Microcurrent facials: Everything you need to know

Microcurrent facials are a popular skin therapy for lifting and tightening the face.
Beautiful woman receiving facial treatment
Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY
By Julie Pennell

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Looking for a natural and noninvasive face-lift? Say hello to the microcurrent facial.

It’s a popular therapy that can be done by professionals or even at home. The purpose is to tighten your skin’s appearance, making you look younger without surgery. It's totally painless, too.

Below, we break down the basics of the microcurrent facial, including how it works, who it’s best for, what side effects it can cause and how you can do one at home.

Microcurrent facials can reduce puffiness, tighten skin and erase wrinkles.Getty Images

What is a microcurrent facial?

“Microcurrent facials are like a gym workout for your face,” Veronica Barton Schwartz, owner of Veronica Skin & Body Care Center in Malibu, California, told TODAY Style.

The treatment uses specific, low levels of electricity to stimulate the muscles, collagen and elastin in your face, lifting it and making it look more rejuvenated.

Barton Schwartz said that by adding a microcurrent series to your facial regimen, you can expect to achieve tighter, clearer, healthier, hydrated and more youthful skin.

“Younger clients can get away with using an at-home microcurrent machine for maintenance,” she added. “If someone’s over 50 and they’re seeing signs of aging, you may want something stronger (with) a professional microcurrent treatment.”

The recommended frequency for professional treatments is once every four to eight weeks, depending on your age and skin condition, Baron Schwartz said. At-home treatments can be done multiple times a week for 5 to 15 minutes a day.

What happens during a microcurrent facial?

“A professional microcurrent facial procedure starts out like a regular facial,” Barton Schwartz said. The treatment, which takes an hour in total, begins with cleaning and exfoliation. After that, a water-based, connective gel is applied to the face. Then the microcurrent facial begins.

“The esthetician should be trained to know by looking at your face what area of the face needs to be worked on longer,” she said. They will go over those areas multiple times with the metal wands.

You can have a microcurrent facial done professionally, or there are machines you can buy to use at home. Getty Images

What does a microcurrent facial feel like?

“You should not feel any discomfort or pain, just the cool metal wands lifting sections of your face and staying put for a few seconds and repeating before moving to the next section,” Barton Schwartz said.

While some people will feel absolutely nothing, others might feel a slight tingling sensation. “I personally feel warmth in my face, but it feels stimulating and good to me,” she added.

“I always start the microcurrent machine on low and increase the energy as the client gets more comfortable with the process and as the session continues,” Barton Schwartz explained. “Most of my clients want me to turn up the energy after their first session because they like the way it feels, but that isn’t necessary for the excellent results.”

The important thing to remember, though, is that a microcurrent facial should never hurt.

Are there any side effects associated with microcurrent facials?

While microcurrent has a long history of being safe, you may feel a little different after your treatment, Barton Schwartz said. “Some people may have a little fatigue and drowsiness. The effects can last about 20 minutes after your treatment," she clarified.

As with any massage or detox treatment, you should drink plenty of water afterward.

How can you do a microcurrent facial at home?

If you’re looking for ways to maintain your skin in between professional appointments or just want to enjoy the treatment in the comfort of your own home, consider investing in a microcurrent machine.

There are a number on the market, including the popular NuFACE Trinity Facial Toning Device.

NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device

Barton Schwartz even recommends it to her own clients for maintenance. It’s a handheld handheld gadget that you use for just 5 minutes a day.