy, and worth adding to any skincare rotation.

The SolaWave Bye Acne: 3 Minute Light Therapy Spot Treatment is available to shop online at solawave.co.

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