I’ve always been a fan of facials. I had my first professional facial when I was 16 and have spent the past 6 or 7 years getting every facial you could think of on a seasonally basis. But there’s one particular facial I had been dying to try—celebrity esthetician Shamara Bondaroff of SB Skin’s Insta-famous microcurrent facial. It’s the natural “mini facelift” facial that’s replacing Botox and fillers.
I first learned about Bondaroff’s SB Skin spa after fitness influencer Hannah Bronfman sang her praises in numerous posts on Instagram. The half Jewish, half Puerto Rican esthetician has the kind of smooth, glowy, complexion most girls dream of and it’s all thanks to her healthy lifestyle and her microcurrent facials that have been creating a ton of buzz in NYC. The microcurrent facial is actually the only facial on Bondaroff’s spa menu, which she refers to as a 50-minute “pilates treatment for your face.”
“When I discovered microcurrent, I was so impressed by the results. I was apprehensive to go the Botox and fillers route and saw microcurrent as a true alternative to those more invasive aesthetic treatments,” she tells me. “I wanted to specialize in that modality, come up with my own method that I’ve found to be especially effective and make that available to people.”
SB Skin, which is located on 37 West 19th Street, blocks away from Union Square Park, is dreamy to say the least. The spa consists of a clean and minimalistic design that alligns with Bondaroff’s holistic beauty philosophy and lifestyle. The waiting area was filled with plants, crystals and soft natural tones.
The facial itself uses two wands that release a mild electrical current to stimulates the skin and facial muscles, while also triggering collagen and elastin production and promoting skin healing and renewal.
“Microcurrent technology employs a mild electrical current to stimulate facial skin and muscles. Microcurrent facials are a form of muscular re-education for the face,” she says. “Thirty-two different facial muscles are manipulated during a micro current treatment. To achieve this muscular re-education, I place different metal probes on the skin to physically move the muscles into the desired position. The treatment affords the muscles the necessary energy to keep tension in their new improved position.”
It’s a treatment a lot of women are now seeking out due to the fact that it’s non-invasive and yet still provides great anti-aging results. It’s also not painful at all. I not only found my micro current facial to be painless but it was actually pretty gentle on my skin and relaxing overall. Best part is, there’s no chemicals used and absolutely no down time needed.
Bondaroff started off by cleansing my face and then going into the microcurrent treatment to help manipulate my facial muscles. She then followed with a light exfoliation and finished off by applying a LED light therapy to help kill any bacteria that could lead to breakouts. The facial cost $225 and is well worth the price. After my facial was done, I looked in the mirror and instantly noticed a difference. My complexion was glowy, my cheekbones looked more sculpted—even my jawline appeared more defined. With a natural treatment this effective, it’s no wonder so many of Bondaroff ‘s clients are laying off of Botox and fillers.
[Microcurrent facials] are for clients who don’t want to go that route (a.k.a the botox and fillers route) to begin with ever, clients that want to enhance their results from Botox and fillers and keep their face and muscles healthy and alive, and lastly for the client that has been doing Botox and fillers but started coming to us and soon realized that they want to ween themselves off or never do injectables again,” Bondaroff says. “Given my holistic lifestyle, it is never my first choice to inject things into my body. It just goes against my beliefs and who I am as a person. If there’s an equally effective alternative that will always be my first choice. Also, when you continually get botox, you are causing the muscles to atrophy. After years and years, the muscle can become too weak and the skin can lose that youthful tautness.”
For best and most noticeable results, Bondaroff recommends a series of 3-5 facials close together to start. This helps get the muscular re-education process in motion. Regular maintenance treatments are needed. “The frequency of those can vary and depend on your goals,” she says. “Most people come at least once a month.”
But if once a month is too much for your budget, Bondaroff suggests to clients to use the NuFace, an at-home microcurrent device in between facials. “They are a good way to do maintenance in between professional treatments,” she says. “Ideally you’d come in for an initial 3-5 series with us, then use NuFace in between your regular maintenance treatments. It helps keep the results going longer.”
While the treatment is perfectly safe for most clients, Bondaroff does warn that there are certain clients who aren’t good candidates for microcurrent.
“We do not do treatments on pregnant people,” she says. “Breastfeeding moms are fine though, If you have any specific medical concerns, we always recommend talking to your doctor. If people have any concerns about medical contradictions, they should always consult with their doctor first. We wouldn’t recommend anyone to do it if they had any serious conditions or a pace maker.”
Microcurrent can do wonders on someone suffering from Bel’’s palsy though. “Historically doctors have used microcurrent technology on Bell’s palsy patients,” she says. “Since Bell’s palsy is a sudden paralysis/weakness of facial muscles that causes one side of the face to droop, microcurrent technology can stimulate those muscles and “re-activate” them. I have clients that come in and have seen great results.”
Bondaroff’s treatment are basically the healthy, holistic “mini facelift” without the down time or the side effects. It’s safe, it’s painless and it’s remarkably effective. Microcurrent is definitely the future of anti-aging.