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Microcurrent device face off- and the winner is….

Reviewed by Marta November 15, 2012 35 Comments

….Well, it’s just not that clear cut. I’m sorry. I know this is frustrating. Believe me, it is for me too. I am the owner of a NuFace ($250) and the Suzanne Somers FaceMaster ($130) and after a month long side-by-side test I’m not in love with either of them and there is no clear winner. If I had to take just one to a desert island it would be the Baby Quasar (just joking). Really, if I absolutely had to choose just one microcurrent device it would be the NuFace.

The thing is that that they are really so different that an ideal scenario is to use both. This is indeed what I have ended up doing. About half way in to a month long test, I quit the side by side test and started to use each device for what it seemed best suited for: NuFace for the cheeks, jawline and forehead and FaceMaster for around the mouth and eyes.

I tested each microcurrent device for four weeks, three times a week, playing around with settings and with lotions to use them with. They both come with “conducive “ lotions that are supposed to prevent the microcurrent from tingling uncomfortably and to, supposedly, deliver antiaging ingredients to the skin. I reviewed them in my interim post. In the end, I opted for a pure hyaluronic acid and spritzed with Caudalie’s (very nice) 100% Grape Water. Here are the pros and cons of each, in my opinion:


Pros: A sturdy device that delivers a consistent current. Although the current control dial (a wheel) doesn’t seem to be especially sensitive. I used it set at about mid-way most of the time. NuFace did a good – by which I mean noticeably lifting and firming – job on the jawline and cheeks, and to a lesser extent the forehead. Certainly, enough for me to continue using the device now that my test has finished.

Cons: The main drawback is that NuFace has two large metal balls that you are supposed to “glide” over the face. They are too large, unwieldy and don’t allow for subtle manipulation.  The instructions stipulate that you cannot use NuFace within the labial nasal lines, the eye area or throat.


Pros: $100 cheaper than  NuFace. Controls are very sensitive and allow multipe techniques. The hand held prongs allow for manipulation. It can be used around the eyes and the mouth. It does produce visible results around the eyes in particular, but is less effective than NuFace for cheeks, jaw, forehead.

Cons: The downside of being able to manipulate the prongs is that in the wrong hands they could pull muscles in the wrong directions and do more harm than good. As I said at the outset of this exercise, any old fool can hold an LED light, but microcurrent requires some skill and experience.

My biggest gripe with FaceMaster is that I experienced some very odd, almost scary sensations. When I use it around the lip area, I noticed a strong bitter taste. At certain points – side of nose, for example – I got a sensation traveling up a nerve all the way up my cheek. A couple of times using it above the eyebrow, I got a strong tingling sensation on the top of my scalp. I experienced these several times, on different days and using multiple – even very low – settings. I have never encountered sensations in the nerves when having a professional microcurrent treatment.

Related posts: I've finally found a microcurrent device I like - the Mytone. Read my review of Mytone

  • October 3, 2013

    by Joan

    Can anyone suggest what works best to tighten a neck which is beginning to sag? Thanks!

  • June 10, 2013

    by jennifer

    Hi, there are soo many products that promise to lift and tone the face. I want to know what actually works. I'm tired of buying products that don't work. HELP!

  • February 22, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Stella, I'm a bit of a loss here too. I can't imagine why the device should make you look gaunt. Microcurrent should do the opposite. I'm not a big believer in these at home microcurrent devices (the salon versions are very good though). Perhaps you should consider some of the other technologies - here's a round up:

  • February 22, 2013

    by Esther Busuttil

    I do have the Nuface microcurrent, for at least 3 months now, I had stopped using as my face has become a bit gaunt from looked thin. I just started using it again last week mostly on my forehead as I had seen some good results in my fine lines and expression lines there...however i would lift up the corners of the mouth an cheeks a little bit with it :( Can someone help me and tell me a way i can do this without gaunting my face?? Maybe use it twice a week there, or use different strokes...I am really lost here....I need some face fat and this Nuface kills it just by trying to glide it across my cheeks towards my hair line....martha would be great if I can get your expert opinion :) Stella

  • January 22, 2013

    by geny

    I wondering to buy one of these devices, I am
    49 years old and noticed a little sagging in my neck and I would like a more firm jawline, I so confussed about the masterface or nuface, is there any new device that performs better?
    Thanks .

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