This is what happened when I stopped microcurrent

This is my skin-experience of quitting microcurrent after 14 months, with before and after photos.
What happened when I stopped microcurrent
By Laura Gladman
October 04, 2020

R eviewing home beauty devices is what I do. And I love it. I meticulously record my experience and results to share with you. Changes in my skin are usually gradual over the course of a few months. And they’re often difficult to spot without comparison photos.

So, the idea of a review in reverse is quite interesting. What changes will I see when I stop using a device? Will effects be more noticeable as they fade? How will I feel, and will this change my overall opinion of the device?

The teeny Ziip Nano and Nuface Trinity home microcurrent devices
I used both the Ziip and Nuface and was curious to see what happens when I stop

Luckily, I’ve been microcurrenting for several months now, so I decided to quit and share with you what happens.

Let’s do this.

A microcurrent addict for 14 months

Nuface Trinity home microcurrent - 2nd device I tested for
I used the Nuface Trinity for 9 months

The Nuface Trinity microcurrent is the second home beauty device I’ve trialled. I started in April 2019 and stopped December 2019. I used it religiously for 9 whole months. Phew.

Ziip Nano home microcurrent - another device I tested for
I used the Ziip Nano for 5 more months

I then switched to trial the ZIIP Nano device. I used it as frequently from January 2020 until the start of June 2020. So, that’s another 5 months.

And although I didn’t see everything I hoped for, I loved my results with both devices. For me, there’s no significant difference in results between the two.

What results I got, & didn’t get

Before & after 8 months photos show the results I got using home microcurrent devices from Nuface & ZIIP.
Comparison photos after 8 months of Nuface (& CurrentBody Skin red light mask). ZIIP gave me identical healthy skin results.

This is what the Nuface and ZIIP did for my face:

Both gave me incredibly healthy skin. Before microcurrent, I considered that a very vague benefit. That’s because I didn’t realise how much of a difference a healthy complexion makes. It means hydrated, firm, bouncy, and dewy skin. My large pores became tight and my skin was beautifully silky to the touch.

They also clear away surface ‘bits’ and bumps and leave fewer and smaller blackheads. Only hormonal spots appear.

I see fuller cheeks, a natural pout, and a tightened jawline. They lift my small pre-jowls so I don’t notice them anymore.

And there are some temporary effects to de-puff my eyes and soften my under-eye fine lines.

The changes are subtle and easier to see with the help of comparison photos. But I could really feel the difference. This meant a boost to my confidence. My skin was the healthiest it has ever been. I was happy to skip CC cream and foundation most days.

But results vary by person, and you may not get ALL the results you hope for. As I also found.

Ugh. Side profile view of y under-chin wobble
Microcurrent didn’t tighten my under-chin wobble. Boo.

Microcurrent didn’t tighten my under-chin wobble. I became fixated on this during the first few months because I’d expected a noticeable change. So, I did more frequent sessions in a bid to tighten it up. It didn’t work. But as soon as I accepted this, I could concentrate on what good the microcurrent was doing to my skin.

Try these for jowls & sagging skin: the best at-home Radio Frequency skin tightening devices

OK, so if I saw such good results, why was I happy to stop?

Why I was happy to stop microcurrent

Despite my positive results, I was relieved to stop. That’s because both devices eventually felt like a chore.

The Ziip and (expensive) conductivity gels, and the Nuface and (ore affordable) activator gel
Both the ZIIP Nano and Nuface Trinity eventually felt like a chore

I find both devices demand commitment and are time-consuming. I did four sessions per week taking 25 to 30 minutes each. I could do shorter sessions, but anything less seemed a waste of the expensive conductivity gels and my time! That’s because I know more is definitely more with microcurrent. I wanted the best possible results so I told myself to knuckle down and do it properly. 

And the sessions are rather different for each.

Ziip needs motivation

Follow along video routines in the Ziip App
You must concentrate to keep in sync with your ZIIP routine on the App or by memory

I find the ZIIP requires the most motivation. There are several App routines and you must concentrate to stay in sync because they’re timed.

The Ziip buzzes halfway through a routine so you know to move to the other half of your face. Some routines e.g. the longer Energise, use the same microcurrent throughout, so you can free-form and do your own routine without following the App. But, Ziip says you get your best results if you follow their routines because they help your lymphatic drainage.

Other shorter routines vary the micro/nano current output by facial areas so you really must follow the routine. The App video routines are easy enough to follow, but it’s sometimes easy to get ahead or lag behind and it’s annoyingly repetitive after a while. Or you can do your routines from memory, counting the reps to stay in sync. However, I lose track if I don’t concentrate so I can’t enjoy the routines whilst relaxing or watching TV simultaneously! You may not have this problem, but to me, it eventually felt too repetitive and a chore.

On the other hand, I appreciate you can treat all facial areas, including the eyes and lips, in this one device. You don’t need any additional and expensive attachments as you do with the Nuface Trinity. I also like the several and varied routines because it gives you greater control. You can select a few to fit your available time or pick them to focus on your problem areas. I love the routines focused on eyes, plumping and lips as well as the longer full-face routines. Also, the nourishing Ziip gels stay wet for ages so you can apply them to your entire face at the start and do several routines without them drying out or clumping on your skin.

You can Nuface on auto-pilot

Easy to learn and follow Nuface routines
Nuface is an easy auto-pilot device!

The Nuface Trinity feels simpler and easier. You can follow or learn the simple routine from videos on Youtube or in the App. And there are handy diagrams in the user guide too. It’s easy to remember.

The microcurrent output doesn’t change, so you can do your routine in any order. Do the basic short one, the longer advanced one, or your own combination with more reps over trouble spots. Whatever suits you best. The ELE attachment is worth it for lifting and smoothing the eye area too. It’s easy to do in front of the TV and it doesn’t matter if you lose your place. It’s an auto-pilot device.

The downside with the Nuface Trinity is the expensive Nuface gel and creams. They dry out gradually, so you must apply them and work in sections over your neck and face. You’ll use a lot more product and it’s a little more faff than the stay-wet Ziip gels. In my opinion, they don’t feel as nice or as nourishing as the Ziip gels either. Nuface also promotes them rather aggressively, but you can use cheaper alternatives and still get the same results. Learn more about the Nuface gels and substitute gels here.

For my last month of using Nuface Trinity, I combined it with the CurrentBody Skin LED mask. You do red light before microcurrent and oh my! What a power combo! The red light amplifies the effects of the microcurrent and gives a new beautiful glow on top. I love it. I continued with the LED mask during my ZiiP trial too and saw equal results.

But, during my final months, I was simply very bored with the microcurrent monotony. Especially compared to the easy, simple, and hands-free LED mask. I didn’t want to go back to the Trinity either.

Wearing the hands-free CurrentBody Skin LED mask
Easy, simple, and hands-free (my dog and I much prefer it!)

Also, I was curious to see how my skin would change.

If I stopped, I reasoned I would write this reverse-review article and maybe it would help someone else who’s thinking of ditching their microcurrent routine. So, after a short deliberation with myself, I decided to quit.

That was at the beginning of June 2020. And to start, I did not miss it one bit.

What differences do I see now I’ve stopped?

I kept a diary over the next 4 months to record what happened as the microcurrent effects faded. I kept using the CurrentBody Skin LED mask 2 or 3 times a week.

my handwritten stopping microcurrent diary
I kept a diary of changes in my skin

For the first few weeks, there was no change. Then, I felt tiny bumps from a few blocked pores on my chin. My pout softened too. Was my mouth slightly down-turned too? And, oh hello. My small pre-jowls were back again 😞.

However, my skin was still smooth, beautifully hydrated, and looked healthy overall. I felt no more significant changes over the next few weeks until a few non-hormonal spots appeared. One on my left cheek and one on my right jawline. And by the following week (at the 2-month mark), a few more blemishes joined the party. Those under-the-surface bumps were bigger, with blackheads, and small spots around my nose, on my chin, and a few on my hairline too. I’d totally forgotten about these! However, they healed quickly with the help of the LED mask.

Aside from the blemishes and bumps, my skin also felt less hydrated. Therefore, it wasn’t as dewy and smooth. My cheeks felt less full, flat even. Overall, my lower face felt less supple and tight. I noticed my under-chin sag and pre-jowls a lot more now too. And my pout, gone 😭.

I seriously considered picking up the Trinity again. But I didn’t.

And a few weeks after that, my cheeks had less bounce for sure. I also felt less ‘meat’ around my eye sockets and – although my eyebrows weren’t level to start – they now looked more obviously lopsided. And my eyes looked heavier. I began worrying the bumps on my chin and even tried squeezing a few – something I’d not thought about for months.

For the next month, I saw and felt no more change in my skin. So, this was my new normal skin.

Here are my comparison photos from 4 months after I quit microcurrent (but continued with the red light mask):

My comparison photos of my face during microcurrent & red light, and 4 months after quitting microcurrent
4 months after I quit microcurrent: still healthy but with less volume, elasticity, hydration,& pout. More pronounced lopsided brow too.
Close up of my skin: My comparison photos of my face during microcurrent & red light, and 4 months after quitting microcurrent
Have a closer look…
Side angle view comparison photos of my face during microcurrent &; red light, and the changes 4 months after quitting microcurrent.
And from this angle I see those pre-jowls again, flatter, less bouncy & supple mouth area, under eyes, & cheeks. Boo.
Side profile comparison photos of during microcurrent and 4 months after quitting
From the side the under-chin sag is, well, saggier, and my jawline/jowls less defined.

Now, you can see the changes are subtle, but they’re noticeable to me. I still think my skin feels and looks good with the continued use of the red light mask. It’s just not as good as when combined with the microcurrent.

So, in summary:

  • I noticed small changes after a few weeks
  • They became more obvious after 2 months
  • It took about 3 months total for the microcurrent effects to completely fade away
  • The LED red light mask maintains healthy, smooth skin & tight pores, but to a lesser extent than with the microcurrent
  • I feel the changes more than seeing them
  • I miss my hydrated, dewy skin from microcurrent
  • I now get regular bumps & blemishes
  • There’s noticeably less volume & bounce in my skin,
  • I miss the tightened lift around my lower face & mouth
  • And I really want my pout back!

So, what do I think about home microcurrent now?

Ziip Nano & Nuface Trinity do more for y skin than I realised
These little guys do more than I originally thought

I can see my results from microcurrent are more pronounced than I had first thought. I now appreciate the tightening effect, lift and volume, but also the extra hydration and how it clears blemishes, bumps, and blackheads. And keeps them away. But my results are subtle.

Combined with red light, however, results are much more noticeable.

I love the combo of Nuface Trinity & red light LED with the CurrentBody mask
Dynamic duo: Microcurrent & red light

So, it’s not only about collagen and elastin. But all my skin’s health. And this means perky, energetic cells, busy building, repairing and removing harmful cell waste and oxidants. And because these bad things age my skin, home microcurrent helps to help fight them.

However, it’s still rather a lot of effort. But now I know home microcurrent won’t lift my saggy under-chin, I’d simply focus on clear, hydrated, and healthy skin. So, I’d happily spend less time on it. Nuface’s 5-minute basic routine after my red light mask should do the trick.

Once I’m done testing a few other devices, maybe I’ll go back to it.

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Laura Gladman
I'm a bit obsessed with at-home beauty devices. It's a habit I've had for around 9 years now. I love the science, testing and reviewing them, and sharing my experience and feedback on my site I'm also a crazy dog lady, and I don't care.

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