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While certain skincare ingredients like retinol can improve the look of wrinkles, skincare products can only do so much for your skin. One way to keep your skin looking its best is by getting regular facials, but if you don't have the money to see a skincare professional every few months, there are a few at-home skincare devices that provide professional-level results without going through the trouble of booking and paying for expensive spa treatments. Diy-Making-Facial-Mask-Beauty-Machine
Want to smooth out fine lines and clear up acne? Consider an LED face mask. How about removing unwanted hair? A professional-grade laser hair removal device can be way more cost-effective than in-salon treatments.
However, if you want an instant at-home face lift, microcurrent devices are what dermatologists, celebs, and even Women's Health editors recommend. “Microcurrent devices use low levels of electrical current to stimulate facial muscles, helping sculpt and lift the face,” says dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD.
Here's a preview of the best microcurrent devices:
Dermatologist Bradley Glodny, MD, adds that microcurrents can help heal wounds and reduce inflammation, so they *might* even be able to help build collagen to plump skin and even speed up the healing process post-acne breakout. However, these results are only possible if you use your microcurrent device consistently. Dr. Garshick says you need to use it at least three times a week for 4-6 weeks before you can expect to see results, although some devices recommend daily use. “While much of the initial benefit may only be noticed for hours to days, with consistent use, the results will continue as collagen production can take six or more months,” but more research should be done, she adds.
Ahead, check out the best-tested microcurrent devices in 2023 for an instant at-home face lift. Each has been handpicked by WH editors and dermatologists.
Dr. Glodny and Dr. Garshick both recommend this device. The NuFACE says that it helps to contour the face while smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles. It also comes with a lip and eye attachment, so you can easily work on every little nook and cranny of your face where you'd like to see a lift.
Dermatologist Review: "This microcurrent device is FDA-cleared, helps to tone facial muscles, and improves the overall contour and appearance of the skin. It comes with the gel primer and can help to rejuvenate the skin and improve skin laxity and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles." —dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD
Testing Notes: This device fits perfectly in the palm of our hand, which makes it very easy to use for the full five minutes of the treatment. The periodic beeping was helpful in knowing when it was time to move the device to another part of the face. At full strength, it doesn’t sting or tingle, as long as you use enough of the gel primer. We noticed results after just a few uses, which only got better after several months of consistent treatments.
This 7E Myolift™ Mini microcurrent machine is used by professionals to help increase collagen, elastin production, and blood flow. Unlike other professional skincare devices, this one is also available for non-beauty professionals to purchase. The Myolift provides up to 400 microamps of microcurrent intensity to tighten, tone, and lift sagging skin. Reviewers claim to see instant results, which isn't always the case with microcurrent devices. There is a bit of a learning curve, but once you get a routine down, you can give yourself a powerful treatment in as little as 10 minutes.
Rave Review: "I love my Myolift so much! The results were instantaneous, and with consistency, I'm seeing results of brighter, bouncier and overall better skin lasting longer. I keep sending friends before and after photos because I am so excited about this product. I've tried a lot of things, and this is by far the best."
Curious about microcurrent? This budget-friendly microcurrent device is under $60 and allows you to explore the effects of a microcurrent facial massage service without breaking the bank. While it's less powerful than other devices on this list, reviewers say they see visible results with consistent use. We would definitely recommend this device for budget-conscious beginners who aren't sure if pricier microcurrent devices are worth the investment.
Rave Review: "I've been using this device every day for 2 weeks and definitely notice a difference. My skin is tighter and more lifted. My eyelids seem to be lifting with every use and I see marked improvement along my jawline. I expect to see more improvement as I continue to use it, as I have read full benefits of microcurrent happen after 4 weeks of use. My tolerance for the current is level 2. Level 3 was very strong and too much for me. I recommend this to anyone who would like to improve their own skin tightness and texture."
This device legit does it all: microcurrent, red light therapy, a facial massage, and therapeutic warmth. It's great for anti-aging and skin tightening, as well as reducing the look of dark spots and blemishes.
Dermatologist Review: "Combining microcurrent, facial massage, light therapy, and warmth, this at-home treatment helps to stimulate the muscles, reduce puffiness, improve the appearance of breakouts and blemishes, boost collagen, and enhance penetration of other skincare products." —dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD
This microcurrent device comes with its very own lifting gel and is said to give instant results, according to dozens of reviewers. People love that it seems to smooth out wrinkles and fine lines, too.
Rave Review: "I've had this for almost a month now. I absolutely love it. I see results instantly. You can see the effects in the tightening and uplifting of areas such as the eyebrow area. Try doing one side of your face to see the comparison results. Your eyebrow will be slightly higher than the other. I've also seen results in my eyelids—they are not as droopy. I'm looking forward to seeing long-term results, too."
The TheraFace PRO, which Dr. Glodny recommends, is also loved by reviewers. It's got a four-star rating on Amazon and WH associate commerce editor, Lily Wohlner, is a fan, too. She and hundreds of reviewers love the different attachments that come with it, like the cleansing ring, percussion attachments, and colored LED light rings that address other skin concerns like acne, fine lines, and more.
Editor Review: "I love that this tool combines microcurrent, LED therapy, and cryotherapy in one. It seems intimidating if you’re a beginner, but this tool truly makes my life so much easier for bashing acne, tightening my skin, and waking me up when I didn’t get enough sleep the night before.” —Lily Wohlner, WH associate commerce editor
Testing Notes: When we saw that this one device offers eight treatments in a single device, we were initially skeptical that the microcurrent attachment wouldn’t be up to par with some of the other devices we tried. We were pleasantly surprised by how effective it was; we saw a difference after using the microcurrent for just a few minutes. While some microcurrent devices also relieve jaw tension, when using the percussion attachments in this device in conjunction with the microcurrent, we found that our jaw muscles felt more relaxed and looked more toned than ever. The combination of the two treatments in this one device really makes it stand out from the rest in terms of effectiveness.
Chances are that you likely recognize FaceGym from your TikTok or Insta feed. The face-fitness studios are all about working out the facial muscles, tightening and lifting the skin. But if you can't make it to one of their iconic boutiques, snag this device to get the benefits at home. With three different frequencies, you can slowly build intensity as you continue using it.
Editor Review: "It's my job to test products, so I've gotten hundreds of facials and tested thousands of products. I've never seen such instant results as I have with this device. It's a five-minute face lift that makes my face look contoured sans makeup. I use it before any big event or time at which I want a confidence boost! I recommend it to all my friends before they get married." —Neha Tandon, WH senior commerce editor
Testing Notes: From the very first use, we immediately understood just how powerful this device was. We felt and saw the involuntary muscle contractions, which indicated that the microcurrent frequency was quite high and was able to penetrate deep into the facial muscles, causing it to contract and relax. We noticed a visible lifting and firming effect from the very first use. We wish it worked faster, as Face Gym recommends using it for 10 minutes every other day, which is a significant amount of time to dedicate to a facial treatment regularly. However, if you want to see results fast, this is the microcurrent device we would recommend using.
Both Dr. Garshick and Dr. Glodny recommend this cute little palm-sized device, which firms and tones skin with T-sonic pulsations. It even helps to relax tension in the face while helping to promote blood flow.
Dermatologist Review: "This FDA-cleared system uses the anti-shock system to make the experience comfortable and effective, as it adjusts the microcurrent to optimize safety and results. It is easy to use and is rechargeable with 90 uses per single charge." —dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD
Testing Notes: We love that a treatment with this device only takes two minutes, although you can always go back in with another treatment to target specific areas of the face. It’s great for travel, and we found ourselves using this device more regularly than other devices because the treatments are so quick. It does tingle quite a lot, even if you use plenty of conductive gel, which means it’s working but can also be a little uncomfortable. After a few weeks of regular use, our face felt tighter and our eyes looked more lifted and awake. Not only did our skin look better, but using this device also helps with relieving tension headaches. It holds a charge well, so you can take it on the go without worrying about charging it every few days.
WH senior deputy digital editor Maridel Reyes adores her ZIIP. You can choose from seven different facials from their app, all ranging from four to 14 minutes-long. Some focus on sculpting, while others zap acne, brighten your complexion, or smooth out fine lines.
Editor Review: "I used it every night, and after a few days, my husband noticed that my face looked more contoured. The day after I use it, my skin looks smoother and glowier. I use it right before an event for more chiseled cheekbones, a sharper jaw, and a slightly lifted brow. It provides instant gratification and less spendy than getting a microcurrent facial at a spa." —Maridel Reyes, WH senior deputy digital editor
It's not uncommon for your brows to start sagging with age, making your eyes appear more droopy and closed off. If you have hooded eyes, this effect is even more pronounced. This microcurrent device is made specifically to target the eyebrow area and tighten the skin around the browbone, which gives hooded eyes a lifted appearance.
Rave Review: "I have one eyebrow that is slightly lower than the other, and it makes my one eye look more closed. I used to have a NuFace and gave up on it because I never saw decent results. This thing WORKS — I used this for the first time last night and my droopy eyebrow is now even with my normal one. Just after one use(!) It’s super powerful — I can’t even fathom level 5. The only downside is it uses batteries. I wish it was rechargeable."
Dr. Glodny recommends this pencil-sized microcurrent device—it's great for helping to maintain your face-lifting routine if you're a frequent traveler. Reviewers say it also helps with TMJ, or Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, which can cause pain in the jaw joint area.
Rave Review: "I love this product so so much, I’m a big face tool junkie and this roller does it for me! The best part is that it helps with my TMJ. I use it before bed every night. My only problem is it’s price. Other than that, I love it."
Testing Notes: We love the petite size of this microcurrent device, which glides easily over the browbones and the cheekbones. The handle is comfortable to hold and it’s one of the most relaxing devices we’ve tried. At the same time, it also works to tighten your skin and get rid of any puffiness. We found that the push-point tip is incredible at smoothing and de-puffing around the delicate eye and lip area. We love to take the two rollers and press them gently between the brows to release any tension in the forehead. It’s so relaxing to use that it’s actually something we look forward to using every day, which only enhances the results over time.
At-home microcurrent devices shouldn't replace your skincare routine, but they can stimulate your muscles to boost collagen and improve the way your skin looks, Dr. Garshick explains.
The energy output of at-home microcurrent devices is much lower than in-office devices, so they're safer but of course mean it'll take longer to achieve results at home. Dr. Glodny recommends them for younger patients who aren't seeking super dramatic results.
That said, you don't have to choose an at-home device over in-office treatments. "A microcurrent device used at home can help to supplement in-office treatments," says Dr. Garshick. "They can work together to enhance and maintain the results, actually" says Dr. Garshick.
Microcurrent devices aren't exactly cheap—the most affordable ones are still over $100, though the best ones tend to be around $300. Just be sure to use your device consistently at least three times a week, as Dr. Garshick mentioned.
If you're hesistant, she recommends chating with your dermatologist about your skincare concerns and goals—they can help you come up with a treatment plan to supplement the use of your microcurrent device, optimizing the benefits of it.
It depends on the intensity of the device. Some stronger devices will provide an immediate yet subtle lifting effect to the cheeks, jowls, nasolabial folds, and jawline. Most at-home microcurrent devices suggest initially using i 3-5 times per week in 5-10 minutes treatments over the course of 5-7 weeks. Always refer to your microcurrent device's specific instructions for use.
After this initial treatment period, you can decrease the frequency of treatments to 2-3 times per week to maintain your results. The effects of microcurrent aren't permanent, they're cumulative, so perform your microcurrent treatments regularly to ensure the best results.
Our intrepid team of beauty writers and commerce editors spent the past year testing over a dozen microcurrent devices. Associate e-commerce editor Lily Wohlner and contributor Cristina Montemayor evaluated microcurrent devices on their effectiveness, price point, and if they were FDA-approved. We also consulted with dermatologists including Marisa Garshick, MD, on their favorite microcurrent devices.
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Addison Aloian (she/her) is an editorial assistant at Women’s Health. When she’s not writing about all things pop culture, health, beauty, and fashion, she loves hitting leg day at the gym, shopping at Trader Joe’s, and watching whichever hockey game is on TV. Her work has also appeared in Allure, StyleCaster, L’Officiel USA, V Magazine, and Modern Luxury Media.
Cristina Montemayor is a freelance writer and journalist living in Austin, Texas, covering beauty, grooming, style, and culture. Her work has appeared in Very Good Light, BRIDES, Elite Daily, among others.
Brian Underwood is the beauty director at Women’s Health. He is an award-winning journalist with more than 15 years of experience covering beauty and lifestyle for several national media outlets and previously served as beauty and wellness director at Oprah Daily. His work has appeared in Woman’s Day, Life & Style Weekly, Good Housekeeping, and many more. He also serves as a member of the Skin Cancer Foundation’s gala committee and lives in New York City with his daughter.
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