July 23rd 2021
Microcurrent facial: at home tools for toned and firm skin
December 3rd 2020 / 0 comment
The demand for at-home microcurrent facials is growing, with more tools than ever promising a plump and toned complexion from your sofa. These are the latest devices to try
If you're looking to achieve the toning, plumping results of an in-clinic microcurrent facial (sometimes called CACI facials - Computer Aided Cosmetology Instrument), from the comfort of your home, you're in luck! This year has seen a rise in launches of at-home microcurrent facial tools with both the Foreo Bear and the Bear Mini, along with Magnitone's LiftOff MicroCurrent Facial Toning and Lifting tool launching in the last few months.
Celebrities including Jennifer Aniston, JLo, Meryl Streep and Kate Hudson are all reportedly fans of microcurrent facials, but what does microcurrent do?
"Microcurrent devices send out a low voltage current into the skin," explains Dr Sophie Shotter of the Illuminate Skin Clinic in Kent. "This can apparently stimulate energy production, stimulating collagen and elastin production and giving a firming and slightly lifting result."
Skincare expert and London facialist Lauren Hughes, who performs microcurrent facials in her East London clinic, told us: "The pulses of electricity penetrate into the skin to stimulate blood circulation and send vital nutrients and oxygen to regenerate cells and increase cell turnover. This naturally boosts collagen and elastin production which keeps our skin looking plump, lifted and youthful."
What to look for in an at-home microcurrent device
Lauren suggests opting for a tool with different intensity settings so you can increase the power of the treatment over time. Higher settings can sometimes cause a small shock – the shocks aren't dangerous but can feel a little uncomfortable and are most common on thinner areas of skin such as the forehead. "Using a microcurrent device is a similar principle to working out your muscles at the gym; you increase the weights over time to see better results."
All microcurrent devices need a water-based conductive gel to allow the currents to conduct into the muscles. The devices often come with a gel and you can buy them separately if you need a top-up – we'd recommend Foreo's Serum Serum Serum, £48.
How to use a microcurrent tool
Before taking to your face, clean it with a non-oily cleanser and make sure it's completely clear of residue because oils can act as a barrier to the electrical current. Once your skin is prepped, apply your conductive gel as if it were your usual serum and move your device in sweeping movements over the areas you want to treat. Many come with app guidance and tutorials as well as pre-programmed time sessions to follow.
How often to use a microcurrent tool
Because the power is less than an in-clinic device, little and often is the way to go when it comes to using the tool. "I suggest every other day for the first few weeks and then using it twice a week after that will maintain the results and get better and better as you increase the intensity level because the results are cumulative,: says Lauren.
Who can use microcurent?
Microcurrent facials are good for younger skin that is showing the first signs of ageing because microcurrent devices tone the muscles beneath the skin for a lifting effect. If it's skin laxity (that sagging that happens with age) you're looking to fix the lifting results will be potentially less visible from your microurrent device. "It can be a useful rejuvenation tactic to help prevent ageing in young skin, but if you already have laxity there will be other devices that offer more bang for buck. I'd suggest NEWA or Sensilift radiofrequency tools for older skin."
However, older skin you can still benefit from the collagen-stimulating benefits off microcurrent, which stimulates ATP, the cells' batteries (which power among other things, the fibroblasts that make collagen and elastin) and as some devices also have a massaging function they can promote an immediate glow and improve blood flow.
Here are the latest microcurrent facial tools
The new one: Magnitone LiftOff MicroCurrent Facial Toning and Lifting, £60
This nifty tool which launched this month pulses as it massages to help tone and lift the appearance of skin, with four intensity settings to work through. It also has a guide timer to let you know how long to use it for each session. It sold out on Boots and FeelUnique upon launch so we're patiently waiting for a restock.
The cute one: Foreo Bear, £229
GTG's Victoria Woodhall tested this cute tool which emits microcurrent from its ears. It has five intensities and you can easily cover the whole face in four minutes - most of the settings are three minutes long so it's easy to use in TV ad breaks and is app controlled. It has pulsations to relax facial muscle tension points and smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It has an anti-shock function to prevent the small shocks and is washable for cleanliness points.
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The classic: Nuface Trinity Facial Trainer, £235
This FDA-cleared device is dubbed 'the five-minute facial' thanks to how quickly it works and is loved by MUA Wendy Rowe. As well as the spheres seen here, this has two further heads you can buy for different results too: the Wrinkle Reducer Head which uses red light therapy rather than microcurrent to minimise the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and the Ele attachment, both £113.60, a pronged device to deliver microcurrent to the lips and eyes to target fine lines in these arears
The tool is currently available in a glitter finish for sparkle fans and comes in pink too, plus there's a mini version ideal for travelling, £115.50.
The slimline one: Trophy Skin Rejuvatone MD, RRP £139
The sleekest of the bunch, this FDA-cleared tool has separate lifting and toning modes and ten different power levels for you to work your way up through. A full treatment takes five minutes with 60 seconds spent on each area.
The multi-tasker: Ziip Ox, £410
This looks like a spaceship and with such a high price tag, we'd hope it has futuristic results too. It has nine different microcurrent treatments all with different lengths and intensities to target different concerns and areas of the face including wrinkles, sagging, breakouts, lymphatic drainage, dull skin and pigmentation too. It has an app to guide you through the treatments and has sessions between two and 12 minutes so you can choose which best suits you - the one to six-minute pigment treatment designed to tackle overactive melanin productions and the Lymph and Lift treatment (seven minutes) to combat puffy skin pique our interest the most. You might question how does microcurrent help with breakouts –Ziip say that the tool uses negative energy to kill spot-causing bacteria to reduce and prevent breakouts.