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 68

The Impact of Electrical Stimulation Devices on Aging

Electrical stimulation devices claim to use low level "micro current" to stimulate facial tone and sculpt the face. While they may provide a very small benefit, they do not prevent or correct facial aging and cannot be used as an alternative to face lift. 

It is important to remember that aging is more than just "skin deep" and its not just about the muscle.. A lot of aging has to do with the deeper structures of the face. Specifically, we lose critical bone and fat from our face as we age. The bone and deep fat are structurally important and are needed to support and provide contour to the overlying skin. The skin itself also ages, becomes increasingly inelastic and can no longer hold its shape resulting in "static wrinkles" and pleats. Finally, the deep fibrous network that anchors our skin to the bone also weakens over time. All these age changes boost the effect of gravity resulting in sagging jowls and necks.

The more you understand about facial aging the clearer it becomes that there are no magic solutions or devices.


The Impact of Electrical Stimulation Devices on Aging

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Electrical stimulation devices claim to use low level "micro current" to stimulate facial tone and sculpt the face. While they may provide a very small benefit, they do not prevent or correct facial aging and cannot be used as an alternative to face lift. 

It is important to remember that aging is more than just "skin deep" and its not just about the muscle.. A lot of aging has to do with the deeper structures of the face. Specifically, we lose critical bone and fat from our face as we age. The bone and deep fat are structurally important and are needed to support and provide contour to the overlying skin. The skin itself also ages, becomes increasingly inelastic and can no longer hold its shape resulting in "static wrinkles" and pleats. Finally, the deep fibrous network that anchors our skin to the bone also weakens over time. All these age changes boost the effect of gravity resulting in sagging jowls and necks.

The more you understand about facial aging the clearer it becomes that there are no magic solutions or devices.


Will Electric Stimulation Machines Help Firm Facial Muscles?

The idea of micro-current and electrical stimulation to the facial muscles to "firm up" or tighten the face does not work. It is a scam to call it a non surgical facelift, it isn't. The facial muscles are not striated muscles. They do not hypertrophy, grow or get bigger with stimulation or exercise. Your eyelids aren't bulging with muscles because you are blinking 25,000 times a day. Please consult a board certifidied facial plastic /plastic surgeon to be evaluated.

James Shire, MD
Chattanooga Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Will Electric Stimulation Machines Help Firm Facial Muscles?

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The idea of micro-current and electrical stimulation to the facial muscles to "firm up" or tighten the face does not work. It is a scam to call it a non surgical facelift, it isn't. The facial muscles are not striated muscles. They do not hypertrophy, grow or get bigger with stimulation or exercise. Your eyelids aren't bulging with muscles because you are blinking 25,000 times a day. Please consult a board certifidied facial plastic /plastic surgeon to be evaluated.

James Shire, MD
Chattanooga Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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 8 reviews

Electrical stimulation to help lift the face and firm facial muscles

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   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

Electric stimulation machines on the face

The electric stimulation machines might help, but they will never be a substitute for a facelift.  They will never get the tissues back to where they belong, as everyting droops and sags.  The best solution for this is a facelift in good and experienced hands.

Alberto Arguello, MD
Costa Rica Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Electric stimulation machines on the face

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The electric stimulation machines might help, but they will never be a substitute for a facelift.  They will never get the tissues back to where they belong, as everyting droops and sags.  The best solution for this is a facelift in good and experienced hands.

Alberto Arguello, MD
Costa Rica Plastic Surgeon

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 33 reviews

Electrical stimulation to firm muscles of the face

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
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 33 reviews

Will Electric Stimulation Machines Help Firm Facial Muscles?

Electrical stimulation of the muscles may help to strengthen the muscle, but facial aging is a combination of all layers of tissue including skin, fat, muscle and bone. Addressing the more superficial layers of skin and fat will give more bang for the buck and much better predictability. 

Will Electric Stimulation Machines Help Firm Facial Muscles?

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Electrical stimulation of the muscles may help to strengthen the muscle, but facial aging is a combination of all layers of tissue including skin, fat, muscle and bone. Addressing the more superficial layers of skin and fat will give more bang for the buck and much better predictability. 

Will electrical muscle stimulation help facial ageing?

Many thanks for posting this question - it is something I am frequently asked about by patients.

The answer is that it is unlikely electrical stimulation really has an effect on facial ageing. The muscles and support structures in the face do not work like other muscles in the body that can be improved on in the gym,

For treatments that have good evidence behind them, such as facelifts, muscle relaxing injections and dermal fillers, it would be best to discuss your options with an experienced plastic surgeon. Good luck 

Will electrical muscle stimulation help facial ageing?

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Many thanks for posting this question - it is something I am frequently asked about by patients.

The answer is that it is unlikely electrical stimulation really has an effect on facial ageing. The muscles and support structures in the face do not work like other muscles in the body that can be improved on in the gym,

For treatments that have good evidence behind them, such as facelifts, muscle relaxing injections and dermal fillers, it would be best to discuss your options with an experienced plastic surgeon. Good luck 

Electric Stimulation

Thanks for the great question. Although there are a lot of muscle in the face, stimulating them like other parts of the body likely will not make much of a difference. The muscles in the face aren't like the biceps or chest muscles where they will really increase in size dramatically with use. Most of the sagging people have on their faces isn't from the muscles, but is instead from loose skin. Best of luck!

~Dr. Sieber

Electric Stimulation

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Thanks for the great question. Although there are a lot of muscle in the face, stimulating them like other parts of the body likely will not make much of a difference. The muscles in the face aren't like the biceps or chest muscles where they will really increase in size dramatically with use. Most of the sagging people have on their faces isn't from the muscles, but is instead from loose skin. Best of luck!

~Dr. Sieber

Alternatives to Facelift

I often get asked about lasers, injectables, other energy devices (thermage, thermi, Ultherapy), and alternatives to surgery.  When considering treatments for the aging face, it is important to seek consultation with a board certified Facial Plastic Surgeon, Dermatologist, or general Plastic Surgeon.  Your doctor can offer a full-face consultation, listen to your goals, and provide the best recommendations. 

In short, nonsurgical procedures, almost never offer the same results as surgery.  That being said, not everyone is ready or willing to undergo surgery.  The advice that I give most of my patients, is that if they are considering surgery in the future, not to "dabble"  in nonsurgical procedures to try to postpone "need for surgery"- mostly these are a disappointment and poor use of their money.  It is best to invest in skincare, sun protection, botox and fillers when appropriate.  

Best Wishes

Daniel J. Givens, MD
Dubuque Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Alternatives to Facelift

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I often get asked about lasers, injectables, other energy devices (thermage, thermi, Ultherapy), and alternatives to surgery.  When considering treatments for the aging face, it is important to seek consultation with a board certified Facial Plastic Surgeon, Dermatologist, or general Plastic Surgeon.  Your doctor can offer a full-face consultation, listen to your goals, and provide the best recommendations. 

In short, nonsurgical procedures, almost never offer the same results as surgery.  That being said, not everyone is ready or willing to undergo surgery.  The advice that I give most of my patients, is that if they are considering surgery in the future, not to "dabble"  in nonsurgical procedures to try to postpone "need for surgery"- mostly these are a disappointment and poor use of their money.  It is best to invest in skincare, sun protection, botox and fillers when appropriate.  

Best Wishes

Daniel J. Givens, MD
Dubuque Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Focus your resources on proven methods instead

Unfortunately, there is no reliable evidence (to my knowledge) that microcurrents or electrical stimulation machines will make you look younger. You’re definitely not the first person to look for alternatives to the cost, recovery time, scarring, and discomfort of plastic surgery. And there actually are some non-surgical procedures that can help you look younger without surgery. But there are two important facts to consider:

1.      There are scientifically proven ways to help you look younger without surgery, but electrical muscle stimulation is not one of them. Procedures like non-surgical skin tightening (such as Protégé™ by BTL Aesthetics), fractional laser skin resurfacing with certain specialized lasers (such as DOT Therapy™), Botox®, Dysport®, and facial fillers like Restylane® and Juvéderm® have all been cleared by the FDA as safe and effective, so as long as they’re performed by a qualified and experienced medical professional like a board-certified plastic surgeon, you have a higher likelihood of getting the results you want.

2.      The simple fact is that no non-surgical procedures can produce results that are as dramatic and precise as a facelift or sometimes a mini facelift. Face lifts tighten the skin while also lifting and repositioning the underlying facial tissue, and this is the only way to get the comprehensive facial rejuvenation that makes patients look ten or fifteen years younger. If you do want a significant improvement but with minimal recovery time, you might be a candidate for a mini facelift instead: a less invasive version of the facelift, and one which is often performed with just local anesthesia. 

Focus your resources on proven methods instead

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Unfortunately, there is no reliable evidence (to my knowledge) that microcurrents or electrical stimulation machines will make you look younger. You’re definitely not the first person to look for alternatives to the cost, recovery time, scarring, and discomfort of plastic surgery. And there actually are some non-surgical procedures that can help you look younger without surgery. But there are two important facts to consider:

1.      There are scientifically proven ways to help you look younger without surgery, but electrical muscle stimulation is not one of them. Procedures like non-surgical skin tightening (such as Protégé™ by BTL Aesthetics), fractional laser skin resurfacing with certain specialized lasers (such as DOT Therapy™), Botox®, Dysport®, and facial fillers like Restylane® and Juvéderm® have all been cleared by the FDA as safe and effective, so as long as they’re performed by a qualified and experienced medical professional like a board-certified plastic surgeon, you have a higher likelihood of getting the results you want.

2.      The simple fact is that no non-surgical procedures can produce results that are as dramatic and precise as a facelift or sometimes a mini facelift. Face lifts tighten the skin while also lifting and repositioning the underlying facial tissue, and this is the only way to get the comprehensive facial rejuvenation that makes patients look ten or fifteen years younger. If you do want a significant improvement but with minimal recovery time, you might be a candidate for a mini facelift instead: a less invasive version of the facelift, and one which is often performed with just local anesthesia. 

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.