What is DermaWand?
Ready to love your skin again? That’s the question posed by DermaWand, a handheld device that uses radio frequency (RF) energy to deliver skin-smoothing treatments in the comfort of your own home.
DermaWand positions itself as a kind of middle-ground treatment—more effective than anti-aging creams and lotions, but not as invasive and costly as injectables or plastic surgery. With regular use, the device claims to:
- Visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles
- Tone and tighten sagging skin
- Help to reduce enlarged pores and uneven texture
- Reduce the look of puffy eyes
With over 2.5 million devices sold worldwide, DermaWand’s claims are obviously striking a chord with consumers. The device has also been promoted on network television, thanks to spots on Rachel Ray and Dr. Oz.
But can any at-home device really deliver the dramatic anti-aging benefits DermaWand promises?
To answer that question, we’ll take a look at how DermaWand works, the technology behind the device, and customer reviews of their results. But first...
Who’s Behind DermaWand?
The creator, inventor, and overall face of DermaWand is Christina Boves. Boves conceived the DermaWand after 30 years as a cosmetic advisor and instructor. In this video, she states that her inspiration came from the understanding that aging skin needed daily treatments to improve—and that anti-aging creams and lotions just weren’t cutting it.
Boves turned to radio frequency (RF) treatments because of their high rate of success lifting, smoothing, and giving the skin a youthful appearance.
She states that skin still needs moisture and that the DermaWand isn’t intended to completely replace your skincare routine. However, as a skin professional, Boves claims that none of the topical products that she had access to could match the results she saw from daily RF treatments, which inspired her to create a device that was both safe and effective for at-home use.
Christina Boves partnered International Commercial Television Inc. (ICTV), a health and beauty retailer that makes and sells the DermaWand.
ICTV advertises primarily through infomercials. However, unlike many As Seen On TV brands, ICTV holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (as of 9/27/16).
Christina Boves’ experience combined with a positive BBB rating of ICTV certainly places DermaWand in a positive light as a legitimate product, so it’s about time we learned how the device works.
How Does DermaWand Claim to Work?
In a nutshell, DermaWand utilizes radio frequency (RF) waves to stimulate your skin. According to DermaWand’s website, this works in three ways.
First, radio frequency waves create thermal energy—”thermal” being warmth—that are delivered via microcurrents down past the skin’s surface. (Meaning that you can’t just fall asleep on a heating pad to get the safe effect.
Thermal treatments work by creating a controlled injury to the skin that sets a wound-healing response into high gear. This spurs collagen formation and cell regeneration, and firms and plumps the skin.
What temperature needs to be reached for an RF treatment to be effective?
Research shows that the skin must reach 40-45 degrees Celsius to trigger new collagen production. In another video (unrelated to DermaWand) showing an in-office RF skin treatment, Dr. Robert Sigal states that their device reaches approximately 42 degrees Celsius (that’s 107 degrees Fahrenheit for us Americans). Any higher, says Sigal, and the thermal energy affects the fatty layer under your skin, which is undesirable.
Potential customers should note that it’s not stated what temperature DermaWand reaches. We’ll come back around to this point in our conclusion, but remember that there’s a very small window of ideal RF energy when it comes to thermal treatments. Too low, and they won’t be effective. Too hot, and you risk permanently damaging your skin by melting supporting fatty structures and scarring from burns.
Another aspect of DermaWand’s treatment is stimulation. The device claims to deliver gentle microcurrents at 100,000 cycles per second. This supposedly creates a massaging effect that improves circulation, bringing fresh blood and oxygen to the skin.
DermaWand’s claims aren’t off base—massaging motions are known to increase blood flow to an area. Stimulating the skin also encourages lymphatic drainage (fluid retention), so this is likely where DermaWand derives its claims of reducing under eye puffiness.
Finally, DermaWand claims to give off “enriched oxygen” while in use, bathing your skin in a mini atmosphere of fresh, “after a rainstorm” fragrance. According to the device’s website, enriched oxygen helps breathe new life into your complexion and tighten your pores.
Without detracting from the potential benefits of thermal treatments and improved circulation, we’d like to point out that this proposed aspect of DermaWand’s claims perpetuates a common myth: that pores can be “tightened.”
Your pores aren’t tiny, tubular muscles that can constrict and relax. They’re hair follicles that emit sebum (oils). Depending on how oily or dry your skin is, your pores may naturally be larger or smaller than the next person’s. However, whichever size your pores may be, it’s determined by genetics—and it’s permanent.
Yes, you can temporarily reduce the appearance of large pores by applying cold water or certain masks. This plumps up the surrounding skin. They can also get larger throughout your lifetime as your skin begins to sag.
Considering DermaWand’s promise to tighten your overall complexion and reduce signs of sagging, aging skin, those using the device might see a reduction in pore size. However, we have been unable to find any research proving that pores can ever be permanently cajoled into a smaller size than they were during your complexion's peak.
How To Use DermaWand?
Approximately the size and shape of a Clarisonic toothbrush, the DermaWand is a corded device, meaning that you will have to be positioned near an outlet when you treat your skin.
When using DermaWand for the first time, you’re instructed to remove the bulb cap, then turn the dial to Setting 1. Try the device on the back of your hand first, to ensure there are no adverse reactions and that it feels comfortable.
Ready to start your regular treatments? DermaWand is supposed to be used twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. To use the DermaWand, follow these steps:
- Cleanse your face with your preferred product and rinse with warm water.
- Be sure that your skin is completely dry before proceeding.
- Apply a nickel-sized amount of DermaWand Pre-Face or your favorite moisturizer, giving special attention to your delicate eye area.
- Turn the dial to Setting 1 and place the bulb tip directly against your skin. The website states that you’ll feel a “unique sensation” that’s described as a gentle tingling feeling.
- Begin sweeping your DermaWand across your entire face.
- After finishing general sweeps, start with the lifting exercises that are shown in the DermaWand’s accompanying guide. According to DermaWand, the more exercises you perform each day, the sooner you’ll see the new you.
DermaWand states that treatments only take three minutes. However, it seems likely that this time estimate is limited to sweeping the device across your skin and that extra time should be left for facial exercises if you want to see fast results.
When to turn the DermaWand’s dial past Setting 1? According to the product’s website, feel free to crank it up once you no longer feel the same gentle tingling feeling that you did to start. Continue increasing the intensity on the dial a little bit at a time until you have reached your maximum comfort zone.
Note that, if your DermaWand has not been used before, or if the DermaWand has not been used for several days, it may take up to one minute for the bulb to glow.
A few words of caution: While DermaWan is FDA-certified for safe in-home use, users are directed to take care and discontinue use if you experience any excessive peeling, redness or persistent dryness.
Additionally, if you’re prone to broken capillaries, then you shouldn’t use DermaWand for risk of further irritating your skin. Those who suffer from heart conditions, have pacemakers, conditions of the nervous system, or who are pregnant should also avoid using DermaWand.
How Much Does DermaWand Cost?
Considering ordering DermaWand? Your device comes with several accoutrements, including
- DermaWand Radio Frequency Wand
- DermaWand Cosmetics Bag
- Instructional DVD
- DermaWand Beauty Guide
Additionally, DermaWand is sold as part of the DermaVitál System. This set of skin care products includes:
- DermaVitál Pre-Face Treatment
- DermaVitál Hydra Infusion Treatment
- Hydrating Skin Mist
- Hydra Support Moisturizer
(Note that while these products are included, their continued use is not required for the lifetime of the DermaWand device.)
How much will the DermaWand and accompanying system (marketed as a free gift) cost you?
The total cost is $120, plus $14.95 S&H, and a $19.95 processing fee (totaling $154.90). However, potential customers are invited to try DermaWand risk-free for 30 days—just pay the $14.95 P&H up front.
According to the fine print, if you’re not satisfied with your DermaWand within those first 30 days, you can contact their customer service at 1(800) 799-6808 for a refund. Note that the $14.95 is not refundable.
However, if you decide to keep your purchase, here’s what happens:
- Approximately 30 days after your receipt of DermaWand, your card will be automatically charged $39.95 plus $19.95 P&H. (That’s $59.90 total.)
- The remaining of two payments of $39.95 will be automatically charged to your card in 30-day increments.
As long as you’re aware of the terms when purchasing DermaWand, the three sequential charges shouldn’t be a surprise. However, consumers can sometimes be blinded by the phrase “risk-free.”
Just remember that risk-free doesn’t mean that the product is free—and, considering that you only have 30 days to try DermaWand, you may need to go through the trouble of calling customer service and driving to the post office relatively quickly after receiving it to avoid future charges.
What Are Customers Saying About DermaWand?
While many reviewers felt that the price point is attractive when compared to other surgical methods (or even repeated spa treatments), DermaWand doesn’t work overnight, and users complained that its cost wasn’t worth the results they achieved. Other criticisms of the device included:
- Fear of using DermaWand near the delicate eye area
- An odd smell when using the device
- Discomfort when increasing power levels due to an uncomfortable zapping sensation
One reviewer points out that “DermaWand 'irritates' the skin—causing it to swell and give the appearance of being smoother and tighter—thus the reason it is promoted as 'temporary.'”
Positive DermaWand reviews on Amazon stated that the product did make their pores appear smaller and skin tone more refined. Others stated that it was very effective on their neck and chin, although some reviewers hypothesized that older users might be more pleased with the results, as changes in their skin are more apparent.
Since this is our second time covering DermaWand, we can add that the device currently holds a 3.3/ 5-star rating on HighYa, as averaged from three reviews—two being overwhelmingly positive.
First, the caution: Christine warns that those suffering from neuropathy should steer clear of DermaWand, as the RF treatments will aggravate nerve conditions and possible lead to a reaction. However, Christine was able to return her device for a refund without a problem.
The remaining two reviews state subtle-yet-positive results. Brenda Taylor says that regularly using DermaWand helps her 59-year-old skin to glow, and she wishes she'd started with the device years ago.
Sarah, who rated DermaWand 4/ 5-stars, says that regular use has led to an improvement in both her skin texture and pore size. DermaWand also slightly (albeit temporarily) plumps her lips and reduces eye puffiness. However, it has not helped tighten and tone the skin on her face and neck.
Bottom Line: Is DermaWand Worth Your Hard-Earned Dollars?
Can I level with you? After years researching anti-aging products and devices, you start to suspect that everything is a hoax. However, after reading reviews and researching DermaWand a second time around, I’m personally tempted to buy the device.
But, before you get out your credit card to swipe, just a few words of caution:
Like many at-home anti-aging devices, DermaWand promises the same results that you’d see after professional treatments, but with the convenience and reduced cost of performing them at home.
This promise puts DermaWand in a difficult position of straddling the line between safety and efficacy.
Sure, the device might utilize the same technologies as those wielded by professionals, but it’s very unlikely that DermaWand reaches the same temperature as RF devices that are used in a skin clinic. Why? Because those providers have the training and experience required to avoid adverse effects.
But, can it deliver professional results? Due to the product’s website failing to disclose its operating temperature and my experience researching anti-aging devices, it’s my opinion that it’s unrealistic to expect that DermaWand will create drastic changes in your skin’s appearance.
That isn’t to say that DermaWand is ineffective! Only to mean that your satisfaction with DermaWand depends much on your expectations, so be sure that they’re realistic.
Bottom line: If you’re willing to put in the time for twice-daily treatments, understand that purchasing DermaWand leads to a succession of three charges, and don’t expect that regular use will have the same effect as a facelift, you might very well be absolutely pleased with a DermaWand purchase.
And, if you’re not? At least reviews show that the device can be returned for a refund without much of a fuss.
0 out 1 people found this review helpful
Beware of your expectations.
I'm reviewing this for my mother. She also used it on and off for about 6 to 7 months. She had to stop because she had to go back to her home country.
1. Their customer service is "10 out of 10". It was in Spanish when she canceled. The lady was super nice and understanding that she didn't need the shipments anymore. Although the lady suggested giving the enrollment to a friend, but you know, the same thing that happens when you try canceling a gym membership. My mom said she knew no one that will need it, so the lady talked to her supervisor, and the cancellation was finished. Ther have been no more charges to her credit card.
2. How people saw it is a "7 out of 10" because how people saw the difference in my mom is complicated as my mom used it on and off. But the fact that some people noticed positive changes and asked her what she's doing made her keep using it, until she got lazy again and the circle continues. I was the only one that knew, and I really liked her using it. She hardly does anything for herself.
3. My mom smokes and drinks every day, and she didn't use it every day.
4. I would give the products an "8 out of 10." It's in a small square box. The products are small, but remember they make money out of sending it monthly, so think about it. They want to make money, but they should have an option of "If you like it, buy our jumbo bottles." You get the same products plus a gift. I usually took the gift for myself. I had to put numbers on the products, so she doesn't forget what goes first and stuff. I don't know how the "wand" works, mom was scared of it because she said she was being electrocuted, but she got used to it.
5. Overall, the experience is sweet and sour. Mom called the number while I wasn't home and used her debit card. Of course, I was mad. She only had only been around one year in this country. I had to yell at her because of the problems she could put herself and her money into. Other than that, everything was good.
Oh and that she had high expectations, which made her quit often. Because I was skeptical, I was happy about the results. So, don't expect a lot from it. It's a cheaper way and solution. You do it at home, so it does NOT make miracles.
Don't tell more than your closer friends, let the others notice the change, I tell you.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
0 out 1 people found this review helpful
Stay Away if you have Neuropathy
I bought the DermaWand because one of my eyes seem to droop. Since it said droopy eyes I figured I would try it. Took it out if the box and read the instructions. Then decided to try it. At first, my face felt great, like a face massage. I didn't use it for that long and I put it away. About an hour later I had pins and needles feeling in my face. Then down my neck and it kept getting worse. It felt like bee stings in my face. Because of the bee sting sensation I called my neurology doctor and told him what was going on and what I had used. The nurse called me right back and said that was a definite no-no. She said what I did was aggravate the nerves in my face from the DermaWand and due to my neuropathy triggered a reaction.
She said things like that are not good for people like me to use. I called that day to return it. They weren't pleased about adding a warning on the wand for people with neuropathy. I was able to return the item without a problem and get my money refunded.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
2 out 3 people found this review helpful
I never start my day without it!
I absolutely think everyone should have one. I saw a difference in my skin the first time I used it. My pores are nice and my skin really glows. I'm 59 and I wish I had this years ago!
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
2 out 3 people found this review helpful
Worth the investment
I've been using this device off an on for over a year, and I must say that I can tell a difference when using it. Results are subtle, and regular use definitely helps, but I can see improvement in texture and pore size, also a slight plump for lips (temporary, of course) and reduction of puffiness around eyes. Hasn't seemed to help elasticity of lower face/neck, nor tone or dark spots. However, I would say it is worth the investment, especially when compared to price tag for fillers at a doctors office.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend