The Ultimate Guide to the Microcurrent Facial

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on February 22, 2024

If you want to learn all about the microcurrent facial, how it works, how to do it at home, and how much it costs – you’re at the right place! Let’s answer all your microcurrent questions!

microcurrent facial treatment

Image source: Instagram @skinbycharlotte

The microcurrent facial is a non-invasive, simple yet effective skin tightening treatment and a popular alternative to intense procedures and cosmetic surgery. It works especially well if the imperfections you’re trying to fix aren’t drastic and don’t require too much work.

This is also why it’s a very popular at-home solution.

If you want to find out how it works and how you can do it yourself, scroll down!

Table of contents - Skip to a specific paragraph

What Is the Microcurrent Facial?

It is a beauty treatment during which small amounts of electrical energy are used to stimulate the skin and facial muscles.

Research suggests that this kind of therapy can contribute to increasing skin firmness and rejuvenate the skin, although results are not as dramatic as with, for example, a facelift.

The results you get are a more sculpted and toned face, giving a more contoured look without the need to see a plastic surgeon.

The effects are so similar, that the microcurrent has even been dubbed ‘the non-invasive facelift’ and ‘the gym workout for your face’.

Effects of microcurrent facialImage source: Instagram @glow_by_karina

What Does the Microcurrent Facial Do?

The microcurrent machine dispels a very weak electrical current and shocks the muscles of your face.

The energy induces a barely noticeable twitch in the muscle and boosts the production of ATP, or Adenosine triphosphate. ATP stimulates structural proteins – elastin and collagen – which are what your body uses to build muscle.

This is why the microcurrent facial is compared to a workout!

microcurrent facial before and afterImage source: Instagram @myskincarenj

Even though it’s non-invasive and non-painful, the tiny zap still triggers your body’s natural tissue repair process.

This causes your cells to release skin-enhancing chemicals they naturally produce, furthering the production of collagen.

This process repairs damaged skin, giving it a rejuvenated and more even look.

How does the microcurrent treatment workImage source: Instagram @jillblack_holistic

What Does the Microcurrent Treatment Look Like?

Now that we’ve covered the theory, we can take a closer look at the practical aspects of the microcurrent facial.

Here’s what you should know and expect before you try it:

Who Can Perform Microcurrent Facials?

A microcurrent facial is one of the DIY treatments you can do at home (more on that later), but it’s also available at many salons and clinics.

In that case, it’s usually done by a dermatologist, or another licensed esthetician or cosmetologist.

These professionals received training in microcurrent technology, which makes them well-prepared for precise and effective microcurrent treatments.

How Long Does a Microcurrent Facial Last?

The duration of a microcurrent facial varies depending on whether you’re getting it done at a salon by a professional or at home using personal devices.

Professional estheticians are trained to use specialized equipment and techniques, so they can complete thorough and effective treatment in 15 – 30 minutes, depending on the treated area.

On the other hand, if you decide to be your own beautician, the length of an at-home session is between 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your microcurrent device and its recommended usage guidelines.

What to Expect at a Microcurrent Facial?

The first thing you or your chosen beautician will do is wash your face. To save time, it’s best to show up to the appointment without any makeup or skincare products on.

Then, it’s time to apply the conductive gel. This is an electrolyte product that helps the current pass into your skin more effectively. This usually feels like a nice, cooling serum.

After that, the therapist will use the electrical device to massage your face in upwards motions. The targeted areas are usually the jaw, brows, cheekbones, and under the eyes. Sometimes, certain spots will need more attention, so the therapist might pause there.

It feels like using a roller, but you’ll feel your muscles gently contracting. This won’t cause any pain, although your muscles might twitch here and there, but don’t worry – it’s a normal part of the treatment.

If you’re getting this done by a professional, the treatment will end with a massage, removing the gel, and possibly addressing other skin concerns you have.

Does Microcurrent Facial Hurt?

If you’ve been worried about the electrical part of the treatment, you should know that microcurrent facial doesn’t hurt at all. Actually, most people find it very relaxing.

In some cases, there is a tingling sensation, along with the occasional ‘jump’ as the current is applied near the nerve, but people don’t typically describe it as painful.

So, don’t let the fear of pain stop you from trying this treatment — the procedure is 100% non-invasive, injection-free, and painless.

process of microcurrent facial treatmentImage source: Freepik

How to Do a Microcurrent Facial at Home?

The microcurrent facial treatment is really simple – nothing more than a facial massage, but fancier and with a little bit of electricity.

If you choose to do a microcurrent facial at home, we suggest you start by doing research into whether there’s anything that could cause the facial not to work, or even put you in harm’s way – check the section about contraindications down below.

Ultimately, it all boils down to following the steps a professional would take: wash, gel, massage, and clean.

At-home microcurrent devices usually come with detailed instructions and guidelines, so if you stick to the recommended usage and settings, there’s not a lot you can do wrong.

Just keep in mind that, if you have rosacea, break out easily, or generally have sensitive skin, you should keep the machine on the lowest setting.

Best Microcurrent Facial Device

If you’re set on performing this treatment at home, you can start looking for a good microcurrent facial massager.

Here’s a couple of our picks:

NuFACE Mini Starter Kit

We can’t talk about microcurrent devices without mentioning NuFACE which has been dominating the market for the past few years.

Their Mini Starter Kit gives you the petite FDA-Cleared Mini Device and clinically tested leave-on gel primer, which you can combine to achieve smoother, firmer, and more toned skin at home.

It also comes with a NuFACE Smart App with tutorials and a progress-tracking system!

PROS

CONS

FOREO Bear & Bear Mini

If you’re new to the microcurrent game and just want to experiment, the skin-tech giant Foreo offers a cute and affordable option – the Bear.

This was the first microcurrent facial massager with an anti-shock system to be cleared by the FDA.

The original one has 5 different intensity levels, so you can figure out what works best for you. Or, you can get the adorable mini version, which is even cheaper, but has fewer intensity levels.

Either way, the device works best when paired with an app on your phone, which helps you perform the treatment right.

It’s also waterproof and features an anti-shock system for comfortable use.

PROS

CONS

PROS

CONS

Best Gel for Microcurrent Facial

Before you start the therapy and enjoy your new sculpted jawline, you’ll need to find a good conductive gel.

Some devices come in kits that already provide these gels, but not everyone’s a fan of the gel texture, and you’ll eventually run out.

If that’s the case, here are our top picks!

Foreo Serum

The Foreo serum has a very lightweight texture, so it’s a great choice for anyone who’s not a fan of gels and creams.

It also has hyaluronic acid and is safe for all skin types.

PROS

CONS

Le Mieux O2 Calming Gel

The Le Mieux calming gel is a great fit for anyone looking to prevent irritation during their microcurrent sessions.

It’s not only great as a conductor but also has soothing properties thanks to the aloe leaf extract. This one’s a good option as an aftercare product, too!

PROS

CONS

Are Microcurrent Facial Devices Safe?

At-home microcurrent facial devices are generally considered safe when used correctly.

In other words, if you follow all instructions and guidelines provided by the manufacturer, your device should not cause any injury or damage to your skin.

However, while microcurrent is a safe modality to use on your neck, you shouldn’t use it on the area of your Thyroid to avoid its overstimulation.

Because the current penetrates deeper than the top layer of your skin, it can interfere with the hormones produced by the Thyroid, and potentially cause weight fluctuation, fatigue, and soreness of the body due to overstimulation.

How Often Should You Do a Microcurrent Facial?

The answer can vary based on professional recommendations and your individual needs.

For salon microcurrent treatments, it’s best to treat your skin with a facial every month, but you can personalize this schedule according to your preferences or the results you want to achieve.

For at-home microcurrent devices, it’s generally safe to use them consistently, but you shouldn’t use them every single day. Instead, take at least one day of rest in between your facials to avoid overworking your facial muscles.

Microcurrent Facial Benefits

The number one benefit of microcurrent facials, and the reason behind their popularity, is that they stimulate facial muscles.

This leads to a tighter and more sculpted appearance of the skin. It also rejuvenates the skin and gives you that fresh, post-facial glow!

microcurrent facial skin benefitsImage source: Instagram @sb_skin

Microcurrent stimulation also improves blood circulation. This is another way this treatment makes the skin look younger and gives it a plumper look, which is why it is also commonly used on the lips.

microcurrent treatment benefits for lips Image source: Instagram @skinnritual

On top of that, research suggests that microcurrent facials may also have certain health benefits. For example, better blood circulation has been linked to speeding up wound-healing processes that could help with acne.

microcurrent facial before and afterImage source: Instagram @7emyolift

A 2019 study also found that daily exposure to microcurrent therapy can help in relieving the pain from congestion for up to 6 hours, and has long-term effects after 4 weeks of usage!

How Long Does It Take to See Results from Microcurrent Facials?

Many people claim they can see visible results after a single treatment, but it’s not uncommon to see results after a few sessions.

Typically, microcurrent facials have results that peak on the third day and last about 3-6 weeks, with cumulative benefits seen over the long term with consistent treatments.

However, it’s important to understand that individual results may vary depending on skin condition, age, and overall health.

Microcurrent Facial Cost (US)

If you decide to go the professional way and want to book a microcurrent appointment, you can expect it to set you back about $1000, if you take into account that you need 6-12 sessions to see results.

However, the pricing depends on your location, so here’s a rundown of how much it costs per session:

CityMicrocurrent Facial Cost
Miami$135
LA$125
New York$150
Chicago$125
Houston$180
Atlanta$125
Boston$150

If you compare the price of a device to the price of a few sessions, you’ll quickly realize that buying a microcurrent facial massager that has the typical 2-year warranty is the more economical option.

Still, if you’re unsure of whether you’re not a good candidate or aren’t sure microcurrent will work for you, it’s best to invest in a professional treatment.

Microcurrent Facial Contraindications

Although micro current therapy is non-invasive, you should avoid it if you:

  • Have a heart condition and/or wear a pacemaker,
  • Have severe acne (this can be worked around – it’s best to consult a professional first),
  • Are pregnant,
  • Have fillers or Botox that haven’t settled yet,
  • Have metal plates or pins,
  • Are suffering from epilepsy, thrombosis, diabetes, or have had cancer within the past 2 years.

Book a consultation with a professional even if you plan on doing the treatment at home if you have any questions whatsoever, or think your situation is an exception to these contraindications – it’s best to be on the safe side.

Microcurrent Facial and Pregnancy

Microcurrent facials are not recommended during pregnancy due to the lack of research on their safety for the developing fetus.

The FDA has not cleared microcurrent facials for pregnant women, so it’s best to avoid them.

Also, pregnancy increases skin sensitivity, which can lead to you being more prone to irritation while using a microcurrent facial.

Similarly, it’s crucial to recognize that undergoing a microcurrent facial while breastfeeding is also not recommended.

The lack of adequate research on how this facial treatment may impact breast milk has led the FDA to refrain from endorsing the procedure in this context as well.

Microcurrent Facial and Heart Problems

People with heart problems may have varying degrees of sensitivity to external electrical stimuli.

The impact of microcurrents on the cardiovascular system can differ from person to person, making it challenging to predict the exact effects on individuals with heart conditions.

In individuals with heart problems, especially those with arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), these electrical impulses may potentially interfere with the natural rhythm of the heart, leading to complications.

Similarly, individuals with implanted medical devices, such as pacemakers or defibrillators, may be at an increased risk, as the facial could potentially interfere with the proper functioning of these devices.

Microcurrent Facial and Epilepsy

Epilepsy manifests differently in individuals, and the threshold for triggering seizures can vary.

What may be a safe level of electrical stimulation for one person might not be for another.

This variability makes it challenging to predict the response of individuals with epilepsy to the electrical currents used in microcurrent facials.

In worst cases, exposure to additional electrical currents, even at low levels, may potentially trigger seizures in susceptible individuals.

Given these considerations, it is strongly recommended that individuals with epilepsy consult with their healthcare providers before considering microcurrent facials or any other treatments involving electrical stimulation.

Microcurrent Facial and Botox/Fillers

While microcurrents are generally low-level and safe, individuals with recent Botox or filler injections may want to avoid excessive stimulation in the treated areas to prevent any unintended effects.

In that sense, it’s best to wait a certain period of time to make sure that the effects of Botox or fillers have fully settled and stabilized.

Typically, waiting at least two weeks is recommended, but it’s essential to follow the specific guidance you received from your esthetician.

Dangers of Facial Electrical Treatments

When it comes to risks linked to microcurrent treatments, there’s not a lot to talk about if you’re certain that you’re eligible to use the device (i.e., you don’t have underlying heart conditions, aren’t pregnant, and haven’t had any metal medical aides installed).

There’s not a lot that can go wrong if you use the device correctly since the voltage isn’t high enough to cause any harm.

Read the instructions carefully or consult a professional before usage. Also, check if the device you’re buying has been tested, and don’t go for shady brands.

The potential side effects of microcurrent therapy are possible, but short-lived. During the treatment, you may experience tingling, tiny contractions, or even facial twitching, but that is all normal and expected.

Afterward, your skin may feel irritated, sensitive, or dry. This is easily treatable with any moisturizer – sometimes, even the conducting gel will be enough.

Other side effects may include drowsiness, dizziness, or a metallic taste in your mouth when treating the areas around the mouth like frown lines, nasolabial folds, and lines on the chin.

If any of these persist or get too severe, contact a medical professional.

Extra Things to Keep in Mind:

What sets the microcurrent facial apart from so many other, similar treatments, is that it works the same on any skin type since the main target isn’t your skin, but the muscles underneath it.

Still, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Remove all jewelry,
  • Pause your retinol and retinoid usage 5-7 days before doing a microcurrent facial,
  • Exfoliate 3 days before,
  • Don’t strip the skin or use masks 7 days prior,
  • Consult a professional if you’ve had any plastic surgery,
  • The current may mess up fresh Botox or fillers – wait a couple of weeks

Microcurrent Facial Recovery & Aftercare

The recovery process for microcurrent treatments is basically non-existent.

You can do this every day, and will probably see only some mild redness due to the blood circulation improvements.

Just wait for the redness to go away, and you’ll be fine. If you’re in a rush, you can wash your face with cold water and a mild cleansing gel to speed up the process.

microcurrent facial recovery and aftercareImage source: Instagram @vanitymakeupandskin

If you’re doing this at home, remember to clean the device as well – wiping it with a wet washcloth is enough.

Your aftercare routine should be pretty simple. Since retinol and retinoids don’t go well with microcurrent treatment, avoid using them if you plan on repeating the treatment in the following 5-7 days.

You shouldn’t apply makeup directly onto that area immediately after the treatment.

After you’re done with the massage, wash the conducting gel off your face, and apply a soothing moisturizer to help diminish the redness and irritation.

Here’s what we recommend:

Microcurrent Facials and Other Treatments

Although you should wait at least 2 weeks before doing microcurrent therapy after Botox/Fillers, the two work quite well together. The electrical energy can move fillers around if they haven’t settled yet, but after that, there’s no reason to avoid microcurrent treatments.

You can also use microcurrent in conjunction with other skin-rejuvenating treatments, such as microneedling to get more visible results.

Similarly, red LED light therapy also works well in combination with microcurrents, but use the light before and not directly after the electrical treatment.

Microcurrent Facial – Main Takeaways

In short, microcurrent facials are safe, non-invasive, DIY-friendly treatments that give you great results.

As long as you make sure you’re eligible for the treatment and find a tested and approved device, there’s not much that can go wrong.

Just to be safe, you can still consult a dermatologist before committing to buying a device or booking your first appointment.

LEARN MORE ABOUT MICROCURRENT FACIAL 

SHARE

Exclusive insights into the PMU industry right in your inbox.

FREE newsletter. 100% good stuff.