Microcurrent facial devices are essentially as the name suggests: tools that emit low (micro) levels of electrical currents. You may be thinking, what could that possibly do for my skin? Well, these currents are much similar to the very same ones your brain sends to your muscles.
“Microcurrent is a very tiny electrical current that mimics your body’s own natural pulses. What that means is our brains use currents to communicate through our neurological pathways, where it’s constantly sending signals. What we’re doing with this technology is mimicking those currents and delivering them to our facial muscles,” says biomedical engineer and holistic skin care expert Pooja Johari, M.S., founder of 7E Wellness. These pulses, she notes, stimulate our muscles to act younger. “The thing is, the facial muscles can’t tell whether the signal is coming from the brain or this device.”
Let’s dive a bit deeper into the “act younger” part. On a cellular level, these work through the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), or a molecule that’s naturally produced in the body and acts as an energy currency.
Essentially your body (skin and muscles included) uses it as part of their regenerative process, creating more collagen, elastin, and so on. Without it, our cells lose energy—and unfortunately, our natural production of these declines with age.
“[This loss] is the reason our skin is not able to hold up the structure,” she says. “What we do with microcurrent is replenish and boost the ATP and therefore, the collagen and elastin.”
It also works by stimulating and strengthening the muscles. “It stimulates the facial muscles underneath the skin, which will help to improve the facial contour, tone the skin, and reduce wrinkles,” says celebrity esthetician Shani Darden about microcurrent facials.
See, many signs of aging aren’t just due to collagen decline, they can also be attributed to the fact that our facial muscles weaken as we get older. When the muscles sag underneath the skin, so does the skin on top of it. So by building them back up through microcurrents, your entire face will appear more toned and lifted.
Finally, these tools can also help by driving products deeper into the skin and boosting circulation. Both of these can improve skin’s overall appearance and health.