Using an electric current to sculpt your face sounds instantly terrifying. But since microcurrent facials entered the skincare scene, it’s been a popular technique for instant results — and you don’t even need a professional to administer the electricity.
Microcurrent facials use a low-level electric current to stimulate facial muscles, ideally helping to lift dull or sagging skin as we age. The technique originated as a medical treatment for Bells Palsy patients, and in the 1980s it grew into an aesthetic treatment. Modern interest in microcurrent facials first peaked on Google Search trends in 2017, and at this time, most people interested in the treatment looked for services in a spa setting. But as the pandemic spread and we started living more remote lifestyles, interest in at-home beauty treatments took off. Enter: the at-home microcurrent device.
“With everyone staying home, I think devices in general have become more popular,” said Melissa Wilson, director of education at Woodhouse Spas. “We’re at home, we’re looking at ourselves on Zoom like ‘What’s that and how do I fix it?’ [Microcurrent therapy] was always an esthetician’s thing, and then everyone [at home] really caught on.”
At-home devices use an even lower level of current to ensure that the average user can’t go overboard shocking their face. While they do tend to be pricey, ranging from $200 to upwards of $500, they can also ultimately be worth the one-time investment when compared to recurring spa microcurrent treatments. While microcurrent enthusiasts often report instant results of lifted, firmer skin after the first use, estheticians like Wilson do recommend repeated, routine microcurrent therapies to actually maintain those results. After all, it is a facial workout — and like any other workout, you can’t stop exercising once you hit a goal if you want to keep the results.
In this episode of Beauty, Hacked, host Jennimai Nguyen tries out two microcurrent devices, ZIIP GX series(opens in a new tab) and the Foreo Bear,(opens in a new tab) to see if they really can deliver an instant lift. She also talks to Wilson about whether those electric currents should hurt or be uncomfortable, and what microcurrent therapy can do for anti-aging. Tune in here for those answers, and see for yourself what self-administered electric shocks to the face feels like.