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Will Electric Stimulation Machines Help Firm Facial Muscles?

What do you think about using an electrical stimulation machine to firm up facial muscles? I'm on a facial exercise regimen - which I'm going to try for 4 mos & I also have a electrical muscle stimulator - which I'm using on my facial muscles - we'll see what happens.

Doctor Answers 44

Electrical Stimulation (e-stim) for muscle growth or muscle bulk or as as substitute for resistance exercise

Electrical stimulation has been used to maintain muscle growth/volume to prevent atrophy in cases of denervation (nerve injury) or when resistance is eliminated (zero gravity enviroments that occurs with astronauts) but it is my understanding that it has not been successful in enhancing muscle growth or bulk.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Electrical stimulation to help lift the face and firm facial muscles

   The verdict is still out on this one. We see patients with facial paralysis and its very obvious that  knocking out facial muscles causes severe droop in the face and around the eyes. Yet we also see muscle hypertrophy as an undesirable aging effect in the forehead, neck and jaw region. I think that eventually we will tailor our treatment plans to selectively train and firm up certain facial muscle groups with electro-stimulation and relax other groups with neuro-modulators to achieve the best results.

Joseph Shvidler, MD
Tacoma Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Electrical Stimulation for Facelift

Electrical stimulators increase tone in the facial muscles temporarily.  They are usually sold at treatment packages by aestheticians.  Most plastic surgeons do not offer these types of treatments, well, because they don't work other than temporarily at best.

So if you have a social function to go to Saturday and want to see if that will spruce you up, you can give it a try. But if you really want to rejuvenate your face, fillers, facelifts, laser peels are much more effective.

Gilbert Lee, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews


I have seen good results with products like NuFace, but if you are really in need of a facelift, there is no amount of microcurrent that can get you those results.

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

You may see firming, but it will not rival the results of a facelift.

To an extent, these machines can prove effective however the effect is temporary. In addition, these results will not be on a par with those of a facelift and should not be considered as an alternative

Jury is still out

electrical stimulation can help maintain some muscle activity and strength, but not really increase muscle strength. Therefore, its use is somewhat limited. 

Sandy Sule, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Electrical Stimulation

Thank you for your question. The theory of this is that individual muscle cells will be stimulated if the current used is similar to the body’s natural current. The question of whether they can be made firmer is probably misdirected, however. Electrical stimulation is useful in maintaining muscle growth and preventing nerve injury. Yet, it has not been proven that they can have a role in creating firmer muscles.

Ramtin Kassir, MD
Wayne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Stimulating facial muscles

Thanks for the question.  Unfortunately there is no known proven benefit to electrically stimulate facial muscles in order to firm up the facial muscles.    It will certainly have no direct effect on the quality and character of the overlying skin and fat which with age and the force of gravity will droop and sag with time.  This latter scenario is best corrected with a facelift.
There are a lot of gimmicks in the cosmetic industry unfortunately.  But its best to always keep in mind the maxim, "if if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."  Wishing you the best.

Michael J. Yoo, MD
Irvine Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Electrical stimulation to firm muscles of the face

Unfortunately the answer to this is probably not! There are a lot of things on the internet and late night TV that claim amazing things about tightening the face in minutes. However, the old adage of "if its to good to be true, it probably is" holds when it  comes to electrical stimulation. My best advice is to see a board certified plastic surgeon for a thorough review. I hope this helps

Ritu Chopra, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Electric Stimulation Machines

In my experience electric stimulation machines can give some patients a very temporary effect of skin tightening.  It is, in my opinion, more of a waste of money in the long term because the results (if any) are usually for just the day.  It is better to safe your money on these types of procedures for a more traditional facelift.  If you are interested in non surgical skin tightening/lifting procedures I would look into Ulthera.  Best of luck to you

Milind K. Ambe, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.