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 like 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.
“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
$200 to $600
There is no downtime and you can immediately go about your day…glowing like 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.
“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.
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.
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.
Because the immediate results are so apparent, microcurrent facials are a must right before that big event where you want to look your best. Celebrity aesthetician Tracie Martyn has appropriately dubbed her signature microcurrent treatment the “Red Carpet Facial.”
Kate Winslet, Madonna, and Oprah Winfrey are all fans of microcurrent facials. Style icon Diane von Furstenburg admittedly books this treatment once a week.
The market for at-home microcurrent devices has begun to evolve, but they’re still no match for professional grade machines. Still, the investment is great to use as a maintenance tool in between your spa sessions, and it works wonders on minor under-eye puffiness.