You’ve seen NuFace all over the internet and the incredible, sometimes unbelievable results. But...does it really work? How!? What’s the best one to buy? Our experts, and NuFACE devotees have the answers to all your questions, from microcurrents, gels and routines.
What is NuFACE?: NuFACE is an award-winning, clinically-proven skincare technology brand whose products deliver the benefits of professional microcurrent treatment for use at-home. Microcurrent technology has been around for decades and previously only offered at spas and medical facilities. The brand was developed by estheticians to mimic the type of treatment you might get during a facial. At-home devices, like NuFACE, are FDA approved and rigorously tested making them completely safe for at-home use. The brand is most known for their facial microcurrent toning devices – the NuFACE Trinity and NuFACE Fix , which address multiple signs of aging both instantly and over time.
How does microcurrent work?: Microcurrents are low-level pulsating currents of electricity that stimulate facial muscles, which encourages the production of collagen and elastin – structural proteins in our skin that naturally deplete as we age, resulting in sagging skin, wrinkles, and other (completely natural!) signs of aging. By stimulating those muscles, it will energize and strengthen the cells and improve contour, tighten the skin and provide an overall lifting effect. You can think of it like how exercise strengthens and tones your muscles.
Among other benefits, microcurrent at various outputs has been clinically proven to re-educate the muscles, improve muscle tone and contour in the face/neck, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and firm and tighten the skin. If you want the nitty-gritty science, find it here.
What exactly do you mean by words like “tone,” “contour” and “firm”?: Great question. Like any good clinically-backed product, NuFACE has clear definitions for each of their claims. Here is what they say:
Tone: Help the appearance of sagging or crepey skin.
Firm: Improve skin’s strength.
Contour: Help improve the definition of facial features.
Smooth: Improve the look of fine lines, wrinkles and dimples.
How and when do you use it?: It’s very simple to get the hang of! Make sure to use on make-up free, clean, dry skin, before the rest of your skincare routine. Avoid using any oil-based products beforehand, as those can disrupt the microcurrent from fully penetrating. It is gentle enough for daily use and you can use morning or night (we like the morning!)
We highly recommend watching these helpful NuFACE tutorials before the first time, which demonstrate the techniques.
Apply the NuFACE Primer (conductive gel) on dry skin. Apply on the areas you are treating as you go so it doesn’t dry out. You need a wet layer that allows for easy gliding.
Glide the NuFACE upwards along the natural contours of your face and neck. For the basic technique, you’ll go over each area 3 times. There are also “advanced techniques” that involve holding in place. Depending on the treatment you decide on, this can take 5-20 minutes.
Finish by either massaging in the remaining NuFACE Primer or rinse off. Most people we know, including our team, prefer to fully rinse off and then continue with the rest of our skincare routine, including using a gentle cleanser to remove any remaining residue from the gel. By fully rinsing off immediately after use, we have not experienced any irritation or breakouts.
How quickly do you see results?: Stimulating facial muscles provides both immediate and cumulative benefits! Though of course results may vary and it is totally okay not to see any change immediately after the first use, you’ll likely notice some lifting and contouring along your cheek and jawline. Over time, these effects will be even more noticeable and eventually you’ll notice more toned, firm skin, as well as a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Do you really need to do it everyday?: Consistent use is key to seeing any long term effects and we promise you really will start to notice if you keep up with usage. Especially for things like fine lines, wrinkles, which can take more time to reduce the appearance of, you need to be consistent if you want to see results. As it is gentle enough for everyday use, feel free to make your NuFACE a life partner, but if that sounds too daunting of a commitment, NuFACE recommends the following: for the first 60 days we recommend using NuFACE 5 times per week; after 60 days or after desired results are met, we recommend 2-3 times per week for maintenance.
How long does it take to use each time?: 5-20 minutes depending on the type of treatment you are doing.
Does it hurt?: No, we swear! In fact, many people report feeling nothing at all, as the microcurrent works just at/under the sensory level, not on the surface of your skin. Of course, your individual sensitivity level may vary, so start off at the lowest intensity before moving up to the highest just to check. At most, you may experience a slight tingling sensation (totally safe), but more likely no sensation at all. You may start to feel a tingling sensation or “shock” throughout the duration of the treatment if your gel has started to dry out, the layer is too thin or you missed a spot – this is why it is recommended to apply the gel as you go and you can always apply more if you start to feel anything. If you feel a single shock, don’t worry! You didn’t just electrocute yourself. Just apply more primer.
Does it vibrate?: The device does not vibrate, contract or pulse, which can be confusing and make you wonder if it is working. If you’re ever convinced your device has stopped working, you can do this troubleshooting tip from NuFACE: Turn the device on the highest level and place BOTH spheres on your clean, dry face (no primer, moisturizer, etc.) for no longer than ONE audible beep. As a precaution, please do not keep the NuFACE (microcurrent) device on your face without NuFACE Primer for longer than one beep. You should feel a “pinch” or “stinging” sensation which indicates your NuFACE is working properly.
Do you have to use the gel it comes with?: It is recommended by NuFACE, but you do have other options if you don’t want to. Your device will come with one tube of NuFACE’s Gel Primer. We personally like using the primer and are careful to wash it off immediately after use. (Pro-tip: you can often find it on-sale and buy in bulk at Skinstore, Dermstore and Amazon.) It is also important to note that NuFACE can’t guarantee the safety or efficacy of other gels.
In order for the microcurrent to work, you must use a conductive gel.
Conductive gels are commonly used for medical treatments, like ultrasounds. A conductive gel is applied to the body to reduce its impedance (aka resistance to electricity), thereby facilitating the delivery of an electric shock, or in the case of NuFACE, microcurrent. It helps deliver the electric current from the device to the facial muscles without straight up zapping your skin.
Conductive gels are water-based & chemically neutral. Again, your gel should not contain any oils, because oils are occlusive to the skin and won’t allow the product to penetrate. Don’t use straight water or any old moisturizer or serum.
The gel gives the device slip so it glides without pulling the skin, so make sure you are apply enough and never feel like you are pulling or tugging your skin.
What is the difference between the Trinity & the Fix ?: Both devices offer the same microcurrent power and effectiveness. The Trinity is slightly larger and gives you the option of using the interchangeable treatment attachments (sold separately). Though the Mini is marketed as being more portable due to its size, the charge of both devices last many, many uses, and we’ve had absolutely no trouble traveling with the Trinity.
What do the attachments do?: The optional attachments for the NuFACE Trinity are the NuFACE Trinity ELE and the NuFACE Trinity Wrinkle Reducer. You can use either or both attachments in addition to your daily Trinity treatment. If using all 3, use the NuFACE Trinity Wrinkle Reducer, then NuFACE Trinity Facial Trainer and then NuFACE Trinity ELE.
The ELE attachment is a gentle microcurrent device and you use the same way (clean face, primer etc.) The ELE has smaller spheres, which allows for more targeted, precise treatment for harder to reach areas around the eyes and lips and particularly lifts and holds to improve tone and contour. Microcurrent does travel, so it is possible that you may see improvement in these areas from just the Trinity, but if those areas are of particular concern, you might want to add the ELE. Use the ELE after using the Trinity.
The Trinity Wrinkle Reducer uses red, amber and infrared light, which are clinically proven to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can take 6-8 weeks for the most noticeable results. You must use on clean, dry skin without the primer. Use the LED Wrinkle Reducer before the Trinity. Read more about the science here.
What about the other devices NuFACE sells?: In addition to the NuFACE Trinity, Mini and attachments, NuFACE has two additional microcurrent devices.
The NuFACE Fix is a mascara-sized microcurrent smoothing device that instantly smooths the look of fine lines and wrinkles around the forehead, mouth and eyes. It delivers very gentle microcurrent to the surface layers of the skin using a “feathering technique” that kind of works like an eraser to smooth out fine lines. Some people even find the smoothing of lines gives the appearance of fuller lips. Since the microcurrent power only impacts the surface of the skin and is much gentler than the Trinity or Mini, it is safe enough to be used even up to 2 times a day for immediate results, but doesn’t provide the same type of cumulative benefits, but if use everyday you may notice more lasting change. It also comes with a specially formulated serum.Think of it just like a quick fix when you need it! You can use with any other NuFACE devices.