Microcurrent Face Lift - Is it the Real Deal?

Microcurrent face lifting or the 'non-surgical face lift' is the promise of youth in a box. By purchasing an instrument of microcurrent-delivering properties and using it with a 'specially designed gel' (or cream), you can tone your skin, decrease wrinkles, increase your skin's thickness, and plump up your collagen levels – all in the comfort of your own home.

So say those who sell these devices.

Sound like a miracle cure? I thought so too, so I had to check it out.

Been At it for Over a Year 

Researching microcurrent facelifts made my 'must check out validity of claims' list sometime during 2013. I've been researching it off and on ever since, and it's been a bit of a challenge to find anything about it that isn't thumbsuck (definition of thumbsuck here).

One thing is certain. It's definitely being cleverly marketed.

Face lift in a box - title of company and product blurred by yours truly.

Double Up

Some microcurrent face-lifting manufacturers are even taking returned devices and reselling them as 'refurbished'.

My immediate interpretation of this practice: people are finding the product unsatisfactory and therefore returning it. Since this isn't the kind of product that gets worn or scratched unless it is mistreated, I'm guessing the manufacturer merely gives it a bit of a polish, pops it into a new box and – Voilá – double their earnings!

But hey, that's the cynical me speaking.

Let's have a look at the facts.

Does Microcurrent Therapy Work?

Yes, microcurrent therapy is showing positive results.


It depends on for what.

If you look at pain management and post-operative therapy, then yes. There are some tests using microcurrent therapy that show promising results and say it warrants further study (a few links below).

As for scientific studies on whether or not this therapy has any effect on healthy, undamaged tissue (like, say, for skin toning or face lifting), science is still asking, and I'm still searching.

Most of what I have been able to find is statements such as this one by Dermal Institute:
"Some clinical studies have shown that after twenty days of Microcurrent treatments, collagen and elastin production increases and blood circulation improves. Scientists have also found that Microcurrent facelift treatments trigger the body’s production of amino acids and Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). Both of these accelerate cell repair and promote healthier cell production." (link)

This sounds pretty good.


The problem is, Dermal Institute (and many many others) don't include any documentation or links to documentation to back up these statements. Or, if they do link to documentation, it is for tests done for pain management or post-operative therapy.

What The Pro's Are Saying

There are some medical professionals who have voiced their opinions on microcurrent therapy for facelifts/skin toning.


It has become clear during this past year of researching microcurrent's ability to lift, tone and firm skin that the manufacturers of these devices are interweaving results of (unrelated) scientific studies with their own fabricated conclusions in such a manner that it gives the impression that microcurrent therapy for toning skin and facelifts has been thoroughly tested and proved.

In other words, the cosmetics industry is creating their own truth-through-advertising in order to sell product.

Well gee whillikers, there's a new one.

(this time, I think the cynical remark is in order)

What She Said

I happened to mention my research on microcurrent therapy to a good friend at one point. She's a real pro at facial treatments – on the receiving end. Her frequent spa visits and expertise in various types of facial treatments is quite impressive.

I found her observations worth sharing:
"If microcurrent therapy is as great as they're saying in the ads, why aren't any professionals using it? Why is no one who really knows about skin treatment raving about this? I haven't met a single professional who recommends this or even talks about it."

Spoken like a true pro.

Do Tell

Have you tried microcurrent therapy? What was your impression? Did you return the product?

A Few Links to Studies on Microcurrent Therapy

for chronic nonspecific back pain
For functional disability on patients with subacromial impingement
for pain reduction caused by diabetic neuropathy
For pain management of delayed onset muscle soreness in hamstrings


Tina Rasmussen, CPH said…
So once again you have me googeling and wondering on an early Sunday morning Lise ;-)

I had never heard of this before and like your friend I like facials and have had quite a a few. When I real about it I think well, yes, stimulating the muscles in the face cant be a bad idea, massages and face reflexology does just that and it makes sense to me that all muscles need both use and stretching, non?
Then I tend to be scheptical about miracles cures as well, and one of the few articles I found at elle.com is three years old. If it was amazing its strange that it isnt all over the place by now.

I wonder if its one of those treatments that really take time to show results and whether results on your face with the relatively small muscles is harder to notice wthout some kind of scan? That said, there should be some scientific tests done if its that great of course, but sometimes if a treatment takes too long time to show results we get tired of performing it and stop using it.

Did you try it? I forund the a device on-line starting at 200$, so they are expensive but if they work I'd almost call it cheap!

Now I kinda want to try it.. :-)
Olivia J said…
You know with all these gadgets, boredom happens. When boredom happens there is another new gadget claiming to do the same. As one friend told me, even if you do something to yourself to make you look younger on the outside, you have to overcome the fear of aging and feel confident on the inside!
LisaLise said…
Hi Tina - I agree with you that the theory sounds great, and this is what got me started checking this out.

But - so far everyone is making and selling these devices based on an untried theory. And that would even be ok, if they were honest about the way they sell the product - but not a single company is being honest about the way they are selling their product. To me, that puts them in the same category as snake oil salesmen.
LisaLise said…
HI Olivia - I love your comment about being comfortable and confident with ones age. Of course we should look our best too, but keeping everything in balance must be the key! :)