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The NuFace FaceMaster microcurrent face off - round one

April 19, 2013 Reviewed by Marta 45 Comments

Yesterday evening I started my microcurrent at-home device face off. This may not be scientific A/B testing but it is a side by side trial with the right side of my face trying out the NuFace Facial Toning System and on the left, the Suzanne Summers FaceMaster. And the winner is…. Well, you’ll have to wait a month to see. But in the meantime, I found the initial results interesting  - and surprising.

NuFace, by the Carol Cole Company, is a sturdy device about twice the size of cell phone with two round-tipped steel prongs or as NuFace calls them “spherical probes”.  The package ($250) comes with “conducive” lotions. With great reluctance, I smeared on the N+Current gel. To be fair it isn’t that bad (mostly acrylic polymers), but not great either (parabens and FD&C colors) and all gloopy and pore-clogging. This was followed by a spritz of the much more appealing Optimizing Mist, which even has Matrixyl.

I found the NuFace device a bit unwieldy – the steel balls are rather large and I didn’t think I’d be able to give my face a very subtle massage. Also NuFace cannot be used around the eyes or mouth. There is absolutely no tingling sensation and more than once I wondered whether the thing was even working. After following the instructions and moving the device in very slow upwards moves across my cheeks, forehead, jawline and side of the neck several times, I looked in the mirror to compare with the untreated left side. There was a notable difference on the right (NuFace) side – my skin looked much plumper.

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On to the left side with the Suzanne Somers FaceMaster. Before starting, I had mixed feelings about this as well. I had just tried out Ms Somers’ famous thighmaster and wasn’t impressed. Her FaceMaster looks like a kids toy version of a salon microcurrent machine. It has two long wands, the tips of which are covered in disposable cotton “socks” and dipped in to the Soothing Conducive Serum before starting. The serum turned out to be a pleasant surprise – not gloopy at all and with several botanical ingredients (although there are the usual suspects in the ingredients department).

I liked using the FaceMaster much more than the NuFace and not just because of the serum. The wands (baby versions of what my esthetician) uses are easily manipulated (one in each hand) and their small tips seem to probe the face for a much more subtle massage. And there are no no-go areas – unlike NuFace, faceMaser can be used around the eyes.

But the real acid test came when I looked in the mirror. Unequivocally, it said that the fairest of them all was the…. tada … right side. Yes, the NuFace treated skin was looking notably plumper. And in the pinch test, my NuFace cheek felt distinctly firmer. It must be said that the FaceMaster side was definitely better after than before, just not quite as good as the NuFace results. Having said that, there is more "skill" required for using FaceMaster, so it will be interesting to see what happens after I have had more practice.

I definitely feel more optimistic about at home microcurrent than when I started. I shall keep using both devices a couple of times a week for the next four weeks and give my final verdict on the microcurrent face off.

Find out who the winner is at the end of my FaceMaster and NuFace test

Ingredients in N+Current

Water, 1,2-propanediol, acrylic acid polymer, cellulose polymer, methylparaben, propylparaben, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Yellow #5.

Ingredients in Nuface Optimizing Mist

Deionized water, rosemary, chamomile, glycerin, sorbitol, palmitoyl peptide-3, sodium PCA, allantonin, L-ascorbic acid, poysorbate 20, fragrance, panthenol, algae extract, phenoxyethanol.

Ingredients in FaceMaster Soothing Conducive Serum

Water, Butylene Glycol, Sodium PCA, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Magnesium PCA, Zinc PCA, Manganese PCA, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Propylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol and Sodium Hydroxide.

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  • October 27, 2017

    by carol

    How does electro current machines work if you have hearing aids, I have the kind lyric that goes in ear every 3 months and is operated with a magnet?

  • June 4, 2017

    by Carol

    I wondered if you had considered the idea that one side of our face is usually more compromised, saggy and indebted due to the way we sleep
    In your comparison of the aforementioned products is it possible this may factor in?
    To be thorough you should try the two devises on two separate people
    Respectively using the NuWave on the side that is more compromised on one subject
    And on the other subject use the Face Master on the more saggy side

  • August 7, 2013

    by Rachel

    I was wondering if you could share us your experiences with Suzanne Somers FaceMaster on our site to share with our readers.

    We are trying to find as many "real" reviews from people to better inform buyers on whether it is good buy or not.

    You can write a comment/review here: <a href="">Suzanne Somers FaceMaster</a>

  • January 14, 2013

    by jillian

    i used facemaster for first time yesterday,,correctly, on correct low setting, felt electric current go to the inside of my upper forhead. i have been dealing with a headache all morning, i took two advils, still have headache, i usually dont get headaches. concerned!!!!!

  • July 14, 2011

    by Lynne

    Hi Ive recently brought a Facemaster System on Ebay, however it didnt come with any of the foam caps. Does anyone know if they are retailed in the UK, or how expensive it would be to get some sent over here? Alternativly is it safe to use the system without covers on? As i can see the Nuface System doesnt feel the need for them.

    Im very confused and this is my first attempt at using anything like this! Although the informatoin ive found out by reading this blog has been wonderful.

    Baffled of Britain!!! :D aka Lynne x

  • April 5, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Natalie, you can read the final verdict on NuFace and FaceMaster here:

  • April 4, 2011

    by Natalie Pimentel


    PLEASE tell me how its going waiting for suzane to come on the shopping channel i can get the facemaster ....but if you feel the the NuFace is better ill wait for that :) :)

    i liked the the facemaster for the separate wands and that we can use it around the eyes for the hollows ..PLEASE ADVISE :)



  • February 11, 2011

    by Erika

    100% Aloe Vera Gel works as conductive solution. It feels great on the skin and prevents breakouts. I have been using it with my facemaster for almost a year. I can't wait to see which machine gives you the best results.

  • November 29, 2010

    by Dan

    Actually, thinking about it, AHAs are cumulative. So you would need to do several peels (spaced a week apart) for the best results.

  • November 29, 2010

    by Dan

    Hi Lisa. Ya I do it at home. I got the 50% lactic acid off Ebay (it's about $20) to use on the arms & hands. And for the under eyes, I diluted it with water to make it 25% strength. Apply it with gauze (very carefully), leave on 4-5 minutes, then remove with a cotton ball soaked in water & baking soda.

    I purchased the Rhoussal clay from It's $7.50 /lb. They have many dif clays but this is suppose to be the best for tightening.

    I'm going to do a mask 1x/wk, maybe a couple more eye peels too spaced out since they're light enough.

    I'd give the Nuface a shot though while you still have time cause it does seem to work for some ppl. Just didn't for me. Good luck.

  • November 29, 2010

    by Lisa

    Dan, that sounds like something relatively "easy" to do? Did you do a lactic acid peel at home (recipe please)? Or at someone's office? I'll google the clay but any info on that will be helpful! This is all new to me, I'm new to the site. I just got the NuFace but am still within the return window....Congrats on your results!

  • November 29, 2010

    by Dan

    OMG. I'm so excited. I had to share this with you guys. Ok, so you know how I said I've been trying the NuFace for a couple months with barely any results. Well I just tried something different. I got some Rhoussal clay, mixed it w/ water and wore it for 1/2 hour. My face looks amazing. Better than it did with Nuface and even much better than when I had Refirme laser tightening (that was a complete waste of $2300).

    But the even bigger news is to come.. See, I've had dark under eye hollows for a while now, I think from spending too much time on the computer. No creams have made any difference. Well, I just did an under eye 25% lactic acid peel, and my hollows are completely gone!! along with the dark cirles. I've done 25% TCA on my eyes before but I think that was too much and it even made them worse. Lactic acid, 25% was the miracle acid/dose. I look like a model again! Just had to share. Gl ladies!

  • November 24, 2010

    by Dan

    Yes Please answer the question about microcurrent dissipating the HA. I've used Juvederm, Restylane, Perlane, and Teosyal in my lips. But I just got some more Teosyal, and I'd like to use it to mold some cheekbones & a chin. I'm thinking about taking a break from microcurrent then as it may harm the HA. Would this be a good assumption?

  • November 23, 2010

    by Dan

    Deborah, that was an intense story. Thanks for sharing. I'm very sorry for all thats happened to you, but glad to hear its getting better. I hope your faith has started to come back also.

    Personally, I have used the NuFace for about 2 months now. I've had ok results. My face feels much tighter after use, doesnt look much firmer though. But I've only used level 5, think I need to up the level. I got better results from Dermal Tone because it actually contracted the muscles. But I stopped using it because it took an hour compared to 10 minutes of Dermal Tone (I do the neck too), and it caused an annoying twitch in my left eyelid which lasted a few months (which was probably my fault having it up to high trying to get quicker results).

    I also use LEDs. I got a $400 face panel off Ebay, which is nice because you dont have to hold anything. And it also has yellow LEDs, which I need for rosacea. I've noticed a big improvement in skin tone from this.

    I do Jessners and 20% TCA home peels too, to keep wrinkles away.

    And I'm thinking about getting Facial Flex next, for my mouth...

    C'mon, there some vain guys out there too.

  • November 17, 2010

    by Antonia

    What about Juvederm? It is supposed to be just Hyalaraunic Acid. Also, could you use it in conjunction with microcurrent or would the current "burn away" the HA?

  • November 13, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Mags, can you hold on until Monday. I am planning to post on Monday afternoon (11/15). I've come to some kind of conclusion as to the winner - but it isn't easy, as you shall see...... ;)

  • November 13, 2010

    by Mags

    Hi! I'm wondering when to check in for the next installment of the faceoff?! Thank you.

  • November 3, 2010

    by Angela T

    Deborah, thank you for sharing your story and the quotation from Rose Kennedy! I will be adding it to my arsenal of inspirational quotations. Blessings to you!

  • November 3, 2010

    by Kristen

    I've been using NuFace and have been thrilled with the results. My left eyelid sags a little more than the other side. I use NuFace as directed, but spend an extra 3-5 minutes on the brow,forehead and up into the hairline on the left side. It tones up the muscles nicely and opens up the left eye. I use it 5-8 minutes a day, 3-5 times per week, although daily use gives the best results. I'm addicted.

  • October 25, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Mags, first your question about Thermage versus microcurrent. It is a brave woman indeed who would even contemplate Thermage. It is painful and the results aren't always that great: Quasar MD is very new. I haven't tried it and haven't found any reviews of it yet. Microcurrent doesn't hurt your skin. It works on the muscles. I don't believe that it would cause your skin to sag more if you stopped using it. Why would it, if you do bicep curls then stop you would eventually lose the muscle but you wouldn't end up worse than if you'd never exercised. On the other hand, Botox will cause sagging because the muscles atrophy because they can't move as normal. That's why I prefer microcurrent to Botox. I think you'd have to commit to using these devices twice a week (but they only take about 10 minutes or so).

  • October 25, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Diane
    I have found that 100% squalane works well as a conductor for both devices. Plus I increased the setting on FaceMaster and it works much better.

  • October 24, 2010

    by Mags

    Hi, I'm new to the site, live in US, but grew up in Ire/UK, and very familiar with Guinot Hydrodermie Lift - a microcurrent facial that works wonders, along with superb Guinot facial products (v. highly regarded in Europe). Your site is fantastic. All the questions I had answered in one place. I get regular Hydrodermie Lift facials here, but once I let it go for a while, back comes the sagging. I have some questions: 1) what do you think the difference would be between a Thermage facial and doing the microcurrent regularly at home 2) having never had a LED facial and reading about your Baby Q products, would you recommend investing in the new Quasar MD which claims to be 3 times more powerful than the baby quasar, but is nearly $800(!). 3) Is it damaging in the long run to your skin to keep micro-current-ing it? Does it sag more than it had previously after not using the machine for while. As 40 something mother of 3 not sure how often I'd get to it, so want to be sure if I start something, I can keep it up if necessary. Hence my qu. would a once off Thermage or similar be better overall? Thanks so much. So glad I found this site!

  • October 22, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Eileen, the Baby Quasar is different from microcurrent. It is LED (light emitting diodes) and works on collagen production, not muscles. You can read about <a href="" rel="nofollow">how LED works here</a>

  • October 22, 2010

    by Junko

    deborah rodell * touche * to you and all others who lost a soul in the darkness of sorrow, and built a stronger and more beautiful one with the pain.

  • October 22, 2010

    by Eileen

    Marta, how does the Baby Quasar fit into the routine? Would the BQ work in conjunction with the microcurrent facials? I thought the BQ worked to achieve the same results?
    Thanks for your clarification, Eileen

  • October 21, 2010

    by deborah rodell

    I have been using the NuFace for over 6 months and also purchased the Baby Quasar due to Marta's recommendations. I try to be very consistent with the Nuface and use it 4 times a week. Usually after my evening bath ritual, it only takes 5 minutes and is well worth it. I do the B.Q. twice a week. I can say with out even a small measure of hesitancy that these 2 items alone have given my face it's youth back. Each has a different specialty, the Nuface tones, it literally lifts my brows, it shapes my jawline and tightens my neck. It takes about a week to really see the results, but this device has to be used with diligence. You skip a week and the sags come back. But it does make the jowls firmer. My neck looks younger. The whole package is great and I am happy. Like Nancy I too use Aloe Vera Gel. I buy at the local GNC bulk, 100% pure. When I want to spoil myself I use L'Bri Aloe Vera Jelly. These both work as well if not better than the goop they sell you when you purchase the NuFace.
    I also take the Nuface and slide it along my jawline, align the knobs next to each other and start from the outside mouth area under and to the side of the chin. This movement alone sculpts my jawline. I hold for a moment and slide both knobs towards my ear. It works wonders.
    Before I made Nuface part of my skin regime my friends would comment how tired I looked. I never hear that anymore. It is great to look in the mirror and not see a worn out soul with saggy jowls peering back. My forehead is very tight also. My eyes still have the crow's feet that give me character but this is where the B.Q. comes into play. And with the great products I purchase at OpenSky I feel confident about the face I present to the world.
    I am 58, youthful looking but the reality is time takes its toll. In the last 10 years I lost my 2 boys to an auto accident, followed by a divorce, several surgeries and no joy, no faith. It was all gone. And when a person suffers, entertains stress continually the body and skin take a toll. During those times taking care of myself was a concept I lost. So here I am 2 years into a marriage with a man I served with in the USN during the VietNam war. WE were both medics. Small world, he was my best friend then and now. No matter the toll life extracts from you maybe not at first but the realization that life keeps spinning into the future so you have a choice. It has taken me a decade to really want to look good and really see the beauty of the moments I am given. And all women know so much of how we feel is reflected on our skin, in our eyes, the hold of our shoulders. Someone once asked Rose Kennedy how she kept going and she stated "Even after the storm the birds keep singing".
    Well ladies how we look represents how we feel about ourselves and is reflected to the world how we are doing spiritually, physically and mentally. I who have been to Dantes world and back give the NUFace 5 big STARS!
    Also the Baby Q. Thank you for letting me have a captive audience, it is healing to unload and let people know hope has to be embraced.At all costs embrace hope and allow yourself to be loved.

  • October 21, 2010

    by summer

    Hi Marta,

    Just got my Face Master today and I just finished doing one side of my face and then the other for comparison. I saw a definite improvement in tone and eye freshness/opening on the side I did first. I'm not as brave as you to only do the one side :) I used my Image ageless serum for the probes as suggested by Ilde and love how my face looks and feels. It was not uncomfortable at all. I definitely felt the current and when doing the eye area I just turned down the intensity for now anyway. I'm sure I"ll adjust to it quickly. I found it easy to use and loved that I knew when 10 seconds had passed. Can't wait to see the improvements after a week's use. Taking pictures for the proof.

  • October 20, 2010

    by Jan

    Hi again, I found the name of the unit that I use - it's called Neoteric Face Massager - it came with a booklet that shows 7 facial points that should be treated. It does not address the eye or mouth area. The device has a setting of 1 thru 9. If used on a regular basis, I can see a difference, however I find that I don't always spend enough time with it - shame on me! I purchased this thru my aesthetician and paid roughly $100 for it.

  • October 20, 2010

    by Diane

    I've been using the Facemaster for over 1 year. I stopped for a few months and my face my cheeks, eyes, & lips headed south again. Felt like I wanted a face lift, but no more - my face is firm. After reading some reviews, I also started using on my chin & neck (although, not recommended in instructions) and the results have been great. I'm 47 and love my Facemaster. Twice a week at night while watching tv. I use cheap Aloe Vera gel as a conductor and reuse the foam caps (I rinse them after each use & replace them every month).

  • October 20, 2010

    by Lisa Torres

    I have been using the facemaster for the last4 years and I love love love it....when my face is drooping I know its time.... you can definitely see a difference after the first use...and I also like that you can feather fine lines away..meaning you hold one wand on a line/wrinkle and use the other one to feather back and forth..this especially works good for crows feet.... I am 42 years old but most people think I am in my early 30's or sometimes younger...but you never know if you should believe them...LOL I even use it to massage my own or my kids heads when they have a headache only focusing on the forehead and temples on a low setting seems to move the blood away from the affected part........ it also zaps zits. just a couple of touches..hold one wand anywhere on the face and then touch the blemish a couple of times...and its gone the next day... there is an upgrade to the face master that just came out not long ago. I have not used it yet but it only required one hand and slides on the thumb and index finger. I can tell you that Suzanne also has new organic serum...its at ShobNBC. She has a whole new line that is pretty pure ingredients. The facemaster also helps improve my dark circles. I have not used the other device you are comparing so I can only comment on the facemaster. When I started I only had to use it once every month or so.. I just push up on my eyebrow and if I can move it time to use the facemaster..but since I turned 40 about once a week seems to be good... its makes since since you have 22 muscles on each side of your face....this is like taking them to the gym....its a funny feeling watching the muscles twitch... I can tell you if it hurts then move to another spot close to whre you are touching....and around the jaw and mouth if you have a weird sensation due to your dental fillings you need to open your mouth and then the feeling subsides and its not supposed to be safeif you have a pacemaker although theres a little controversary over that. I used it on my dad who has a pacemaker/defibilator after he had a stroke and he is flacid on his left side.... it did help to improve his side of the face and bring his smile back....

  • October 20, 2010

    by Bev

    Thanks, Marta. I'm glad you're trying this and performing the microcurrent face off! I like the aloe vera gel suggestion - thanks Jan & Daniel! I agree that you need to "turn-up" the Facemaster to get better results.

  • October 20, 2010

    by Nancy

    I have been using the Facemaster for one month now-approximately five X week. I use aloe vera gel for my conducting serum. What I have noticed is that I did not see any real results until I switched the Facemaster to a higher intensity level-above five bars. Below that level I could not see much of a difference. I am curious what intensity level you have the Facemaster set to, Marta.

  • October 20, 2010

    by Cristina

    Why can't you use the Nuface around the mouth? I use the one from Isomers..mostly around the eyes and, when I remember to use it, makes a big difference in the eyebrow lift and general opening of the eye.

  • October 20, 2010

    by Susan

    I'm concerned about the ingredients, as my understanding of microcurrent is, aside from the esthetic value of the current itself, it pushes the creams deeper into the layers of skin. So if one uses creams, gels, lotions loaded with chemicals, preservatives and the like, would it not be harmful in the long run? Really don't know. Anybody out there have an answer?
    BTW, Joan's or Daniel's suggestions sound great. :-)

  • October 20, 2010

    by Tony

    I have been using both devices for a couple of years. Nuface ALWAYS provides a better more noticeable lift. I use the older facemaster (it was updated last year) and it hits the areas around the eyes and mouth that the Nuface cannnot. I am curious about whether the newer facemaster provides a better result. I look forward to your updates.

  • October 20, 2010

    by Ildi Pekar

    Hi Marta,

    Yes definitely I could share what I use when doing my microcurrent facial. If this machine has a draining setting I usually put a light exfoliator on, nothing too harsh. If it does not, and you have oily but aged skin I would recommend, Ageless Total Anti Aging Serum (Image). If you have dry/normal and wrinkled skin or if you are not sure, I would use Vital C- Hydrating Anti Aging Serum (Image), my favorite! Or...If you are looking for something stronger, you could use Pure Hyaluronic Acid (Image) If you use this machine around the eye, you do need to put some eye cream on and it should be on the heavier side. My favorite eye cream is Optyma 24hour by Dermophisiologique. If you need a little extra help around your eyes, I suggest to use pure collagen! Always finish off with moisturizer and your favorite sunblock!!

    I hope this was helpful!!

    Best Regards,

  • October 20, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Joan, the Galvanic Spa (which I also have) and these devises are all similar. There are probably different levels of current. I have seen results with Galvanic, but I have never been knocked out by it and have found that it is gathering dust. So it will be interesting to see how these compare.

  • October 20, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Jaysie, its mostly a question of time. Believe it or not, I do have a life and peering at myself in a mirror for 10 minutes or so more than twice a week would just be too sad. Plus, I have been having a monthly salon treatment for about eight years and will continue to - so I regard at-home treatments (of LED or microcurrent) to be top ups. They don't lay out a schedule according to age/skin condition. While the effects are cumulative over time, there is (or so I have been told) a law of diminishing returns - ie: daily use would not be more effective than a couple of times a week).

  • October 20, 2010

    by Daniel

    I bought mine on eBay was sent from the US and cost me £25 which is rather amazing considering it has the same facilities as the bliss machine that costs £135 .it's sturdy and not shmatty ( cheap and nasty and flimsy) just says a model number which is LE-006

  • October 19, 2010

    by Daniel

    Hello . Me again . I've used a machine in the past and used Aloe Vera gel as it was pure and natural and not full of carbomer sticky gungy stuff that took ages to remove. :)

  • October 19, 2010

    by Jan

    I have a similar device and at the moment the name escapes me - I'll look in the cupboard and post the brand later. Anyway, I use plain old aloe vera gel instead of the junk that comes with the device and it seems to work just fine.

  • October 19, 2010

    by Jaysie

    Marta - You stated you'd be using the devices "a couple of times a week." Is this the recommended cycle for both systems or is this schedule one you have devised for other reasons? I'm curious if the instructions for each lay out a schedule depending on severity of the problem, age, etc., and whether there are any cautions about over-using? Thanks!

  • October 19, 2010

    by Joan

    Hi Marta,

    These devices sound very interesting, but I'm confused ... what is the difference between a galvanic device and a microcurrent device? It seems like the same thing to me ... slight tingle, conductive gels. It's a little confusing.

    By the way, for those interested in conductive gels, I found a very nice alternative at Rankine's Remedies in Canada (they ship). Organic ingredients with botanicals and essential oils. Takes a long time to arrive, but much more reasonably priced than the gels sold with Galvanic Spa.

  • October 19, 2010

    by marta

    Its a great question, Angela, and one that I am anxious to find a good answer for. The lotion is supposed to help conduct the current. Ildi usually puts a mask on (whatever she is loving at the time - I think ilike right now) and dips the wand tips in water. I think. I'm going to ask her to help us with this.

  • October 19, 2010

    by Angela J

    Marta, Now I'm absolutely tempted to try one of these, but I don't like the idea of using their "conducive" lotions. Do you have any recommendations for substitutes? What is the lotion supposed to do, exactly? What does Ildi use, if anything, when you have your microcurrent facials? Sorry for bombarding you, but that is my habit.

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