My Skincare Gadgets (Pt. 2: Microcurrent Device)

By Minji

  • I use an at-home microcurrent device ~3 times a week to help with sagging skin issues
  • Nothing game changing, but I like it as a sustainable addition to my skincare lineup
  • It's a way to gently "work out" your facial muscles without causing unnecessary wrinkles

Besides my beloved gua sha tool and LED device, both of which I use almost daily, the skincare gadget I reach for most often would be my high-tech microcurrent device. 

To be honest, I should admit that I got it as one of those compulsive skincare purchases.  I had seen and heard about this device for a while, then Nordstrom’s started their biannual sale, and the nail in the coffin was when a friend told me she got it on sale and recommended that I take advantage of the offer too.  You know how the story goes....

Well, of all of my impulsive skincare purchases, this is one I would say turned out pretty well.  I’ve been using it for over a year now, typically 3-4 times a week, and generally like it. 

First things first though, what is a microcurrent, right?  Well, it’s a subtle low-level electric current that is known to have skincare benefits such as toning and firming sagging skin.  At first, when I heard it was electric, I was worried that I might experience a freak accident or something, but turns out, your natural body has these currents flowing through you too.  These microcurrents coming from skincare devices are simply mimicking those and are FDA approved.   

Interestingly enough, microcurrent devices were first approved by the FDA to treat patients with Bell’s Palsy, which results in nerve paralysis and sagging facial muscles.  After discovering improved results in patients with sagging facial muscles, microcurrent was then adopted into skincare tools.

Microcurrents are capable of sending subtle stimulation to the facial muscle level to stimulate and “train” muscles.  In addition, studies have shown they can assist in stimulating collagen and elastin production.  As much as I hate face workouts, I love how this device can workout facial muscles without creating any friction on your skin. 

I like to use my microcurrent device in the mornings, in between my serum and moisturizer steps.  I’ll apply a water-based gel to help the device glide smoothly on my face and neck without creating unnecessary wrinkles.  Some brands sell their own gels, but save your money and just use any aloe vera gel you like. 

It takes me 3-5 minutes total to glide the device all over my face and neck per the instructions (it’s a lot like the gua sha massage movement).  Apparently, some people can’t even feel the currents, but when I use my device at full strength, I definitely feel the sensations – especially around the edges of my face, it feels really prickly and sometimes even feels like I’m getting a mild electric shock…but nothing I would say is painful.

Another way I like to use it is over a facial sheet mask.  It’s really effective in increasing absorption of all the good ingredients on the mask.  I feel a huge difference in the amount of liquid left on the sheet mask and how hydrated and plumped up my skin feels when I use the device for a few minutes before I settle into my maskitation session.  A solid at-home facial technique.   

I asked Dr. Moradi about my device and he said they can be helpful, but only if used diligently.  He noted that they don’t compare to the strength of in-clinic treatments and won’t give you sustainable results if you don’t keep up the practice. 

Some brands advertise a crazy before-and-after pic of how skin looks lifted after one use, but I’ve never experienced this personally.  For me, it’s just another long-term strategy to maintain healthy skin - if it can help prevent the future drooping of my cheeks by even a millimeter, I’m content.    

A few caveats, in case you decide to try one.  Be careful not to use oil-based products before your use your device.  Apparently, oil can block the currents and result in an ineffective treatment session.  Also, if you’re pregnant, or have certain health conditions like cancer or epilepsy, you should consult with a doctor before you use anything like this.  Do some research, experiment, and most importantly, have fun building your own unique long-term skincare plan!