Tested: non-invasive electro-acupuncture facial by Carole Franck

Cutting edge beauty, without the knife

Trick or treatment

Good for? Eliminating fine lines and wrinkles.What is it? A facial that uses “non-invasive acupuncture” – it is the treatment of choice for people who like the idea of hard-hitting facials, but dislike the reality of pain. Instead of using acupuncture needles, gold-plated electrodes are placed on reflex points on the skin (the same meridian points used in acupuncture). A low-wattage micro current is then passed through the electrodes “to recalibrate and regulate the energy of the cells”. According to the manufacturers, this helps to boost skin nutrition and oxygenation, and improves the absorption of products used in the facial. A current is also used to help creams to penetrate deep into the skin.

Ouch factor? The acupuncture is completely painless – in fact it’s strangely relaxing, lying there holding a conductor, with 20 electrodes strapped to your face. It was the fruit peel that preceded it that came as a bit of a shock. The tingling sensation soon became a stinging sensation, but it would be pushing it to say it actually hurt.

Clock-watching A facial takes about an hour and 45 minutes. The manufacturers claim their scientific research shows that four sessions will improve “collagen synthesis” by 50per cent, and will regenerate elastin fibres. Optimal results require ten sessions.

Downtime None. Like a normal facial you can go straight on to the street afterwards, without scaring the locals.

What to ask A practitioner should have an NVQ level 3 or equivalent in beauty therapy plus additional training from Carole Franck.

Cost £60-£170 depending on the location. Call 01823 421521 for details.

Dermatologist’s verdict: “In my opinion, non-invasive electro-acupuncture is a gimmick. Optimally formulated creams shouldn’t need a current to increase penetration into the skin,” says Dr Nick Lowe, a consultant dermatologist (drnicklowe.com).

Trick or treatment This feels very like a treat. In fact it feels like a nice normal facial that has been dressed up in the pseudo-scientific language of non-invasive beauty therapies.

Posted in Microcurrent Treatments, News.