CHASE THAT GLOW

Joanna Vargas Launched the Magic Glow Wand, an At-Home Facial Massage Tool

It has hot and cool temperature modes that can be combined with massage mode for a relaxing, at-home facial. Here’s my honest review of the tool.
a collage of three joanna vargas magic glow wands on charging stands on a light pink background
Clara Hendler/Allure

The moment I discovered Joanna Vargas, facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salons and Skin-Care, was launching a new product, I wasted no time researching every detail about it. Vargas' signature facials and namesake line of skin-care products and tools is beloved by Allure editors and countless celebrity clients such as Rachel Brosnahan and Mindy Kaling — so the newest addition to her lineup, Magic Glow Wand, rides on very high expectations.

So, what exactly is this fancifully-named tool? Magic Glow Wand is a spa-grade facial massage device meant to, according to Vargas, "reduce the appearance of puffiness, invigorate the skin, and bring your glow back." After six weeks of staying in a home filled with high-sodium processed foods, I'm basically grinning from ear to ear at this description — sign me up.

Magic Glow Wand helps you achieve your glow potential through lymphatic drainage, as you "put pressure on the skin to help move the fluid away from the skin, so it can be filtered by your lymph nodes," Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, explains. "The lymph system acts as the waste removal system for our bloodstream. Lymph vessels do not have muscles, so they rely on our bodies' muscle constriction from regular movements to pump the fluid."

What's more is that, according to Vargas, a stagnant lymphatic system can cause puffiness and dry skin, and Zeichner agrees. "If there is a blockage or slow movement of lymph fluid, it can result in lymphedema, or swelling, of the skin. This can result in puffiness and pressure on the skin barrier, which leads to dry and dull skin, or in more severe cases, even inflammation and rashes." Got it.

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The tool itself is designed with a titanium head for sensitive skin and its massage modes, which Vargas says "mimic the wave-like motion of the lymphatic system," are gentle enough to use every day. Whereas a lot of skin-care tools only offer one function, the Magic Glow Wand stands out with four different modes to address your specific skin concerns. Let's break them down:

  • Hot Mode (102.2°F): Mimics steaming during an in-salon facial, stimulates skin circulation, loosens sebum to deep-cleanse, and eliminates buildup

  • Hot + Massage Mode (96.7°F): Helps skin absorb products, like masks and serums, for more effective treatments

  • Cool Mode (55.4°F): Mimics cryotherapy, instantly soothes skin, and controls redness and inflammation

  • Cool + Massage Mode (41°F): Minimizes the appearance of pores and decreases puffiness through lymphatic stimulation

It didn't take much convincing for me to try out the Magic Glow Wand for myself. Since Vargas confirmed that was safe to do, I decided to test out all four modes in the same sitting, starting from hot and working my way to cool. Her other tip is to "pick the cold + massage when you are doing your morning routine," which seems like the perfect wake-up call for work-from-home life.

You shouldn't be using either hot or cold settings without a physical barrier between you and the device, i.e. a face mask, sheet mask, or serum. Vargas recommends doing a clay or exfoliating mask for the two hot settings, a sheet mask or cream mask for the cool setting, and a serum for the Cool + Massage setting. And on the flip side, you shouldn't use the hot settings on naked skin or an intense peel.

My overall first impressions are that the device itself is lightweight and easy to hold, and the hot and cool temperatures (which only need five seconds to adjust when switching modes) feel really soothing on my skin on top of a face or sheet mask.

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For the two Hot settings, I slathered a decent layer of Bliss's Pumpkin Powerhouse Resurfacing and Exfoliating Enzyme Face Mask and started gliding the wand upwards in different "columns" of my face. Even though it got a little messy with the mask sticking to the head (which I easily wiped off), it was worth it.

I can't emphasize enough how unbelievably soft my face felt afterward — and I've used this mask before without any extra help, so I can tell the massage addition is legit. Each setting runs for three minutes and should cover your entire face, but you can go for longer based on personal preferences. The wand completely shuts off after five minutes of inactivity.

Sarah Han/Allure

For the two Cool modes, I dug out a relatively luxurious sheet mask in my stash, the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Mask (which is formulated with green tea, honey, and licorice root), and began sweeping the device outwards starting at my nose, and then down to my neck region — like I'd normally do with a jade roller or gua sha tool. I felt like I was really pushing the essence from the sheet mask deeper into my skin.

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The final result? My skin looked a little dewier than if I had only used a sheet mask without the massage mode, and I swear my cheekbones looked ever so slightly more lifted and taut. In a separate session, I also tried Cool + Massage mode with a serum (Mamonde Red Energy Recovery Serum, to be exact), but the thinner barrier felt a little too cold for my liking — so I'll be sticking to sheet masks.

Sarah Han/Allure

A few other housekeeping details for the Magic Glow Wand: To charge it, simply connect the power adapter to the charging base, and to clean, wipe the device with a soft cloth or cotton pad (no ignitable materials, like alcohol) after each use. The wand also comes with a handy travel pouch, so excuse me while I daydream about massaging my face while lying down in a cabana by a tropical beach.

Sarah Han/Allure

Overall, my face looked less puffy, less red/irritated, and slightly more lifted after using all of the Hot, Cool, and Massage modes. I feel like my skin-care routine has been totally upgraded, and I can't wait to keep using this tool multiple times a week.

The Joanna Vargas Magic Glow Wand is available now for $285.

The Joanna Vargas Magic Glow Wand is a 2020 Allure Best of Beauty winner. Check out the full list of Allure's 2020 Best of Beauty winners.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


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