Use of a neuromuscular electrical stimulation device for facial muscle toning: a randomized, controlled trial

Authors


Correspondence: N Sadick, MD, 911 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10075, USA. E-mail: nssderm@sadickdermatology.com

Summary

Background

Age-related loss of muscle mass contributes to aging of the human face.

Aims

To evaluate the effects of a neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) device on facial muscle tone and signs of facial aging in healthy women.

Patients/Methods

One hundred and eight healthy women (mean age 43.7, range 32 to 58–45 years) participated in this randomized, controlled, partially blinded study. Participants were randomized to 12 weeks' treatment with the NMES facial device (20 min/day, 5 days/week) or to a nonintervention control group. Participants could not alter fitness, diet or facial care routines during the study. Assessments included psychometric evaluations of facial appearance and assessor-blinded ultrasound measurements of the thickness of the zygomatic major muscle.

Results

Mean muscle thickness increased vs. baseline in the NMES group (18.6%) but not the control group. Between-group differences were significant at 6 and 12 weeks (P = 0.05 and P = 0.0001). NMES users reported subjective improvements in facial attributes. The control group did not. In an overall evaluation, ≥80% of NMES users reported improved firmness, tone and lift vs. <5% of the control group (P < 0.001).

Conclusions

A 12-week course of facial NMES was associated with increased thickness of the zygomatic major muscle and subjective improvements in facial attributes.

Ancillary