Other than a tough year in middle school, I’ve had pretty good skin. I worked for a skincare company after college so I learned early the benefits of regular cleansing, polishing, and protecting. However, I was a sun worshipper and spent a good percentage of my college years inside a tanning bed. It seemed as though as soon as I turned 40 my skin changed. Suddenly I was dealing with dry patches, loss of elasticity, and wrinkles.
I’ve been using anti-aging skincare products for years, but they just didn’t seem to be accomplishing enough. I went to a dermatologist to get a full body scan (a very… exposing experience but one I recommend to get a very detailed check) and asked about Retin-A. Many of you had recommended it for improving skin. My doctor gave me a prescription, but informed me it would be at least six months before I saw results and in the mean time I would have to stay out of the sun and would deal with redness, peeling, and irritation. And then I found out my insurance doesn’t cover any of it and one tube would cost almost $200. It just didn’t seem like the right choice for me. I also don’t feel Botox or other injectibles were the right choice for me at this point in life. I figured it was a fact of life, this is my skin in my 40s, I just should baby it as much as possible.
Then I was reading Bobbi Brown’s interview with Into the Gloss and she mentioned NuFACE. I follow Brown on Instagram and she looks great – she doesn’t look 25, but she glows and looks healthy and well cared for. NuFACE is a device that sends microcurrents to the skin, helping tone the skin and lift jowls, contour jawline, reduce nasal labial folds and wrinkles, lift eye brows, and open eyes. NuFACE is almost $500 which is completely outside my pricerange right now, but I researched and many said the NuFACE Mini was just as effective and more than half the price. Around the same price as one tube of Retin-A, I figured why not try it? Selling anywhere between $160-$200 on sites such as Amazon, QVC, Ulta, and Sephora, I chose to buy it from Nordstrom ($199) knowing that if I had an issue with it I could easily return it.
This is a long but detailed video from when NuFACE Mini was featured on QVC and one of the few videos where the models aren't 25. It explains the difference between the original and mini and shows how microcurrents work.
The NuFACE Mini comes with the palm-sized device, a charging cord, a tube of their gel primer, and a laminated card with the general 5-minute daily routine to complete with the device. If you download their app (advertised in the package), not only will it send you notifications when it’s time to do your treatment (optional), it has videos for more elaborate treatments. To use the NuFACE, you must first cover that portion of your face with their gel primer, which has a consistency similar to aloe vera. The laminated card and videos on the app are very clear to follow.
I charged the NuFACE Mini for 24 hours before first use, and plug it in to charge overnight every few days. The NuFACE Mini is set to turn off after five minutes; when getting familiar with the device or if you wish to do the more elaborate just turn it back on and keep going (this is one of the things different between the Mini and the full-size version). You can safely use the device up to 20 minutes a day. The NuFACE Mini stays charged for almost a full week, but I found it was best to plug it in overnight every Wednesday and Sunday to keep it ready to go.
A screenshot from the QVC video; see how her left side of the face looks less puffy and the brow is higher? Yeah, that's exactly what I saw on myself!
If you use enough gel and stay far away from your eye sockets, there’s little to no feeling when using the NuFACE Mini. I have had a bit of a metallic taste in my mouth after using but it goes away pretty quickly. If you don’t have the gel or have a sensitive part of your face you may feel a slight pinch or twinge on the skin like a hair getting caught in a spring. You slowly glide the machine over your skin and the round metallic balls on the gel makes it very smooth and comfortable. When you do the more elaborate routines on their website or app, you may hold the NuFACE in one place for a few seconds, but again there’s no pain or discomfort.
So Allie, this is all fine and good, but does the NuFACE actually work?
I completely forgot I texted this picture to my friends back in March to show how it works. So yes, there is a photo of the before and after. I did my left side of the face in this picture, my forehead is all shiny from the gel you use with the device.
Yes, the NuFACE Mini does. It works really well on me. I can do one side of my face and it looks as though I have a half-smirk and have raised just one eyebrow. It reduces the furrows on my forehead, and makes my jawline more pronounced. My skin in general looked healthier, not so dry, not so flat. The effects last for at least 48 hours. I recommend doing it at least five times a week keep the results; I would do the 5-minute treatment most days and when I had time, would go more in depth and do it for about 15 minutes. But even five minutes fives times a week will be enough that people will ask if you've gotten more sleep, maybe lost a couple pounds, changed your makeup. That subtle something different (unless your partner walks in after only doing one side and freaks out and wonders if you had a stroke).
The combo of the gel and the machine can cause some serious breakouts if you don’t clean very well afterwards. I was getting insane deep whiteheads around my mouth and I thought it was hormonal, I thought it was my diet, my new night cream. Then I was reading around online and found many other NuFACE users experienced the same. With a deep cleaning after use, the breakouts stopped. So I NuFACE, wash my face at the sink with CeraVe, and then hop in the shower and wash again with CeraVe or a random facial scrub or wash sample I have, and sometimes with my Clarisonic.
If I wrote this post two weeks ago, I would end it right here. It’s great, the NuFACE Mini can be purchased at Sephora, Nordstrom, QVC, and plenty of other places. But I’ve been slow with my Over 40 Beauty posts and this time it’s a very good thing.
Because my NuFACE is possessed.
I used it fine for about three months. If you follow me on Snapchat, you’ve seen me snap myself using it and a few of you reached out for more details about it. I couldn’t rave enough; while $199 may be a lot at first, the results were better than all the random tubes and pots I had purchased over the years.
Then it seemed to lose its charge earlier than usual. I plugged it in; it ended up charging for two days straight. It wouldn’t turn on again. No light, no beep, nothing. I was pissed, how dare a $200 item break down after just a few weeks? I left it on the top of my toilet and figured that weekend I’d box it up and return it (this is why I bought it from Nordstrom after all).
My NuFACE is back in its original packaging and ready to go back to Nordstrom this weekend. It's been boxed up for more than 24 hours at the time of writing this and is still beeping, turning itself on and off, making crazy noises. But I am exchanging it. I have to think this is a dud, and not all NuFACE Minis are possessed. And yes, it’s good enough that it’s worth it to try again. I miss my NuFACE face.
So do I recommend the NuFACE? Yes… if you purchase it somewhere with a very lenient return policy. I hope yours isn’t possessed and I hope my future one isn’t as well. I will keep you posted. If the next one isn't a dud like this one I'll provide more visuals (hopefully a video) to show how it works.
The NuFACE Mini is available at many skincare and department stores. Order at your own risk!