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Microcurrent Facial: 5 Proven Benefits for Younger-Looking Skin ----- Back

25.02.20 - Knowledge

Microcurrent Facial: 5 Proven Benefits for Younger-Looking Skin

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Words by Antoinette Barnardo

The microcurrent facial — most celebrities swear by it as their go-to facial treatment right before red carpet appearances. But what exactly is a microcurrent facial? And why is this high-tech facial treatment all the rage among celebrities and aestheticians alike?

In this article, we will cover why microcurrent facial is dubbed as the "5-Minute Facial Lift" and whether you should jump on this skincare bandwagon. 

What Is a Microcurrent Facial?

Widely known as the nonsurgical face-lift, a microcurrent facial diminishes signs of aging, improves your face contour, and brightens your complexion. As its name suggests, it makes use of low-voltage electrical current to stimulate collagen and elastin production in your skin. It also repairs damaged tissues and re-educates the facial muscles to become firmer and tighter. 

Before you dismiss this as some marketing gimmick, electrotherapy has actually been around since the ancient Egyptians. Microcurrent therapy, a form of electrotherapy, was then introduced to the United States in the late 1970s by Chinese physician Dr. Thomas Wing. He used microcurrent in an attempt to treat Bell's palsy, a condition that paralyzes the facial muscles on one side of the face. While no evidence proved that microcurrent therapy was effective in treating this facial condition, Dr. Wing did discover other skin benefits in his patients such as a smoother skin tone and a younger-looking visage.

This is why microcurrent facials have been widely recommended by aestheticians and facialists to reduce and delay visible signs of aging. Given that the low-voltage current (i.e. microcurrent) mimics your body's natural electrical current, it's a safe yet effective anti-aging treatment. 

Benefits of a Microcurrent Facial

Let's dive into what you want to know — how a microcurrent facial helps you put your best face forward. 

1. It Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles

According to a 1975 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, your skin's collagen content decreases by 1% every year. Microcurrent enhances your skin's adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, which in turn, stimulates collagen and elastin synthesis. As a result, this facial treatment helps to slow down and replenish the loss of natural collagen in your skin. 

Research has shown that microcurrent technology increases elastin production in the skin by a whopping 45% and collagen thickness by 10%. This is why the efficacy of microcurrent facials in reducing fine lines and wrinkles has been widely praised. 

2. It Re-Trains the Facial Muscles for Improved Facial Contour

Fun fact: The facial muscles are the only muscles in your body that are attached directly to the skin. As we age, these muscles become weaker, which leads to sagging skin. This is where microcurrent facials come in to save the day. 

Remember when we said microcurrent facials help to boost ATP production? ATP is not only essential for synthesizing collagen and elastin. It is also the primary energy source for muscle movements

What this means is that by increasing ATP levels within your body, a microcurrent facial helps to re-energize your facial muscles to improve muscle tone. Think of it as a form of "face gym" to get firmer facial muscles. As such, you get to enjoy improved facial contouring such as reduced skin sagging and a more defined jawline after the treatment. 

3. It Boosts Blood Circulation to the Face While Reducing Facial Puffiness

Besides enhancing collagen production and muscle tone, microcurrent facials also increase blood circulation to the face. At the cellular level, this improves nutrient and oxygen supply that results in a more radiant and healthier complexion. 

On top of that, the electrical current travels through the skin to reach deep into the muscles, hitting lymph nodes along the way. Microcurrent facials' efficacy in improving lymphatic drainage has been supported in a 2016 study by the “Art Plastic” Clinic in Moscow, Russia. This facial treatment thus helps to reduce facial puffiness for more defined contouring.

4. It Gives Immediate Results With a Cumulative Effect

But why are microcurrent facials touted as the "5-Minute Face-Lift"? The answer lies in the immediate results experienced right after the procedure is done. Expect more defined cheekbones and jawlines, reduced forehead lines and eye wrinkles, and a glowing complexion, all without any downtime. 

One thing to note though is that these benefits have a cumulative effect. In other words, facial improvements are more pronounced and longer-lasting with regular treatments. To maintain the anti-aging benefits, schedule a follow-up session every few weeks as recommended by your aesthetician. 

5. It Is Relatively Painless

Unlike other forms of anti-aging treatments such as Botox or fillers, microcurrent facials are non-invasive and non-surgical. As such, you don't have to worry about needles or knives touching your skin. 

The low-level current used in this treatment manifests as a tingling, painless sensation on your skin. This facial treatment is so relaxing you may even fall asleep during the session.

How Is a Microcurrent Facial Done?

There are two ways to get a microcurrent facial done — professional or at-home treatments. 

Professional Treatment

For professional treatments, your aesthetician will first apply a thin layer of conductive gel on your face. He or she will then use two hand-held prongs that are attached to a microcurrent machine to deliver low-level electrical current to your skin. 

Note: Be prepared to shell out $200-$600 for a professional session that can last between 60-90 minutes. 

At-Home Treatment

The other option is to use at-home microcurrent devices to enjoy this facial treatment in the comfort of your own home. Make sure these at-home gadgets come with conductive gel too. These devices are also cheaper when compared to a professional microcurrent facial — they range from $200-$500 for an at-home treatment whenever you want.

However, the downside is that at-home microcurrent devices are less powerful than the professional-grade microcurrent machines used in spas. As such, the benefits may not be as potent or as long-lasting when you opt for at-home treatment. 

Which Treatment Should You Opt For?

For those who are facing visible skin sagging and wrinkles, it's recommended to go to a professional to see real results. You can also pair the professional treatments with at-home microcurrent devices to better maintain and boost the anti-aging effects. 

On the other hand, those who experience minimal or no visible signs of aging may solely rely on at-home microcurrent devices. 

What to Do After Your Treatment to Get the Best Results

To get the best results from this facial treatment, make sure to wear sunscreen to protect your skin against harmful UV rays if you aren’t already doing so. As a general rule, applying SPF 30 and above should be an integral step in your daily skincare routine but more so after a microcurrent facial. 

At the same time, avoid activities that will cause collagen breakdown and undo the beneficial effects of your microcurrent facial. Some examples are smoking and suntanning, which destroy your skin's collagen levels and trigger premature skin aging.

Who Should Go for a Microcurrent Facial?

Since the anti-aging benefits of microcurrent facials have been widely extolled, does this mean only older individuals qualify for this facial treatment? 

The answer is no. Microcurrent facials are suitable for individuals of all ages. If you're in your 20s but have yet to encounter any signs of aging, look to microcurrent facials as a preventive treatment. This will help to ward off fine lines and sagging skin for as long as possible. 

Conversely, if you're already in your 40s and experience obvious signs of aging, use microcurrent facials as an anti-aging treatment. 

With that said, a microcurrent facial is not advisable if you have one of the following conditions: 

  • Pregnancy 
  • Active acne or other inflammatory skin conditions 
  • Heart issues, e.g. have a pacemaker in your body 
  • Had Botox or fillers two weeks before a microcurrent facial 
  • Have metal implants in your face 

Speak to your aesthetician or facialist first to decide if you're suitable for a microcurrent facial. 

Take Your Face to the Gym

While scientists have yet to discover the elixir of youth, a microcurrent facial could be your closest answer to minimizing and delaying signs of aging for as long as possible. This safe yet highly effective facial treatment essentially takes your face to the gym without any adverse effects. 

Even though microcurrent facials can be on the pricey side, think of them as a long-term investment for younger-looking skin. As such, it’s time to jump on this skincare bandwagon.

Words by Antoinette Barnardo

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