Everything You Need to Know About Microcurrent Facials

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Beauty and wellness tech has come a long way, and there are so many incredible innovations that sound too good to be true, like microcurrent devices that lift and snatch your jawline, red light therapy devices that soothe your acne, and cold laser therapy devices that minimize joint pain. These futuristic devices may seem like they’re making lofty claims, but once you’ve experienced one, you’ll be a believer for life. One of the most promising developments has been the in-office and powered-up versions of the at-home microcurrent device: the microcurrent facial.

Microcurrent facials utilize a low-grade electrical current to stimulate your facial muscles. The end result? Your face looks firmer, tighter, and more lifted—probably why it’s earned the nickname, “the non-invasive facelift.” The technique has actually been in use medically for about four decades as an FDA-approved treatment for Bell’s palsy and muscle paralysis. Experts then took that technology and adapted it to use as an anti-aging procedure, which has become a favorite of trusted and renowned facialists like Joanna Vargas and Shamara Bondaroff.

Editor and beauty expert Kristina Rodulfo experienced an 80-minute microcurrent facial for herself at the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. “Feeling extra dry, dull, and puffy from flying and drinking beachside cocktails to my heart’s content (how could you not?), I was looking for a treatment to contour my face and give it its glow back,” Rodulfo says.

Microcurrent Facial Before and After

Courtesy

Carillon esthetician Nerys Rodriguez administered the treatment, and Rodulfo “walked away from the treatment room with visibly plumper-looking skin, major lift around my brows, more of a defined jawline, and more prominent cheekbones,” she reports. Rodulfo felt so naturally sculpted that she completely dropped contouring from her routine when she did her makeup post-facial.

If you’re curious for more information on how microcurrent facials work, what they’re like, and any side effects you should look out for, you’ve come to the right place. We asked Rodriguez a couple of key questions to find out everything there is to know about the procedure.

What are microcurrent facials?

“The muscles on the face start going south, just like everything else. We have to keep it fit. So we use current to stimulate the muscle, starting low then increasing gradually until you have the firmness you would like,” Rodriguez explains. While Rodriguez says having a microcurrent facial once a month is sufficient (the results are temporary), she adds that clients of hers at Carillon—the wellness resort is also residential—come weekly.

She adds that a microcurrent facial also doubles as a lymphatic drainage massage. “That’s why you’re less puffy afterward,” she says. “We’re hitting a lot of the pressure points on the face.”

What do microcurrent facials do?

“Results are the eyes will be lifted, the forehead gets tighter, and you’ll see more of an ‘awakened’ look,” Rodriguez says. “It also stimulates collagen, so you’ll have a fuller look as well. Collagen is the main protein the body has to build muscle. As we age, we lose collagen.” As Rodriguez explains, microcurrent has been shown to encourage the production of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate), which leads to the creation of structural proteins like elastin and collagen. Plus, there’s virtually zero downtime, and you can see the results instantly.

What is a microcurrent facial like?

Honestly, they start out like any other facial. The entire process included cleansing, LED light therapy, exfoliation, serums, and masking. Rodriguez applied a thin film of a conductive gel on Rodulfo (you can use any water-based gel), then used a microcurrent machine, which had two wands that the electrical current ran through. Although her muscles were mildly contracting, Rodulfo reports the she didn’t feel any pain at all. Instead, she only sensed the metal wands “lifting sections of my face and staying put for a few seconds and repeating before moving to the next section.” she says. “It’s sending a signal for the muscle that this is where it belongs,” Rodriguez says of “training” the facial tissue by going over different parts of your face multiple times.

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Carillon Miami

Inside of the Carillon spa’s thermal experience.

Are microcurrent facials safe?

“People with heart issues, like if they have a pacemaker, are not advised to get a microcurrent facial because it stimulates the blood,” Rodriguez says. She also doesn’t recommend microcurrent facials for those with severe acne, adding, “If it’s a pimple here or there we can do it. If it’s aggravated, I would not recommend it. There’s a lot of inflammation going on, so we don’t really want to stimulate that.” Pregnant women in their first trimester are also cautioned against doing it.

If you’ve had fillers or Botox, you should wait two weeks for it to settle before getting a facial. “We don’t want to alter their results,” Rodriguez says. After that period, however, “[botox and fillers] actually work better when you get microcurrent, because it’ll make your procedure last longer. I actually recommend it, and I’ve seen great results where it lasts even longer, like the fillers and the Botox.”

Do microcurrent facials have any side effects?

Because microcurrents are exactly that—micro—they aren’t enough to damage the skin or muscles when utilized correctly. However, some people have communicated experiencing things like tingling, drowsiness, and dizziness. But not to worry—those sensations should subside in the hours following the treatment.

kristina rodulfo microcurrent facial after

Courtesy of Kristina Rodulfo

Rodulfo noticed higher, tighter cheeks and a more defined jawline after her microcurrent facial.

Are at-home microcurrent tools just as effective?

Rodriguez says younger clients can get away with using at-home microcurrent tools for maintenance. “You don’t have to be so dedicated to a professional microcurrent service unless you really want to avoid sagging at all times,” she says. “If someone’s 50 and they’re seeing signs of aging, you need something stronger.” She advises all clients to pair professional microcurrent facials with at-home tools for maximum results. “It only takes five minutes. And, I swear, I’m 45, and I use it, and I see great results. I don’t always have to use the professional machine from work—I just use the NuFace, and it’s great, too,” Rodriguez adds.

NUFACE Trinity Facial Toning Device

Trinity Facial Toning Device

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