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The best conductive gel for microcurrent?

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 the 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 for your face 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 ones. 

This is what I’ll cover:

Why use a conductive gel for face 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.

The best conductive gel for microcurrent, and the best conductivity gel substitutes.
This post covers the most common microcurrent conductive gels for face, and which ones I recommend. You’ll also learn why you need a conductivity gel in the first place. And some other useful information.

*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.  

Most common conductive gels for microcurrent – and which I prefer

In this section, I will go over the conductive gels for face 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 bunch 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. The bottle is also large and the gel does last a long time.

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 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 golgen gel - nanocurrent and microcurrent conductive gel
The ZIIP Golden Gel is my favorite microcurrent conductive gel for face. It contains top-class ingredients in a formula that is well tolerated by my sensitive skin. It is also completely free from silicons.

Tip: If you haven’t tried the ZIIP device, the code ziipwithann gives you a 15 percent discoun. This link will take you to the site.

You can use the same code for 15 percent discount on gels too.

Update 1: I can now offer a 15 percent discount on gels and devices at Currentbody. In case you live outside of US. Just use the code ziipwithann.

UPDATE 2: I have now tried their new gel called Crystal Gel and have written a review post that you find here. In short, the crystal gel is less expensive and gives even more glow to the skin as well as glide to the treatment! I love it and use it even more than the golden gel now!

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 using the gel completely. And as my nuface gel alternative, I simply used 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 that is 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

Nuface gel primer and 7e wellness Restore micorcurrent conductive gel
Nuface Gel primer and 7e Wellness Renu microcurrent conductive gel. Unfortunetely I do not tolerate them well.

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. 

As I mentioned in my posts about retinol and cystic acne, this ingredient can be problematic for some skin types. And for me, it triggers cystic acne as well as intense redness.

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 is 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.

My personal favorite is Hydrance intense serum from Avene.  And Beauty infusion Probiotic from Skin Authority. I use either one of these.

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.

My favorite microcurrent conductive gel substitute - serum plus spring water
These are my personal favorites when it comes to substitutes for microcurrent conductive gels. The spring water spray is what gives (most) conductivity and should be used generously during the treatment. It will also give you a good glide with the device you’re using.

My favorite spray is a huge bottle from Avene. I also like La Roche Posay and that brand also has a spray called Serozinc, which is targeted towards oily skin.

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.

Update: I recently became obsessed with the Crystal gel from ZIIP. So that is the only gel I use these days. And the only device I use these days is the ZIIP (this post explains about the newest model called ZIIP Halo). The other devices are good, but I find ZIIP gives more result in less time.

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 conductive gel for face treatments that they promote for best result. 

– I personally found the ZIIP golden gel to have the best ingredients (use the promo code ziipwithann for a 15 percent discount). And the ZIIP Crystal Gel to give the best glide and glow. The gels from Nuface, Myolift and Foreo are not well tolerated by my 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 for the face.

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 of this technology, and the devices I use myself. Then see this post.

I also have a review post of the newcomer Foreo Bear (compared to the Nuface). And a comparison of the ZIIP vs Nuface.

Until next time, love your skin!

This Post Has 49 Comments

  1. Jeannie

    My friend mentioned to me Avene, now Im keen to try it!

    1. Ann

      Glad to hear Jeannie! It’s a great spray 🙂

  2. Kimberlie

    I cannot believe that I knew nothing about conductive gels. Phenomenally detailed and helpful post.

    1. Ann

      Thank you so much, Kimberlie! 🙂

  3. Iva

    Hi! I came across your site today and it’s fantastic. I have a Nuface and I love it. I have heard that you can use other gels with it and that those work well too but reading your latest post, I’m now not so sure. What are your thoughts on using ultrasound gel or aloe vera with micro-current devices?

    1. Ann

      Thank you so much Iva! I would not use ultrasoundgel on my face with microcurrent. It can work but are not the best ingredients to push into your skin.

      Aloe vera gel can work, but I would be careful with reading the ingredients to know they have good stuff in the gel. And you will also need to spray on mineral water for best conductivity 🙂

    1. Ann

      Hi Christina,

      You mean you cannot buy the ZIIP gels in your country? In that case, try any waterbased serum that you like and spray with a thermal spring water spray on top 🙂 If you have Avene in your country, definitely get their spring water spray! You need it for the glide and for effective conductivity.

      I would not recommend the serums you sent me though. The first one has alcohol in a form that is drying and irritating. You do not want to push that deep into your skin with microcurrent. The second serum has silicons in it and I suggest you stay away from that too when you do your microcurrent treatments.

      I really like the serum from Avene that I mention in my post 🙂 See if you can find it in your country 🙂 And get the spring water spray to use on top!

      Good luck!

  4. Julie B

    Hi, I would like to know if there is another kind of serum that you know that will be more natural (less ingredients) no alcohol, no fragrance.
    Thank you

    1. Ann

      Thank you for your question!

      I think your best choice would be the probiotic serum from Skin Authority. And of course a spring water spray on top for extra conductivity and to get a good glide.

      The golden gel from ZIIP (that I love too) is also free from fragrances and alcohol. It does have a lot of ingredients, but all very beneficial and gentle to the skin.

      The serum from Avene does have a kind of alcohol but this is a fatty alcohol and will not cause any dryness or irritation to the skin. Rather the opposite. It also has a tiny bit of fragrance which I think is stupid. But it is for sure not irritating at all and developed for the most sensitive skin types. Makes no sense to have fragrance in it, and it’s so little you cannot sense any at all.

      When it somes to serums in general, you can pick anyone that you like. As long as it is waterbased (not oil based) and without irritating and strong ingredients. And as long as you use a spring water spray on top for the conductivity.

      If you just want one single ingredient, then just use the spring water spray 🙂 The salts give conductivity and are great for the skin. You can see my post about salt water sprays to learn more :).

      Hope this helps!

  5. Tammy

    Thank you for great info. You should make video on youtube?

    1. Ann

      Thank you Tammy, so sweet of you!! 🙂 I am thinking of doing some videos. But since English is not my native language, that has held me back. I will practice 🙂

  6. Emily

    Thanks so much for this post, it’s super informative!! I have a question about the ZIIP gel – when you say it didn’t give you conductivity with the Myolift device, how can you tell? I’d like to use this gel with my Foreo Bear since I don’t love SERUM SERUM SERUM but I want to make sure that they’ll work well together and that I’m not wasting my time (and money)!

    1. Ann

      Great question!

      Well, myolift has a screen that shows whenever you have conductivity or not. ZIIP has another function where it show light whenever there is conductivity.

      Nuface and Foreo bear does not have any indicator of conductivity. But I can say for sure that this gel does give conductivity for Nuface, due to the results. And as long as you spray on some spring water, you are good to go for sure. Foreo bear says you can use any water based serum with their device. So it should definiteley work good as well. And the Ziip gel does contain a lot more conductivity properties than serum serum serum. And is so much better for the skin ?.

      I still recommend the spring water on top to save gel and to ensure even more conductivity and better glide too ?.

      1. Emily

        Sounds great, thank you so much for the quick reply!! I tried the ZIIP gel for the first time last night and it felt way better than Serum serum serum – much better glide and way less zapping 🙂

        1. Ann

          Glad to hear that Emily! 😀

  7. Krissy Kary

    Hello! I’ve seen you in Penny Smith’s Skincare group. You’ve given me so much great information and your skin is beyond beautiful! May I ask if you’ve tried any high frequency modalities? I have the NuFace with the ELE and red light and love it! I am looking for a good red light panel as I want to use it all over, not just my face. I know so many people speak about the Newa, especially in our group, but wanted to know your thoughts and recommendations? Thanks so much! Love this blog and just subscribed!

    1. Ann

      Hi Krissy!

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! <3

      I think you mean Trina's group though. Beauty devices group? 🙂

      About Red light panel. I have been offered to collaborate with a panel brand and if so I can give out a discount code for you. I just haven't decided yet since I want to do a bit more research on red light. I do find it very interesting and will probably try it. Let me get back to you 🙂

      About radiofrequency, I am a little bit suspicious. Even though it is said to be safe and many people love it. There are also quite a lot of persons claiming they have had terrible side effects. Even in research (even though most of the studies show good results on skin tightening), the side effects are mentioned. And it is important to remember that most of the studies are done by brands that sell RF machines.

      Personally, I will not experiment with it. I am too afraid, and I do not like the idea of heating up the skin. I also have very sensitive skin. But I will keep following the subject and maybe I change my mind in the future 🙂 The technology does evolve over time too.

      For now, I am so extremely happy and satisfied with my microcurrent treatments that I do not feel the need for anything more. Also, microcurrent increases the production of collagen and elastin. On top of strengthening the muscles. So long term, it does so much more to keep the skin younger and healthier.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions 🙂

      1. Ann

        Just want to clarify that I meant Radiofrequency in general. Not Newa specifically. 🙂

  8. Sarah

    Wow, I learned a ton from this. I have zero knowledge when it comes to skincare, so this was all new to me. I had no idea that treatments like this even existed.

    1. Ann

      Glad to help Sarah! 🙂

  9. This is actually my first time hearing about this type of treatment. Thanks for such great and detailed information.

    1. Ann

      Thank you Sarah! You’re very welcome 🙂

  10. Alyssa Hixenbaugh

    I appreciate the amount of information you shared and research you’ve done. It’s always so helpful and informative.

    1. Ann

      Thank you Alyssa ? You’re very welcome?

  11. Keena

    Wow so much information. Thanks for being so detailed .

    1. Ann

      You’re very welcome Keena 🙂

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