The PMD Wave Pro Shrunk My Pores, Mitigated Breakouts and Left My Skin Feeling Smooth and Firm

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pmd wave pro review
Dasha Burobina/PureWow/PMD Beauty

When it comes to skincare, I’m a low-maintenance gal—in fact, three years ago, I didn’t even have a proper skincare routine. I approach most trendy products with skepticism and I can’t grasp why someone would spend more than $20 on a lilliputian jar of...what do they call it? Wrinkle-erasing-face-plumping-dewy-magical-elixir-that-makes-you-look-20? All this to say that the idea of adding a facial tool to my routine was laughable to me...until recently. Through the perks of my job, I was able to test the PMD Wave Pro ($129), a three-in-one tool that claims to extract black/whiteheads, infuse skincare products and tone skin. And as someone who regularly deals with breakouts and is starting to feel insecure about her laugh lines, the PMD Wave Pro may have a new devotee. Read on for my in-depth review.

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Marissa Wu

Does the PMD Wave Pro Help with Wrinkles?

Potentially. The PMD Wave Pro uses electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to give the skin a more toned and lifted appearance. As reported by CNN, the use of EMS has a history of improving the condition of people experiencing Bell’s palsy, a condition in which the face droops due to paralysis or muscle weakness. In the realm of cosmetics, the efficacy is contested at best. Dr. Daniel Knott, an associate professor and director of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, told the outlet EMS could improve facial muscle tone, but he could not verify its actual benefits to the skin itself. During my test run, I have found that it has helped the smile lines fade around my mouth, but that being said, if EMS is helping, it’s probably a temporary fix that I’d have to keep up with regularly. (Sadly for lazy me, this is not a one-and-done thing.)

How Do You Use the PMD Wave Pro?

There are three modes on the PMD Wave Pro: extract, infuse and lift. You can toggle between the modes via the single control button, which moves a small light that indicates the mode you’re in. (“Extract” is on the bottom, “infuse” is in the middle and “lift” is at the top.)

No matter what mode you’re in, never use the tool on dry skin. The manual instructs you to mist your face with water or toner before using extract or lift mode, and to apply your skincare products before infuse mode.

In extract mode, the spatula should be held against your skin curved side down. The manual suggests using upward motions, but I found that in order to apply enough pressure to extract my pores, down worked better. There are also two holes on the spatula (the PreciseXtractor) that can help remove whiteheads and blackheads.

To use infuse mode, the spatula should be placed curved side up. Use upward motions to work any product into your skin. For lift mode, turn the spatula curve side down and use an upward and outward motion on crows’ feet, eyebrows and lip lines.

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Marissa Wu / Left: Before Right: After

My PMD Wave Pro Review

I tested the PMD Wave Pro over five weeks to see if it would help with my T-zone. My forehead is breakout-prone, and I sport rather large pores on my nose. The latter had already started to look less noticeable thanks to the PMD Clean Acne ($99), a facial cleansing device with blue light therapy, but I wanted to see if using the Wave Pro with it would improve things even more. I also have gentle laugh lines around my mouth that I hoped the Wave Pro would address.

Every week, my goal was to use the Wave Pro at least four times a week, once a day before bed. (Note that extract mode should only be used once a week.) If I had time, I would use it in the morning as well.

At first, I found there was a bit of a learning curve and the manual lacked precise details, which didn’t help. How much pressure is considered “gentle”? Did I place the spatula right side up or down? How many times should I run this over my face? Eventually I figured out what worked best for me, as I continued to use the tool. (Medium pressure to extract, running the spatula over each section of my face four times in infuse mode and four times in lift mode.) Still, having some more info upfront would have made the processes less anxiety-inducing (especially for a skincare neophyte like me). Another thing: the device emits a beeping sound in infuse and lift mode, which reverberated in my ears at times, so take note if you, too, are sensitive to sound.

Extract mode was efficient and successful in keeping my T-zone (relatively) breakout free. The spatula has a curved edge, which was handy when following the contours of my nose. And the PreciseXtractor expertly removed whiteheads with minimal damage.

Infuse mode was quite effective in helping my skin absorb product. I liked it best for applying serums (like Prose’s new serum from their custom skincare line) or for getting every last drop of goodness from a sheet mask into my skin. (I’m currently loving Filorga’s Time-Filler Super-Smoothing Mask.) The results: plump, firm, refreshed skin.

Truthfully, I was skeptical about lift mode, but faithfully used it around my mouth, eyes and forehead with pleasing results—specifically around my laugh lines, which have slowly started to soften. I treated the forehead and eye area more as a preventative measure, so I can’t really speak to the effects there.

After five weeks, I’ve noticed that my smile lines have lessened and that the pores on my nose have started to look less noticeable. In conclusion, I’d say the PMD Wave Pro is great for intervention, but there are also merits in using it as a preventative measure, too. It’s definitely earned its place in my permanent skincare routine, much to my surprise.

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