Microcurrent devices have long played a part in professional salon treatments but have only recently become accessible in the at-home facial offering.
Originally created as a treatment for medical conditions that lead to facial paralysis like strokes or Bell’s Palsy, the application of electrical currents through your visage caught the attention of the beauty community for its firming, contouring, toning and lifting properties. But before you click off this page in fear that beauty really is pain, we’re here to reassure you that you’ll barely feel a thing.
These high-performance devices remain safe and virtually undetectable by using miniscule pulses of electricity. This take a more than just skin deep approach to your skincare routine, working the muscles while remaining non-invasive and keeping you away from the tweakments and injectables for that extra bit longer.
Enhancing the effect of your topical treatments, the esthetician-approved microcurrent tools exercises the facial muscles, and when remaining consistent with usage, you should notice visible effects. To really see the results, try doing half your face first and compare to the other side.
Sarah Chapman, celebrity facialist and founder of the skincare label Skinesis explains why we should be incorporating these hi-tech beauty heroes into our routine.
What are microcurrent devices?
Microcurrent devices use low-voltage electricity to stimulate the facial muscles, mimicking the natural contracting movement for an immediate tightening effect.
What do they microcurrent devices do?
They’re like a workout for your face. The low-grade electrical currents cause your facial muscles to contract, delivering a lifted, firm and defined appearance to the face. They isolate muscles to tone and tighten but, like all exercise, they rely on continuous use. If you get toned from a series of workouts then stop, then inevitably the effects will wear off quickly.
What are the long-term effects of microcurrent devices?
You’ll see an instant lifting effect after treatment, so it’s ideal before an event. Studies indicate microcurrent may stimulate collagen production in the long term, but commitment and continuation is key – like gym visits for body toning!
We offer radiofrequency treatments at the Skinesis clinic which is my preferred method for tightening and toning. Like microcurrent, radiofrequency also harnesses currents, but they’re used to generate heat in the deeper layers of the skin. This heat triggers a transformative response in the skin by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, encouraging cell turnover and the tightening of collagen fibres – all of which leads to long-term results. You’ll get that instant lifted look, but you’ll also see those long-lasting, youth-boosting effects.
Are microcurrent devices safe?
Clinical microcurrent devices are perfectly safe when operated correctly by a trained therapist, and their technique will determine the overall effectiveness of the treatment.
Are the at-home devices effective?
They’re far less powerful than devices you’ll find at a professional clinic, and you’ll find the results are more subtle. It also depends on the technique and skill of the person using them. Facial massage also drains and sculpts the face in a similar way, especially if you use a tool like my Facialift to target muscles and stimulate blood flow.
Do microcurrent devices hurt?
The voltage is low and shouldn’t hurt – like a small ‘zap’ against the skin.
What products should you use in tandem with microcurrent devices?
If your goal is a lifted, more bouncy complexion, reach for collagen-stimulating actives such as peptides, vitamin A and antioxidants. UV exposure will break down collagen in your skin over time, so always finish your morning routine with an SPF to protect your skin (rain or shine!).
Bringing the salon experience home with and upgrade your typical Sunday facial with the best microcurrent devices
NuFACE Trinity and Trinity ELE Attachment Set
Build NuFACE into your skincare regime and you will notice the tightening of your facial contours in just a few uses. One of the leaders in the at-home beauty gadget game, the label is on the forefront of microcurrent with devices that act as facial personal trainers.
There are bundle packs aplenty and this comes with the award-winning Trinity device that has multiple attachments including a specialised microcurrent add-on to act as a targeted treatment against the signs of ageing - be it uneven skin tone or wrinkles. It stimulates all areas of the face, even the smaller contours with lifting and sculpting effects.
There’s also a gel primer to prep the skin for easy application and the ELE precision head, the latter of which is smaller in size to provide a more precise treatment on hard-to-reach areas like the eyes and around the lips. Crow’s feet and laughter lines be gone.
Consistency is key but you should notice a real, noticeable difference on the likes of sagging chin and around the jaw. Skin is left glowing and one full charge lasts for months so there’s no need to be constantly plugging in.
Buy now £306.60, lookfantastic
FOREO Bear Microcurrent Facial Toning Device With 5 Intensities
Innovative Scandinavian label has been putting a hi-tech twist on beauty routines the world over for quite some time with its bestselling LUNA device that is not your average cleansing brush. It uses silicone and sonic to make your products more efficacious (but more on that below).
The BEAR is one of the brand’s newer offerings and has been created specifically for facial toning. Crafted in the FOREO signature silicone, it delivers microcurrent and T-Sonic pulsations that exercise each and every muscle in the face and neck (don’t forget the neck!). Entirely safe and foolproof, the brand opts for a patented Anti-Shock System so you need not fear about any potential mishaps as it will automatically adjust to the area in question through sensors. This provides an entirely pain-free experience and yet you won’t help but notice the visible changes, especially when it comes to areas like the cheekbones.
Connect to the app and you can follow one of the customisable facial workouts for a face PT in your pocket, helping to boost collagen and elastin and tighten skin at the same time by penetrating and stimulating at a cellular level and resulting in a natural toning effect. More than just skin deep, this beauty gadget is able to reach through the skin’s layers in order to encourage better circulation, offer lympathic drainage and ease tensions to leave you with the glowing skin that you deserve.
Plus the battery life is so long-lasting, you can use it over 90 times without needing to rejuice - just remember where you leave the charger. There are no additional attachments but it is best paired with a serum to allow the device to glide along the skin with ease - a mini version of the brand’s SERUM SERUM SERUM is included with this purchase.
Buy now £279.00, Cult Beauty
By Dr. Vali The Ultimate Micro-Contouring Tool
One of the world’s top cosmetic dermatologists Dr. Vali is giving you the chance to experience one of her most sought-after in-clinic treatments from your humble abode. The skincare expert knows a thing or two about effective skincare and is renowned for her use of forward-thinking tech - and the Ultimate Micro-Contouring Tool is case in point.
It provides the complexion with high-powered sonic waves at five different levels that each tackle common skincare concerns. There is also a custom oscillation system, spinning 14,000 a minute to further enhance the benefits and you can use along the jawline, upper lip, cheeks, brow and more.
At the first level, you will be able to apply the medical-grade silicone gadget to reduce puffiness, while the second works on radiance. Working your way up, level three has a firming and lifting effect, level four reduces tension and level five is all about micro-contouring, a way to incorporate the beloved Dr. Vali treatment on a daily basis. The tool is rechargeable through USB, water-resistant and has a long-lasting stainless steel casing.
Buy now £525.00, Selfridges
The state-of-the-art TheraFace PRO was created with a clear mission in mind: to make skin look healthier. Therabody, the brand that created the gadget, has turned its attention from post-exercise muscle recovery to this portable facial health device, incorporating its signature percussive therapy in order to relax and work the muscles at a deeper level.
The professional experience at home, it harnesses the knowledge of dermatologists, scientists, and skin health experts to create an all-encompassing device that incorporates a whole lot of science-backed treatments in one, whether its the brand’s trademarked Cryothermal Technology, migrane release or microcurrent therapy.
The product is one of the most customisable on the market with magnetic ring attachments to tailor each individual treatment as well as offering the ability to combine for the timepoor. Use on a regular basis and you will notice the evening out of skin tone, a boost in elasticity and a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as a healthy glow.
Buy now £375.00, Therabody
Magnitone London LiftOff Microcurrent Facial Lifting and Toning Device - Pink
For a hard-working gadget that gets to job done (and at an affordable price tag), the Magnitone LiftOff Microcurrent Facial Device should be on your radar. The tool will release microcurrents that are entirely undetectable, pain-free and has no downtime in order to stimulate the facial muscles deep below the surface layers of the skin, mimicking the body’s own processes in order to lift and firm.
It does this in such a gentle way so that it can even be used by sensitive skin types as both the device itself with its metal plates and the accompanying Prepare + Glide Gel that is included are hypoallergenic and non-irritating. Use all over the face, from larger surface levels to smaller contours like the brow to boost blood circulation. There are four intensity settings and a five second timer so you know when to move on to the next area. This really works.
Buy now £90.00, lookfantastic
NUBYEN Beauty Inheritance Nano Microcurrent Skin Resurfacer
Lift and firm with the help of NUBYEN and its Beauty Inheritance game-changer. Whether you’re on the go or treating yourself to an at-home facial, this gadget should be on hand to take your skincare regime to the next level. Through pulses of microcurrents, it encourages your body to produce more collagen and elastin that in turn reduces visible signs of ageing like wrinkles.
It is made up of gold-plated electrode plates that have a soothing and inflammation-reducing effect as soon as you begin. Through a variety of intensities, you can alter the power in order to best suit, and it need not be painful so make sure you do what your skin is comfortable with. The label’s Gel Elixir is included that has been created to enhance the device’s efficacy and add brightness to your complexion.
Buy now £185.00, Net-A-Porter
HoMedics Facial Beauty Roller
This product takes a different approach to a microcurrent facial than the other gadgets on this list. First and foremost, it is a manual process that doesn’t require pesky charging and can slipped into hand luggage with ease. Instead it’s a roller that produces a very gentle microcurrent as you go backwards and forwards on the face and through the built-in solar panel.
The rollers that powers the product are created to mimic a kneading massage and rotate 360 degrees, while being able to adapt to the contours of your face thanks to the V-shape. This process should stimulate blood circulation that results in a glowy and lifted complexion.
Buy now £29.99, lookfantastic
FOREO LUNA 3 Plus thermo-Facial Brush with Microcurrent
With this device, FOREO has taken its bestselling LUNA cleansing brush and incorporated eight thermal touchpoints as well as microcurrent technology. While providing a more thorough cleanse, it will also get to work on your facial muscles with the lifting, firming and tightening that you’d hope for. It is fitted with silicone touchpoints that make for a kind-to-skin feel and up to 8000 T-sonic pulsations to ensure that it is penetrating into the deeper layer to remove the likes of dirt, makeup and oil from your pores with ease - a feat enhanced by the touchpoints.
For the microcurrent treatment, there are two pins channeling the electricity into the skin, but while that may sound incredibly painful, it is entirely safe and you’ll barely feel a thing. In fact, this is one of the most gentle applications on this list. Much like the brand’s BEAR product above, you can also connect this option to the app where you can get into the nitty gritty of what your routine needs, change the intensity and personalise the treatment. It couldn’t be easier to use and is also waterproof, hypoallergenic and extremely long-lasting battery-wise.
Buy now £269.00, Cult Beauty
NuBODY by NuFACE
We told you that NuFACE was a leader in the microcurrent game and the brand takes this one step further by giving your body the opportunity to make the most of the toning and firming treatment. NuBODY - as the name suggests - works to stimulate collagen and elastin wherever you desire, smoothing and tightening as it goes. Your upper arms, thighs, abs and more can receive the low-voltage electrical current at cellular level to minimise the likes of cellulite and sagging.
Buy now £383.00, Cult Beauty
Solawave Anti-Breakout Skincare Wand with Blue Light Therapy
When a breakout appears, we all want to wave a magic wand and have it disappear – and this new launch from SolaWave is designed to do exact that. The Blue Light Wand is a compact tool that you can use from the comfort of your own home that not only works to bust blemishes but also encourages the better absorbancy and efficacy of topical skincare products. It should also boost your skin’s radiance. The device uses blue light therapy, therapeutic warmth, and vibrating massage without any microcurrents and so remains safe for all.
Buy now £116.00, Solawave