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Botox's New Best Friend
Electric facials, which have been beloved by insiders for decades, are finding a new set of fans
BY SARAH BERNARD | OCTOBER 14, 2011 ELLE MAGAZINE

On a muscular level, the microcurrent acts like a personal trainer to tone and shorten muscle fibers. On a dermal level, as Pugliese, the skin physiologist, notes, there is serious anti-aging action going on. Pugliese has spent more than five years analyzing microcurrent's effect on fibroblasts by biopsying skin before and in between microcurrent treatments, and has found a statistically significant increase not only in the production of collagen and elastin, the skin's main structural proteins, which degrade with age, but in that of glycosaminoglycans, or "GAGs," the viscous material in which the proteins are embedded. "When you see a nice plump cheek like a baby's and you pinch it and it feels very good and snappy," he says, "that's GAGs." And, according to Perricone, the long-term benefits are more than skin-deep.

"you don't have to have perfect genes," Perricone says. "When I first started working with celebrities, I assumed they were genetically gifted and had perfect symmetry." But now he knows that symmetry can be made: "Not only can we use electrostim to increase our muscle mass, we can accentuate one side of the face by working it harder than the other to give a more symmetrical appearance."

ELLE editors tested both the FaceMaster and NuFACE in our offices and found they instantly increased circulation for that glowy, plump-but-not-puffy look that lasted for a few hours. But, in our untrained hands, the DIY could not provide microcurrents' more sophisticated, bespoke effects. With the right expertise, microcurrent can be used to dramatically, if temporarily, shape the face. It's no wonder celebrities have become insatiable consumers of electric facials, especially during awards season. "The pop lasts for about five hours," says facialist Melanie Simon, whose skin-care company, Circ-Cell, is partially backed by Lynn Harless, aka Justin Timberlake's mom. Madonna and Kate Winslet are outspoken fans of Tracie Martyn's trademarked Red Carpet Facial, a proprietary treatment that incorporates mild electrical current. Regular microcurrent sessions were rumored to be Princess Di's beauty secret. And according to an industry source.

 

 

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