Is At-Home Microcurrent Worth the Hype?
Do microcurrent devices really reduce wrinkles and fine lines on your face?
If you’re anything of a beauty buff then you’ve definitely heard about microcurrent, which has been dubbed as a 5-minute non-surgical face lift or workout for your face. If you know nothing about it, then you’re definitely in the right place. Read along to find out what the hype is all about and how exactly it works to reduce and delay visible signs of ageing.
People have reported an immediate difference in their skin after the first use. However, with consistent use (typically no more than 5 minutes a day), it is said to boost your skin’s elasticity and collagen production giving you tighter, more glowing skin.
What is Microcurrent Therapy?
Microcurrent therapy is a non-invasive treatment which uses a device with two electrodes to deliver low-voltage electric charges to the muscles in your face, mimicking your body’s electrical current. These charges stimulate the muscles and are said to increase blood flow, tighten the skin and improve overall facial contours, leaving you with younger-looking skin.
Doctors first implemented this method in the 1970’s to treat patients with Bell's Palsy, a condition that causes facial paralysis on one side of the face, resulting in drooping around the eye and/or the corner of the mouth. It wasn’t long before people took notice of its anti-aging benefits as a cosmetic application. As a result, it has become an increasingly popular treatment in the beauty industry which tackles issues like fine lines, wrinkles and drooping skin.
The Technology Behind Microcurrent Devices
In order to understand how microcurrent works, you have to get familiar with ATP (adenosine triphosphate) first. So what is ATP exactly and what is its role? ATP is responsible for using and storing energy in our cells, which is needed for muscle contraction among other cellular processes. Based on scientific evidence, we know that by delivering tiny electric charges to the muscles, we can stimulate the production of ATP which triggers the body’s production of collagen and elastin.
The Benefits of Microcurrent
So let’s jump into it, how can microcurrent help you achieve the best version of your skin?
1. It Improves Facial Contour
Did I mention that it’s a workout for your face? Here’s what I mean. As I mentioned previously, ATP is the main source of energy for your muscles. So by producing more ATP, you can provide more energy to all 42 facial muscles, (yes, there are 42!) and re-train them to improve muscle tone and overall facial contouring. As a result of firmer muscles, you can achieve more definition in your jawline and reduce sagging skin brought on by age.
2. It Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles
As you age, not only do the muscles in your face become weaker, but you also lose about 1% of collagen content per year. Microcurrent helps to boost your skin’s ATP, which in turn promotes collagen and elastin production. As a result, this process aids in slowing down and replenishing the natural loss of collagen in your skin. Clinical studies where the skin was treated with microcurrent showed a:
- 45% increase in the number of elastin fibres
- 10% increase in collagen thickness
- 35% increase in the numbers of blood vessels
What does this translate to? Firmer and tighter skin, with the reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
3. It Boosts Blood Circulation to the Face and Reduces Puffiness
In addition to re-energising the muscles and increasing your collagen content, microcurrent also can improve blood circulation to the face, which is vital for your skin. Like the rest of your body, your face depends on blood circulation to bring oxygen and necessary nutrients while carrying away waste. This helps to avoid any dullness in the skin and instead results in a radiant, healthy complexion. Say bye to blotchy and uneven skin tone.
An added benefit of using a microcurrent device is the lymphatic drainage that occurs in the face as the device glides over the lymph nodes. This aids in defining the contours of the face while also reducing facial puffiness. This effect is most commonly seen through different methods of facial massage and rolling but is a bonus benefit of using the Meliora Pulse microcurrent device as it has a roller function too which can be used with or without the microcurrent! (see “Why Facial Massage Will Give You Tighter Skin” blog for more info on how lymphatic drainage can help improve your skin).
4. Instant Results With a Cumulative Effect
To go a bit more into detail about the results, immediately after the treatment you can expect to see a more defined jawline and pronounced cheekbones. You will also see a reduction in forehead lines and your complexion will have a healthy glow to it. All it takes is 5 minutes and 0 downtime.
Like any other workout, the benefits have a cumulative effect. So although you do see immediate results after the 5-minute facial, the greatest results appear with time and consistency.
5. It Is Fairly Painless
Most at-home microcurrent devices have several intensity settings, and for the Meliora Pulse there are 3. It is recommended to start the treatment on the jaw and cheeks with the lowest intensity and go up to higher settings as you get more comfortable with the sensation. Be aware that parts of your face may twitch when doing the treatment and that’s completely normal.
Microcurrent treatments are non-invasive and unlike surgical anti-ageing treatments which use needles and can be painful (such as fillers or Botox), you won’t feel anything more than a tingling sensation in your skin.
Is Microcurrent Therapy Safe?
Because the electric current used has very low voltage, microcurrent therapy is deemed to be safe because it is not powerful enough to cause harm. If you have any of the below medical conditions, microcurrent should not be used as they are considered contraindications of microcurrent treatment.
- Active cancer
- Heart conditions
- Electrical implant devices such as pacemakers
What Does Microcurrent Therapy Feel Like?
Microcurrent therapy is a non-invasive treatment which is not abrasive to your skin and is considered to be relatively painless. Depending on the person’s sensitivity and the intensity level being applied, there may be slight discomfort. However, it is advised to start on the lowest setting and build your way up to the stronger settings once you’ve grown accustomed to the tingling sensation that is felt during the treatment.
Professional or At-home Treatment?
By now you’re probably thinking, maybe I should get a microcurrent facial done. If that’s the case then you have two options - professional or at-home treatments.
For professional treatments, the aesthetician will first cleanse your skin and subsequently apply a thin layer of conductive gel on your face. For the next step, they use the microcurrent machine to deliver a low voltage electrical current to your skin via two hand-held prongs. Typical prices for a 60-90 minute session will cost as much as £400 and most clinics recommend regular treatments to see long-lasting results.
On the other hand, if you prefer pampering yourself in the comfort of your home, you can opt for purchasing your own at-home microcurrent device and performing the treatment by yourself. Most devices come with a paired conductive gel, which usually includes skin-boosting ingredients. The main advantage of choosing this option is that it will save you some ££’s with devices ranging from £100 - £500, plus you can do the treatment whenever you feel like it.
Meliora Pulse & Peptide Conductive Gel
The Meliora Pulse has two functions, microcurrent and facial roller, each with 3 intensity/speed levels to suit your preference. The device looks chic and comes with a dock for wireless charging. It is ergonomic, easy to use and the electrodes that deliver the current are flat unlike other devices (usually round), making it easy to follow the contours of the face.
When using the Pulse, I first cleansed my skin and then applied a thin layer of the Meliora Peptide Conductive Gel on the treatment area. It is recommended to apply the Peptide Conductive Gel when using the Meliora Pulse to get the best results as it is filled with key active ingredients that help boost your glow. It can be left on post treatment or even used on its own to maximise the benefits.
- Matrixyl 3000 is based on two peptides that work together to mimic the appearance of broken down collagen, causing the skin to react by producing more collagen and elastin.
- Hyaluronic acid helps to increase the skin’s moisture and revitalises the skin’s outer surface layers, reducing the the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and in turn leaving the skin smooth, hydrated and radiant.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant which protects skin cells from damage caused by free radicals and UV radiation It also boosts collagen production leaving the skin firmer, softer and with a brighter complexion.
If you’re ready to hop on the microcurrent bandwagon and discover how to delay signs of ageing then take a look at the shop here.