The cosmetics world is booming with a variety of treatments and procedures to help patients realize their skin goals. Two popular treatments are microcurrent and microneedling. Many get confused about what these two are so we answer the query, “microcurrent vs microneedling”.
Microcurrent uses low-level electrical currents to work out muscles and boost collagen and elastin production. This firms and tightens the skin. Microneedling uses tiny needles to minimally puncture the skin. This triggers a natural healing process and collagen production. This is beneficial for scars, dark spots, stretch marks, and aging skin.
Though both treatments are minimally invasive and require little to no downtime, they’re not for everyone. A visit and consultation with your medical provider will help you determine what treatment is right for what your skin needs.
Below, we’ll go over what microcurrent and microneedling are. We’ll also discuss what similarities they share and what sets them apart.
What is Microcurrent?
The human body has naturally flowing electric currents. These send signals, allowing communication between the body’s many cells. This is what causes biological responses.
When we get sick or injured, these electrical currents are disrupted. This prevents the body’s natural processes of healing and repairing.
Microcurrent sends low-level electrical currents to the muscles underneath the skin. This mimics the body’s natural ionic flow and encourages the body’s cells to repair and heal.
Microcurrent is a “workout” for the muscles and skin that have grown saggy and developed various signs of aging.
As a facial muscle and skin work out, microcurrent creates lifting and contouring effects. This results in firmer, tighter, plumper, and overall younger-looking skin.
Microcurrent facials are in-office treatments but at-home microcurrent devices are also available. At-home devices will not yield the same results as an in-office treatment but is a great way to keep the results coming in between appointments.
How does it work?
Microcurrent skin tightening is non-invasive, non-surgical, and painless. Doctors use it for various health concerns and conditions. One notable use is by physical therapists for Bell’s Palsy, a facial paralysis condition.
The procedure uses a handheld device with two electrodes on one end. This delivers the electric currents right down to the muscles.
These electric currents stimulate the production of ATP or adenosine triphosphate, the body’s primary fuel and energy source. This also encourages collagen and elastin production, both of which the skin needs for structure.
More skin structure means far lesser fine lines and wrinkles. Working out and toning the muscles transform skin from saggy and droopy to tight and plump.
The low-grade electrical currents also boost cell and tissue repair and speed up wound healing.
How many sessions do I need to stimulate facial muscles?
Microcurrent results are cumulative. The effects and results add up with every session. The best microcurrent results are achieved with regular and consistent treatment sessions.
How many sessions you should get would depend on what your healthcare provider would suggest. Even so, weekly microcurrent treatment sessions are typical. Some even do biweekly, depending on their concerns.
Benefits of Microcurrent
- Stimulates facial muscles: Microcurrent targets more than skin-deep and stimulates the muscles under the skin. A “workout” for the muscles, this sculpts and tones the skin. Say goodbye to sagging skin and say hello to tighter, firmer, and plumper skin.
- Boosts collagen and elastin production: The skin needs both collagen and elastin for structure. More structure in the skin means an overall youthful appearance.
- Reduces signs of aging: More collagen and elastin in your skin means smoothing out various signs of aging from fine lines to wrinkles.
- Improves blood circulation: Microcurrent improves blood circulation and brings blood, oxygen, and other necessary nutrients to the treatment area. Improved blood circulation could also stimulate healing, whether these are cuts or acne scarring.
- Painless and non-invasive: Microcurrent is a painless, non-invasive, and non-surgical procedure. No incisions or knives are involved. There is zero downtime as well. You can get the treatment and go on with your day as if nothing happened.
- Quick procedure and instant results: Microcurrent treatments take only about 30 minutes to an hour. It also offers almost instantaneous results and you can immediately see the difference right after the session.
Is Microcurrent Safe?
Microcurrent facial therapy uses low-voltage electrical current and is totally safe. They’re non-invasive and require no recovery time.
Side Effects of Microcurrent
Microcurrent causes little to no side effects, though still keep an eye out for any of the following:
- Tingling or numbing
- Some bruising or swelling
Who Should Not Get a Microcurrent Treatment?
- Epilepsy patients
- Pregnant women or nursing mothers
- Patients with pacemakers or other heart conditions
- Patients with other metal implants
People with skin sensitivities like rosacea and allergies should proceed with caution. A consultation with their medical doctor may be warranted.
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is a cosmetic procedure that uses small, sterilized needles to micro-puncture the skin.
This sounds scary but the procedure is only minimally-invasive. These micro-punctures don’t scar the skin. What it does is activate and stimulate the skin’s healing process.
As we age, the skin produces less collagen than what the body really needs. To counter this, microneedling uses small needles to puncture the skin. This procedure triggers the body’s natural healing process. This, in turn, generates new collagen and skin tissues growth.
With increased collagen production, microneedling may help in reducing various signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. This can also tighten, firm, and plump the skin for an overall youthful appearance.
Microneedling is a professional and in-clinic procedure. A board-certified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon should administer it. In some states, aestheticians may also perform it with physician supervision.
There are home dermal rollers widely available but these home solutions don’t puncture the skin deep enough to draw blood. In other words, they don’t offer the same results as professional medical grade devices.
How does it work?
Microneedling uses a pen-like handheld device with tiny and sterilized needles to puncture the skin. When used on the target area, the micro-punctures stimulate collagen production.
These micro-punctures trigger a healing process, the body’s natural response to wounds and injuries. This stimulates collagen and elastin, resulting in new, smoother, and even-toned skin.
The procedure makes the skin firmer, tighter, and tauter. Other skin concerns like acne scars, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, uneven tones and textures, stretch marks, and enlarged pores may benefit as well.
Puncturing the skin can also help skincare products absorb better and deeper into the skin, increasing benefits and efficiency.
How many sessions do I need to boost collagen production?
Exactly how many sessions of the treatment you need varies per patient. But typically, six sessions is the base recommendation by most professionals.
Usually, a patient would start with about three to five sessions per month but this could increase or decrease based on varying factors.
Microneedling results get better with regular and consistent appointments.
Benefits of Microneedling
- Increases collagen production: The main purpose of those micro-punctures on the skin is to stimulate and increase collagen production. With more collagen, the skin has more structure. This can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Expect tighter, firmer, and plumper skin as well.
- Improvements in hyperpigmentation and dark spots: With new skin cells and tissue growth as part of the body’s healing process, new skin that’s more even in tone appears. And unlike lasers, microneedling is safer and more efficient for people susceptible to hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
- Reduces the appearance of scars: The tiny needles of the device can break down hardened scar tissues. This allows skin rejuvenation and repair. Stretch marks can also benefit from the procedure, with the same logic in mind to improve skin texture.
- Minimally-invasive: Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure. The needles used are very tiny and will not permanently scar the skin.
Is Microneedling Safe?
Microneedling is a generally safe procedure for patients in good health. It’s minimally invasive and is performed by board-certified professionals. A numbing cream is usually applied on the treatment area before proceeding with the procedure.
Side Effects of Microneedling
Though minimally invasive and considered generally safe, microneedling does come with some risks and minor side effects:
- Mild skin irritation
- Bleeding and some bruising
- Skin peeling that feels like dry skin
Who Should Not Get a Microneedling Treatment?
- Patients with open wounds or active acne
- Patients who had radiation therapy in the past year
- Patients with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis
- Pregnant patients
- Patients with a history of scarring or poor wound healing
Microcurrent vs Microneedling
Both microcurrent and microneedling treatments have found their positions in the cosmetics world. Next, we’ll go over how these two are both similar and different.
How are they similar?
Microcurrent and microneedling treatments both stimulate the skin’s collagen and elastin production. Both these proteins are what the skin needs for structure. More skin structure means far fewer signs of aging and firmer, tighter, and plumper skin.
Both these treatments offer cumulative results, meaning benefits and effects add up with each treatment session.
How are they different?
- Microcurrent therapy sends electric currents to the muscles underneath the skin. Microneedling micro-punctures the skin on a deeper level.
- Microcurrent stimulates ATP production which boosts collagen and elastin production. Microneedling triggers the body’s natural healing response, which stimulates the skin’s collagen production.
Can I Use Microcurrent and Microneedling Together in My Skincare Routine?
Penn Smith Skincare says you can do a session of microcurrent followed up with a microneedling treatment. If you’re doing microneedling first, microcurrent should be done the next day.
According to Dr. Pen, microneedling and microcurrent could be performed in conjunction with each other. If you’re undergoing microneedling treatments, you can have microcurrent in between those sessions.
Ultimately, a consultation with your dermatologist will help you make an efficient treatment plan.
As we grow older, we undergo obstacles and our skin is no exception. From various signs of aging to scars and hyperpigmentation, the skin is susceptible to these imperfections and injuries. Two cosmetic treatments many turn to are microcurrent and microneedling.
Microcurrent treatments use low-level electrical currents that reach the muscles underneath the skin. This stimulates collagen and elastin growth, leading to tighter, plumper, and more youthful skin. Microneedling uses small, sterilized needles to micro-puncture the skin. This triggers the body’s natural healing process and collagen production.
And that was our detailed guide on everything microcurrent vs microneedling. If you have more questions for us, you can reach out below!