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Heads Up: This Is The Exact Age You Should Start Using Microcurrent Devices

Jamie Schneider
September 4, 2023
Jamie Schneider
Beauty & Health Editor
By Jamie Schneider
Beauty & Health Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
Beauty portrait of smiling woman 35 year in white bathrobe with clean fresh face and hands with red hair doing fasial massage with microcurrent facial massager at bath room, treat yourself, home body care
Image by Galina Zhigalova / iStock
September 4, 2023
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Different skin care tools are best suited for different complexion types and goals. High-frequency wands, for example, help kill acne-causing bacteria and thus are top-notch for acne-prone skin. Percussive or vibrating tools help dial down puffiness and improve circulation—great for dull, sallow complexions. And microcurrent devices are top-notch for aging skin since they help your facial muscles act younger. (I'll jump into the exact high-tech process in just a moment, but that's the gist.) 

The latter conversation gets tricky, though, as there's a specific window of time before skin sagging becomes fixed (i.e., nonreversible). It raises the question: When should you start microcurrent for the best lifted results? According to derms, it may be sooner than you think.

What age should you start microcurrent? 

It's true that the younger you start, the better when it comes to microcurrent. After all, prevention is far easier than treating skin care woes once they've already cropped up—the same logic applies to microcurrent.

"Microcurrent devices are best utilized for prevention and maintenance and therefore can be started as early as your 20s," says board-certified dermatologist Rebecca Marcus, M.D., founder of MaeiMD. See, you lose 1% of collagen per year starting in your mid-20s, which can manifest in fine lines and sagging skin over time. 

"Microcurrent devices work by inducing muscle contractions and production of ATP, which is the energy used by cells to carry out their normal functions, including production of collagen and elastin," Marcus adds. You can read more about the technology here, but essentially, the handheld electromagnetic device sends gentle jolts of energy to stimulate your skin cells—this, in turn, can "exercise" the facial muscles and make them appear more toned and lifted. 

It's like a workout for your skin cells—and while you can exercise at any point in life, it is best to start strengthening your muscles on the early side. "With advancing age, collagen and elastin are produced at a slower rate, and muscles naturally atrophy, so microcurrent may not be as effective as it would be in younger skin," Marcus explains. 

Now, that's not to say you've missed the mark if you're over 25. "There is almost never a bad time to start using microcurrent!" encourages biomedical engineer and holistic skin care expert Pooja Johari, M.S., founder of 7e Wellness. Even if you already notice signs of skin aging, like wrinkles and loss of volume, increasing ATP can help rejuvenate your skin while smoothing out existing wrinkles, Johari notes. Plus, it can prevent your skin from sagging even further. 

Do you stop reaping the benefits at a certain point? 

It's not that you stop reaping the benefits of microcurrent entirely—you just might not notice as drastic of a change with age. That said, it's important to have realistic expectations here. If you have fixed, more severe sagging, it's not like microcurrent can help you bounce back to your 20-year-old complexion, board-certified dermatologist Nava Greenfield, M.D., explains. 

However, that doesn't mean you should kick the habit. "Muscles never stop responding to any type of activity," Johari adds. "As the old saying [goes], 'If you don't use it, you will lose it…'" It might take longer for those muscles to respond, but with consistency and time, it is possible to reeducate them.

"It's no different than if you went to the gym to work out," Johari adds. "You can still achieve results, but consistency is key to seeing those benefits." 

How to get the most bang for your buck 

That said, you must stick to microcurrent consistently—no matter what age you start. "Microcurrent technology is cumulative, which means that the best results will always come from a series of regular treatments (try for two to four times per week)," advises Johari. You can't use it one-off and expect miraculous results. 

If you have mature skin, you may even want to pair microcurrent with other collagen-promoting ingredients and modalities. Think peptides, growth factors, antioxidants, collagen supplements, and red light therapy. "With advancing age, it will be even more important to stick to regular, consistent treatments and combine them with effective skin care products and perhaps in-office procedures," adds Marcus (lasers, microneedling, and the like).

Here, you can find an expert-backed skin care routine for mature skin, complete with product recs and a helpful ingredient glossary. 

The takeaway  

With microcurrent, the earlier you start, the better, but that doesn't mean you can't begin once you notice fine lines that stick around. It might take a bit more time to treat those concerns, and the effects may be more subtle, but with patience and consistent effort, lifted results are totally possible. Of course, that's all assuming you select a high-quality tool—see here for the best microcurrent devices on the market right now.

Jamie Schneider author page.
Jamie Schneider
Beauty & Health Editor

Jamie Schneider is the Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and more. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.