Just 2 minutes a day is all it takes to target crows' feet and fine lines and to get the microcurrent glow. We put Foreo's newest compact facial toning device to the test

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There’s a phenomenon known as the ‘microcurrent glow’. It’s that ‘just stepped out of the gym’ healthy flush (minus the sweat) that gives the skin a pert, pink plumpness. And who wouldn't want that?

For the last few weeks, I’ve been basking in its effects ever since wellness powerhouse tech company FOREO Sweden  challenged me to test its microcurrent facial toning device BEAR ( see how I got on here ).

Now, they have asked me to try BEAR mini . As its name suggests, it’s an even more pocket-sized version of the original ergonomic microcurrent device. (Quick recap: microcurrent toning technology acts like a workout for the face, stimulating, tightening and toning the muscles and contouring the face, while also increasing energy in the cells, helping you to make more collagen and elastin, the stuff that makes our skin firm, springy and youthful). Of course, I leaped in!

My first thought about BEAR mini , was yes, I know it’s even cuter than BEAR, but when I already have the big daddy, with its five intensity settings, its claim to be the most powerful microcurrent device on the market and its trademark and patent T-Sonic™ pulsations for a glowy facial massage, what can this little upstart do to impress?

Plenty, as it turns out; as the Shakespeare saying goes, ‘though she be but little, she is fierce’!

What are the similarities between BEAR and BEAR mini?

1. Microcurrent meets facial massage

As a BEAR convert, I was pleased to hear that BEAR mini  has many of the same features, being the only devices to combine microcurrent with T-Sonic ™ pulsations (T stands for transdermal) that invigorate the skin with a gentle massage. You can choose to switch these on or off during your treatment with a double click of the power button. However, I always have them on because they make the experience so much more relaxing, they give you an immediate glow by stimulating blood flow and this also helps keep your skin clear and nourished. What's more, the pulsations allow your serum to absorb better too.

2. It’s app-connected

BEAR mini  also connects to the Foreo For You App, where you register your device and are guided by a demo video for a fool-proof two-minute routine. You only need to watch it once or twice, it’s so simple. I quickly started freestyling without the app for longer sessions up to ten minutes. Helpfully, the device beeps and powers down every two minutes, to remind you to move on to another area or do the other side.

3. It won’t shock you

BEAR mini  likewise comes with Foreo’s patented Anti-Shock™ technology, which detects your skin’s reaction to microcurrent 100 times per second and adjusts the intensity when it encounters resistance. This avoids those uncomfortable mini shocks that can be a feature of other microcurrent devices. Both BEARs have the same output and can complete 90 two-minute routines on a single USB charge.

4. Use a conductivity serum for easy glide and glow

Prepping the skin for your BEAR mini  workout is simple. You simply cleanse your face with a non-oil-based cleanser, apply a water-based conductivity serum such as Foreo SERUM SERUM SERUM, which is choc-full of hyaluronic acid and allows the spheres to glide over the face without dragging. A conductivity serum is a must for microcurrent safety and comfort.

You move BEAR mini  always in an upward and outward motion towards the hairline or jawbone. This not only supports the lift you want to achieve but helps remove puffiness via lymphatic drainage. You can also hold the spheres in areas you want to target for a minute or so at a time.

What’s unique about BEAR mini?

1. It gets into small spaces for targeted toning

Here is where it gets clever. With its compact microcurrent spheres, BEAR mini  is ergonomically shaped to reach into spaces that its ‘parent’ cannot penetrate so adeptly. I liken it to asking my children to decipher the on-demand box or crawl under the sofa to retrieve a lost pen. There are certain instances where small is simply better.

Case in point: I’m someone with hooded eyes, and the precision of the mini really allowed me to work the area immediately under and above my brows. My brow ptosis (a nice way of saying droopy upper eyelids) is more noticeable on my left eye, so I allowed myself more time deploying BEAR min i on one side to help even things out.

2. It’s travel friendly

Talking of smaller, it's incredibly portable. If you’re travelling, or know you have a couple of minutes to spare after the gym, it’s a compact way of keeping up your microcurrent treatments. As with any kind of workout, regularity is key.

3. It’s gentle on sensitive areas

Another aspect where BEAR mini  came into its own for me was on the barcode lines around my mouth. This is a sensitive spot where you need greater precision so as not to stray onto the lips themselves. The demo video on the app shows just how to do this.

4. It has 3 intensity settings

But what about power? Does BEAR mini  pack the same punch? I have to admit this was my main concern. I have mature skin and like to turn all my gadgets up to the max. The mini has three intensity settings (you’ll see these in the app, as 5,10 and 15) to the BEAR’s five (additional levels 20 and 25). Would that be enough for me?

Interestingly yes, because of the different way in which I’m using it. In those more targeted delicate areas, especially around the mouth level three is plenty. In fact, on occasions, I turned it down a notch.

And finally….

After a week using BEAR mini, focusing on my eye area in particular, my eyes felt and looked brighter. Working from home and being makeup-free, I got into the habit of a 4pm tea break/screen break with my device. I’d apply some hyaluronic acid under-eye patches or SERUM SERUM SERUM and press or glide the BEAR mini around on the orbital bone. Not only did it relax my tired screen eyes, but it helped hydrate and soften my expression lines too.

One thing I’ve learned from my experience with BEAR mini , is how important hydration is, especially when working sensitive areas. I noticed that when I hadn’t been so diligent with my eight glasses of water a day, or if I’d had a glass of wine (alcohol, as we know, is dehydrating) I experienced more of a prickling sensation from the microcurrent and my skin became more sensitive. One way around this, I discovered, was applying extra serum directly onto the spheres.

But the simplest way was to make sure I drank plenty of water throughout the day – a healthy habit to adopt anyway, especially if you have a workout planned. After all, microcurrent is like taking your face to the gym.

BEAR and BEAR mini  are indeed complementary partners. BEAR, with its medium-sized spheres, is great for an all-over facial workout and for stimulating bigger muscles such as the jaw and sides of the neck.  BEAR mini  scores well for nuanced and targeted toning. If you have younger skin and you don’t need the higher levels of microcurrent then the BEAR mini, with its lower price point is a good choice. If you’re unsure you can book a free virtual consultation with FOREO .

Either way, the microcurrent glow is in the palm of your hand.

Written in partnership with FOREO Sweden.

Find out more about the FOREO BEAR range.  

BEAR and BEAR mini are safe to use on all skin types. However, if you have any medical concerns such as epilepsy, if you have a pacemaker, electronic implanted device, or if you are pregnant, please consult your doctor before using the device. Never use BEAR without a conductivity serum, gel or cream.