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If you’re a tech geek and beauty enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of or are using a microcurrent device.

We started hearing about how microcurrent technology can basically turn back the hands of time instantaneously, made microcurrent facial appointments, and then saw tons of celebrities posting about their at-home microcurrent therapy sessions.

You know we’re all about luxe, comfort, convenience, and efficiency, but do microcurrent devices really live up to their fame?

While you’re pondering on checking out your cart and introducing electricity to your skincare routine, we asked three experts and dermatologists to dish out the real on these facial lifting gizmos.

Read on for everything you need to know about microcurrent devices, from how it works, risks and benefits, to whether it’s worth the splurge.


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How Do Microcurrent Devices Work?

“Microcurrent devices emit low-level electric currents to stimulate the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy source of cells. This increased energy source improves cellular function and boosts the production of collagen and elastin,” shares Dr Stephanie Ho, Consultant Dermatologist at Scotts Medical Centre.

Microcurrent therapy is like a “workout” for your facial muscles. While it can sound daunting or painful, you shouldn’t feel anything more than a light tingle and some twitchy contractions.

As your facial muscles undergo “training” (muscle contraction) and strengthen over time, you’ll be able to see impressive results of improved facial contours, reduced appearance of sagging skin, and lifted and toned facial muscles.

Additionally, according to the accredited dermatologist and founder of Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals, Dr Teo Wan Lin, electroporation (the use of short high-voltage pulses to overcome the barrier of the cell membrane) helps increase the absorption of your skincare ingredients.

Meaning to say, your regimen will prove to be more effective than usual with a microcurrent device incorporated into your skincare steps.

are microcurrent devices worth spending on

Credit: @jamescharles/TikTok, @tatiacostaaa/TikTok

However, for the results to be truly lasting and substantial, consistency is key. You’ll need to use the microcurrent device religiously with some brands recommending five minutes each day for at least five days a week.

What Are the Key Benefits of Using a Microcurrent Device?

One of the most obvious benefits of a microcurrent device, other than the results, is how safe and non-invasive they are with minimal pain or discomfort.

“For people less keen on more invasive procedures such as medical-grade high-intensity focused ultrasound, radiofrequency, or injectables like botulinum toxin and hyaluronic acid fillers, these devices help to bridge the space by providing some lifting and firming of the skin,” says Dr Angeline Yong, a multi-award winning dermatologist.


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What microcurrent devices can do for your face:

  • Smoother, brighter, and more rejuvenated skin
  • Firmer skin on the face and neck due to the increased energy levels for collagen production
  • Enhanced contour of the face and neck through toning and lifting
  • Reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles due to immediate skin tightening and expected collagen production
  • Reduced puffiness and dark circles under the eyes as your blood flow and lymphatic drainage under the eyes improves
  • Reduced acne scarring as the cellular energy accelerates healing

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It’s also incredibly easy to use, handy and not bulky, and leaves you with immediately lifted skin in as little as three minutes. Microcurrent therapy also works the same for the skin on your neck, so make sure not to neglect that area when you’re using the device.

Committing to microcurrent devices and using them regularly can help improve the overall appearance and health of your skin to be more lifted and youthful.

Dr Stephanie pointed out that better results are seen in younger people with mild skin laxity and little photodamage. Meanwhile, for those who are older, she recommends stronger interventions with high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) or radiofrequency devices.

Microcurrent Devices Versus Regular Facials

One essential question you may ask yourself, before making your purchasing decision, is whether owning a microcurrent device will be just like going for regular facials. It all boils down to the type of facial you’re looking at, the technology used, and how personalised it is to your skin’s needs.

Even with in-spa microcurrent treatments, the difference is in the frequency levels — those at clinics use high-frequency levels ranging from 1,300 to 1,700 Hz, while at-home microcurrent devices use low-frequency levels from 1 to 8 Hz.

“Most regular facials will focus on exfoliation, extraction, hydration, and sometimes microdermabrasion. However, some places may incorporate a microcurrent device into part of a full facial process, adding value to the facial treatment by helping to tone the muscles and not just focusing on the improvement of the skin,” says Dr Yong.

Yong also adds that some facials may include treatments like radiofrequency or LED, which can help with improving skin tone, firming and lifting, as well as other anti-ageing properties.

Dr Ho clarifies that although both facials and microcurrent devices are capable of rejuvenating the skin, they each involve different techniques and achieve different results.

Microcurrent Devices Versus Gua Sha

Facial Gua Sha, originated from traditional Chinese medicine, is the practice of using a carved stone or metal tool to massage the face.


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Gua Sha has become quite common amongst beauty gurus and lovers and is proven to help give the face a lifting effect through lymphatic drainage.

In an interview with W Magazine, acupuncturist, herbalist, and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner Sandra Lanshin Chiu L. Ac. expressed how the results of Gua Sha and microcurrent devices can be similar but the method differs.

Microcurrent targets the muscles with electric currents to achieve greater tone while Gua Sha stimulates your facial muscles and the connective tissue that wraps your muscles (fascia) with smooth, repetitive strokes to intensify the microcirculation.

That means with microcurrent devices, you’re tightening your facial muscles while Gua Sha will relax tension and contractions.

And unlike microcurrent, Gua Sha can also be used to relieve congestion, smoothen skin texture, and soften fine lines simultaneously.

benefits of microcurrent devices

Credit: @bellerodolfo/TikTok

Chiu recommends using both Gua Sha and your microcurrent device in tandem — go in with your Gua Sha first to “reset and release muscles and tissue” before following with microcurrent to “tone and tighten where it’s needed most”.

There are even brands that have created Gua Sha devices that incorporate microcurrent technology!

Are There Any Risks to Using a Microcurrent Device?

Despite being completely safe and approved for home use, there are some of us who are still unaware of everything that comes with using microcurrent devices. As long as you refer to the manufacturer’s handbook and follow all safety precautions, you should be good.


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Jordyn Oakland, a licensed esthetician, went onto TikTok to share about how following directions and “working with the muscle” is crucial when it comes to microcurrent devices, specifically the NuFACE devices.

Microcurrent therapy is also suitable and effective for all skin types and will rarely cause any skin irritation from either the device or the serum that is paired with it.

However, if you have sensitive skin or bad reactions from using microcurrent devices, it’s best to talk to your dermatologist first. And although these devices can help reduce acne scarring, they should not be used on your face if you have any open sores or acne breakouts.

Our dermatologists warned those who have conditions like epilepsy, seizures, metal implants, and patients with cancer, diabetes, or electronic-implanted devices like pacemakers and cochlear implants to avoid using microcurrent devices.

Those with metal in their face should also stay clear of microcurrent. The microcurrent technology could trigger micro-electrical pulses that can potentially affect someone with seizures or their condition.

Pregnant and nursing individuals should also avoid using microcurrent devices (or consult your doctor and use them with caution). If you’ve had botox or fillers done, you’re advised to wait two to four weeks before doing any spa or home treatments with microcurrent.

Are Microcurrent Devices Worth Spending On?

When a beauty product or device comes along with a hefty price tag, it’s only natural to wonder if your purchase will be justified and worth it.

How effective is it? How long will the device last? Will it be worth it in the long run? Do the results you’ll get trump the price?

are microcurrent devices worth spending on

Credit: @koooshaaa/TikTok, @leteskin/TikTok

The verdict and conclusion? If you’re only looking at improving muscle tone and firming up the skin at home instead of relying on office-based treatments, Dr Yong says this less invasive DIY approach will be beneficial.

What’s more, investing in a microcurrent device once is a lot more cost-effective and convenient than having regular visits to a specialised clinic.

However, Dr Yong further adds that microcurrent devices don’t work for everyone and that we ought to have modest expectations.

What we’d recommend is to try it out once on your face first — usually, you’ll be able to see the difference or results in one “session”! Then from there, you can better decide if these electrical devices are for you.

Talking about results, Dr Ho says that microcurrent devices are “unlikely to deliver the same level of results as professional laser or skin tightening treatments performed in clinics”.

Do your due diligence in researching microcurrent devices and the results you can get! If it’s not the specific lifted look you’re gunning for, Dr Ho advises opting for in-clinic radiofrequency or high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) treatments, especially for the older age group.

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Feature image credit: @dr.zionko/TikTok, @tatiacostaaa/TikTok