Friday, October 16, 2015

Microcurrent Facials: Charging up your beauty regimen

The serene Yasmine Djerradine Institut de Beauté.
by Delia von Neuschatz

In need of a lift, both physically and mentally, I recently headed over to Yasmine Djerradine’s midtown oasis for a remodeling facial.  The 90-minute treatment is the spa’s most popular and for good reason given its tightening, plumping effects.

It begins with a gentle but deep pore cleansing and ends with the simultaneous application of three different types of mild electric currents: galvanic frequency which brightens dull complexions by aiding with the penetration of active ingredients (serums, etc.); a pulsating high frequency charge which improves oxygenation; and a low frequency current which provides a workout for the muscles, helping to tone them.

During the facial, two wands with opposite currents are applied to different points on the face. Your muscles will twitch and you may have a mild metallic taste in your mouth. (I didn't experience the latter.)
“We stimulate the face in the same way we stimulate the body,” says Yasmine who pioneered this treatment in New York, importing it from Paris more than two decades ago. 

The facial was so deeply relaxing despite the electricity coursing through my muscles, making them twitch, that I almost fell asleep on the table. Reluctantly getting up when it was over, I looked into the mirror and saw a well-hydrated more luminous complexion. The facialist Lily’s quick and efficient ministrations banished the blackheads leaving no trace of redness in their wake.  I am definitely heading back! 

The tightening effects are cumulative and become noticeable after three sessions.  “You gradually see that the contouring and cheekbones are more defined.  Done regularly after the age of 35, this can be an alternative to a facelift,” declares Yasmine.  Indeed, a 1991 University of Washington study found that microcurrents can not only stimulate the production and storage of collagen and elastin, but improve their quality too.  Post treatment, collagen was 10% thicker while elastin was 45% stronger.
The NuFace Mini and primer gel.
If time or budget does not allow for regular spa visits, there is something that you can do at home. The facial toning devices from NuFace are FDA-cleared for facial stimulation. There’s the NuFace Mini for five-minute treatments and the larger NuFace Trinity for longer, more intensive treatments. They provide an instant mini-lift that, as with microcurrent spa treatments, have a cumulative effect.  I have the NuFace mini at home (which is super-cute and great for traveling) and I can see the results ... when I remember to use it!

“The currents from at-home devices are not as strong or as complex at what you get in a spa,” reveals Yasmine, “but they are safe and they do help. They will firm over time.” Whether at a spa or at home, these facials are certain to give you a boost. 
Expert tip: Facial exercises are a great way of toning and lifting the jowl, neck and even décolletage muscles. Exercises that involve facial contortions (i.e. where you’re making faces without using your hands) are best, advises Yasmine.