Jun 01, 2023

10 Best Microcurrent Devices to Tighten Your Skin and Reduce Breakouts

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Cosplaying as the third Hadid sister.

I’ll be honest; for a long time, I didn't believe microcurrent devices did anything at all. I will double cleanse my skin religiously twice a day, but for some reason, that same dedication doesn't come naturally to me when devices enter the chat. And therein lays the basis for my doubt: when it comes to these tools, "You want to use it daily to get the best results," says dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal. I decided to start taking before-and-after photos when using my microcurrent device, and…wow. They work.

Facial massaging isn't new, but with an uptick in interest in gua sha and contouring being all the rage again, it should come as no surprise that everyone is looking for that ultra-sculpted look. While it might sound like a big time commitment, using a microcurrent device every day is actually super simple. I like to pair mine with an oil cleanser for extra slip during my morning routine, so I can go about my day looking chiseled and feeling superior. Here, find the 10 best microcurrent devices that will make you a believer.

What are dermatologists recommending? "The Trinity Facial Toning Device by Nuface," says dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal. "This is the most widely used device. Patients love its ease of use. It's affordable and fits in travel bags!" The Trinity device just got an upgrade with TRINITY+, which features a sleeker design, magnetic attachments, and is now water-resistant. This set also comes with a gel to help the device easily glide on the skin, an anti-aging cream to maximize results, and a brush to apply the products mess-free.

A NuFace reviewer says: "The difference this device has made in the appearance of my skin is very subtle, and the best way I can describe it is [that] I look well-rested. It was so easy to add a new step to my daily routine because that new step makes a difference that is noticeable!"

Think of facial toning like a workout for your skin. This device is the Barry's Bootcamp of the skincare device world, allowing you to sculpt your face and reduce signs of aging. "This is the second most popular device amongst my patients," says Dr. Lal. "It has 5 intensities. It also has an anti-shock system, so it works with your skin." The anti-shock system allows you to have a comfortable experience, with minimal tingling or zapping that can occur with other devices.

A Sephora reviewer says: "This little device is amazing. I have been using it daily for about two years, and I can't say enough positive things about it. Over time, it is truly effective at diminishing the appearance of fine lines, and the treatment time is quick enough for lazy days. I am also impressed with the device's longevity and battery life. I’ve only had to charge it a couple [of] times since I got it. This is an essential part of my skincare routine."

This device comes with an accompanying lifting gel that allows the tool to glide smoothly over areas needing extra toning. The two-pronged head makes this device ideal for running along the jaw and cheekbones, sculpting those areas, and providing contoured results. The device has two modes, toning and lifting, which you can alternate using every day for continuous results.

A Saks reviewer says: "Love this little machine. I am 64 years old, and after three weeks of use as recommended, [I] can see some changes, especially in the jawline and under my eyes. I recommend [it]!"

If you’re a beauty obsessive, you may have accumulated a wide array of high-tech tools that end up spending more time in a drawer than on your face. This tool by TheraBody combines them all. By swapping out attachments, this tool becomes a microcurrent device, an LED therapy tool–which includes red, blue, and infrared therapy–a massager, and a cleansing tool. For an additional $99, you can also buy cooling and heating attachments for thermal therapy.

A TheraBody reviewer says: "I get a great quality facial at home every day, and it comes with a convenient case so I can easily travel with it. I can't recommend this enough; it's now my favorite nighttime routine."

Despite being roughly the size of a tube of mascara or classroom marker, this skincare device packs a powerful punch. It contains microcurrent technology to exercise facial muscles, red light therapy for fine lines and texture, vibration and heat therapy for improved circulation and skin soothing. For just five minutes a day, this tool will allow your skincare ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin, in addition to the four therapies it contains.

A Saks reviewer says: "I LOVE IT. I saw it on an Instagram ad and I liked it from the beginning. I have been using it every day for over four months. I already see incredible improvements in my frown lines and neck wrinkles! I travel a lot and it is very easy to pack, very light, so I take it with me wherever I go. I recommend this wand to everyone who needs it."

If your skincare goals include hopping in a time machine, this ZIIP microcurrent device might be the next best thing. ZIIP encourages consumers to use the included serum, which is formulated with peptides and gold to plump and nourish the skin, all while acting like a conductive gel to allow the tool to glide over the skin. Together, this duo helps tighten the skin, reduces breakouts, and gives back a glow you may have been missing.

A Neiman Marcus reviewer says: "This product is absolutely amazing. When used correctly, you will experience a transformation of your skin that is unbelievable. I would have paid thousands for a professional treatment and not gotten the results that I have gotten with this product. This is the best investment I [have] ever made. The results are far more than what I expected. I love this product [and] I highly recommend [it]."

This device is where technique and technology meet. Using solar-powered microcurrent technology and massaging tools, this device acts similarly to a traditional gua sha massaging, diminishing puffiness, sharpening features, and reducing signs of aging. It also works great for anyone who clenches their jaw, since the rolling motion of the device acts like a deep tissue massage.

A Saks reviewer says: "Highly recommend! I got this just a week ago and have been using it daily. It is the best beauty gadget one can own. I love it!"

This sunset-colored device combines five essential skincare functions into one tool that can fit in your pocket. The Laduora tool fuses red light therapy, blue light therapy, microcurrent technology, warmth, and massage for a no-fuss application. The accompanying serum contains niacinamide and peptides, which help boost the properties of the tool and gives a smoother complexion.

An Amazon reviewer says: "I decided to try as I have acne prone skin and have acne scars. Exactly like what it has said in the descriptions, it's super easy to use and it does help me with my acne! There was a time when I had acne that popped out, then disappeared one day after using this product, which shocked me! Overall, this is a perfect product, easy to use, and [you] can actually see great results. I would highly recommend this product to whoever is struggling with acne or acne scars."

Electronic cleansing brushes are nothing new, but this device goes above and beyond the norm. Instead of just using rubber bristles and vibration, this tool uses microcurrents to lift and contour the face, while sonic vibrations massage and cleanse the skin. By improving circulation, you’ll be left with skin that feels tighter, more contoured, and with a better glow. Because this is a cleansing device, it’ll be easier to remember to use it if you’re prone to forgetting your devices.

A CurrentBody reviewer says: "I can feel my skin smoother and softer thanks to the physical exfoliation after the first time. After using it for 3 weeks, my skin absorbs my skincare really fast, almost some seconds for water-based treatments. That helps my skin look glower. I also like [the] anti-aging massage."

This microcurrent device won't take up precious space in your carry-on or bathroom shelf, making it a fan favorite. "This is an easy-to-use wand that is portable and has [a] red light which has additional anti-inflammatory properties," says Dr. Lal. When in use, the SolaWave device also becomes warm, which gives the skin the extra benefit of feeling soothed. Combined, this device helps soothe breakouts, reduce puffiness, and promotes an even skin tone.

A SolaWave reviewer says: "This is really easy to use and feels relaxing. I love the warming effect, and it seems to be reducing my acne and is overall calming my skin."

Dr. Karan Lal, Director of Cosmetic Surgery at Affiliated Dermatology in Scottsdale, Arizona

"Microcurrent devices use low-level electric voltage to stimulate the skin and muscles of the face," says Dr. Lal. "Our muscles of facial expression are intertwined within a system called the SMAS–Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System—which helps coordinate facial movement. Over time, this system becomes weaker. Microcurrent devices are thought to stimulate and activate this system. This is why after use, you can see a subtle lift."

"They are safe, but reminder they are causing electricity to move through your skin. For this reason, patients with epilepsy, pacemakers, defibrillators, and/or other implantable devices avoid microcurrent devices," warns Dr. Lal. Always make sure to read the instructions for your device. "These devices, when used per the recommendations, provide safe results. If you aren't using the product as recommended, you could get redness, blisters, and burning."

Although you may see results immediately, "Be mindful, the lift is temporary, but over time the thought is it will help sustain a snatched look," says Dr. Lal. "You will likely see a snatched appearance after use, but this will be gone within a few hours at max. It takes months and even years to see sustained improvement, which will be subtle. You want to use it daily to get the best results."

If you want stronger and longer-lasting results, consider an in-office treatment. "As a cosmetic laser surgeon, in-office treatments provide better and longer lasting results," says Dr. Lal. "Treatments like Ultherapy, Skintyte, EMFACE, and Endymed Pro are great non-invasive options that can give you a more robust outcome. All non-invasive options in the office, however, also provide temporary results; thus maintenance treatments are required over time. Often times I’ll recommend in-office procedures to kick start and then recommend microcurrent devices to maintain results."

Tatjana Freund is Hearst's Fashion & Luxury Commerce Editor, covering beauty, fashion and more across multiple brands. Previously, she worked at and Marie Claire. She's a fan of whiskey neat, podcasts that give her nightmares, and one time Zoë Kravitz laughed at a joke she made.

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