There is no denying the incredible science and expansive benefits of Microcurrent for the skin. The use of Microcurrent started as a treatment in physical therapy settings in the 1970’s. Microcurrent first made its way onto the market used for muscular and skeletal conditions, muscle rehabilitation, reduce pain in soft tissue injuries, wound healing, as well as neurological conditions such as bell’s palsy. While its popularity has grown tremendously in the world of beauty and skincare, it is still a highly used modality in physical therapy, acupuncture settings, pain management and sports therapy.
During the late 1970’s Dr. Thomas Wing, an acupuncturist, chiropractor and pioneer in the use of microcurrent therapy developed a device for the treatment of bell’s palsy and stroke patients with paralysis of the face that earned an FDA approval.
As use of the device spread by physicians treating Bell’s palsy patients, the effectiveness of Dr. Wings’ device in essentially lifting and toning the facial muscles was discovered. Microcurrent was then born into the skincare and beauty industry in the 1990’s.
Microcurrent for skin and facial rejuvenation continues to be a popular treatment today.
In addition, Microcurrent provides science backed research and data, proving it as an effective modality in treating the signs of aging through supporting the body’s natural building blocks of cellular health. I highly recommend microcurrent for the noticeable yet natural results it provides and it compliments face massage results wonderfully too!
Before we dive further into the incredible results microcurrent provides, I do want to quickly highlight the unique way facial muscles insert into the skin. The face is the only area of the body where this connection between the muscles and skin occurs. This is because our facial muscles are mimetic muscles. We express emotion through our facial muscles and this is how and why we are able to decipher what someone is thinking before they speak. Mimetic muscles are ultimately a part of how we communicate.
This reflects the significant role that facial muscles play in the appearance of our complexion. Skin ultimately mimics the state of our facial muscles due this unique connection of the face muscles inserting into the skin. Therefore, as microcurrent tones and activates facial muscles through electric currents and ATP production, the skin innately rejuvenates, lifts, and tones (to name a few of the amazing benefits) through this connection.
What Is Microcurrent Therapy Used For?
Microcurrent therapy extends beyond skincare use but for the sake of this article, I’ll refine the benefits of microcurrent directly correlating to the incredible results for the skin. Ultimately I know that is why you are here!
1. Activates and Retrains Facial Muscles
As microcurrent activates facial muscles at a cellular level, muscles begin to re-educate and retake shape resulting in facial contour improvements.
2. Boosts Cellular Activity Relating to the Production of Collagen and Elastin.
You may have heard “microcurrent stimulates collagen.” Let’s break this down. Microcurrent promotes mitochondria function and ATP production. This activates the body’s natural cellular processes that normally slow down with intrinsic and extrinsic aging factors. To reconstitute collagen, elastin and overall support healthy tissue throughout the body, we need ATP, as it is essential for cellular metabolism and repair. Microcurrent stimulates collagen and elastin synthesis because it activates the natural building blocks of healthy connective tissue.
3. Lessened Fine Lines and Wrinkles (study)
A 2012 study shows a decrease in facial wrinkles after 30 days of microcurrent use. This reflects ATP’s role in collagen synthesis and activating the building blocks of healthy connective tissue.
4. Scar and Wound Healing (study)
The same study has shown ATP to accelerate wound healing and reduction in appearance of scars. Overall, microcurrent has been proven over and over again to stimulate ATP production.
5. Improved Blood Circulation
As tiny impulses are emitted through the skin, facial muscles begin to contract and relax. This rhythm pumps blood in and out of the area, enhancing facial circulation and clearing stagnant blood.
6. Lymphatic Drainage
As microcurrent reinforces movement on a molecular level, this assists in clearing excess lymph, metabolic waste and reducing facial puffiness.
7. Smoother and Firmer Skin Appearance
Through immediate blood and lymph stimulation, stagnant blood and excess fluid is dispersed and drained. This combination yields immediate results in a subtle face lift effect with skin appearing more sculpted and lifted, as heaviness from fluid stagnation has cleared.
8. Lift of Jowls and Eyebrows
Through the combination of muscle activation, blood flow and lymphatic drainage, some of the most common areas that tend to pool lymph and fluid such as the jawline and eyes will quickly reflect immediate results.
9. Brightens Skin and Lessens Sun Damage
Microcurrent provides rejuvenating properties on a cellular level that support repair of skin tissue damage and overall brightens complexion through persistent use.
10. Provides Immediate and Cumulative Results
Improved skin can be seen after one treatment and effects of microcurrent are compounding. Microcurrent ultimately reinforces the building blocks of healthy muscle activity and connective tissue regeneration when used consistently.
11. Pain Free and No Downtime
Microcurrent is a pain-free and non-invasive treatment with no downtime. If treatments are uncomfortable, it is recommended to turn the device down.
How Does Microcurrent Therapy Work
Microcurrent mimics the body’s natural electrical current and emits pulses through the skin that increase production of ATP. ATP or adenosine triphosphate is produced in the mitochondria, is the source of cellular energy and is essential for cells to function properly. ATP naturally decreases with age and during this decrease, muscle fibers become weak and less effective and natural cellular processes slow down.
The core use of Microcurrent for anti aging purposes is to stimulate ATP production. ATP activates muscle fibers to contract and relax while boosting cellular metabolism and supporting the mechanisms and building block processes of healthy skin. Benefits include wound healing, improved collagen and elastin reproduction, muscle contraction and increased circulation.
Microcurrent Therapy Side Effects
There are no side effects of microcurrent but there are contraindications for both at home and professional microcurrent treatments that include:
- Epilepsy or history of seizures
- Metal plates or pins in the body
- Excessive dental fillings
- Current cancer or undergoing cancer treatment or cancer within 2 years
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Rosacea skin
- Some forms of acne
- Extreme skin inflammation or sensitive skin conditions
- Do not use microcurrent over thyroid or carotid artery
How to Use Microcurrent at Home
What does Microcurrent feel like?
Microcurrent is ultimately painless. There is no benefit to painful treatments with intense currents or muscle twitching visibly seen. You may feel slight pulsating sensations and currents in the skin but that is normal. If you have a device with multiple settings on it, it is recommended to turn down settings around the eye area, as it tends to be a sensitive area.
How many times a week can I use Microcurrent at home?
Start by mindfully introducing microcurrent into your homecare routine every other day. If you lean on the side of skin sensitivity, monitor how your skin responds after microcurrent use and curate usage from there. The most important factor is to monitor how your skin responds and build your use from there combined with the recommendations from your devices company, as the strength of different devices will differ.
Pro-tip. There is something known as the skin tolerance effect. The skin has a tolerance of what it can receive and how activated it can be before it starts veering into inflammation and in extreme circumstances, potentially early cell apoptosis, which is cell death.
Shocking your skin with activating devices and products will not give you faster results. Over use of activating procedures and products will inflame the skin. This happens so often in the skincare world, for example, with activating exfoliants and hydroxy acids and can be the root of positive skincare intentions gone wrong. Just as the body needs rest when we are sore from working out, the skin needs rest too. Even when we are not sore from exercise, we still take rest days because this is where recovery and growth takes place, the same goes for the skin!
What products should I use with Microcurrent?
All microcurrent devices require a conductive gel to be used with them. Most first time device purchases will come with a recommended product or offer it for purchase separately. Conductive gel must be oil free and used on freshly cleansed skin and skin free of any oils, balms or moisturizers in order for the electric current to conduct through the skin.
What about Professional Microcurrent Facials?
Professional treatments are a fantastic option to enhance your microcurrent results. Professional microcurrent devices offer higher milliamps to the skin and are usually recommended as a series of treatments to build cumulative results. Combining professional treatments with correct at home use recommended by your esthetician is a wonderful choice.
What are the best at home Microcurrent devices?
There are a ton of microcurrent toning devices on the market today. I’ll keep it simple and share the microcurrent devices that I personally use on myself and recommend to others. They each have the science and testing behind them to prove their effectiveness too.
7E wellness offers both an at home and professional device. I use a 7E wellness device on myself and can also recommend it for estheticians desiring to add microcurrent into their practice. 7E Wellness offers results driven, science backed devices and is a fabulous investment choice for at home and professional use.
At home myolift mini delivers a powerful 400 microamps during use. Many other at home devices on the market deliver around 350 microamps. The device is a bit more of a machine and may be a bit complicated for travel but in that case, opt for their Qt device. It is their portable device version of their machines.
Cruise their website for the breakdown of their devices and use code MInimalBeauty for 15% of your order:-)
I have been pleasantly surprised with the NUface Trinity microcurrent device and noticed immediate results after my first use! This device is portable and provides simple protocols found right on their website. They have a few devices available with the NuFace Trinity classic being their most popular device. Nuface microcurrent devices are easy to use, results driven and great for travel.
In closing, microcurrent is a remarkable way to support what the skin is already capable of. However, microcurrent is not a quick fix to a poor lifestyle or the absence of a daily skincare routine. Microcurrent activates the skin’s innate rejuvenation abilities. The more precursors to healthy skin you have in motion, the quicker you will experience microcurrent results.