In many major cities, it’s commonplace for women to have noticeable levels of Botox injections, Restylane filler, and even a mini facelift (or two). But in the midwest, where I’m currently living, it’s less common to have invasive procedures, and more common to age gracefully — or at least look like you are.
Enter the microcurrent facial. Available at many dermatologists’ and facialists’ offices, electrical stimulation is designed to cause muscles to become firmer over time. For instance, a study from The Journal of the Physical Therapy Association showed that electrical stimulation of the quadricep femoris (leg) muscle caused statistically significant muscle strengthening over control. Electrical stimulation has also been shown to improve recovery time to muscles following sports injury (Sports Medicine, 1992).
Microcurrents have been shown in peer-reviewed scientific studies to increase collagen and elastin fiber production in the affected regions (Revue Francaise de Gynecologie de Obstretrique, 1992). Though the method tested in this study used a thin acupuncture-like needle to apply the electrical current, rather than the more typical applicators, the underlying principle is the same. These microcurrents have also been shown to increase DNA protein and collagen synthesis when applied to skin cells in petri dishes (FASEB, 1987).
The idea, then, is that devices like Nuface Classic Microcurrent Facial Toning Device will strengthen underlying facial muscles over time, and also stimulate underlying collagen and elastin fiber production, resulting in tighter, firmer skin.
The Real Issue is Maintenance
The real issue with a microcurrent facial toning device is maintenance. Muscle grows as a function of tension-bearing overload, which in plain English means, if you’re not growing, you’re dying. You can’t start to use a device like the Nuface Classic Microcurrent Facial Toning Device for a few days or weeks and then stop and expect to maintain results. Once you start, you should consider using the product at regular intervals perpetually, or run the risk of losing the gains that you make.
Yes, studies do show electrical currents can stimulate muscle and increase collagen production over time. However, keep the following in mind:
- Older persons > younger persons. Older persons lose muscle mass as they get older, and the face is no exception. Younger women may notice their faces look too masculine with regular facial muscle stimulation.
- Upper face > lower face. As tempting as it can be to use electrical stimulators on your neck and jawline, keep in mind that building up lower facial muscles can make the face appear more masculine. In addition, regular electrical stimulation over the thyroid may lead to hyperthyroid symptoms.
- Maintenance is necessary. Just like lifting weights: you snooze, you lose. You have to keep on using the device in order to maintain results.