A Guide To High-Tech Beauty Tools, Part Two: Microcurrent Devices
For Part Two of our ongoing high-tech beauty tool series we’re looking at microcurrent facial therapy, another treatment once only available to professional aestheticians and dermatologists. If you missed Part One, where we discussed LED Face Masks be sure to click here.
I first heard about microcurrent facials back when I was shooting the TV show “Single Ladies.” Truthfully the thought of an electrical current zapping my face was intimidating but when it was soon deemed “the red carpet facial” my interest went from 0 to 60 real quick. What was initially used to treat facial muscle paralysis by a physician treating Bell’s palsy patients back in the 1800s soon became all the rage amongst major A-list celebrities.
I eventually got my first microcurrent treatment in New York City because at the time microcurrent facial treatments were exclusive to licensed aestheticians only. Fast forward to 2019 where microcurrent devices are so easy and accessible you can now treat yourself at home.
What Is Microcurrent?
We are said to have 40 plus muscles in the face. How many of those muscles do we actually use? How many of them get stagnant? Hello, furrow lines!
Microcurrent emits extremely low-intensity electrical currents that stimulate the skin and facial muscles. The electrical current wakes up those lethargic muscles, reminding them to creep on back to where they should be. Microcurrent is like a workout but for the face. Toning, lifting and reactivating the muscles.
Many go as far as to call these treatments ”natural non-invasive facelifts.” After several treatments, most agree that muscles are re-educated revealing tighter, plumper, more perky skin.
What Are The Other Benefits?
Microcurrent devices are said to contour the face. improve muscle tone, boost the natural production of both collagen and elastin, and increase cellular activity.
Other benefits include:
- Revitalized skin
- Diminished appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Lift of jawline and eyebrows
- Enhance product penetration of active ingredients in skin care products
- Improved circulation
- Aid in lymphatic drainage
- Skin pigment improvement
Is It Painful?
The thought of pulsating electrical currents might sound scary, but these at home devices give off more of a slight tingling sensation than anything else. Plus the routine and rhythm of stroking your face can be quite relaxing. All in all, it’s painless.
The Beauty In At-Home Devices
While at-home microcurrent devices won’t give you the exact same result in one single treatment, as an in-office visit would, these devices do give you an instant pick-me-up. Lifted, more awake looking skin can be seen immediately. With consistent use (three to five sessions a week) you will see improved skin tone, reduced fine lines, as well as improved contour, especially in the eyebrow and jawline areas.
Microcurrent at-home devices are incredibly easy to use, as long as you follow the device’s specific instructions. Some have incredibly helpful downloadable apps. The apps allow you to customize your routine, keep track of your own settings and progress. Most units also come with some version of a conductive gel or primer. However, using a pure organic aloe gel is always an option as well.
There’s also a significant cost benefit. Each in-office microcurrent facial could cost anywhere from $300-$500. For the same or less you can invest in a device you own and use multiple times a week.
Which Microcurrent Device Is Right For You?
ZIIP Beauty Microcurrent Facial Device
A 2018 Allure Best Beauty award winner, the most expensive device on the list but probably the least intuitive. Thankfully there’s a thorough user manual as well as an app with videos featuring ZIIP founder Melanie Simon. ZIIP uses both nanocurrents and microcurrents to do more than just lift and sculpt the face muscles. Other optional treatments can be used to help melasma and treat sun damage as well as to kill bacteria therefore preventing future acne breakouts. It’s recommended that you use the device at least three times a week and no treatment is longer than twelve minutes. You can also sync your device (to your phone via bluetooth) to walk you through a four minute quickie known as the “Instant Gratification” or the two minute “Quick Fix” when you have no time to spare. ZIIP’s beautiful “sleek silhouette” makes gliding along the curves of the face feel natural and smooth. We love that you can charge this device via a USB port but the sticker price ($485) is high and the instructions can be confusing at times. Definitely a purchase for a serious, more experienced user. FDA Approved
NuFace Trinity Facial Trainer Kit
The most popular at-home microcurrent system, favorite amongst beauty editors and consumers and my personal choice is the NuFace Trinity. The Nuface device is compact, sleek, comfortable, wireless and aesthetically pleasing. Device sessions are only five minutes long and give an immediate lift to the brow bone as well as the area around the mouth. More long-term results can be seen in as few as twenty consecutive uses. There are five intensity levels and an integrated timer that prompts you to move to a different area of your face, after five seconds. The app is super simple to follow and helps you target your exact trouble areas. This device proves to be the best investment due to quick, reliable results, the ability to purchase attachments and the fact that it is incredibly user-friendly. The only noteworthy cons are that charging does take a good amount of time and you’ll need to have the charging dock with you to do that. FDA Approved
Skin Care Experts Microcurrent Face Lift
If you’re unsure how much use you might get from an at-home microcurrent device but are still interested in trying one out, then Skin Care Experts’ Microcurrent Face Lift is the best device for you. At just a little over $100, it’s the most economical choice that still offers visible results. Similar to the Nuface it comes with dual facial probes but these are larger and flatter so they do cover more surface area at one time and can be used on the body easier than the others. While a little lift is still a pretty immediate result, long term results take slightly more consistent use to achieve than the Nuface. We love that the device will automatically shut-off after being inactive for ten minutes, a major plus for those who are forgetful. It’s cordless and runs on rechargeable batteries. At times the current can vary without being prompted to change, so be mindful and adjust the intensity level to meet your needs and comfortability.
Pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as people with heart conditions, should avoid microcurrent facials. As well as individuals with the following: