Electric Facials: Real Housewives' Kyle Richards Zaps Away the Wrinkles

Princess 19 on 1 Nov 2011 at 1:00pm

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Kyle Richards, recently tweeted a freaky-looking pic while she was receiving an “electric facial” (see right).  This little known procedure using electric stimulation is gaining popularity amongst the celebrity set.

Doctors are prescribing this method for ladies who overuse or have been on neurotoxins such as Botox over long periods of time (so there may be big business here for all the Real Housewives...).  They say the "overuse" of injections can cause your face to lose its fullness when freezing the muscles to not wrinkle, by eventually flattening the muscle fiber.

electric facial"Electrostim keeps the muscles plump and active," says dermatologist and maker of a celeb-loved skincare line, Dr. Nicholas Perricone.  He recommends stimulation instead of neurotoxins as an alternative for wrinkle prevention. 

Electric stimulation has actually been around for years.  The most common version of this therapy uses low levels of electricity (like a light bulb) to stimulate face and neck muscles via wet sponges or mask.  This creates "fullness" to the muscles by toning and shortening muscle fibers, thus appearing more youthful.

But, is all this hype just a bunch of hooey?  According to some RealSelf doctors, the answer is "yes."

"There have been no scientific studies that demonstrate any long term improvement in facial tone or appearance from using electrical stimulation machines," says New York plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist, Dr. Steven Pearlman.  "That is the reason why all these devices are no longer being advertised.”

It may be just another procedure with questionable long-term results, but it’s all the rage amongst Tinseltown.  According to Elle magazine, Madonna and Kate Winslet are fans of Tracie Martyn’s "Red Carpet Facial," which utilizes mild electrical current.  Uma Thurman and Milla Jovovich are fans of another method by make-up artist Kristin Hilton.

Even J.Lo was rumored to have purchased a CACI Ultra machine - for a cool $23,000.  For those brave enough to try this at home, there are devices like the Suzanne Somers-endorsed Facemaster or the Frankenstein-looking hand-held from NuFace.

Can all these celebs really be wrong and just wasting their money on another useless trend?  Maybe...
Regardless, trying an electric shock may not be so bad - it did work for Frankenstein.  Oh wait, that was just a movie.  

Photo credit: Twitter via Kyle Richards; Center for Image in Science and Art _ UL