A significant part of the beauty industry is dedicated to helping us look and feel our best. Plump, smooth, vibrant skin is a big part of the equation, and there are thousands of creams, serums, oils, and treatments that promise flawless results.
A newer procedure that’s generating a lot of hype is microcurrent therapy. Celebrities like Madonna, Oprah, and Kate Winslet are fans, and medical and day spas everywhere are investing in the high-tech equipment that promises incredible results.
Also called a non-surgical facelift by industry insiders, microcurrent facials are painless and require no downtime. The results are immediate and last for around two weeks per treatment. Most professionals recommend a specific regime that could extend results for several years.
If you’re looking for younger, radiant skin, a microcurrent facelift might be just the ticket. In this informative guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the procedure. We’ll go in-depth about the technology, and give you information on how and why it works. You’ll also learn more about recommended treatments, the average cost, and benefits you’ll see after an appointment. Finally, we’ll give you tips on how to find a reputable professional in your area who can administer the facial.
What is Microcurrent?
Every minute of every day our bodies are naturally producing electrical currents. They serve many functions, including triggering reactions in our cells that produce elastin and collagen, two components of healthy, wrinkle-free skin.
Microcurrents aim to mimic these currents to help generate more of these reactions while also improving circulation to the skin and tightening the muscles in your face.
The technology has existed since the 1800’s and started as a treatment protocol for damaged muscles, wounds, and bones because it speeds up the healing process by up to 350%. It wasn’t until years later when a doctor treating a patient with Bell’s palsy noticed that their face appeared noticeably younger and smoother following a microcurrent therapy appointment that the aesthetic value was realized.
What is a Microcurrent Facial?
When you schedule an appointment for a microcurrent facial, you’re essentially booking a natural facelift. You’ll notice a significant reduction in wrinkles and fine lines while also seeing plump, firm skin immediately after the process.
Your aesthetician will use a microcurrent machine as part of your facial, and it will emit unnoticeable electrical currents to your skin. These currents will work with your body’s natural impulses on a cellular level to stimulate the production of plumping and firming compounds collagen and elastin.
They will also work to repair any damaged skin cells. Some experts compare the process to what happens to your body when you exercise because your skin cells are broken down and then rebuilt stronger than before, much like your muscles after a weightlifting session.
The process isn’t painful at all. The intensity of the current is so slight that you would need one million separate microcurrent machines all plugged in and working together to power just one 40-watt light bulb.
The Science on How Microcurrents Work
Now that we’ve given you a high-level summary of how microcurrents work, we want to dive a little deeper into the biological science to help make you a believer. To understand why the treatment is effective, first, we need to cover the basics of what can cause wrinkles and sag to the skin on our face and neck.
Several factors contribute to the deterioration of a youthful appearance over time, and one of the most impactful are repetitive movements. Our facial muscles are like any other, and over time get used to being in particular positions, like having our forehead scrunched up when we raise our eyebrows or a furrow between our brows when we concentrate.
While this muscle memory is formed, we also have other muscles in our face that aren’t used and grow weak over time. These weaknesses and imbalances can lead to sagging like what you might see in your neck, jaw, and chin.
In addition to what’s happening with our muscles, there are also processes within our body that slow down as we age. Our skin cells slow down their turnover, and we produce less collagen and elastin. At the same time, our body breaks down those compounds, which can drag down the corners of our eyes, deepen smile lines, and make our cheeks sag.
There are 32 separate muscles in our faces that can benefit from a microcurrent facial. An aesthetician will use the machine probe to physically move these muscles to their preferred location or position, allowing your body to re-educate itself on where they belong which may help to maintain your desired contour over time. The current itself then gives the body a boost to help produce the substances it needs to support this appearance.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Microcurrent Facial?
Because the procedure is painless and requires no downtime, virtually everyone is a good candidate for a microcurrent facial. It’s effective at improving your skin’s overall appearance and is also a good choice for an anti-aging preventative treatment.
The technology works safely and effectively on all skin types and doesn’t affect pigmentation so it may be used on all skin colors as well.
Your aesthetician may combine microcurrent technology with other facial products and techniques, so be sure to let them know if you have allergies or sensitivities to ingredients or skin care products.
If you are pregnant or have a heart condition or pacemaker, a microcurrent facial isn’t a good choice for you.
What Does a Microcurrent Facial Feel Like?
When you go to your appointment, the aesthetician will use the small device with two handheld prongs on your skin. They will move it over the surface in a methodical movement that might cause a very slight tingling feeling, though most people say they don’t feel anything at all.
In addition, you’ll likely have a classic facial experience mixed in with the treatment. Depending on your provider, this can include a deep cleansing, a gentle exfoliation, and finish with a moisturizing massage.
What Else Do I Need to Know About My Appointment?
The cost of a microcurrent facial varies depending on the provider, their education level, and where you live. Expect to pay between $200 and $600 for the service, and plan to add a gratuity to that amount if you enjoy your treatment.
Most appointments run between 60 and 90 minutes, and some providers offer different types of additional services with the treatment that can add time and cost to the session.
Should I Expect Any Side Effects?
There are no adverse side effects to a microcurrent treatment other than instantly glowing skin. You won’t need any downtime, or to avoid activities like going in the sun or swimming following your appointment.
However, if you couple the microcurrent therapy with a facial that involves things like a deep exfoliation or chemical peel, you may see some redness and have other side effects from that portion of your treatment. Talk with your provider to understand any limitations.
Benefits of Microcurrent Facials
There are over a dozen benefits that you’ll see instantly following a microcurrent facial. From a scientific standpoint, these are some of the results that have been cataloged.
- An increase in the ATP in the body by 500% following a treatment. ATP is responsible for providing cellular energy and helps to increase muscle tone and diminish sagging.
- A collagen production increase by 12% within 20 days of receiving therapy. Collagen increases the fullness of areas of the face and hydrates the skin.
- An elastin production increase of 48% within 20 days which tightens and firms skin.
- An improvement in blood circulation by 39% within 20 days, which helps you get a glowing complexion.
In addition to the measurable results found in scientific studies, the visible aesthetic benefits are incredible. Not only will you see improvements within a few minutes of having a treatment, but they will last for a week or two before wearing off.
Some of the things you can expect are:
- Fewer fine lines and wrinkles
- The tighter skin on your face and neck
- Better circulation and a healthy glow
- Improved appearance of acne and acne scars
- Lift to drooping areas like your eyebrows or jowls
- Enhanced lymphatic drainage
- An evening out of your skin pigment
- Firm, smooth skin in the regions that may have been loose previously
- Hydrated, dewy complexion
- Better elasticity without the frozen appearance that sometimes accompanies a treatment like Botox
There are a couple of different ways to incorporate a microcurrent facial into your skincare routine.
Some people elect to have a treatment before a special event so that they look their best for the big day. However, it is also a therapy that may be used on people of all ages to achieve and maintain a more youthful appearance. Experts suggest that not only are the results from a single treatment immediate but that when combined with a rigorous treatment schedule they are also cumulative and can result in lasting improvements.
Here are some general guidelines on frequency if you’re trying to attain long-term results.
If You’re 20 to 30 Years Old
Indulge in a microcurrent facial whenever you desire. At this age, you likely won’t have many fine lines and wrinkles, and your body is still producing a significant amount of collagen and elastin. This treatment would be a preventive one to help slow down the aging process and help reduce the formation of creases.
If You’re Between 30 and 35 Years Old
Most people have started to see common wrinkles on their forehead, between their brows, and around their mouth or eyes by this age. To eliminate these issues, start with a series of six treatments, one weekly, and then have a maintenance appointment every six to eight weeks to help keep your results.
If You’re Between 35 and 40 Years Old
Everyone ages differently, but it’s in this bracket that you typically start to see sagging and signs of sun damage. To combat it, start with an initial treatment of ten sessions scheduled once or even twice weekly. Then, follow up with a maintenance appointment every six to eight weeks.
If You’re Between 40 and 50 Years Old
Similar to the previous age bracket, ten sessions with a frequency of once to twice per week will restore a youthful appearance. Follow up with maintenance one monthly or every six weeks max to keep your new look.
If You’re Between 50 and 60
In this age group, you’ll need between 12 and 15 initial sessions, typically done twice weekly to shave years off the appearance of your skin. Once you’re happy with the results, expect a maintenance visit once monthly to keep them.
If You’re Age 60 or Older
Your initial series of appointments will likely be twice weekly for around eight weeks, or 16 sessions total. Your aesthetician may recommend more depending on the results you’re aiming to achieve. Following this treatment, you’ll have follow-up appointments once monthly.
How to Find a Provider
When searching for a provider in your area always ask if they are certified or licensed. A board-certified dermatologist can administer the treatment, as can a licensed aesthetician. Ask if they specialize in microcurrent therapy to ensure that you find someone who understands the best way to achieve the results you desire.