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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 (30)

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 44 reviews

Will electrical stimulation machines help firm facial muscles?

Electrical stimulation may be helpful in cases where the facial nerves have been injured (such as Bell's Palsy) during the nerve recovery period but there is no evidence that e-stim is helpful in firming, tightening or bulking the facial muscles. If you are asking this question to determine if e-stim will help hold off or improve facial aging then the answer is probably not. The real problem in facial aging is the change in the skin and the fat of the face. As we age our skin loses its elasticity and, in effect, slides off the underlying muscles. We also lose significant amounts of facial fat that changes the shape of our faces. Facial rejuvenation surgery is required to reposition those tissues over the muscles and to restore facial volume for a youthful and healthy shape.

Kevin L. Smith, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Electrical stimulation and firm facial muscles

Facial stimulation may be useful if you have a medical condition such as Bell's palsy or other neurological problem in which eventual muscle recovery is anticipated.  However,  it is not useful in reversing the signs of facial aging.  Facial aging changes are primarily caused by volume loss and loss of skin elasticity.  Actinic damage (sun damage) expedites the aging process as well.  The stimulation may lead to a small increase in the amount of muscle bulk, but do not expect this to reverse the signs of facial aging

John Zavell, MD, FACS
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

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Microcurrent Stimulation

There is no data that supports microcurrent stimulation as a way of reversing the signs of aging in the face.    Your money is better spent on other types of procedures that provide meaningful and measurable improvement. Consult your board certified plastic surgeon to find out more information. 

Christopher Khorsandi, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
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Electrical stimulation and your face

Gone are the days of Bruce Lee! Growing up I used to watch Bruce Lee movies and learned of his electro stimulation technique to firm up muscles. These techniques have not been proven to rejuvenate the face however.

Jose E. Barrera, MD, FACS
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Electric Stimulation to Firm Facial Muscles

The facial mimetic muscles are amongst the most utilized muscle fibers in the body.  They are fast twitch muscles with a very high nerve to muscle fiber ratio.  Increasing stimulation to these muscles isn't likely to yield any functional or aesthetic benefit fr the average patient.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Electrical Stimulation

Thank you for your question.

You can try electrical stimulation and facial exercises, but I don't believe it will provide a huge benefit or the desire you may be hoping for.

Glynn Bolitho, PhD, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Facial exercises

Although most muscles in the body benefit from exercise and can tone and tighten with exercise or electrical stimulation, the facial muscles are an exception.  We are all familiar with the lines on the face being caused by movement and expression.  Crows feet from smiling, forehead lines from frowning and deepening nasolabial lines from expression.  Even the lines around the mouth are caused from puckering.  Botox smooth and improves the lines by paralyzing muscles and preventing movement.  Exercising or stimulating the muscles of the face can cause lines to become more prominent and deeper while having little tightening effect.

Michelle J. Place, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Will electrical stimulation to help firm facial muscles

 Electrostimulation of the muscles may temporarily help muscle tone, however is not going to give a face lift type effect. A comprehensive face/neck lift will address tightening excess facial and neck skin, tighten loose neck and facial muscles surgically, and remove a fat deposits in the neck. The aging process involves skin, muscle, and fat in the face and neck and that is the reason that a facelift would have a better result. For many examples of face lifting results in our practice, please see the link below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Electric Stimulation and the Aging Process


When your facial muscles become lax the only way to reliably lift them is via surgical facelift and or neck lift. If you are looking for a true lift, other measures are not going to work for a fully corrected result. 

I don't personally believe in stimulators. These machines are often used in rehabilitation of muscles and nerves after injury, but they will not work to reverse sagging of muscles due to aging. Surgery is truly the best way to lift muscles that have sagged. 

Amir M. Karam, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 78 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.