Spending time answering questions about products and devices featured in magazines, newspapers and television is not usually much fun. However, it gives me an opportunity to do in depth research on popular products and devices featured in the media.
Recently the Post Dispatch featured an article on the “Microcurrent Facelift.” The Post quoted a chiropractor practicing in the St. Louis area: “A microcurrent facelift can be performed to improve muscle tone in the face and neck, lift jowls and eyebrows, reduce and eliminate fine lines and wrinkles.”
However, aging is not caused by muscle weakness. Aging is caused by gravitational decline of soft tissue (skin and fat), and decreasing bone mass. The only part of the face, which is affected by muscle weakness, is the area directly under the chin and possibly the brow area. If strengthening muscle was possible and if it helped to lift the brow and neck, the device would need a much greater amount of energy than a microcurrent delivers.
How do they sell these services if they are not effective? A small amount of heat penetrates only the top layer of skin and causes the face to swell slightly. Swelling contracts the skin temporarily and gives a tightening appearance. The tightening disappears within a few hours or days.
I experienced a demonstration of a microcurrent facelift when one of our patients volunteered for the procedure. A representative who sold the microcurrent equipment raved about the results and the patient was thrilled. That evening I spoke to the patient on the phone. She said the effects of the “facelift” had disappeared.
There is no device on the market that penetrates the skin deep enough to be effective against signs of aging. The only way to improve signs of aging, besides surgery, is to use medical grade skin care products and laser treatments. Laser treatments require a certain amount of down time.
If it seems to good to be true—-it is!