The NuFACE Trinity is a facial toning device that uses microcurrents to lift and firm sagging skin. The currents work by training your muscles to be more taut as they start to weaken with age. For the longest time, you would have to pay over $100 to have access to a microcurrent treatment with a facialist. However, in 2005, Carol Cole, a licensed aesthetician launched her company that featured an at-home microcurrent device. And thus NuFACE was born.
Although the currents in NuFACE’s device is considerably weaker than what you would find in an aesthetician’s practice, it allows consumers to replicate similar results in the comfort of their own home.
Admittedly, I was late to the NuFACE game. Although the device has been out for a while, I couldn’t get over how mixed the reviews were. The reviews ranged from favorable, to mediocre, to some people complaining about health effects. In the positive reviews, people noted firming of the jawline, cheeks, and diminishment of fine lines. For others, they didn’t notice a marked difference, or least not enough to warrant the $325 price tag. Some of the more frightening reviews talked about how users experienced heart palpitations and a strange metallic taste in their mouth.
Given the mixed reviews, it took me a couple of years to decide on buying this device. During that time, I had more opportunities to do research and talk to other users on their experience .
I’ve long taken care to treat issues underlying skin health such as texture, clarity, and fine lines. But I’ve also come to realize that having firm skin plays a huge role in helping your skin appear more glowy. Why? That’s because a naturally contoured face catches the light in a way that cosmetic hacks sucks as bronzer and highlighter can’t mimic. While makeup can help to create a bit of definition and sheen, you can’t replicate the effects of having firm, healthy skin. Plus makeup looks better on firm skin because it doesn’t settle as much into creases and fine lines.
I wanted to nip the problem in the bud, so I finally made the decision last year to purchase the Trinity. What finally sold me was the generous 60-day money back guarantee and one-year warranty. I figured, what do I have to lose? If the product doesn’t work then I’ll happily return it and get my hard-earned money back.
The NuFACE comes in two sizes. There’s a mini version and the larger Trinity and Trinity Pro version. I did go back-and-forth between deciding on the mini and Trinity but ultimately ended up buying the Trinity version. While both devices have the same level of currents, the Trinity can accommodate additional attachments such as the Effective Lip & Eye attachment, while the mini cannot. This attachment provides more targeted treatment in hard-to-reach areas such as the crows feet and smile lines. The other attachment is the Wrinkle Reducer which utilizes red LED light to help repair skin and produce collagen.
I was fortunate enough to purchase the limited edition Trinity Shimmer All Night Collection. While most NuFace devices are white, this is white with a pink accent. It came with a 2oz gel used for conducting the currents, FIX serum, a shimmer contact mirror, and a drawstring bag. The FIX serum is a peptide-rich serum that can be used on its own or with the FIX device.
For those who aren’t familiar with the NuFACE device, it’s basically a handheld device with two metal balls. You can adjust the microcurrent settings by pressing the + or – button. There are three settings, and you can adjust it based on your comfort level. Some people I have talked to are perfectly comfortable starting off with the highest setting. As someone who’s extra cautious, I started off with the lowest setting during the first month and worked my way up to the middle setting.
Before applying the conducting gel, it’s important to thoroughly clean your face and make sure that there isn’t any residual water left. A few times, I didn’t wait for my face to dry before slapping on the gel, and I did feel the current more during those times.
The gel itself is thick and hyaluronic acid based. Since my skin is dry, I put on a thicker layer than what is indicated on the bottle. When I used it the first time, I put on a thinner layer and noticed that it was getting drier and sticker with each pass across the face. That’s also when I felt the currents more, so now, I make it a point to not skimp on the gel. Although it’s meant to be a leave-on gel, I wash it off after I’m done using the device.
NuFACE offers different videos on YouTube on how to use the device. There are a series of movements to incorporate into your routine including gliding motions across the face and static holds. The device will beep every 5 seconds signaling you to move to a different area of the face. While 5 seconds doesn’t seem like a long time, I find that it is a small eternity to wait for the device to beep. Even after using the device for several months, those 5 seconds have not gotten any shorter.
So the biggest question is, does the device work? The simple answer is yes, but it also depends on what your expectations are. This won’t give you facelift-like results. For me, I was looking for a way to stave off early signs of aging by firming my cheek and jawline area. For the first month I was super committed and used it every day for 10 minutes, and that’s when I noticed the most dramatic results. Even my husband couldn’t put a finger on what was different about me, but he mentioned that I looked as if I had gotten more sleep. I’ll take that!
After the first month, I was less consistent, but I still do notice a difference after one session. The results are too subtle for anyone else to notice, but every time I use it, I notice a slight lift in my nasolabial area. If there’s a meeting where I have to show myself on a zoom call or in person, and I want to look more awake, then I’ll use the NuFACE either in the morning and the night before just for an extra lift.
I also notice my makeup looking better whenever I use the NuFACE. My foundation looks better when my skin is toned, and in general, my features such as my eyes and cheekbones have more of a pop. I also find that I don’t have to use as much makeup in the way of blush, bronzer or contouring cream, because my face already looks more awake. It’s great that I don’t have to rely on makeup to simulate a well-rested face.
I also like the fact that this device travels well. The Trinity fits easily into my carry-on and I find that it’s a relaxing way to end a day if I’ve been out walking all day. Especially if I’ve spent all day outside, exposed to elements such as wind, pollution, and urban congestion, the NuFACE allows me to give myself a relaxing facial massage while watching TV.
The device is also backed by a very responsive customer service. There were a few times when I had questions about how to use the device, and I reached out to them via email. Within 24-48 hours, a customer service representative responded with helpful follow-up advice. Considering how expensive the device is, it’s reassuring to know that there is continued assistance along the way.
Although the gel is effective in conducting the currents, I’m not a fan. If my skin is particularly dry, then it can really sting my cheeks. I’ve purchased the full-size bottle which is 48 oz, and when I was using the device every day, I easily went through the bottle in a month. And at $48 for a bottle, it’s a lot to pay for something that doesn’t stay on the face.
I know other people have used hacks such as aloe vera gel, but since I’m sensitive to pure aloe vera, I’ve turned to using ultrasound gel. It’s exactly what is used for sonograms, and they can be found at most medical supply stores. They can be as cheap as $1.99 depending on which site you visit, so that has potentially saved me close to $500 a year.
The other con is the level of commitment it takes to see and maintain results. The company states that you can taper down your usage to 3 times a week after 60 days of consistent use. But I didn’t make it to 60 days once I started using it. More like 30 days, and then it became easier to forget to use it. If you are able to stay consistent with the device, then it will definitely yield results, but it’s something that needs to be fully incorporated into your daily routine.
On one occasion, I used the device first thing in the morning, before having breakfast. I experienced painful electric shocks and noticed flashing lights. It really freaked me out, so I reached out to NuFACE’s customer support. They advised me to drink a cup of water before using the device. Apparently, the device doesn’t react well when the body is dehydrated. While the water certainly did the trick, the experience was enough to spook me.
This device is also contraindicated for those with heart issues and are pregnant. If you have concerns, then seek the advice of your healthcare provider before using.
Even with some of my reservations, I do consider the NuFACE an essential part of my skincare regime. It has helped me understand that improving skin doesn’t just come from topicals. There are devices that go a long way in helping us achieve firm, glowing skin. The Trinity has also opened my eyes to a world of devices that can be used in the comfort of a home and easily be incorporated into a well-thought-out skin care regimen. Rather than booking expensive treatments at the day spa every month, those appointments can be spaced out if an at-home device is used on a regular basis.
I also like that this device can be used as a subtle quick fix. If there’s a night where I didn’t get enough sleep, or my face is really puffy, then I know that I can use the NuFACE to at least perk up my face a little and rely less on makeup to fake a good night’s sleep.
The NuFACE has also sparked my interest in other devices such as the Facegym and Re Fa. Using similar technology, they also work to help tighten the skin and improve its appearance. While I still need to figure out a way to be more consistent with using it, it holds an important place in my skincare arsenal.