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Microcurrent Facials Are the Ultimate Non-Invasive Face Lift

Photo by Ihor Bulyhin/Getty Images

Everyone wants a youthful-looking, lifted face—but when it comes to actually getting one, we tend to jump straight to skincare. But what about the muscles underneath? Think about it: If our facial muscles start to weaken and droop as we age, gravity will bring our skin south, too. And while we can’t exactly tell our facial muscles to drop and give us 20, there are ways to stimulate them. One of our favorites is the microcurrent facial.

So, what is a microcurrent facial?

If you’re envisioning being struck by lightning, don’t panic. Microcurrent facials are actually one of the most painless procedures out there. “A low-grade electrical current ‘works out’ the muscles of your face to help lift, tighten, and stimulate collagen,” says Jason Emer, MD, a dermatologic surgeon in Los Angeles. (FYI: Collagen is as essential to young, healthy muscles as it is to youthful skin.) The current typically runs through a machine with two wands which are used to lift areas of the face section by section.

What are the benefits of microcurrent facials?

“Microcurrent works at the cellular level to counter the effects of aging,” says Dr. Emer. “Increased levels of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, stimulate the synthesis of the proteins collagen and elastin.” As a result, skin appears tighter, wrinkles and fine lines look smoother, and the cheeks, eyebrows, and neck take on a lifted look.

And if you’ve ever dreamed of having a more sculpted jawline, microcurrent can help with that too: More defined facial features are a common result, says Dr. Emer. That’s because while the currents work to tighten, the wands themselves encourage lymphatic drainage—so you’ll see a reduction in puffiness in areas prone to bloating.

What can you expect during the procedure?

A microcurrent facial generally starts out the same as your standard facial, with some combination of cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, serums, and masks. Then, your treatment provider will apply a thin layer of a conductive, water-based gel before wielding the metal microcurrent wands, which tend to create a cooling sensation. “It’s pain-free and typically feels like a gentle zingy or zappy feeling on the skin,” says Dr. Emer. “Sometimes people feel warmth or a ‘cat-lick’ type sensation, which are not harmful.” Your provider will use the wands to lift a section of your face for several seconds before moving on to the next one, until your entire face has been treated.

Are there any side effects?

Microcurrent facials are safe and effective for almost everyone, says Dr. Emer. But make sure to let your provider know if you’re pregnant or have a heart condition. You’ll also want to wait a few weeks if you’ve recently gotten Botox or fillers, as the currents can affect how these procedures look.

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About the author
Kate Foster Kaplove
Kate is a freelance beauty editor in Brooklyn. She was previously a beauty editor at ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Women's Health, and Seventeen. Her favorite topics to write about are skincare and fragrance, especially as they relate to art, culture, & politics.
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Article Last Updated July 21, 2020 12:00 AM