Microcurrent vs Red Light Therapy: Which is Right for you?

The Battle Between Beauty Devices 

In 2022, the number of skincare devices available now for use at home is incredible, even overwhelming. The best part? All of the technology behind these at-home devices has its roots in dermatologist offices and aesthetician clinics. 

But there are two skincare device treatments that just won't get off our Instagram feeds, and if you've Googled the word "skincare" or scrolled through Instagram yourself in the past few months, then you probably know which ones we're talking about. That's right. Microcurrent therapy and Red light therapy. 

These two treatments have exploded in popularity recently thanks to the rise of at-home beauty devices that put the power of these technologies in the palm of your hand. However, while their both very effective for getting results, those who might benefit more from a Microcurrent device may find themselves disappointed with their results from Red light therapy, and vice versa.

Let's cover the differences between the two so that if you do decide to try your hands at either of these devices, you set yourself up to get the best results possible and the most out of your device.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy (RLT) is a treatment that uses low wavelength red light to improve your skin’s appearance, such as reducing wrinklesscars, redness and acne. It’s also touted to treat other medical conditions.

Red light therapy is just one form of multiple LED light therapies, but out of all of them, red light penetrates the deepest into the skin. It's risen in popularity because it's noninvasive (meaning no downtime and minimal side effects) and it works on almost all skin types and tones. 

It's said to help with a number of skin issues, but primarily acne, inflammation, signs of aging, fine lines, and wrinkles. 

What is Microcurrent therapy?

Traditionally found at spas and medical offices, at-home microcurrent devices have become one of the top innovations in the anti-aging industry. 

Microcurrent stimulates facial muscles, and has been shown to increase the amount of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in your skin cells by up to 400%. 

ATP is the main energy source for our cells, and is needed for proper muscles contraction and relaxation. It also promotes the production of key structural proteins our skin needs to stay healthy and firm, like collagen and elastin. As we age, our skin's ability to produce these proteins reduces significantly, which leads to the signs of aging we're all familiar with—fine lines, wrinkles, and even jowling. 

Microcurrent facials and devices utilizes low-level currents which mimc your body's natural ionic flow to tone, lift, and contour facial muscles. This results in improved contour and tightened and lifted skin. 

How Are Microcurrent Facials and Red Light Therapy Similar?

Both red light therapy and microcurrent facials are popular skincare options, and they share a few similarities:

  • Both are used to brighten, tighten, and improve skin texture
  • Both are noninvasive
  • Both are relatively painless
  • Both are well-known treatments that have been used by dermatologists and aestheticians for decades
  • FDA-approved 
  • Target the same concerns around aging, inflammation, and other skin conditions

How Are Microcurrent Facials and Red Light Therapy Different?

With that being said, red light therapy and microcurrent technology also differ in a few key ways. 

  • Red light therapy is powered by red and blue LED light 
  • Microcurrent facials are powered by low-level currents that tone your facial muscles
  • Red light therapy is used for topical skin ailments like discoloration or dark spots
  • Microcurrent facials are more suitable for facial sculpting and toning

Which one is right for me?

Now that we know what each of them are and their differences and similarities, let's cover which one you should choose as your next skincare treatment. 

You should choose Red light therapy if your skincare goals include...

  1. Reducing inflammation
  2. Preventing breakouts before they start
  3. Treating and reducing acne
  4. Decreasing oil production
  5. Reducing wrinkles

You should choose a Microcurrent device if your skincare goals include...

  1. Toning your facial muscles
  2. Improving facial contour 
  3. Improving skin tightness and firmness
  4. Sculpting tired facial muscles 
  5. Lifting sagging skin 
  6. De-puffing eye bags 


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