Skin Perception

ReFa Vs NuFace: Which One To Choose?

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Lets take a look at two trending anti-aging devices, ReFa and NuFace, and compare their benefits, functions and specifications. Do you know which one is right for you?

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At home face tools and devices have been gaining popularity lately. Even though at-home devices provide milder results in comparison to in-office treatments, they usually cost less than professional treatments, and are safe, convenient and easy to use. Today we’ll take a look at ReFa vs NuFace, and see what is so special about these two trendy handheld anti-aging devices.

ReFa Vs NuFace

At first glance it might seem as both devices, ReFa and NuFace, are similar (two balls, handheld, microcurrent, etc.) However, comparing these two devices is not the same as comparing apples to apples, but more like comparing apples to oranges. That is to say, even though Refa and NuFace are both anti-aging devices with somewhat similar design, they differ greatly in their functionality. To clarify, they are two different types of anti-aging tools – ReFa is considered a facial roller, and NuFace is a microcurrent device.

You are probably being skeptical right now if you heard that ReFa generates microcurrent as well. So why isn’t ReFa considered a microcurrent device? Firstly, the manufacturer refers to its devices as “drainage rollers” or “massage rollers” as the main function of ReFa devices is to provide a lymphatic drainage massage.

Secondly, the microcurrent produced by ReFa’s devices is extremely mild and somewhat questionable. For example, the manufacturer doesn’t specify minimum or maximum strength of microcurrent in microamperes (other microcurrent devices have this data publicly available).

In addition, a true microcurrent device requires a conductive gel to be used during the treatment as it enables to transmit the microcurrent through the skin. Meanwhile, ReFa doesn’t mention conductive gel at all… That being said, for the purpose of this article we’ll be treating ReFa as a facial roller when comparing ReFa vs NuFace.

REFA VS NUFACE COMPARISON

REFANUFACE

Facial roller

Microcurrent device
Imitates finger kneading massage techniqueMimics body’s natural electric current
Increases lymphatic drainageProvides skin toning and lifting
Stimulates blood flowStimulates facial muscles
Produces very mild microcurrentProduces microcurrent up to 335 microamperes
Doesn’t require conductive gelRequires conductive gel
Made in JapanMade in USA
Safe for daily useUse 3 times a week
No charging neededNeeds to be charged
$150 - $370$149 - $499

ReFa Face Rollers Review

Young women using Refa roller on her face

ReFa is a Japanese based innovative beauty brand that offers cutting edge beauty tools and skincare. They are mainly known for their high quality (and costly) beauty rollers for face and body. So what makes ReFa rollers so special?

First of all, the innovative design sets ReFa rollers apart from their competitors. Unlike regular face rollers, ReFa rollers have two rotating balls, which mimic movements of fingers and replicate deep kneading massage technique. In addition, ReFa rollers are miltiangular. This means that you can control the strength with which the skin is being pulled by adjusting the angle at which you hold the device. 

All ReFa handheld devices have a built-in solar panel, which converts light into a low-level mild microcurrent. In general, microcurrents are known for their lifting and toning effects, as they mimic our body’s natural electric current and stimulate facial muscles. However, the microcurrent produced by ReFa’s devices is somewhat controversial. That is to say, the strength of ReFa’s microcurrent is unknown, and there are no specifications for using a conductive gel, which is required with true microcurrent devices.

In addition to the sophisticated design, ReFa devices are platinum coated, which helps to minimize skin irritation, and also makes the device more durable. Also, unlike microcurrent devices, ReFa devices don’t have to be charged, and are very portable.

Benefits Of Using ReFa Roller

Close up picture of ReFa Carat face roller

Overall, face-massaging devices are considered great anti-aging tools. That is to say, they stimulate skin blood flow, increase lymphatic drainage, amplify the effect of anti-aging serums and creams, increase production of collagen and elastic fibers, and provide mild skin toning effect.
However, ReFa’s sophisticated product design enables a broader spectrum of benefits:

  • Imitates finger kneading massage technique
  • Increases lymphatic drainage
  • Helps reduce puffiness
  • Stimulates blood flow
  • Mildly tones and lifts skin
  • Improves absorption of skincare products
  • Improves overall appearance of wrinkles
  • Relaxes facial muscles

Types of ReFa Devices

In 2009 ReFa launched its first innovative beauty roller for face. Now, there are about dozen different rollers and tools available on the USA market, and about 40 ReFa devices available on the Asian market. As it has been mentioned before, ReFa tools are pricey due to their innovative design and high quality. An average retail price ranges from $150 to $370 depending on the device and what’s included with it.

It might be a little overwhelming choosing between different ReFa rollers, as most of them look very similar. But actually they all have slightly different specifications. Here’s a round up of different types of ReFa rollers.

  • Small size rollers: O Style, Caxa, S Carat, S Carat Ray. They are designed with one or two small size rollers and great for using on areas around eyes, lips, forehead, cheeks, and jawline.
  • Mid size rollers: Carat Face, Carat Ray Face, Crystal Carat Face. These devices have two mid-sized rollers and are intended for face, neck and décolletage.
  • Full size rollers: Carat, Carat Ray, Crystal. These tools are overall larger in size, have larger sized rotating rollers, and can be used on both face and body.
  • Quatro rollers: 4 Carat, ReFa for Body. These are full size large rollers that have four large rotating balls instead of two, and are meant mainly for the body.

Rollers that have a word “RAY” added to the main name come with an extra-large solar panel and usually cost about $30 more. Some of the ReFa’s devices are waterproof and can be safely used in the bathroom. However, massage rollers like ReFa S Carat, O Style, I Style, and Crystal are NOT waterproof and shouldn’t be used in the bathroom, sauna or chilled in the fridge.

ReFa Summary

Women using Refa face roller in the bathroom

All ReFa devices come with cleaning cloth, protective pouch, instruction manual, 1 year warranty card, and guarantee card with a 9-digit number that is unique to your purchased device. When it comes to skin care tools and devices, it is wise to purchase from an authorized retailer to insure that you’ll get a high quality authentic product. That being said, be aware that there are many low-priced ReFa knock offs currently circulating on the market.

  Where to buy? A genuine ReFa roller comes with a “guarantee card” and can be purchased from the following authorized retailers: Refausa.com, Sephora, Dermstore, SkincareRX, Skinstore, Nordstrom, Macys, Saks, Neiman Marcus. 

Pros: easy to use, provides better lymphatic drainage massage in comparison to regular face rollers, stimulates blood flow, reduces puffiness, improves absorption of skincare products, provides mild lifting effect.

Cons: questionable strength of microcurrent, pricey, many knock-offs circulating on the market.

In conclusion, ReFa face and body rollers are premium massage tools. They might be priced higher than other beauty rollers on the market, but they also offer much more than regular rollers. Some of their unique features include simulation of finger kneading massage technique, mild microcurrent, ability to control and adjust the pull of the skin, and platinum coating as means to reduce skin irritation. However, when comparing ReFa vs NuFace in terms of microcurrent benefits, NuFace is in a lead.

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NuFace Microcurrent Devices

Women using Nuface microcurrent device

NuFace is American brand and a pioneer in at-home microcurrent devices. It is also considered as one of the most popular brands when it comes to at-home beauty tools. In addition, skin care professionals are also using NuFace devices in spas and medical offices as they are FDA-cleared, and deliver clinically proven visible results.

When comparing ReFa vs NuFace, it might seem as these devices work in a similar manner (two balls are being rolled over the skin in an upward motion). However, these devices are very different in nature.

Unlike ReFa rollers, NuFace doesn’t provide any massage benefits. But instead, it produces a low frequency electrical microcurrent that mimics our body’s natural current. As a result, these pulsating microcurrents energize muscles and increase muscle tension. That’s why NuFace is often referred to as a toning or contouring device. If you would like to understand better how microcurrents work, you can read our more in-depth article “What is microcurrent therapy?

Using NuFace is painless, though some people might experience a light tingling feeling or no sensation at all. It is highly recommended to use a conductive gel, which helps to transmit the microcurrent through the skin down to the facial muscles. Without the gel this treatment won’t be as effective, since the electric currents will not be able to reach the necessary depth. Also, conductive gel protects the skin from zapping, so it should be applied generously. Check out our article dedicated to conductive gels and learn more about using them.

NuFace can be used on the cheeks, jaw, forehead, brows, and neck. You can expect to see visible results after a few procedures, and the results are cumulative. For optimal results it is recommended to do treatments at least 3 times a week, and spend about 5-20 minutes per session.

Benefits Of Using NuFace

Benefits of using Refa vs Nuface

Using NuFace microcurrent device will benefit the most those who have sagging facial muscles, loss of firmness and decreased elasticity of facial skin. The gentle electric current produced by NuFace provides cellular rejuvenation, skin lifting and toning, facial contouring, improves an overall skin qualities, reduces swelling, increases blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, and slightly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also improves wound healing and helps to relieve pain.

  • Improves muscle tone
  • Lifts and tones skin
  • Tightens skin
  • Reduces sagging
  • Improves facial contouring
  • Provides cellular rejuvenation
  • Increases blood circulation

Types Of NuFace Devices

Close up of anti-aging devices by Nuface

NuFace currently offers four types of microcurrent devices: NuFace Trinity, NuFace Mini, NuFace Fix, and NuBody.

NuFace Trinity is the most advanced one, as it offers 5 levels of intensity, and is designed with interchangeable attachments. It 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.

  • Facial Trainer attachment is the basic one and is included with the purchase of NuFace Trinity device.
  • Trinity ELE attachment is designed for treating smaller and hard to reach places, mainly lip and eye areas like smile lines, 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 attachments can be purchased separately, or as a part of NuFace Trinity Facial Kits on Amazon or Dermstore.

NuFace Mini is just as powerful as Trinity model, but it is smaller in size, portable and is NOT compatible with Trinity ELE and Wrinkle Reducer attachments. It is an excellent option for those who are looking for a good quality, portable microcurrent device without all the bells and whistles and on the budget. Unlike NuFace Trinity, Mini model has 3 levels of intensity, which is more than enough for beginners.

NuFace Fix is a miniature line-smoothing device that uses gentle microcurrent energy to target fine lines around eyes and lips. It comes with Fix Serum, which instantly makes 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.

NuBody is significantly larger in size and designed for toning and firming upper arms, buttocks, thighs, and abs, as well as overall body contouring.

Related: See side by side comparison of Nuface Mini & Trinity.

NuFace Summary

Box of NuFace Trinity microcurrent device

For your convenience, all NuFace devices come with one complementary tube of conductive gel – NuFace Hydrating Gel Primer ($14, 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 to one-year warranty, Apple users will also enjoy free interactive NuFace app.

Read more about microcurrent conductive gels >>

  Where to buy? You can purchase authentic NuFace devices and attachments at the authorized retailers like Mynuface.com, LovelySkin, Dermstore, Sephora, Amazon, Revolve, Skinstore, Gilt and QVC.

Pros: easy to use, provides visible lifting and toning effect, reduces sagging, improves facial contouring, painless, provides cellular rejuvenation, increases blood circulation, allows to control microcurrent intensity levels.

Cons: pricey, has to be used with the conductive gel, occasional zapping is possible.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a good quality lifting or contouring devices NuFace microcurrent device is a great option. It will benefit the most those who want to improve muscle tone, tighten skin, and achieve overall lifting affect. When comparing ReFa vs NuFace, ReFa rollers will do a better job in reducing morning swelling and puffiness, stimulating lymphatic drainage, improving overall appearance of wrinkles, and relaxing facial muscles. On the other hand, NuFace is better for toning and lifting sagging skin, and improving muscle tone.

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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

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

Miyaji A, Sugimori K, Hayashi N. “Short- and long-term effects of using a facial massage roller on facial skin blood flow and vascular reactivity.” Complement Ther Med. Sep. 2018

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