In this post, I’ll explain why you need a conductive gel for microcurrent treatments. And which ones I recommend personally. Especially if you have sensitive skin as I have.
I’m a huge fan of microcurrent treatments (as you may know if you’ve been following my blog). It tones, lifts, and tightens your face. And increases production of collagen and elastin over time. Which you can read about in this post. But it’s important to use a good conductivity gel in order to get those great results.
All the different microcurrent devices have their own conductivity gel. And on top of that, you’ll find several claims on the web about alternative conductive gels for microcurrent that are said to be efficient.
This post will go through the conductive gels that come with the different microcurrent devices. And whether or not I recommend them. It will also cover conductive gel substitutes and my favorite one.
This is what I’ll cover:
- Why you need a conductive gel when doing microcurrent
- The most common conductive gels for microcurrent – and which I prefer
- Microcurrent conductive gel substitute – and which I prefer
Why you need a conductive gel when doing microcurrent
The microcurrent is an electrical current (even though it’s a very low-level one). And it needs a conductive substance in order to penetrate the skin and the muscles underneath.
The gel or liquid needs to have ions that can move from one of the probes to another. Carrying the electricity with them. Mineral salts like gold, zinc, copper, magnesium, calcium, sodium, chloride, etc. are all great for conductivity.
The conductive gel should also give you a good glide with the device. In order to do the treatment gently and without dragging the skin.
Another aspect of the conductive gel is that it should preferably have really good ingredients since the microcurrent will increase the permeability of the skin cells. Meaning that everything you put on the skin will be absorbed better and pushed deeper into your skin.
Unfortunately, many of the gels out there contain some ingredients that I do not want to be pushed into my skin. Since I am very sensitive and get irritated easily. But also because I break out (with cystic acne) with the wrong ingredients. More about that in the next section.
*Please note, this post contains affiliate links, and I may receive a small commission if you purchase through any of those links. It doesn’t cost you any extra and I only recommend products I truly love and use myself. You can read my full disclosure here.
The most common conductive gels for microcurrent – and which I prefer
In this section, I will go over the gels that come with the most common devices. Which I like the most, and why. And why I avoid the other ones.
ZIIP Golden Conductive Gel Treatment
This is the conductive gel I love the most! It has fantastic ingredients. And leaves your skin super soft and lean. Plus it works well for my very sensitive skin.
It contains a lot of powerful anti-aging ingredients such as 24-carat gold, growth factors, hematite, snail venom peptide, bio-placenta, niacinamide, zinc, and copper. But is still gentle enough to suit my sensitive skin. And the gold, for example, has a very strong anti-inflammatory effect.
It gives a great glide (the best glide of all the gels) and it is completely free from silicones and parabens.
Here is the full ingredient list:
Glycerin, Water (Aqua), Propanediol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, μconotoxin Cn CIII., Lecithin, Acetyl Glutamine, ShOligopeptide1, ShOligopeptide2, ShPolypeptide1, ShPolypeptide9, ShPolypeptide11 Bacillus/Soybean/Folic Acid Ferment Chondrus Crispus Extract, Hydrolyzed Chondrus Crispus Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycine (Soybean) Soja Extract Niacinamide, Caffeine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Hematite Extract, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Jasminum Officinalis Extract, Menthoxypropanediol, Gold, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol.
The only downside is that it is quite costly. But I still found it’s worth the money due to the high-class ingredients. Also, I make it more affordable by using thermal spring water sprays on top during the treatment. So whenever the gel starts to dry out, I make it slippery again by spraying on the spring water. So I do not need to reapply the gel.
I use Ziip golden gel for all my treatments with my Ziip device. And also when I do most of my Nuface treatments. Unfortunately, for some reason I do not know, this gel does not work well with the Myolift mini. It does not seem to give consistent conductivity for that device. And the same goes vice versa. When I once tried a gel for Myolift, with my ZIIP, it gave no conductivity at all.
Ziip has two other microcurrent gels and I would love to try their new crystal gel. When I have, I will update this post for sure.
Nuface Gel primer
If you’ve read my other blog posts about microcurrent, you know how much I love the Nuface. But unfortunately, when it comes to their conductive gel (Nuface gel primer), I am not as pleased. It contains hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid which is something I avoid (this blog post explains why in more detail).
Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid is an ingredient that is used in tons of products and well-tolerated for most people. But not for all. And not always. Since hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, unfortunately, can trigger inflammation. And for me, that can trigger cystic acne.
After experiencing cystic acne twice, I just stopped the gel completely. And continued to use this device with my ZIIP golden gel instead.
Nuface also has a gold gel with 24K gold. But this does as well contain hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid and even though many people seem to like it, I’ll just stay safe and avoid it.
Besides that, Nuface gel primer is free from parabens and silicons, and has no fragrances either.
Nuface Gel primer also contains snow mushroom. An ingredient I found quite promising since it is both an effective humectant as well as a strong anti-inflammatory agent. And maybe its effect can counteract some of the inflammatory effects that may be caused by the hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid.
The full ingredient list is here:
Water/Aqua/Eau, Propanediol, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Betaine, Glycerin, Magnesium Sulfate, Carbomer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide
7E Wellness Conductive treatment gels
Myolift has its two own conductivity gels. And I have tried them both. They were very heavy, and I was personally not a fan of the thick texture. Also, They seemed to upset my skin and I, therefore, stopped using them.
Besides from that, they do have some nice ingredients such as green tea and zinc.
These are the ingredient lists for these gels:
Restore Conductive TX gel for mature skin:
Filtered Water (Agua), Vegetable Glycerin, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Hyaluronic Acid, Citrus Urantium (Neroli) Oil, Copper, Ascophyllum Nodsum (Sea Kelp) Extract, Collagen Peptide Complex, Zinc, Camelli Sinesis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sodium Hydroxide.
Renu Conductive TX gel for stressed skin:
Filtered Water (Agua), Vegetable Glycerin, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Hyaluronic Acid, Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Oil, Zinc, Sodium Hydroxide, Food color Yellow #6/Blue #1.
So what do I use instead when I do my Myolift treatments? I’ll come back to that soon. But first, let’s cover the last device serum.
Foreo Serum serum serum
So finally, we have the newcomer FOREO Bear, and its conductive serum called Serum serum serum.
I have never tried this serum for two reasons. First of all, it contains Cyclopentasiloxane as one of the top ingredients.
Secondly, Serum serum serum contains hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid. Which, as mentioned above, can cause inflammation in the skin.
Here is the ingredient list of Serum serum serum:
Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Propanediol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Diglycerin, Xylitol, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Glycereth-26, PEG/PPG-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Betaine, Octyldodeceth-16, Glyceryl Glucoside, Propylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Acacia Senegal Gum, Gelatin, Panthenol, Xanthan Gum, Trehalose, Urea, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium PCA, Serine, Glucose, Algin, Disodium Phosphate, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Pullulan, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Potassium Phosphate, Red 4 (CI 14700), Benzyl Glycol, Raspberry Ketone.
Remember that you can use any water-based skincare serum underneath any conductive gel.
Just make sure it does not contain oil since that will hinder the conductivity. Small amounts of oil might work. But to know for sure test it with the ZIIP or the Myolift since those machines show whenever you have conductivity. If you only have the Nuface or Foreo Bear, it might be best to avoid oils altogether just to be sure.
Also, make sure the serum does not contain any AHA, Retinoids, or other too strong or active ingredients that migh irritate your skin. Since the microcurrent will push these ingredients deep down into your skin.
Another, more economical advice, is to use your gel with a spring water spray. I mentioned it above, and it’s a great way to never need to reapply your expensive gel. Instead, just spray the spring water on whenever the gel starts to dry out.
I’ll get back to those sprays in the next section.
Microcurrent conductive gel substitute – and which I prefer
Now, let’s talk about the microcurrent conductive gel substitutes you may read and hear about. And my personal opinion about them.
Some common options that many people recommend are to use plain aloe vera gel or silver gels (usually a mix of silver, aloe vera and other ingredients). I have tried both but did not get good conductivity with aloe vera. And got red and irritated with the silver gel. So none of these options worked for me.
Ultrasound gel is another common alternative. But I don’t find that to be the best thing to push into the skin, as the main ingredient is usually propylene glycol. And as explained, the microcurrent increases penetration of whatever you put on the skin before the treatment.
Propylene glycol is not the worst kind of ingredient to use on your skin, and is considered to be safe and non-irritating for most people when used in skincare. But for me, since I do microcurrent very often, I prefer to choose better ingredients.
My favorite conductive gel substitute
My personal favorite when it comes to conductive gel substitutes are to use 1) a hydrating serum + 2) spring water spray.
The serum should be water-based and contain no (or very little) oils. It should only contain ingredients that you know cause no irritations at all on your skin. And this is because the ingredients will be pushed down deep into your skin.
The spring water works as an effective conductor since it’s rich in mineral salts which in turn “carries” the current. These minerals are also very beneficial for the skin, and in this blog post, you’ll learn all about them.
Whatever spring water spray you chose, make sure to spray on often in order to get a good glide. You don’t want to drag your skin.
Summary – The best conductive gel for microcurrent
– You’ll need an effective conductive gel for getting good results with your at-home microcurrent facial. Otherwise, the current won’t penetrate as deep and as efficiently.
– There are several conductivity gels out there, and all the different microcurrent devices have their own microcurrent gel that they promote for best result.
– I personally found the ZIIP golden gel to have the best ingredients. The other ones are not well tolerated by my sensitive skin.
– To make any gel more affordable, you can use a spring water spray on top whenever the gel starts to dry out. And you do not need to reapply.
– My favorite microcurrent conductive gel substitute is to simply use a hydrating serum with spring water spray on top. My favorite serum for this is Hydrance intense from Avene and Beauty infusion probiotic from Skin Authority. And the sprays I use are either Avene or La Roche Posay spring water sprays.
– Spring water has great content of minerals salts that are not just conductive. But also very beneficial for your skin with many anti-aging properties. And they are very affordable too.
– Never use any acid or retinol before the treatment. And be careful with other anti-aging ingredients that can be too intense to be pushed into the skin with a microcurrent facial.
I hope this post has been helpful when exploring the field of microcurrent conductivity gels.
I would love to hear your own experiences. And if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.
Microcurrent itself is a true game-changer for your skin. And if you’ve missed my post about all the benefits if this technology, and the devices I use myself. Then see this post.
And if you want to see my review on the newcomer Foreo Bear (compared to the Nuface), you find it here.
Until next time, love your skin!