NuFace Review: updated for 2012

nuface-reviewUntil the last few years if you wanted to get a microcurrent face lift the only option was to book into your favorite spa for a course of treatments.

Although home microcurrent systems were available in Europe – in the US it was a different matter. The sophisticated microcurrent machines used by aestheticians and physicians in spas and clinics had not been adapted for our use at home.

A cosmetic dermatologist based in San Diego called Carol Cole changed all that when she released NuFace in 2008 – the first and only FDA approved true home microcurrent system on the US market.

I originally wrote this review in 2008 when the device had only just been released so reviews and comments were few and far between.

I’ve done some more research and completely updated my review for 2012 and generally it is interesting to see that little has changed in that time – the NuFace system seems to be still liked with positive reviews from many but not all users.

Does NuFace work?

How well NuFace works will depend on the condition of your skin and the strength of your facial muscles when you start using it.  Weaker facial muscles and poor skin tone may show more instant results – but all results should get better over time.

I confess to being a bit biased here – I use a facial muscle stimulation system myself. It’s not a microcurrent system but the technology is close and I know it works.

My device is Italian designed and not available as far as I’m aware in the US. What I’ve tried to do is use my knowledge and experience of this type of device in looking at the NuFace system.

According to Dr Peter Pugliese – US based physician and skin care scientist – NuFace can be compared to Botox in its impact “the NuFace® device is a new innovative skin health product – NuFace® makes skin tighter and well toned”

Carole Cole claims that NuFace can deliver impressive results in around 5 minutes per day – tighter skin, more defined jaw line and cheekbones, reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, lifted eyebrow, wider eye, and a more youthful glow.

You need to use the device at least five days a week for the first three months and then 2-3 times a week to maintain these results and get further improvements.

It is claimed that results with NuFace will also build over time and skin will become thicker and more toned with a reduction of jowls and the lines either side of the nose area.

NuFace reviews online

Looking at some of the user reviews out there now it strikes me that some are more helpful than others.  A young reviewer in their twenties may not be a great guide as to how the system really works at correcting facial droop and wrinkles!

NuFace reviews published in skin care forums and sites mostly back up the claims made by the makers although some say it takes longer.  Certainly if you intend to extend treatments to your body as well then you need to set aside more time.

Some reviewers even say that the NuFace delivers immediate results with one claiming “after just a week, there is a visible difference in my jowl area, and a friend even commented on it. It’s pricey, to be sure, but I am not sorry I bought it!”

There are also reviews from other people who expected to see a lot of improvement within the 30 day return period for the equipment but didn’t.  Whilst I can understand why you may want results within that time – for many people results do take time to emerge.

How does NuFace work?

Microcurrent technology – fairly new in the US when the device was originally launched – is now quite well established and claimed to be one of the best anti aging treatments.

There is a detailed explanation of how a microcurrent face lift works in an article on this site and the NuFace device uses exactly the same technology.

The NuFace system certainly has a lot of experience behind it. Carol Cole has over 25 years experience of treating clients including in office microcurrent treatments for a celebrity client base and she wanted to make the microcurrent face lift available to everyone in the privacy of their own homes.

The interesting thing about microcurrent is that it is capable of delivering a non surgical face lift in the home environment – unlike laser skin tightening or radiofrequency systems like Thermage which need to be in office because of the added risks.

What do you get with NuFace?

I have revisited skin care forums and online stores for comments on NuFace and looked at the training video and manual that comes with the product to give you a view of the NuFace package as a whole.

The NuFace device itself is well made and surprisingly elegant – the original standard version is white and silver and about the size of a large mobile phone.

Apart from the device itself which is supplied with battery, the pack comes with the Carol Cole gel to improve conductivity and gliding when using NuFace and an optimizing mist with hyaluronic acid which is used after treatment to intensify lifting and hydrating.

The pack you get also includes a DVD and a user manual which are both excellent and there is further information on the NuFace site.

There were many comments from people who didn’t like the stickiness of the gel when applied to the skin and some had substituted an alternative like an aloe vera based product.

The gel though is there for a purpose – as a conductor for electrical impulses from the device that so that you don’t feel them.  Do away with the gel if you like but you will raise the level of discomfort.

How do you use NuFace?

One thing to be clear about from the start is that NuFace should not be used on the inner eye area, around the lips or on the middle of the throat. The DVD and manual make this very clear and the excluded area of the face is actually very small.

The basic technique to use the NuFace device is simple – you glide the dual ball shaped silver probes over your face in defined movements – repeating each movement three times.

There are more ‘advanced’ techniques to intensify the lifting effect which are easy to do. They simply involve holding the device for 5 seconds at key points on the face where you want extra lift and tone.

One clear advantage is that NuFace works on your face with no pain and no contracting of facial muscles (providing you use the gel!).  Many muscle stimulation systems like mine cause slight discomfort and tiny facial contortions which you can’t control and give you something of an odd look during treatment.

Although NuFace is designed to be used with a complementary range of Carole Cole products – the DVD makes it clear you can use your favorite brands – but you should stick with the pre-treatment derma-gel and the recommended optimizing mist for afterwards.

Not surprisingly the company has now introduced a range of complimentary skin care serums to boost the results you get – but none of these is a must buy and you can just use your normal skin care.

Overall – I was extremely impressed with the ease and simplicity of use – certainly compared to the system I use.

New colors for device

One thing that is new in 2012 is the fact that NuFace now comes in a range of colors – pink was one of the earliest and is linked to the breast cancer campaign – but there is a wider range now from teal to a lovely sophisticated grey.

This is obviously just a superficial thing but looks matter even for a bit of electrical equipment! The original white and silver still has something of the ipod simplicity about it and the new colors are very popular.

NuFace price has come down

NuFace is obviously not a cheap addition to your skin care regimen but it does come with a one year full warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee. Whether 30 days is long enough to really put the NuFace system to test is debateable – since the best results will come with prolonged use.

One good thing since my original review is the price drop – NuFace is now selling for $239 on Amazon compared to the $399 launch price – other online stores have it for $249 currently so as ever Amazon is your best bet.

Whilst that is still a chunk of money – offset the cost against what you might save on in office microcurrent treatments – at around $100-125 a go that initial outlay doesn’t seem so bad.

As far as other options go – there really aren’t any – the NuFace Microcurrent Toner has cornered the market.  But then – with or without any competition – it looks like a winner!

About Eileen

I am the publisher of Simply Anti Aging and a web author researching and writing on all aspects of anti aging. I'd love you to connect with me on


  1. Hi Eileen–I’m an esthetician and a big fan of microcurrent. In fact, it’s about 80% of my business. I’ve had results from good to great, depending upon the client’s skin condition. The results for younger skin generally won’t be as dramatic, but these ladies keep coming back for their maintanence sessions as a prevention measure against aging. Whether done at home or in a salon, we can all use a little microcurerent in our lives!

    • Bonnie – thanks for your comments – it is really useful to get some feedback from an experienced technician – your thoughts confirm what I see being said by others about the value of a microcurrent facial whether you do it in office or at home!

  2. Stephanie Gregory says:

    I bought and tried the Nu Face system as well, I have not seen any change in the tone of my skin.

    • Stephanie – keep going if it is early days yet as many people say it can take a lot of time. Also much depends on the condition of your skin when you start and what you are expecting to achieve with the NuFace device.

  3. I tried Nu Face for 2 weeks and took before and after photos. I placed the after 2 week photo on top of the day one photo in photoshop and changed the opacity so I could see the picture underneath. There was NO difference at all. Then I asked my coworker who knew I was trying this out and willing to buy one if it worked to look at my face and see if she saw any difference at all. She said NO.

    So, dissappointed, I returned the item to Amazon and hope I get my credit. A big waste of money.

    • Tara – thanks for your comment. It’s a shame you didn’t get the result you wanted from NuFace but I do think you need to try it for longer to get results and that the improvement builds over time. But then I haven’t used it and you have!

  4. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Slendertone Face. I have used the italian device to which you refer and found it gave good results, but after a short excitement with the new gadget I found holding the device in various places for several minutes very tiresome. I have now invested in the Slendertone machine and love it – you just put it on and can relax or watch TV. Admittedly it does make you grimace and you’d probably want to use it when alone. The Nuface looks like you would have to endure the same arduous holding in place of the device, so to me there is no contest. The Slendertone gave noticable results to sagging muscles in a couple of weeks of use and instantly gave my skin a real glow.

    • Eileen Gravelle says:

      Sahara – thanks for the detailed comment. Nuface is FDA approved and unique in the US market I think and my understanding is that Slendertone is a UK product so would not be widely available in the US. It does use different technology although both are based on electrical stimulation as you say. Before using the Italian designed system I used a competitor product to Slendertone called Clio with a similar sticky pad system which I found a problem. All these systems have their good and bad points and you choose what works for you best in the end!

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