- Microcurrent facial: everything you need to know about the
- HOW IS Microcurrent Facial DONE?
- WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF Microcurrent Facial?
- WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF Microcurrent Facial?
- RECOMMENDED COURSE FOR OPTIMAL RESULTS?
- WHO SHOULD ADMINISTER THIS TREATMENT?
- Why Microcurrent Treatments Work (And How To Do Them At Home)
- What Is a Microcurrent Facial? – Microcurrent Facial Review, Benefits, Before and After
- Microcurrent facials are a gym workout for your face
- Microcurrent facials keep skin firm
- The procedure starts out a regular facial.
- Microcurrent is really safe for most people, but there are a few exceptions
- At-home microcurrent tools work, but are not as strong as professional tools
Microcurrent facial: everything you need to know about the
A microcurrent facial is often referred to as a “natural” facelift. “This safe and painless facial helps erase fine lines and wrinkles, while firming your skin and defining your features.
It improves muscle tone, reduces puffiness, increases cellular activity, and tightens pores.
The overall result is a healthier and younger looking skin, no matter your age,” says to Joanna Vargas, founder of Joanna Vargas Salon in New York City.
Microcurrent technology has been around since the 1800’s as a treatment for damaged tissues and muscles. But when a physician of a Bell’s palsy patient noticed that the face of his patients appeared much smoother and younger looking after receiving microcurrent therapy, one of the world’s first high-tech aesthetic treatments was born.
A microcurrent facial emits extremely low-voltage electrical currents (hence ‘micro’ current), which mirror your own body’s electrical currents, on a cellular level to repair damaged skin and stimulate collagen and elastin production.
The intensity is so slight that it would take one million microcurrent machines to light a 40-watt light bulb.
This treatment is often referred to as “facial toning” because it’s a workout for your face, whereby skin cells are broken down and then grow back stronger, the same way your muscles do after lifting weights.
“It works simultaneously to repair a product collagen in the dermis, the deepest layer of your skin, while gently erasing signs of aging in the epidermis, the top layer of your skin. According to studies, a microcurrent facial can increase collagen production up to 14%, elastin increases 48% and blood circulation goes up 38%,” explains Vargas.
A microcurrent facial is ideal for anyone who wants to improve the appearance of their skin, whether they are more focused on an anti-aging or preventative treatment because it covers all the bases. It is safe and effective on all skin types and skin colors.
Pregnant women and people with any kind of heart condition should avoid this treatment. As always, discuss any allergies or skin sensitivities with your cosmetic doctor or aesthetician before starting a treatment.
HOW IS Microcurrent Facial DONE?
“The microcurrent facial uses two hand held prongs that deliver precise dosages of energy to the skin.
As the aesthetician methodically moves the prongs around your face, you may feel a slight tingling sensation, but most say it’s surprisingly relaxing.
Of course you can expect all the other pleasures of a classic facial incorporated into the microcurrent facial, such as cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and facial massage.
60 to 90 minutes
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF Microcurrent Facial?
There is no downtime and you can immediately go about your day…glowing you’ve never glowed before. If you’ve had the treatment as part of a Classic European Facial or a medical facial, you may notice some redness, but nothing that makeup can’t hide.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF Microcurrent Facial?
“You see results within minutes of getting the treatment—that’s the fun part,” says Vargas. After your first treatment, you’ll have a firmer, glowing, more uplifted you.
Your skin will appear tightened and hydrated. Your jaw line will be more defined, your cheekbones more pronounced, and your eyes will look younger and refreshed.
However, the initial results are rather fleeting and vanish in a week or two.
RECOMMENDED COURSE FOR OPTIMAL RESULTS?
Results are cumulative, so after a series of sessions, the improvements are many and longer lasting. For sustained results, the recommended course of treatment is series of 10 to 15 treatments within the first 6 weeks, followed by a 3-month maintenance schedule.
WHO SHOULD ADMINISTER THIS TREATMENT?
Go to a board certified dermatologist or licensed aesthetician who specializes in micro current therapy. “An aesthetician has to be licensed in the state they are practicing in.
There are several different schools you can attend, but ultimately you have to pass a state administered written and practical exam to get your license,” explains Aesthetician Jillian Wright, owner of Jillian Wright Clinical Skin Spa in New York City.
Disclaimer: As always, this information is provided to you for educationaland/or informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an endorsement of any particular product,treatment, or procedure. This information is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment by adoctor or other qualified health care professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about anyprocedure or treatment, users should always consult their doctor or other qualified health care professional.Please visit our Terms of Service to view our full disclaimers.
Why Microcurrent Treatments Work (And How To Do Them At Home)
“It’s not about skin,” said Shamara Bondaroff, aesthetician and founder of SBSkin, as she held an electrical current wand the size of a cattle prod up to my face. “It’s about muscle.”
What followed was a gentler experience than you might imagine. It was my first microcurrent facial, and I wasn’t as prepared as I thought. I say this despite the noticeably escalating buzz around microcurrent in the beauty world for the past year or so. (A person less restrained than myself might call it “The Microcurrence.
”) For one, it couldn’t be endorsed by a higher register than the already upper-A-listers: Cult facialist Joanna Vargas is overrun at her practice, with the s of Julianne Moore and Madonna singing her praises. And Ildi Pekar too, who’s frequented by Miranda Kerr. Microcurrent is rumored to be the trick behind Jennifer Aniston’s years-long Benjamin Buttoning performance art.
(Whatever she’s doing, “aging” she’s not.)
Then there’s the at-home tech: most notably the Bobbi Brown favorite Nuface.
It’s joined by the Ziip (thanks for the tip, Kristie Streicher) and Lancer Skincare’s very fancy gold wand (now stock at Nordstrom).
But it all started with these two ruler-long rods of current, that look either a giant’s shrimp fork or some squished tuning rods. And I was getting them swirled over my always-ready-to-be-improved face.
It’s a simple tool, really. Two wands, negative and positive, and electrical current running between—exponentially less than could even power a light bulb.
Put both wands on your face, and electrical current flows through the skin and facial muscle, causing not so much a contraction as a tightening. It doesn’t feel anything's happening.
Although, and I’m not new-agey, I did feel a heightened sense of energy. I felt almost, as the kids say, hype.
This may be attributed to Bondaroff, an open talker, microcurrent zealot, and (it’s alleged by several clients), a true healer. “You feel alive,” she says of microcurrent’s effect. “There’s a brightness.
The energy flow in your face—it’s better than caffeine. You look rested.” Her holistic approach takes some of the weight off the loom of the future, too.
“There’s no such thing as anti-aging—you can’t stop it, so let’s just do it as gracefully as possible.”
Before we get too far into it, it’s important to note that this stuff isn’t really new. The tech was born around the turn of the century as a strictly medical device, targeting atrophy in patients with Bell’s palsy and muscle paralysis.
The prods were used all over the body, including the face (a type of this physical therapy is still practiced today). After patients’ faces seemed to benefit in unexpectedly glowing ways, microcurrent was picked up by the esthetic crowd too.
Now it’s advertised as a treatment to lift, tone, and firm the skin without the knives of a facelift.
Off-label, Bondaroff says she’s seen everything from rosacea to acne clear up over the course of a few treatments. (One of the worst cases of rosacea cases she cleared up was her own.
) With all the promise of lift, it’s easy to peg microcurrent as an anti-aging treatment (which, in the beauty world, means it can be started in one’s late twenties), but theoretically any prom-goer or senior-picture-taker could benefit from its boost.
But, post-facial, my own results were sort of startling. There seemed to be more of my face in this bizarre new way. I realized, after a second, that this was because my hairline was higher. Mona-Lisa-high. I didn’t even know I had a nasolabial depression until I didn’t have one anymore. I looked really surprised, but I wasn’t moving any surprise-face muscles. Reader, it was weird.
According to Bondaroff’s clients, the benefits are on par with more drastic measures. “I’ve weaned people off Botox, off fillers,” she says. The paradox of Botox, says Bondaroff, is that it can actually cause atrophy, since it paralyzes facial muscles.
So microcurrent “is essential if you do Botox,” re-stimulating the frozen muscle to keep a paralyzed forehead lifted and high, not just slack. If this seems on the vicious end on the cycle spectrum, I feel the same.
“It’s such a gimmick, and they’re getting girls to do it younger and younger,” she says of Botox. “I have girls come to me who have been doing it for years, and they say, ‘Can you help me? My eyebrows are dropping.
” Eventually, “what happens is, they look better with microcurrent than Botox, so the girl who was getting it every three months is now maybe every six to nine months.”
Joanna Vargas, whose embrace of microcurrent helped propel its popularity, believes her treatments can offer a defter, subtler lift that ages better than an actual facelift. “The point of microcurrent isn't to erase lines in the same way fillers and Botox do.
Microcurrent is awesome for lifting the muscle and de-puffing the face,” she explains, along with fluid-draining and contour-enhancing side effects. She recommends starting microcurrent in one’s late 20s, with monthly maintenance facials, and speaks reverently about its “cumulative effect”. Besides, according to her, the Nip/Tuck trend is on its way out.
“I think people see that, ultimately, surgery is flawed,” she says. “No one wants to be a cautionary tale.”
One more thing. These facials are expensive. Prohibitively. The pros don’t come cheap. Or, you can turn to less potent, but more available, measures.
The at-home devices that have been cleared for home use are themselves pretty expensive, but only cost as much one or two professional facials (and offer a theoretically infinite number of sessions).
Unfortunately, the wattage is just not the same.
“The Nuface? That’s 5% of what I can do with this,” I remember Bondaroll saying, brandishing those calipers. “But it’s good. It gives you a little lift, but not a full lift.” I’d received the NuFace not long before my first SBSkin-tervention. I’d tried it.
Nothing much happened, but nothing’s really supposed to after a single session. It’s true that it can’t instantly replicate the results of a professional microcurrent facial (believe me, I hoped that it could).
So while it’s a less potent force, it’s still a worthwhile one.
The Nuface is a single handheld unit with two metal nodes. It also requires a generous slather of conductive gel, very ultrasound-y. If you put the live device against bare skin, you will feel little shocks.
Besides being unpleasant, this is also counterproductive—that electricity’s pricking skin’s surface instead of going deep into the muscle. The gel helps with electrical penetration and makes the shocks un-feel-able.
The actual administration is sort of soothing, the repetitive up-and-out. And at the end of the treatment, my skin feels the tiniest bit firmer to the touch, with no layover redness.
The pamphlet copy tempers expectations right away, asking for six weeks of use before you really see what the device can do. I love doing it at night, but so far the results I’ve seen have been strictly immediate—in the morning I’m back to normal.
For those who want their facial electricity delivered by a device that looks Apple collaborated with Star Trek, there’s the Ziip.
Developed by esthetician Melanie Simon as an echo of her own nanocurrent facial, it’s at the higher-end of at-home electric tech. It’s gorgeous—clinically white and ribboned with gold.
“Nano-current” electricity has a lower frequency than microcurrent (no iota-current is available yet).
And it’s high-tech on the interface-front, too, with an app that programs different rounds of treatments.
Instead of fiddling with buttons directly on the device itself, you select the program you want on your phone (currently three available), and it Bluetooths it over to the Ziip.
There are special programs for sensitive skin (an even lower frequency) and acne (with bacteria-zapping pulses). It’s an elegant machine.
The pro: you don’t need to do it every day. The con: you don’t get to do it every day. Also, the temptation to preserve the super-expensive gold-laced conductive gel will be overpowering. But a paper-thin layer will make the device prickly, just the NuFace sans gel. You’ll feel it.
A thick, sticky layer will let the ZIIP slide around it’s meant to, and it’s recommended to leave the gel on after, a serum. I don’t know if it’s the combination of current and gel, but I have noticed a more hydrated fullness and pertness the next day. More drainage, shallower forehead grooves.
This guy works overtime.
Despite all the effusive anecdotal response, some dermatologists are unconvinced by microcurrent’s hype, whether in the esthetician’s or the civilian’s hands. I emailed briefly with Dr.
Elizabeth Tanzi, who is the founder & director of Capital Laser and Skin Care in Maryland, and well as being an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Dermatology at George Washington University Medical Center. She’s not convinced.
“There is no scientific evidence yet that these treatments are helpful,” she said. “It remains to be seen. We need to see the actual clinical studies rather than one or two facialists saying, ‘It works.’ That’s not very scientific or reliable.
” She also dismissed the idea that facial muscles could be “trained.” When I asked about home devices, she said she wouldn’t recommend them to a patient, but wouldn’t outright advise against them.
“I don’t think there would be any harm in them unless the device was defective, but it may just be a waste of time.”
Of course, “the jury’s still out” game can be played with a lot of skincare trends. A lot of the skincare-trend-casting game is all about bet-hedging, just-in-casing, and generally not-waiting for the warm embrace of the medical community.
For now, microcurrent seems to be in that middle ground between “just marketing” and “doctor tested and approved.” That middle ground is a place inhabited by Jennifer Aniston, Emma Stone, and their perfect faces.
From that, you’re free to draw your own conclusions.
Photos via Hannah Bronfman's Instagram  and photographed by Tom Newton [2-4].
More at-home treatments: Have you tried dermarolling?
What Is a Microcurrent Facial? – Microcurrent Facial Review, Benefits, Before and After
The beauty industry is rife with over the top claims about “miracle” skincare products and services, but one too-good-to-be-true innovation I can confidently get behind is the microcurrent facial. It involves using a low-grade electrical current to “train” your facial muscles to appear more lifted, tightened, and firm. In fact, its nickname is the “non-invasive facelift.”
You know it actually works because it has been used medically since the 1980s, approved by the FDA as a muscle stimulator to treat Bell's palsy and muscle paralysis.
After noticing improved results in patients with atrophied, sagging facial muscles, microcurrent was then adopted as an anti-aging tool.
Top facialists Joanna Vargas, Ildi Pekar, and Shamara Bondaroff swear by it, while at-home tools NuFace and Ziip have become increasingly popular in everyday skin routines.
I experienced the magic of a microcurrent facial myself while visiting the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. Feeling extra dry, dull, and puffy from flying and drinking beachside cocktails to my heart's content (how could you not?), I was looking for a treatment to contour my face and give it its glow back.
Before getting into the facial, I gave myself half an hour to indulge in the massive spa's hydrotherapy circuit: I jumped back and forth from massaging waters, saunas, and steam rooms.
By the end of it, my muscles felt melted butter and all the steam had my face ready for Carillon esthetician Nerys Rodriguez to start my 80-minute microcurrent facial.
I walked away from the treatment room with visibly plumper-looking skin, major lift around my brows, more of a defined jawline, and more prominent cheekbones. I felt so confident that I totally skipped the usual contouring I do when I applied makeup later that day.
Impressed by my results, I chatted with the esthetician about microcurrent facials, how they work, and why people love them so much they're getting them weekly.
Microcurrent facials are a gym workout for your face
“The muscles on the face start going south, just everything else. We have to keep it fit.
So, we use current to stimulate the muscle, starting low then increasing gradually until you have the firmness you would ,” Rodriguez explains.
While Rodriguez says having a microcurrent facial once a month is sufficient, she adds that clients of hers at Carillon—the wellness resort is also residential—come weekly.
She adds that a microcurrent facial also doubles as an lymphatic drainage massage. “That's why you were less puffy afterward,” she tells me. “We're hitting a lot of the pressure points on the face.”
Microcurrent facials keep skin firm
“Results are the eyes will be lifted, the forehead gets tighter, and you'll see more of an 'awakened' look,” Rodriguez says. “It also stimulates collagen, so you'll have a fuller look as well.
Collagen is the main protein the body has to build muscle. As we age, we lose collagen.
” As Rodriguez explains, microcurrent has been shown to encourage the production of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate), which leads to the creation of structural proteins elastin and collagen.
The procedure starts out a regular facial.
The entire process included cleansing, LED light therapy, exfoliation, serums, and masking. Rodriguez applied a thin film of a conductive gel on me (you can use any water-based gel) then used a microcurrent machine, which had two wands that the electrical current ran through.
I didn't feel any discomfort nor pain, just the cool metal wands lifting sections of my face and staying put for a few seconds and repeating before moving to the next section.
“It's sending a signal for the muscle that this is where it belongs,” Rodriguez says of “training” the facial tissue by going over different parts of your face multiple times.
Microcurrent is really safe for most people, but there are a few exceptions
“People with heart issues, if they have a pace maker, are not advised to get a microcurrent facial because it stimulates the blood,” Rodriguez says.
She also doesn't recommend microcurrent facials for those with severe acne, adding, “If it's a pimple here or there we can do it. If it's aggravated, I would not recommend it.
There's a lot of inflammation going on, so we don't really want to stimulate that.” Pregnant women in their first trimester are also cautioned against doing it.
If you've had fillers or Botox, you should wait two weeks for it to settle before getting a facial. “We don't want to alter their results,” Rodriguez says.
After that period, however, “[botox and fillers] actually work better when you get microcurrent, because it'll make your procedure last longer.
I actually recommend it, and I've seen great results where it lasts even longer, the fillers and the Botox.”
At-home microcurrent tools work, but are not as strong as professional tools
Rodriguez says younger clients can get away with using at-home microcurrent tools for maintenance. “You don't have to be so dedicated to a professional microcurrent service unless you really want to avoid sagging at all times,” she says. “If someone's 50 and they're seeing signs of aging, you need something stronger.
” She does advise all clients to pair professional microcurrent facials with at-home tools for maximum results. “It only takes five minutes. And, I swear, I'm 45 and I use it and I see great results. I don't always have to use the professional machine from work, but I just use the NuFace and it's great too,” Rodriguez adds.
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