I Tried An At-Home Microcurrent Device For 30 Days, Here’s What Happened
Vanity, thy name is Vivien, and I spent $325 to basically electrocute my face on a daily basis. Now that I have your attention, let’s dive into microcurrent devices. First off, I’ve never had a professional microcurrent facial, but years of working in the beauty industry and endless conversations with skincare experts have given me enough insight to know that this painless treatment is the real deal.
Offering firming, lifting, and wrinkle-reducing benefits, microcurrent uses electric muscle stimulation to essentially ‘work out’ the muscles. According to skincare experts, this technology is a non-invasive way to achieve a youthful contour. As someone who is eager to try any facial or beauty innovation, the microcurrent facial was at the top of my list of treatments to try — then the pandemic happened.
Despite decreased outdoor activity, the lack of stressors that come with an hour-long commute, and the complete elimination of multiple alcohol-indulging nights out per week, my skin felt battered. My way of remedying the situation? Buying the FDA-approved NuFace Trinity facial toning device in an attempt to undo the impact that months of lockdown was having on my complexion (yes, you can definitely file this purchase under ‘lockdown made me do it’).
So, did this at-home microcurrent device live up to the hype? Check out my video review below, and keep reading to see my before and afters.Embedded content: https://youtu.be/pJ4RoW-db2w
My New NuFace
The NuFace microcurrent device promises to reduce puffiness, decrease the appearance of wrinkles, and tone, lift, and firm the neck and facial muscles through consistent use over the span of two months. What can’t it do? I was about to find out.
At-home beauty devices have become the norm with editors, beauty specialists, and skincare experts, but I hadn't ventured any further than gua sha and jade rollers. After doing my research on the microcurrent market and reading reviews, I decided that this ergonomic gadget would be my tool of choice for it’s multifunctional capabilities. The ball attachment can be detached and replaced with other accessories such as an LED light (dubbed the Trinity Wrinkle Reducer) or the Trinity Effective Lip & Eye (ELE), a smaller microcurrent appendage to target those hard-to-reach areas. As someone who loves her beauty tools, this felt like a no-brainer.
Needless to say, the at-home version of any in-office treatment isn’t going to be as potent, but that’s not to say you can’t achieve a similar result. All it requires is a bit of consistency and patience, which leads us to...
How to Use the NuFace Trinity
For optimal results, NuFace recommends using the Trinity five times a week for the first 60 days and two to three times per week thereafter to maintain results. I decided that to truly make this a sustainable part of my routine, I would use it once a day, every day, for 30 days. Sure, it was a little high-maintenance for my liking, but it’s certainly more time-efficient and budget-friendly than a ‘lunchtime procedure’ (here’s looking at you, Botox®), so I’m not complaining.
The device comes with a charging station and the signature NuFACE Hydrating Leave-On Gel Primer that is formulated with hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate skin and the Optimizing Mist to soothe it. After reading the instructions, the tool was out of the box, charged up, and I was ready to zap.
While there is some trial and error to figure out the best routine for yourself, using the NuFace requires just three steps:
- Start with a clean, dry face
- Apply the gel primer
- Massage the device in upward motions over the specified areas
According to the instructions, the tool should be used along each side of the neck, cheeks (this includes the jawline), and forehead. Each section requires three sets of three repetitions, which are timed by the device. The NuFace has several settings that will allow for gradual build-up of microcurrent intensity, and it makes an automated noise to signify that it’s time to move on to the next section. Simple enough, right?
If I’m being honest, it took me a few tries to get the hang of using it. I found out the hard way that the primer should be applied liberally over the entire treatment area to allow the device to glide smoothly and prevent it from drying out. When the cylinders don’t have the lubrication to glide along the skin, it creates an electro-tingling sensation that you may find uncomfortable. This is not meant to be an example of ‘beauty is pain,’ and, without proper priming, the device may irritate the skin.
Fortunately, the growing pains were short, and it only took a couple of days to get familiar, if not dependent, on ‘Trinny’ (as I lovingly started to call her). After a week, I was able to build up to the highest strength and make it a daily bedtime ritual. However, the additional step to my evening beauty routine did lengthen the overall process. Not to mention, applying the primer individually between sections added extra time. Each rep takes approximately five seconds, so, overall, each section should be less than a minute. By taking a break and applying adequate primer to ensure a pleasant microcurrent experience, it lengthened my treatment by a few minutes. Not a problem for me, but, for the sake of transparency, it should be noted that this takes longer than the promised five minutes.
According to NuFace, leaving the primer on after the treatment is fine because the ingredients are beneficial, but I preferred removing it after each facial massage to proceed with my regular routine.
I tried this handheld gadget for a total of 30 days, and, while the before and after photos below may not show it, I noticed improvements within the short timeframe. My brows arched higher, cheeks felt firmer, and my nasolabial folds were no longer distracting me during my Zoom calls. I felt a boost of confidence and satisfaction in my appearance around the two-week mark, and I can feel the results even more than I can see them. This device may not provide the instant gratification its in-office counterpart does, but, when in lockdown, this facial massage tool felt like the self care moment I needed in my daily routine.
Disclaimer: At nearly 30, I am aware that my skin’s laxity and muscle firmness are still in good condition. My approach to beauty has always been preventative, and I know that genetics have sagging jowls in store for me. So, rather than starting to save up for a facelift in 20-years time — not something I am opposed to in the future — I decided to splurge a little now (and maybe buy myself a few more years before that surgery).
The price tag is a hefty $325, but the battery life is extraordinary and the benefits, while subtle, may prolong the time before I try Botox®. I could go weeks without recharging my Trinity, and, since electric plugs and space are scarce in my New York apartment, these are big incentives.
Overall, the pros of the NuFace Trinity outweigh the cons. It’s light, adjustable, and I could see results after a short period of time. The downsides are the time commitment required to maintain results, the cost, and the need for recurring purchase of the primer once it runs out.
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