Age-related loss of muscle mass contributes to aging of the human face.
To evaluate the effects of a neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) device on facial muscle tone and signs of facial aging in healthy women.
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.
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).
A 12-week course of facial NMES was associated with increased thickness of the zygomatic major muscle and subjective improvements in facial attributes.