Microcurrent facial stimulation is painless, and can deliver impressive results with daily facial treatments and time commitment. The most reputable and best microcurrent devices on the market range from $199-$500 and differ greatly in their ergonomic design, technology and functionality.
Not only microcurrent therapy is beloved by dermatologists, but also it has been gaining popularity as at-home treatment due to its numerous anti-aging benefits, effectiveness, safety and practically no side effects.
At-home microcurrent machines provide electrical muscle stimulation, and are often referred to as a facial toning or contouring device. That being said, these microcurrent face devices will benefit the most those who want to improve facial contour, muscle tone, skin tone, skin elasticity, tighten loose skin, and achieve overall lifting effect and skin rejuvenation.
How To Choose The Best Microcurrent Device?
Microcurrent devices are relatively new to the beauty market, but there are few great and reliable options available. When it comes to skin care products and devices, it is always safer to purchase from an authorized retailer. This way you can be sure you’ll get a high quality authentic product. Above all, pay attention to the following features when choosing your microcurrent facelift machine.
√ Settings/Modes. Different microcurrent face devices will have various number of modes or different types of power settings. Some machines can have as little as two settings while others can go up to ten modes. In addition, different modes/settings will have an adjusted intensity of electrical current and different wavelengths for customizable treatments. Your personal needs will determine which modes are essential for your skin.
√ Attachments. Some devices are designed for multi purpose use, and can come with different attachments, or attachments can be purchased separately.
√ Brand & Warranty. Brand reputability is very important when it comes to facial tools and devices. An established manufacturer with a strong reputation means that consumers are satisfied with the quality and durability of the products, warranty and customer service.
√ Power. Some devices are cordless and are powered by batteries. While others have power cable and have to be connected to the power outlet or USB. Therefore, your lifestyle might help to determine which option is the best.
√ Portability. Most microcurrent devices that are designed for at-home use are handheld and compact in size.
√ Cost. You can find microcurrent knock-offs online for as low as $30. But a decent good quality microcurrent device from a reputable manufacturer will cost about $200-$500. It might seem pricey at first, but one in-office microcurrent facial will set you back between $250-$450. In other words, you might as well invest in the device that will provide you with hundreds of treatments and will last for several years.
That being said, we hope that our review of the best microcurrent devices will help you find the best machine for you.
Best Microcurrent Devices 2021
- 5 intensity modes
- 2 attachments (for extra cost)
- Gel Primer $14-$39 (2 fl.oz)
- Free app (Apple only)
- 1 year warranty
- 3 intensity modes
- Without attachments
- Gel Primer $14-$39 (2 fl.oz)
- Free app (Apple only)
- 1 year warranty
- 9 treatment modes
- Build-in intensity sensor
- Gel $50-$129 (2 fl.oz)
- Free app (Apple, Android)
- 2 year warranty
- 1 multi frequency
- Build-in frequency mixer
- Gel not offered for retail
- No app
- 6 month warranty
- 2 modes with multi settings
- Without attachments
- Conductive gel $82 (16 fl.oz)
- No app (but free webinar)
- 1 year warranty
NuFace company is a pioneer in at-home microcurrent technology. Moreover it is one of the most popular brands when it comes to at-home beauty devices. In addition, skin care professionals in spas and medical offices are also using NuFace devices as they deliver clinically proven and highly visible results. All NuFace devices are FDA-cleared and come with one complementary bottle of conductive gel primer.
Currently, NuFace offers four types of microcurrent devices: NuFace Trinity, NuFace Mini, NuFace Fix, and NuBody.
NuFace Trinity is the most advanced one, as it is designed with interchangeable attachments. Facial Trainer attachment is the basic one for skin toning, and is included with the purchase of NuFace Trinity device. Trinity ELE microcurrent attachment is designed for treating small and hard to reach places. For example, you can use it for lip and eye areas like smile lines, nasolabial folds, crow’s feet, and eyebrow furrows.
Trinity Wrinkle Reducer is an LED attachment that acts as a red light therapy device. It does not produce a microcurrent, but instead delivers a combination of red, amber and infrared lights that target fine lines and wrinkles. The extra attachments can be purchased separately, as a bundle, or as a part of different NuFace Trinity Kits (on Amazon).
NuFace Mini is just as powerful as Trinity model, but it is smaller in size. It is portable and not compatible with Trinity ELE and Wrinkle Reducer attachments.
Other NuFace devices:
NuFace Fix is a miniature line-smoothing device that uses gentle microcurrent energy to target fine lines around eyes and lips. Moreover, it comes with Fix Serum, which instantly makes facial skin firm and smooth due to its potent ionic formula. NuFace Fix can be a great addition to NuFace Mini, which doesn’t come with attachments.
Mini Vs Trinity
If you are looking for a good quality, portable microcurrent device without all the bells and whistles and on the budget, then NuFace Mini is an excellent option for you. It is lightweight, portable, and delivers amazing results in lifting, facial toning, and firming your skin. The 3 levels of intensity settings allow to control the strength of your microcurrent therapy treatment. And the built-in 5 second timer is very helpful in alerting when it’s time to do another gliding motion. NuFace Mini facelift machine works best for treating neck and face areas. However,the eye area will respond better to the NuFace Fix device.
NuFace Mini Pros: more affordable, compact, 3 intensity levels, as powerful as Trinity.
NuFace Mini Cons: not compatible with attachments, zapping is possible, some users experienced temporary metallic taste in the mouth (on higher intensity levels).
Trinity is a better option for those who want more than just a microcurrent device, as the interchangeable attachments turn this device into a multi-functional one. The device also offers 5 levels of intensity (Mini version offers 3 modes) for a more customizable treatment. If you take into consideration the price of attachments, NuFace Trinity is on the pricier side of beauty devices. However, it delivers promised results, and you won’t need to buy a separate light therapy LED device.
Trinity Pros: multi-functional, compatible with attachments, 5 intensity levels, charging cradle, shorter charging time, longer shut down time.
Trinity Cons: occasional zapping is possible, some users experienced temporary metallic taste in the mouth (on higher intensity levels).
Gel. For your convenience, all NuFace devices come with one complementary tube of conductive gel – NuFace Hydrating Gel Primer (2 fl.oz.) A more potent anti-aging gel primer infused with gold, peptides and algae is also available for purchase ($39, 2 fl.oz.). In addition, all NuFace devices have 1 year warranty.
Related: In depth review of NuFace Mini vs Trinity.
Read more about microcurrent conductive gels and substitutes.
See also our comparison of ReFa Massager vs NuFace devices.
ZIIP Beauty is one of the most innovative beauty companies nowadays. It is unique because the company came up with the first-ever app-connected beauty device. The app is free and is compatible with both Apple and Android smartphone platforms. Also, the sleek design of this microcurrent facial device differs greatly from other microcurrent face tools on the market. In addition to utilizing different kinds of nanocurrents and microcurrents for more customizable at-home treatment, ZIIP devices have built-in sensors that automatically adjust the intensity of treatments based on the condition of your skin.
ZIIP Microcurrent Features
As of right now, ZIIP Beauty offers two kinds of FDA-cleared microcurrent kits – ZIIP OX and ZIIP GX. Both devices look the same with the exception of band color – OX is silver and GX is golden. They also have identical technical specifications. But OX kit has Lymph and Lift treatment set as a default setting and comes with Crystal gel. While GX is pre-loaded with the Energize setting and comes with a pricier Golden gel.
Once you connect your device to the free ZIIP app, you can access and choose between 9 different guided beauty treatments:
- Primer (starter treatment, increases blood circulation)
- Energize (lifts and brightens)
- Lymph & Lift (for lymphatic drainage, lifting and facial contouring)
- Sensitive Energize (calming and toning treatment)
- Instant Gratification (gives immediate lift, tone and contours)
- Pigment (addresses dark spots and hyperpigmentation)
- Total Clearing (for acne, kills bacteria)
- Quick Fix (2-minute express treatment)
- Vitaleyes (for eye area, dark circles)
In other words, these various treatments use different intensity of electrical currents (nano and micro) and different waveforms to target different areas and concerns. In addition, you can combine several treatments to maximize the results. Also, you can access step-by-step tutorials through the app user guide or ZIIP Beauty website.
ZIIP Pros: multifunctional, 9 guided advanced treatments, uses nano- and microcurrents built-in intensity adjustment sensor.
ZIIP Cons: expensive, have to use ZIIP free app to switch treatments.
ZIIP Conductive Gel
Each ZIIP facelift device comes with one complimentary bottle of conductive gel (2.7 fl.oz), which should last for about 2 months. ZIIP Beauty offers 3 different conductive gels that also double as an intensive treatment mask (hence the high price):
- Silver gel ($50, 2.7 fl.oz) – for plumping and brightening (includes ingredients like pearl powder, cucumber extract, Japanese hyaluronic acid, and peptides)
- Crystal gel ($80, 2.7 fl.oz) – for radiance and repair (includes ingredients like glutathione, Veronica flower, and cedar bark extract)
- Golden gel ($129, 2.7 fl.oz) – for filling lines and firming the skin (includes ingredients like 24-carat gold, five growth factors, snail venom peptide, and bio-placenta)
√ Where to buy?
An authentic ZIIP microcurrent can be purchased on Ziipbeauty.com, Amazon.com, Revolve, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus.
In conclusion, ZIIP smart beauty devices and conductive gels are in the higher price point due to the high quality innovative technology. However, ZIIP Beauty microcurrent machine delivers noticeable results. And it is a perfect choice for those who want more than just a microcurrent facial machine. Overall, it offers customizable multi-treatment options that address various signs of aging skin, and helps to reveal tighter and younger looking skin.
In addition, ZIIP conductive gels are formulated with potent organic ingredients and designed to maximize the results of ZIIP daily treatments. However, if you don’t want to splurge on ZIIP conductive gel or get it for a discounted price with a gel subscription, you can use any other brand of conductive gel. Bonus feature – ZIIP microcurrent facial machine is very user friendly.
This professional quality microcurrent device is designed for home use and can be purchased only from licensed estheticians. It is a top quality device as it is manufactured by Clareblend Inc., a company that produces various advanced equipment for salon care.
What sets Clareblend Mini apart from other microcurrent devices on the market is its variable frequency. Instead of producing the same level of electric current, which can cause muscle fatigue or acclimation in a long run, Clareblend produces multiple random frequency microcurrents that support continuous lifting results. So, since this facelift machine is programmed to produce low-energy true microcurrent at variable frequencies, there is really no need of having different treatment settings or modes. Therefore, the default setting does it all, and that’s the beauty of it!
The compact design of this lightweight handheld device is very simple yet efficient. The nodes are smaller in size in comparison to NuFace and ZIIP Beauty devices, which makes it easier to treat hard-to-reach areas like eyes, lips, and eyebrows. In addition, the design and size of Clareblend Mini is perfectly suitable for treating the whole face, neck, and other smaller areas. So there is no need to purchase extra attachments.
Another advantage of Clareblend Mini is that it runs on very low voltage. So you will never experience zapping or stinging sensation, which makes it safe even for the sensitive skin. Even though this device is using very little output of power to operate, it has to be plugged in while at use. Unlike most other microcurrents that are cordless and have to be charged ahead of time, Clareblend doesn’t have a built-in battery. Instead, it comes with a USB cable which you plug into PC, tablet, phone, or USB wall plug adapter. The manufacturer recommends using Poweradd Slim2 Mini 5000mAh Power Bank , which is sold separately and can be purchased on Amazon. In addition, you should avoid using fast charging phone chargers as they can damage the device.
Gel. The 2 fl. oz. bottle of conductive gel that comes with Clareblend Mini will last you for about 2 months. But it’s not being sold separately to consumers, so you’ll have to switch to another brand for replenishment.
In conclusion, Clareblend Mini might not look as sleek as its competitors, but what it lacks in looks it compensates in its efficiency. This professional grade FDA-cleared microcurrent device is user friendly, simple, safe for home use, powerful and very effective.
Clareblend Mini Pros: simple, compact, user-friendly, one multi frequency setting, no zapping, favorite.
Clareblend Mini Cons: has to be plugged into a low voltage power source like PC, phone or USB wall plug adapter (sold separately).
7E Wellness company is one of the market leaders in professional microcurrent technology. They designed the MyoLift Mini device for professional use as a cheaper, simpler and more portable alternative to other medical grade machines. It is suitable for at-home use as well, but the learning curve is longer in comparison to other at-home microcurrent facelift machines due to more advanced settings. In fact, MyoLift Mini professional microcurrent machine has two main frequency specific modes (waveforms):
- Educate (for shortening/ tightening the muscle). This mode should be used on the areas that need lift like eyebrows, cheekbones, jowls, etc.
- Erase (for lengthening/ relaxing the muscle). This mode helps erase fine lines and wrinkles and should be used on the areas like crows feet, between eyebrows, etc.
Each mode (Educate and Erase) has 2 different intensity levels. While Level 1 targets the surface facial muscles, Level 2 targets deeper facial muscles. Overall, Level 1 is recommended for the first 15-20 days of use after which you can try using Level 2. Microcurrent intensity of Myolift Mini ranges from 175-400 microamps and can be manually programmed within each mode.
The machine itself consists of a base with LED display and control buttons, and two attached applicators (wands). Since MyoLift Mini is more advanced than other microcurrent devices on the market, 7E Wellness offers complimentary online webinars once a week. In general, the webinar is a great way to educate yourself about the microcurrent technology and learn how to use the device properly.
7E Wellness offers 3 types of dual-action conductive gels that are formulated for specific skin types: stressed/dry skin, mature skin, and oily skin. These gels come in extra large bottles (16 fl.oz) and will last for over a year if used three times a week.
√ Where to buy? Myolift professional microcurrent device for home can be purchased at 7ewellness.com or amazon.com
In conclusion, MyoLift Mini is a premium quality microcurrent tool with multiple advanced settings. The learning curve is somewhat longer than with other at-home microcurrents and some users might find the settings confusing. However, a complimentary webinar provides explanation on frequency modes, current intensity and instructions on proper gliding techniques. In short, this machine is recommended for more advanced skincare enthusiasts.
MyoLift Mini Pros: professional grade, advanced settings, free webinar included.
MyoLift Mini Cons: longer learning curve, not for beginners.
Related: Best at-home anti aging tools.
Benefits Of Using Microccurents
Using microcurrent facial toning device will benefit the most those with sagging facial muscles, loss of firmness and decreased elasticity of facial skin. The gentle electric current produced by a microcurrent machine provides cellular rejuvenation, skin lifting, facial toning and contouring.
Additionally, it improves an overall skin qualities, reduces swelling, increases elastin and collagen production, blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. However, keep in mind that microcurrents are not too effective at reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Also, in contrary to popular belief, does NOT provide , nor it removes .
- Improves muscle tone
- Lifts and improves skin tone
- Tightens skin
- Reduces sagging
- Improves facial contouring
- Provides cellular rejuvenation
- Increases blood circulation
- No recovery downtime
Overall, any microcurrent facial machine can be used on the cheeks, jaw, forehead, brows, and neck. And you can expect to see visible results after a few procedures. Also, the results are cumulative.
How To Use Microcurrent Device At Home
For at-home use, it is recommended to do microcurrent treatment at least 3 times per week. And plan on spending about 5-20 minutes per session for optimal results. Even though microcurrents are safe and have practically no side effects, it is recommended for your safety to charge the device prior to the use, as it should not be used while charging (some exclusions apply). Also, you should stay well hydrated and drink plenty of water before and after the microcurrent facial.
1. Clean. Start by removing all makeup and wash your skin with a mild oil-free cleanser.
2. Gel. Using conductive gel is a must! It allows the microcurrent to be transmitted into the skin and protect the skin from occasional zapping. In fact, most microcurrent facial machines come with a complimentary bottle of conductive gel, and we highly recommend using it! Instead of applying gel to the entire face, apply it section by section on the part of the face you are treating. The goal is to keep gel wet on your skin and prevent it from drying.
3. Gliding Technique. While applying light pressure, slowly make gliding-like upward motions. For best results, follow instructions provided by a particular manufacturer, since many microcurrent devices will slightly differ one from another.
Related: Learn more about the microcurrent therapy.
The numerous anti aging benefits of microcurrent therapy and no downtime for recovery make it a very popular treatment among skin care experts. That is to say, on a cellular level it activates adenosine triphosphate (ATP is “the energy currency of life”) and protein synthesis, increases cellular activity, number and length of elastin fibers, blood flow, lymphatic drainage, and collagen production.
Overall, the best microcurrent devices are powerful anti aging tools that help with muscle and skin tone, skin tightening, collagen development, as well as skin lifting and facial contouring.
Cho S, Kim S.G, Kim Y, Park S, Lee C, Kim H. “Clinical test for evaluation of effectiveness of the micro-current stimulation in facial skin care.” Journal of Biomedical Engineering Research, Oct. 2016, Vol. 37
Houghton P.E. “Clinical trials involving biphasic pulsed current, microcurrent, and/or low-intensity direct current.“ Advances in Wound Care (New Rochelle), Feb. 2014, Vol. 3, Issue 2
Jain S, Arora M. “Effect of microcurrent facial muscle toning on fine wrinkles and firmness of face.” IAMR Journal of Physiotherapy, Mar. 2012, Vol. 1, No. 1
Kavanagh S, Newell J, Hennessy M, Sadick, N. “Use of a neuromuscular electrical stimulation device for facial muscle toning: a randomized, controlled trial.” Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Nov. 2012, Vol. 11, Issue 4
Kern D, Riggs M, Knaggs H. “A novel microcurrent device to improve skin structure and appearance.” Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Sep. 2019, Vol. 139
Rosser, L. “Offering microcurrent therapy.” Aesthetics, Aug. 2019
Saniee F, Kh K.K, Yazdanpanah P. “The effect of microcurrent on facial wrinkles.” Pars of Jahrom University of Medical Sciences, Sep. 2012, Vol. 10