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I have had my NuFace Trinity for 3.5 years now, and for just as long I have been promising you a review. The reason it took me so long is two-fold: I wanted to be able to fully understand the science that went into the device and only now managed to look into it properly – my post on that is here – and I struggled with using it enough to be able to judge the results.
Why that was, what I think about this specific device and if I would spend the money again (it is a lot after all) is what I want to talk about today. Although I technically didn’t spend the money the first time around, it was a birthday gift from my husband, just for full transparency…
So: Would I ask for it again?
Is there data on the use of microcurrent in skincare?
There is data on microcurrent, there are studies done on humans as opposed to those done on animals or in vitro and there even are studies done on the handheld devices for at home use. But, as I explained more in-depth in my previous post, the data is limited and doesn’t always reflect the way we would use things like the NuFace at home. (More info: The science behind microcurrent for facial rejuvenation)
So yes, there is data supporting the use of at-home microcurrent for facial rejuvenation, but it isn’t that overwhelming that I would say it is a must have for everyone above a certain age.
Again, I go much more in depth in the first blogpost, so please refer back to that for additional questions.
What the NuFACE device claims
A Pro-Level, Award-Winning Microcurrent Facial Toning Device that tones, lifts, and contours the facial muscles while also reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a 5-Minute Facial-Lift®. Take your lift to the next level by swapping out attachments for the true, pro-level experience of microcurrent and red light therapy.
Facts about the NuFACE
Price and size
The NuFace is available as NuFace Mini, available for 209 $ as starter set, and as Nuface Trinity, which is 339 $ for the starter kit that includes the charger and a tube of their primer on the website here.
The main difference between the two other than the size and the price is that you can switch out the head of the NuFace Trinity and swap them with additional available heads.
I have the Trinity, which feels substantial in weight and could be too heavy for someone that for whichever reason lacks in upper body strength, as you need to hold it up and moving constantly. As it is to be expected with anything that involves smearing gel on your face, things can get messy, but the surface is easy to wipe down with a damp cloth and despite it’s ripe age of 3.5 years, mine still looks good as new and charges without problem: One charge lasts me around 2.5 weeks, so basically around 14 applications.
Additional NuFACE heads you can get
In addition to the NuFace Facial Trainer, which is this one with the two bulbs, there is the Effective Lip & Eye Attachment that is used to really reach the smaller areas with what essentially looks like little antennae, and the Wrinkle Reducer, a LED device. (More info: The science behind LED Light Therapy in skincare)
I haven’t tried either, as I do own a separate LED mask that appeals much more to my lazy self and because I don’t see the point in stimulating the muscles really close to my eyes and around my mouth. Both are circular muscles, so you won’t get lift, only increased volume, which might be more interesting for those that are looking to smooth out fine lines, I am mainly interested in the lifting effect. (More info: Currentbody LED Light Therapy Mask – my 8 week results)
How to use the NuFACE
After you have cleansed your skin, NuFace recommends using a non-oil based cleanser as residual oils could interfere with conduction, you apply the conductive gel or NuFace Hydrating leave-on Primer. Don’t try to save product here, if the layer you apply is too thin, the current might actually be uncomfortable, a thick layer works best.
You then turn the device on, pick the strength you like – I was able to use the highest setting without any discomfort, but it is probably better to start lower and see how your individual tolerance is. The current is flowing from one ball to the other and through the tissue in between, so you place both on your face with a muscle in between and slowly glide upwards the length of the muscle until you hear a beep. That gliding process is repeated three times per area – you could do your whole face once and repeat that three times total, but I find working area to area easier as the gel tends to dry down pretty quickly and I don’t want to keep reapplying.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to study anatomy to get that right, there are plenty of tutorials on the NuFace website, but basically you start in the middle part of your face and then swipe out and up on your cheeks and straight up on your forehead. I also do a separate passing in the corners of my mouth to avoid marionette lines and up on my cheekbones for extra lift there.
My personal routine started similar to the tutorials, but was adapted to my preferences over time and now takes 10 minutes in total.
More important than the actual strokes is probably that you need to do the routine consistently, in the beginning five days a week and later at least three times a week for maintenance. I used to do it at night, but struggled to keep it up and now switched to doing it in the mornings right after I got up, that way I am less likely to forget and can reap the benefits of the instant effects – no one cares if I go to sleep with a more defined jaw.
(More info: What is skin cycling and should you do it?)
Do you need to use the NuFACE primer gel?
I often get asked if you need to use the original NuFace Hydrating Leave-On Primer as recommended on their website, and the answer is: It depends what you are looking for.
Any conductive gel will allow the current to flow for the effect on the muscles, so no, you don’t need to use the NuFace option. But on the other hand this primer contains additional humectants that, while not relevant for the current, do offer hydration that will plump up and hydrate the skin, leading to a more noticeable immediate effect.
So depending on your goals, you can either use the NuFace primer, use a hydrating oil-free serum or just a plain conductive gel you can get cheap from Amazon for example, which is what I do.
My 8 week results
Just to get that out there, 8 weeks is not a long time to judge results you get from a skincare device. Changes are too slow and small to be immediately visible and show up even less on camera. To be honest, when I look at my before and after here, I don’t really see a difference on camera. In real life I would say though that my face has a little more lift especially around the outer part of my cheeks, but in a very, very subtle way. I didn’t use it on one half only longterm – Michelle from Labmuffin Beauty did in her video review, if you want to see that – and I do believe that the power of this device is bigger as a preventative measure than to reverse loss of volume. I also don’t feel like it had any effect on my skin’s firmness as in it increased collagen and elastin production.
The immediate results though are very much noticeable, with an immediate lift and sculpt especially around cheek and cheekbone.
Problems I faced when using the NuFACE
The problems I had when using the Trinity weren’t actual problems with the device. It never hurt, only got slightly uncomfortable when I hadn’t applied enough gel and used it on my forehead (the hair seems to increase conductivity, it isn’t unusual to feel some tingling there), didn’t fall apart, lasted long enough with one charge to even bring it on holiday.
The actual problem I had lay within myself: I struggled using it consistently. I struggled a lot, in fact now is the first time in 3 years that I was able to keep up using it for more than four weeks consistently.
What is different this time? Well, other than the pressure of finally being able to shoot a before and after what helped me most was switching from doing it in the evenings to doing it first thing in the morning. As a morning person I am less likely to skip stuff in the mornings and I get the lifting and depuffing effects as instant gratification. But still it is much harder than using my LED mask for example as you can’t really do anything else other than maybe watch some YouTube.
Would I purchase the NuFACE Trinity again?
I would however purchase a NuFace mini, which would have been the better choice for me all along as I don’t plan on using the different heads anyway. It is also light and cheaper while offering the same functionality.
It is a nice to have though, not something that I feel my routine needs to be complete. And as I said before: I am 43 and in the comfortable position to spend money on things like that.
Who is the NuFACE best for?
Just like it is with any other device, I think the NuFace is best for those that have a great skincare routine in place already, are of a certain age and have money to spare. It is not a replacement for sunscreen and not comparable to what you get as in office treatment.
It is also not for those that can’t be bothered with consistency or extra steps – it takes time and effort and needs to be done almost daily, otherwise it is just a giant waste of money.
Who should not use the NuFACE?
Electric current should not be used by those with implanted metal, cardiac devices or piercings in the treatment area. I have used t wearing my ear piercings without any issues, but I wouldn’t risk it if I was wearing a pacemaker or something similar.
For use in pregnancy, consult your doctor, and the same goes for any other condition that you are unsure of.
How long do NuFACE results last?
NuFace offers two kinds of results, an immediate lifting and depuffing effect that is temporary and fades within a few hours – I can’t exactly say how many, but I would estimate I can see them at least four when looking in the mirror – and a long term plumping and lifting effect due to muscular hypertrophy. These will show after a few weeks and are not permanent either in the way that when you stop stimulating the muscle, you will gradually lose them again over the course of the next few weeks, just like you would with the results you get from the gym.
How does NuFACE compare to Botox?
I have gotten the question how NuFace compares to Botox quite a lot, and to be honest you can’t really compare the two, as they do completely different things: Botox is injected to stop muscle contraction, which means it leads to the muscle maybe losing volume but also, and that is the desired effect, to the skin not being repeatedly crinkled, which means that wrinkles that formed through facial expression are lessened or prevented. Microcurrent devices like the Nuface stimulate the muscle, the opposite, to have it grow in volume, which tightens the skin on top, smoothing out wrinkles that way. Microcurrent is more comparable to fillers than it is to Botox.
For both is true though that an at home device will always give you much more subtle and slower results than an in office treatment would, especially invasive ones like Botox or fillers.
Shop microcurrent devices here
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