Using quality, dermatologist-recommended active ingredients in your beauty routine is a pretty clear-cut way to improve your skin. Lesser used and talked about, however, are tools that can take the results from serums and moisturizers up a notch. Electrical stimulation is becoming a more-and-more talked about way to do just that, and one brand in particular—ZIIP Ox ($480)—is out in front, putting high-tech tools, usually reserved for the derms’ office, in the hands of us all.
ZIIP uses both microcurrent and nanocurrent waves to stimulate your skin’s collagen and elastin. There are a total of nine treatments programmed on the device that do everything from target pigment to kill bacteria-causing breakouts to de-puff under-eye bags. The latest treatment (which takes only seven minutes start-to-finish) is called “Lymph and Lift,” and is meant to promote lymphatic drainage to give you that post-facial glow. The device is able to do this through microcurrents, which help your skin to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a repairing compound your body naturally creates but diminishes as you age. Simultaneously, nanocurrent sends teeny, tiny waves that also help repair collagen and elastin, and stimulate circulation. As this happens, the lymph fluid that has built up in your face is broken up and ushered away.
“Lymphatic drainage is skin 101,” says Melanie Simon, creator and co-founder of ZIIP. “It’s something that’s very much a part of most skin-care treatments when you go to a spa.” This happens because the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump, and lymph can build up within the skin and make it look puffy. “There are so many little nooks and crannies where [lymphatic] fluid in your face just builds up and sits there.” The microcurrent and nanocurrent waves from the ZIIP almost work as a magnet to the lymphatic fluid, which Simon says is highly conductive. “It’s pulling that fluid over to the lymph node that has been ZIIP-ed, and encouraging it to drain out of the face.”
To try the “Lymph and Lift” treatment for myself, I begin with the same first step all microcurrent devices require and slather conductive gel all over my skin. The ZIIP is accompanied by an app that allows you to sync up the treatment you want to perform (reminder: there are nine) and walks you through each treatment step by step. I follow along with Simon, running the device from my neck to my cheeks and all the way up to my forehead. Simon points out that while any of the ZIIP treatments technically help with lymphatic drainage, this new one uses specific waveforms and speeds (and different movements you go through) to target it even further. “To energize the lymph, I’ve put together two waveforms,” says Simon. “The lymphatic part is one waveform, and the second is a different one. In the first segment, you’re really working on increasing the circulation and moving the fluid along in your face. And then for the lift portion, you’re focusing on really sculpting the muscle.”
The whole treatment takes just seven minutes, and halfway through I can already see less puffiness on the side that just got worked. It’s pretty amazing, and considering that studies actually back up the efficacy of microcurrent technology for sculpting and smoothing, I’m sold. “When you take that excess fluid away, immediately your face looks much more taut—it’s nice and firm,” says Simon. “As you’re doing the lift, you’re opening the eyes, you’re sculpting the cheekbones, and you’re working the jawline.”
If you’re someone who tends to get puffy easily (moi), Simon recommends doing the treatment every other day. Of course, it’s an investment to get your hands on the ZIIP, but if you’re looking for a high-tech, facial-level upgrade to your skin-care regimen, consider giving your beauty routine a current update.
Find out what other skin-care tools a dermatologist recommends in this episode of Dear Derm:
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